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This page last updated 26 July 2015
Anglicans Online last updated 26 July 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 phraes 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


25 July 2015: Invitation to join UK sisters in a peaceful way of life
The Oxford Mail reported on the new initiative of the Community of St Mary the Virgin to interest more people in their way of life: inviting people to come and live alongside them. So-called alongsiders would be asked to live much the same life as the sisters—which, it turns out, is mostly silent.

23 July 2015: UK church spires in danger
The Guardian reported the National Churches Trust has launched a campaign, Save Our Spires, an appeal to help restore UK churches as shrinking congregations cannot meet soaring costs. The article details some of the perils to the iconic spires: 'Stone is decaying, timbers rotting and the iron cramps added by the Victorians corroding and splitting the stones they were intended to preserve. Some have suffered more exotic damage from woodpeckers, who are gradually destroying many timber clad spires.'

23 July 2015: Obit: The Rt Revd David Bowman
Episcopal News Service (ENS) published the obituary of the Rt Revd David Bowman, ninth bishop of Western New York and assisting bishop of Ohio.

22 July 2015: New bishop for Natal
The South African site, News 24, reported the election of the Rt Revd Dino Gabriel as next bishop of Natal. Gabriel is Italian-born and Zulu-fluent. He was elected bishop of Diocese of Zululand in 2005. Last week he was attending the electing convention for Natal to monitor its process and ended up being nominated from the floor and subsequently elected bishop.

22 July 2015: C of E consecrates first female diocesan bishop
The Church Times reported on the consecration at Canterbury Cathedral of the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, Bishop of Crediton, in the diocese of Exeter, and Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester and the first woman diocesan bishop in the Church of England.

20 July 2015: Obit: The Revd Owen Chadwick
The Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, and the New York Times are some of the papers which ran an obituary for the Revd Professor Owen Chadwick, OM. Chadwick, 'who has died aged 99, was a clergyman-academic of a kind once common in universities but now very rare; the holder successively of Cambridge University's chairs of both Ecclesiastical and Modern History, he was a leading authority on the history of religion and the churches.'

20 July 2015: Church in Wales achieves Fairtrade status
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Church in Wales is the first province in the Anglican Communion to achieve Fairtrade status.

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19 July 2015: 200 years at Ginthupitiya
St Thomas was the apostle to India, and when the Portuguese settled in Sri Lanka in the sixteenth century, they said they found a Nestorian cross, hinting at the early presence of Christianity on the island. St Thomas church, Ginthupitiya, stands on the site of a shrine to San Thome Pitiya erected during the Portuguese era. Some of the stones in the graveyard are in Dutch, for the next wave of traders. In 1815 the first Anglican church on Sri Lanka - St Thomas church - was built. The Sunday Times (Colombo) reports that the parish has just celebrated its 200th anniversary.

17 July 2015: No regrets, says At First Sight priest
Two couples were chosen for each other by a panel of experts, and introduced just hours before being married. Television cameras followed them to see if the experts' predictions of their compatibility would prove correct. At the end of six weeks, they choose to stay together or divorce. The Church Times reports that one of the experts is the Revd Nick Devenish, who is team vicar of St Mary and St Michael, Cartmel, Cumbria. Though the program has been criticized for downplaying the role of commitment in marriage, Mr Devenish defended his role in the experiment, saying he had more hope for the TV couples than many of those he marries in his parish.

16 July 2015: Whitby religious community marks centenary
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported an order of religious sisters from Whitby is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In 1915 Margaret Cope was inspired to found the Order of the Holy Paraclete, a community dedicated to the Holy Spirit, at Sneaton Castle, with the mission of education and monastic prayer.

16 July 2015: Trail dedicated to eccentric Anglican bishop
Frederick Hervey, Earl of Bristol was Bishop of Derry until his death in 1803. He backed Catholic emancipation, and allowed Catholics to say mass in his home, at a time when that would be forbidden by law. And he organized an annual horse race between Anglican and Presbyterian clergy, knowing the lean and hungry Presbyterians had an advantage over the well-fed, portly Church of Ireland ministers. The Belfast Telegraph reports that a tourist trail from the Giant's Causeway to Londonderry has been dedicated to the Earl Bishop.

15 July 2015: Obit: Archdeacon Ian Stuchbery
Anglican Journal (Toronto) published an obituary for Archdeacon Ian Stuchbery, ethicist, activist, author. During the 1970s, Stuchbery was a board member of the Centre for Bioethics at McGill University and became an early advocate for the recognition of same-sex unions. He was acutely aware of the evangelical urgency of the gospel in the post-Christian secular setting, and his work in inner-city Montreal communities led him to co-found Tel-Aide, one of Canada’s first telephone crisis lines.

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11 July 2015: First English woman priest dies
The Church Times (London) reports the death of the Revd Joyce Bennett, the first English woman to be ordained in the Anglican Communion.

11 July 2015: Archbishop of York warns of loophole in rules for sex-offender priests
The Telegraph (London) reports on a speech given by the Archbishop of York to General Synod in which he warns that paedophile priests could get back into the pulpit despite a major overhaul of Church of England child protection rules.

11 July 2015: Al Jazeera scornful of US bishops
Al Jazeera America offered a news report asserting that 'In their efforts to put off discussing BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), US bishops turned down a chance to stand up for peace in the Middle East'. Even if you disagree with the premise it is interesting reading.

10 July 2015: Another view of US bishops and the divestment question
Huffington Post published a piece by the Revd Winnie Vareghese entitled, 'Episcopal Bishops Did Not Reject Divestment from Israel' which gives insight into the workings of the Social Justice and International Policy Committee at the US Episcopal Church's recently concluded General Convention.

10 July 2015: Disgraced paedophile and child-porn collector priest loses appeal for access to young boys
Get Surrey (Guildford) reports the denial of a legal request by Michael Studdert, a former Anglican priest who kept the UK's biggest collection of paedophile material in a secret vault at his country mansion. He had asked for unmonitored access to families with young boys.

10 July 2015: Church of England General Synod
The Church of England General Synod for July 2015 is 10-13 July in York. As always, your best choice for online reportage of General Synod is Thinking Anglicans.

7 July 2015: Anglican cathedral in Zanzibar to house anti-slavery museum
The Global Information Network (New York) reports on the plans to restore Christ Church Cathedral in Stone Town to create a heritage center to display the history of slavery in Zanzibar and current human trafficking realities in East Africa and worldwide.

6 July 2015: Steep rise in theft of ancient slabs from churchyard
In January a gang of men descended upon Christ Church, Linthwaite in West Yorkshire sometime after evensong and dug up 19 paving stones that had graced the churchyard for more than 200 years. York stone is a prized commodity worldwide, and home owners prefer their stone to look old and worn. So thieves have vandalized churches and country slab fences to supply the demand. The Daily Mail reports that at Christ Church, crosses have been engraved in the remaining stones, not as a declaration of faith, but to make them less attractive to thieves.

6 July 2015: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and wife Leah renew wedding vows, celebrate 60th anniversary
Eye Witness News (Cape Town) reported on the celebration by Desmond and Leah Tutu of their 60th wedding anniversity at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.

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3 July 2015: General Convention round-up
The Episcopal Church (US) has just completed its triennial General Convention. The province's news service, Episcopal News Service (ENS) has in-depth coverage of the discussions and actions taken. Thinking Anglicans also has a good round-up of issues, actions, and opinions.

3 July 2015: Viewing history through a notice board
Newsweek (US) published a story on how the notice board listing rectors of a parish illuminates centuries of English history. The church featured in the article is All Saints, Waldron in East Sussex.

1 July 2015: 144 years of mission in the Torres Strait
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Anglican Board of Mission's press release that 1 July 2015 marks the 144th anniversary of the 'Coming of the Ligh'’, the occasion that celebrates when the London Missionary Society first landed on Erub, also known as Darnley Island, in Torres Strait.

28 June 2015: Confederate symbols in US National Cathedral
Two windows installed in the US National Cathedral in Washington in 1953 depict US Civil War Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and both contain depictions of the Confederate flag. CBS News reports that the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Revd Gary Hall, has called for them to be removed from the nave, but preserved as part of a historical display. In the wake of the shooting in a Charleston church the week before, he said there is 'no excuse for the nation's most visible church to display a symbol of racism, slavery and oppression'. His sermon can be found here.

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27 June 2015: Presiding Bishop elected
The Episcopal Church (US) is in the midst of its General Convention. The Rt Revd Michael Bruce Curry (Diocese of North Carolina) was elected the 27th Presiding Bishop of the province on the first ballot. The press release is here.

24 June 2015: Prayers requested for Sindh Province
Anglican Communion News Service reported the Bishop of Hyderabad of the Church of Pakistan (United), the Rt Revd Kaleem John, yesterday asked for prayer for the people of Pakista's Sindh Province, which is experiencing a record-breaking heatwave.

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21 June 2015: Corrupt politicians should be killed - Anglican bishop
The Daily Post (Lagos) reports that when the bishop of Wusasa, the Rt Revd Ali Buba-Lamido spoke to his synod, he advocated the death penalty for public office holders found to be corrupt. Bishop Lamido is the only Faluni (a traditionally Muslim tribe) bishop in Nigeria, and has frequently been attacked by militants. In the past he has joined with Muslim leaders in advocating an amnesty for Boko Haram if it would lead to lasting peace.

19 June 2015: US Episcopal Church to elect new primate
The Church Times (London) reminds us of next week's General Convention of the US Episcopal Church, at which a new Presiding Bishop will be elected.

19 June 2015: Agenda and Papers for Church of England General Synod now online
Thinking Anglicans has provided an agenda and a list of the papers that are online (and expected soon to be online) for the July 2015 General Synod of the Church of England.

19 June 2015: English ecclesiastical court dismisses legal challenge to women bishops
The Court of the Vicar-General of the province of Canterbury dismissed a legal objection to the election of the Archdeacon of Hackney, the Ven Rachel Treweek, as Bishop of Gloucester, according to the Church Times.

16 June 2015: Richard III fan prosecuted for York Minster rant
David John Smith is a retired accountant who believed that Richard III should be reburied in York, not in Leicester, where his body was found. At a packed cathedral service in York, he confronted the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, saying she would 'burn in the hell fires forever' for allowing the reburial in Leicester. The Telegraph reports that a contrite Smith won a conditional discharge, and had to pay court costs.

15 June 2016: Beloved hagiographer James E Kiefer passes away
The Episcopal Café has reported the death, in April 2015, of James E Kiefer, famous for writing most of the 'Biographical sketches of memorable Christians of the past'.

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12 June 2015: Another UK woman bishop and a conservative change of view
The Church Times (London) reports that with the appointment of the Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally as Bishop of Crediton, the Rt Revd Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham and past opponent of women bishops, has said that he would now accept the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

11 June 2015: US General Convention materials published
The Office of Public Affairs of the US Episcopal Church has announced the online availability of all reports for the upcoming General Convention of that church. The US Episcopal Church holds its General Convention every 3 years; this one will be in Salt Lake City from June 25 to July 3.

10 June 2015: Vicar loiters in Norfolk Square
The Diocese of Derby tells us that the Revd Andrew Hargreaves, Vicar of Whitfield Parish, will be sitting under his gazebo in the square to give an opportunity to the people of the town to talk to a Christian leader about anything that bothers or puzzles them.

10 June 2015: Australian diocese to give sex-abuse survivors a clear target
The Guardian (London) tells us the Diocese of Wangaratta has voted to become a company so child abuse survivors will know exactly who to sue if they launch a case against the church. Wangaratta is the third Anglican diocese in Victoria to make the decision to incorporate.

9 June 2015: NZ diocese helps rescue Melanesia library
Anglican Taonga (New Zealand) reports on the support by the Diocese of Auckland in replacing books eaten by white ants (termites) at the Bishop Paterson Theological College in Melanesia.

4 June 2015: NZ Archbishop and the upcoming Missions Conference
Anglican Taonga (New Zealand) reports the eagerness of Archbishop Philip Richardson to get started on a 10-year project for regional collaboration in mission across several provinces.

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7 June 2015: Decline in C of E heralds calls for innovative use of church buildings
According to the British Social Attitudes survey, in the two years between 2012 and 2014 the number of people describing themselves as Anglican fell from 21% to 17%, a loss of 1.7 million people. The Guardian looks at how the vicar of the churches in Great Casterton, Little Casterton, Pickworth, Tinwell and Tickencote, the Revd Jo Saunders, cares for her congregations. Each has an ancient church (though Pickworth is merely Georgian), and attendance that varies from 50 each Sunday to six once a month. One suggestion is to make the buildings work harder, with other uses in their rural communities.

6 June 2015: New Bishop for Montreal
The Anglican Journal reported the election of Mary Irwin-Gibson, dean and rector of St George's Cathedral in Kingston, has been elected the first female bishop of the Anglican diocese of Montreal in its 165-year history. The International Business Times report is here. Irwin-Gibson holds an MBA from the Université de Québec à Montréal with a study based on the church and its future. One of the other candidates was the bishop of Quebec, who sought to promote a merger between the two dioceses.

5 June 2015: Researchers say UK Anglicans in serious decline
The Church Times report by Madeleine Davies examines the outcomes of the British Social Attitudes survey.

5 June 2015: Digital evangelism
The Church Times writes about the evangelism efforts of christianity.org.uk.

4 June 2015: Heather Cook's trial date postponed
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported the criminal trial of the Diocese of Maryland's former Bishop Suffragan, Heather Cook, has been postponed until early September.

4 June 2015: Church in Brazil celebrates 125 years
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the celebrations planned and underway in the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil.

2 June 2015: WCC conference renews call for just peace in DRC
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the recently concluded World Conference of Churches (WCC) conference on peace and security in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has issued an invitation for churches and partners to establish 'a suitable structure or process for the purpose of sharing and consolidation of existing initiatives by the churches and related organizations or networks, and in order to consider new ecumenical initiatives' in the DRC.

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PRIOR TO 2 June 2015: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages.


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