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This page last updated 31 March 2015
Anglicans Online last updated 29 March 2015

The News Centre
Editors: Helen Gordon and Brian Reid
Contributors: Richard Ruggle

IN THE NEWS CENTRE we report news of global interest that relates to the Anglican Communion. Sometimes we write news articles ourselves. More frequently, we refer you to some article we have found elsewhere in the world. We focus more on news reported about the church than by the church. New articles are also referenced in our Noted This Week section. We depend on you to tell us about news where you live; here's how to contribute. It is unusual for us to mention news items that contain phrases such as 'youth gather', 'bishop calls for', 'releases report on', 're-envisions', or 'synod debate'.

Simon Sarmiento, our UK correspondent, maintains a list of more specific UK-oriented news articles as part of the Thinking Anglicans site. There you can find items we might not normally link at Anglicans Online.

Other News Centre resource pages: Newspapers Online, Official Church Publications, and Online News Sources. And of course, our News Centre Archives. If you are having trouble finding something, don't forget our search engine.

News Stories

26 March 2015: New Bishop of Gloucester
10 Downing Street has announced the appointment of the Venerable Rachel Treweek as Bishop of Gloucester. The Revd Treweek is currently Archdeacon of Hackney. The Anglican Communion News Service reminds us she is England's first female diocesan bishop.

26 March 2015: Fundraising for resurrected Arctic cathedral
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports on fundraising efforts to help pay the debt incurred in rebuilding St Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit, Diocese of the Arctic. It was destroyed by arson a decade ago and has been rebuilt. But there is still construction debt. If you would like to contribute, this page explains how you can do it.

26 March 2015: Archbishop leads Richard III's reinterment prayers
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the rite of reburial of King Richard III, who died in 1485. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led the prayers and blessing. King Richard was reburied at Leicester Cathedral, 13 miles from Bosworth Field.

25 March 2015: First husband and wife bishops?
10 Downing Street has announced the appointment of Canon Alison White, priest-in-charge of St James' church, Riding Mill, as Bishop of Hull in the diocese of York. Canon White is married to Frank, assistant bishop of Newcastle.

25 March 2015: Hymnal transcribed into Braille
Mary Williams likes to sing the hymns with the rest of the congregation at St John's church, South March in the Diocese of Ottawa, but her fragile sight meant she could not read the words. When a new Canadian hymnal was introduced, there were many new hymns, and the words to some that she knew by heart were changed, to make them gender neutral. A serendipitous encounter led to the production of a Braille edition of the new hymnal. The Anglican Journal (Canada) tells us that now Mary finds out what will be sung on Sunday, and brings the appropriate pages from the five binders of the Braille hymnal, so she can take part fully in the worship.

23 March 2015: New Bishop of Manicaland
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the election of the Revd Canon Erick Ruwona as the next Bishop of Manicaland, in Zimbabwe.


20 March 2015: WiSpire in Norwich
The Church Times reports on an innovative way to bring high speed internet connectivity to rural areas in the Diocese of Norwich.

20 March 2015: Vicar apologises
Last week we listed the story of the London vicar who participated in a non-C of E service in his parish. The Church Times reports he has now apologised for same.

18 March 2015: Typhoon Pam wreaks havoc on Vanuatu
Anglican Taonga has a first-hand report from a member of the General Synod Standing Committee who lives in Port Vila, hard hit by Typhoon Pam. There are links to Archbishop Makgoba's appeal for prayers and aid as well as links to Anglican Alliance and the Anglican Missions Board (NZ).

18 March 2015: Dakota hymn sing
The Capital Journal (South Dakota, US) reported on a monthly event at St Peter's Episcopal Church in Fort Pierre where the Dakota language is kept alive through singing hymns.

18 March 2015: Christchurch cathedral deadlock broken?
Anglican Taonga reported the Rt Revd Victoria Matthews has encouraged her diocese to consider a restoration scheme by Sir Miles Warren to rebuild the Cathedral in the Square as a possible way to break the deadlock over the city's earthquake-ravaged cathedral.

18 March 2015: EcoPeace Middle East: Save the Jordan River
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on efforts by groups in the Holy Land to rehabilitate the Jordan River. The project brings together Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists to mobilze and build friendships around their common source of life. 'In this area of the world, water can bring us together, because water does not see all these walls and borders that we put between each other.' Links to congregational educational resources can be found here.

16 March 2015: Cuban synod votes to return to Episcopal Church
Anglican Journal (Canada) reported members of synod for the Episcopal Church of Cuba narrowly voted in favour of returning to the church's former affiliation with the US-based Episcopal Church.

16 March 2015: Dominican Republic announces nominees for bishop coadjutor
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the slate of three nominees for bishop coadjutor in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic has been announced. The electing convention will be 25 July.

16 & 20 March 2015: Pakistan church bombings
On Sunday, 15 March, suicide-bombings outside two churches in Lahore killed 16 and injured more than 70. One parish was RC, the other was Christ Church Anglican. The Church Times reported this on 16 March and ran another story on 20 March about the participation via mobile phone by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the funeral of some of the vicitms at Christ Church. ACNS reports are here and here.


15 March 2015: Scanlan elected in Central Pennsylvania
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the election of the Revd Canon Audrey Cady Scanlan as 11th bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.

13 March 2015: Syrian refugees
The Church Times published two reports on the plight of Syrians. The first tells of a new report just released by 21 international humanitarian and human-rights organisations, Failing Syria. In the second article, Madeleine Davies relays stories of Syrian refugee families she met in camps in Jordan.

12 March 2015: Vicar criticised after Muslim prayer service at church
The Daily Mail (UK) reported the Revd Giles Goddard, vicar of St John's Waterloo, has come under fire for allowing a Muslim prayer service in his church. During the service, he read a passage from Psalm 139, and referenced shared Abrahamic traditions with 'giving thanks to the God that we love, Allah' — upsetting some traditionalists. Apparently, those in the UK upset by the 'Allah' reference aren't aware of the on-going fight by Christians in Malaysia for the right to continue using 'Allah' which is traditional in their worship.

11 March 2015: WCC panel on climate change & human rights
The World Council of Churches (WCC) reported on a high level panel on Climate Change and Human Rights held at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland. The WCC general secretary, the Revd Dr Olav Fyske Tveit, said, 'We are together in this blue planet as one humanity. Our actions have a positive or negative impact on the basic conditions for the life of others – of all. Therefore, we need to see this in the perspective of universal human rights.'

10 March 2015: Delegation advocates at UN for gender equity
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the delegation of 19 Anglican Communion women from 17 Communion provinces who are in New York for the 59th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

8 March 2015: 'Our tribe is women'
Anglican Alliance published a statement and video from the women of the Episcopal Church of Sudan & South Sudan (ECSSS). 'As the women of South Sudan, we abhor tribalism and the division it causes. We therefore call upon all the women of South Sudan from all walks of life to forge a common agenda for peace.'


8 March 2015: Small Newfoundland town loses its church to fire
The Telegraph (St Johns) reports on the fire that today destroyed the only Anglican church in Indian Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

5 March 2015: Electronic voting results for recent C of E General Synod
Thinking Anglicans has noted and linked the files released by the Church of England containing the detailed results of the four electronic votes taken at last month's General Synod.

4 March 2015: New bishop for West Texas
The US Episcopal News Service reports the recent installation of the Rt Revd David M. Reed as bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.

2 March 2015: U2 stars' final farewell to travelling pastor Jack
The Evening Herald (Dublin) reports on the funeral of the Revd Jack Heaslip at St Mary's church, Howth. Heaslip had been a guidance counsellor at Mount Temple Secondary School when the future band members were students there. He was later ordained, and accompanied the band on tour, to help the hundreds of staff and crew members cope with the challenges of isolation and long-distance travel. Terry Mattingly writes that in notes on its 2014 album, Songs of Innocence, the band called Heaslip 'our Northern Star', perhaps knowing that motor neuron disease would soon take his life.

2 March 2015: New tower for Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey announces it has been granted permission by the planning commission to build a tower to provide public access to the abbey's eastern triforium, which will house a new museum and exhibition space, The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries. It will be the most significant addition to the building since the west towers were completed in 1745.


1 March 2015: Australian Diocese of Newcastle to sell its Bishopscourt
There are two Diocese of Newcastle in the Anglican Communion. One is in England, and one is in Australia. The Newcastle Herald (Australia) tells us about the progress of plans to sell the diocese's Bishopscourt house, traditionally the home of its bishop. The AU$4 million that it could bring is seemingly too valuable to pass up.

1 March 2015: The remote little church that's a big thorn in the side of housing development
The Bucks Herald (UK) tells us about the little church in Buckinghamshire, vacant for decades, whose historical status is preventing Progress.

28 February 2015: Malcolm Boyd dies at 91
The US Episcopal News Service reports 'The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd – whose human rights advocacy shaped most of his 30 books including the 1965 best-seller Are You Running with Me, Jesus? – died February 27.' The Los Angeles Times published this obituary.

27 February 2015: New bishop for Diocese of Sabah
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us the House of Bishops of the Province of South East Asia has appointed Bishop Melter Tais as the 6th Diocesan Bishop of Sabah.

25 February 2015: NZ diocesan bishop demoted for racist remarks
The Press (New Zealand) reports 'An Anglican cleric who offended Jews and Muslims last month, has been demoted from some of his roles.' Those roles include being the Diocesan Bishop of Te Waipounamu.


21 February 2015: Bishop election in Central Gulf Coast and The Living Church reported the election of the Revd James Russell Kendrick as the fourth bishop for the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast (US).

19 February 2015: Manila cathedral celebrates 108 years
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the celebrations at the Cathedral of St Mary and St John which is 108 years old. The cathedral is also the National Cathedral of The Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

18 February 2015: RIP: Canon Kaswaya of Malawi
The Nyasa Times reported the passing of Canon Constantine Kaswaya. In addition to being ordained to the priesthood in 1979, Kaswaya had served as Public Affairs Chairperson, Diocesan Secretary, Vicar General, and Bishop of Southern Malawi.

16 February 2015: Ugandan national day to honour Anglican martyr
Janani Luwum was Archbishop of Uganda during the brutal dictatorship of Idi Amin. In 1977, after protesting against arbitrary killings by the regime, he was himself arrested and murdered. He was recently celebrated at a gathering of 20,000 people in Mucwini, Kitgum, at which the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd John Sentamu (who fled his native Uganda during Amin's time), preached. Anglican Communion News Service reports that the current Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Revd Stanley Ntagali, has called for the anniversary of his death to be declared a national holiday. The Ugandan president responded to this by pledging to support the memory of Archbishop Janani Luwum in a number of ways including declaring 16 February a national holiday.


15 February 2015: Passing of a Melbourne bishop
The Age (Melbourne) reports the relatively sudden death of the Rt Revd Barbara Darling, who recently retired as assisting bishop of Melbourne, and who was both Australia's first woman ordained to the clergy and Melbourne's first female bishop.

13 February 2015: Orphaned and possibly Norman font needs a home in NZ
The Otago Daily Times tells the story of a baptismal font of somewhat uncertain but probably ancient provenance that needs to find a new home in the Diocese of Dunedin.

13 February 2015: Anglican Church of Kenya buying rice in anticipation of famine
The Standard (Nairobi) tells us 'Following massive crop failure in most parts of Kirinyaga County due to inadequate short rains late last year, the Anglican Church is buying rice to mitigate the looming famine.'

12 February 2015: Church of England General Synod
The General Synod met in London this week. Thinking Anglicans has its usual comprehensive coverage here.

10 February 2015: New Bishop for Southwell and Nottingham
The British Prime Minister's Office has announced 'The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Paul Gavin Williams, BA, Area Bishop of Kensington, in the Diocese of London, for election as Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham in succession to the Right Reverend Paul Roger Butler, BA, on his translation to the See of Durham on 20 January 2014.' The Church Times report is found here.

10 February 2015: Some 'Prince Bishops' still in palaces
The Telegraph tells us one in four English bishops still has a chauffeur and six of every ten English bishops still live in 'large official residences'. We recall a report a decade or so ago that English bishops' budgets included £100 per year for dry cleaning their mitres, so we suppose this is progress.

9 February 2015: Passing of beloved Maori priest tells of the passing of Apirana Mahuika, a well-known and well-beloved priest in Aotereoa. Anglican Taonga's report is here.


6 February 2015: ABC on defending all faiths
The Church Times reported on remarks by Archbishop Welby at the launch of the Religious Liberty Commission. 'If we believe in freedom of religion, what is good for one is good for all. Taking responsibility for someone else's freedom is as important as protecting our own.'

6 February 2015: Church's position on three-parent embryos is 'nuanced'
The Church Times reported on statements made by the Church of England concerning mitochondrial donation, a new in vitro fertilisation technology. Draft regulations and ethical issues were debated and voted on in the House of Commons. A related article was published earlier in the week.

5 February 2015: Is technology accelerating clergy burnout?
Lancaster Online (Pennsylvania) featured a column discussing research on ministry-focused 'burnout' experienced by Millennials which is purportedly 'happening more regularly, and at an accelerated pace—aided and abetted by technologies that make it difficult to ever tune out or turn off'.

4 February 2015: From New Zealand: Will we fulfill 'the greater promise'?
Anglican Communion News Service posted Anglican Taonga's story of Archbishop Brown Turei's challenge on the eve of the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi: Whether Maori and Pakeha can find the faith and courage to fulfill 'the greater promise of the Treaty of Waitangi: One people, united'.

3 February 2015: Bishop nominees announced in Dallas
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the names of the four nominees for bishop in the Diocese of Dallas. Petition nominations are being received through 16 February.

2 February 2015: RIP: Canon Michael Saward
Christian Today reported Canon Michael Saward has died while on holiday in Switzerland. He was an author and accomplished hymn writer in addition to serving in the Church of England. His final full-time post was as Canon Treasurer of St Paul's Cathedral in London, from which he retired in 2000. His obituary in The Telegraph is found here.

2 February 2015: Challenges for the church in Québec
In the 1860s in Québec, about 40% of the population spoke English; today about one percent of the people speak English at home. That changing demographic is reflected in the most of the churches of the Diocese of Québec have small congregations, and over half expect to close or be amalgamated within five years. CBC visits the church in Trois-Rivières, where many of the elderly parishioners have come by way of other churches that have closed their doors in recent years.


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