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This page last updated 24 September 2017
Anglicans Online last updated 24 September 2017

The News Centre
Editor: Brian Reid
Contributors: Richard Ruggle and Allie Graham

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

24 September 2017: 110 Anglican churches closed in Wales in ten years
BBC reports that more than ten churches a year are closing in Wales, and that there are currently eleven properties for sale on the church’s website. One of those featured in the BBC report, the Church of Saint Thomas a Becket in Haverfordwest, is a listed building with a fifteenth century tower, many stained glass windows, (and an adjacent cemetery). It had a low asking price, and the estate agent’s website indicates it has already been sold. But other bargains remain.

24 September 2017: Church and state in Nigeria
The Daily Post (Lagos) reports that the Most Revd Emmanuel Chukwuma, Archbishop of Enugu, has endorsed (in the name of the Church) one of the candidates for Governor of Enugu State. Enugu State is in the centre of southern Nigeria and has a population of 3.2 million.

21 September 2017: Primate of Canada says indigenous church possible 'by 2019'
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports the statement by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, that 'The changes to church law needed to create a self-determining spiritual community for Indigenous Canadian Anglicans could conceivably be made as early as 2019.'

21 September 2017: Nigeria's General Synod convenes with theme 'Thou shalt not steal'
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria has convened in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, with a theme of 'Thou shalt not steal'.

21 September 2017: New energy and tough questions expected at Primates' Meeting in Canterbury
The Church Times (London) reports on the expectations developing for the Anglican Primates' Meeting in Canterbury the first week of October.

19 September 2019: Celebration at consecration of Tonga's first bishop
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports on the consecration and installation of the Most Revd Dr 'Afa Vaka as the first Bishop of Tonga. For those of you who are not conversant in the Tongan language, the leading quote mark on his given name ('Afa) is called a fakauʻa, and is a consonant. It is pronounced as a glottal stop and is an example of an 'okina, common in Polynesian languages.

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16 September 2017: Nigerian bishop complains that 'prosperity preaching' is killing the Bible
The Nation (Lagos) reports on an address by the Rt Revd Festus Davies, Bishop of Ogori-Magongo, blaming the travails of the Church of Nigeria on the penchant for materialism by gospel preachers.

14 September 2017: Most Church of England members never read the Bible
The Telegraph (London) reports on a study by the Church of England revealing that most of its members do not ever read the Bible.

13 September 2017: After Montana church vandalized with swastika, parish responds with pink hearts
The sign in front of St James Episcopal church in Bozeman, Montana was recently defaced with a swastika, and 666 written on the sign post. One of the neighbours who saw the graffiti put a a pink heart on it, which bore the word 'Unafraid'. The idea caught on. The US Episcopal News Service reports that some members brought pink hearts and markers to the church service and reclaimed their sign with messages of love. The congregation intend to remove the offensive symbols soon. We note without comment that the swastika shown in the ENS photograph is backward.

12 September 2017: Self-immolation by English vicar accused of sex crimes
The BBC reports that a Church of England vicar doused himself in petrol and burned to death after being questioned by police over allegations of historical sexual abuse. The remains of Father Martyn Neale were found in the garden of his vicarage.

11 September 2017: Bones attributed to St Peter found by chance in ancient church in Rome
The Telegraph (London) reports on the discovery during routine restoration work at Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cappella in Rome of bones and other relics believed to be from St Peter and other early Popes.

9 September 2017: Christchurch moves quickly after synod vote to rebuild stone cathedral
Stuff (NZ) reports that (planning) work has already started for rebuilding the earthquake-destroyed Christchurch Cathedral. Anglican Taonga has full details on the problem and the process leading up to this beginning.

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9 September 2017: NZ Anglicans discuss, vote on Cathedral rebuild
The Diocesan Synod of Christchurch met earlier this week to discuss and vote on whether to rebuild the crumbling structure, damaged in the 2011 earthquake. Voices from around the diocese, community, and beyond were heard as part of the discussion. Of the 220 member body, 54 per cent voted to restore at a cost of $104 million (NZD). No work on the building will begin until all funds have been secured.

6 September 2017: Controversial windows removed from US Cathedral
National Public Radio (Washington, DC) reports two controversial stained-glass windows have been removed from the National Cathedral of the U. S. Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. The windows, installed in the 1950s, featuring Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson will be stored for the time being. Last year a window featuring the Confederate battle flag was removed. The cathedral has had ongoing conversations about race.

6 September 2017: ACNA not a province of Anglican Communion
Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion clarified the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is not a province of the Anglican Communion to the Standing Committee of the ACC according to Anglican Journal. He further explained that while ACNA has an 'ecumenical relationship with many of our provinces' it is not within the See of Canterbury.

6 September 2017: Bishop John Davies chosen as new Archbishop of Wales
The BBC reports John Davies, Bishop of Swansea and Brecon was appointed Archbishop of Wales following a vote of laity and clerics.

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1 September 2017: Canadian Anglicans take part in Season of Creation
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports on the Season of Creation, a recently-evolved observance meant to encourage prayer and care for the Earth, began 1 September. The Anglican Church of Canada has prepared a special web page of links relevant to the observance.

1 September 2017: Bishops taken to church court of appeal in Australian feud
Actual Christian Today reports on the status of the legal dispute surrounding the church's response to gay marriage. Archbishop Philip Frier has asked the church's Appellate Tribunal to rule on the dispute. The Guardian reports that the newly-elected Archbishop of Perth has said she supports marriage equality but will not challenge the church. Thinking Anglicans continues to report this entire episode under the admirable headline 'Australian bishops complain about other Australian bishops'.

29 August 2017: More on the hijacking of England's 'Musician's Church'
Thinking Anglicans links the latest reports on the revised anti-musician policies at St Sepulchre in London. After we read the linked article by Andrew Earis, the actions taken by Holy Trinity Brompton strongly remind us of the actions of the Chinese government in its campaign to assimilate Tibet.

29 August 2017: New Primate for Province of the Indian Ocean
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports the election of Bishop James Wong of the Diocese of the Seychelles as the new Archbishop and Primate of the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles News Agency has a more detailed report.

29 August 2017: PETA asks Episcopal church to consider vegan bake sales
St Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, North Carolina, is one of many churches that rely on the annual church dinner to support its outreach. But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) think St Timothy should find a less cruel way to raise money. The Washington Post reports that PETA has written a letter to the presiding bishop, asking him to end the practice of lobster dinners in favor of something more vegetarian. One minister said he had shared the letter with his church board, in an effort to bring forth 'our awareness and sensitivity to how we interact with God’s creatures.'

27 August 2017: Christchurch NZ mayor claims cathedral more important to city than to Church
The Press (Christchurch, NZ) quotes Lianne Dalziel, the city's mayor, as saying Christ Church Cathedral means more to the city than it does to the Anglican church. She made the comment in Christchurch's Cathedral Square during Sunday's launch of an 8.4 metre-tall model of a proposed People's Steeple, built by an American carpenter. As we listen to this squabble and admire the interim 'Cardboard Cathedral' built for worship while fights continue over this old building, we are reminded of the 'Cathedral of Learning' at the University of Pittsburgh in the USA. That is a successful secular cathedral, but it was purpose-built and not cobbled together from the ruins of a hallowed place.

27 August 2017: Australia elects its first female archbishop
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported the election of Australia's first female archbishop, the Rt Revd Kay Goldsworthy, who will lead the Diocese of Perth.

27 August 2017: English pagans demand return of church buildings 'stolen' 1,300 years ago
The Telegraph (London) reports that a group of pagans in England has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury demanding that it be given two churches to make amends for those it says were stolen 1,300 years ago. The group has asked for one church from the diocese of York and one from the diocese of Canterbury. 

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23 August 2017: Robot priest launched to undercut human-led rites
The Guardian (London) reports on the creation in Japan of a robot 'priest' to preside over funeral services.

23 August 2017: UK's leading musicians fight church's ban on secular bookings
The Guardian (London) reports on the efforts in the UK to convince St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in Holborn to reverse its policy that now forbids use of its space as a venue for classical music. That church has been used as a performance space for more than 70 years, and has been referred to as 'the musicians' church'. Famed curmudgeon Andrew Brown has written this insightful piece for the Church Times about the situation.

22 August 2017: York Minster bells to chime again next month after year's silence
The Guardian reports that the Chapter of York Minster has re-established a bellringers group and that regular ringing will resume soon. The article includes some backstory about why the ringing stopped.

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For news older than 22 August, please refer to our News Archives.


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