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This page last updated 23 June 2019
Anglicans Online last updated 23 June 2019

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

23 June 2019: ICPC arrests impersonators of Anglican primate, Rev Okoh
The Daily Trust (Abuja) reports the arrests of 6 people for impersonating several Nigerian clergyman, including Archbishop Okoh. The 6 members of a cybercrime syndicate syndicate have been accused by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) of using fake Facebook accounts to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

Read more: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/icpc-arrests-impersonators-of-anglican-primate-rev-okoh.html.

21 June 2019: Let the world hear our unity at Lambeth, signatories argue
The Church Times (UK) reports on a letter signed by ten bishops from the USA and around Africa calling on 'Anglican bishops, who have been invited to attend the Lambeth Conference to "lay aside old recriminations" and to see the Communion as "not primarily a problem but rather a remarkable, though fragile, gift — a sign of the Church catholic"'. Signatories include the Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa, the Most Revd Daniel Sarfo, and the Primate of Burundi, the Most Revd Martin Nyaboho, and the Bishop of Dallas, Texas, Dr George R. Sumner.

21 June 2019: South Sudan clerics denounce stigmatization of survivors of conflict related sexual violence
The Anglican Communion News Service tells of a statement issued by the Sudan Council of Churches on the importance of caring for survivors of sexual violence, and eliminating the shame many suffer. This is of particular importance as over 95% of women and girls were reportedly raped during the conflict in South Sudan, and rates of sexual violence remain high in the region.

20 June 2019: A New Way to Do Church
The Religion News Service describes St Stephen's, an inner city church in Philadelphia (USA) that has forgone Sunday service in exchange for weekday hospitality ministry of outreach, welcome, and worship.

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14 June 2019: New bishop for Southeastern Mexico, elected from Canada
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a Mexican-born priest in the Anglican Church of Canada has been elected as the coadjutor bishop of Southeast Mexico, where very few of the congregations speak Spanish. Julio Martin, who has been a clergyman in the Anglican Church of Canada for the past 10 years, says he is looking forward to returning to take up the new role. This report is well worth reading.

14 June 2019: Two Michigan dioceses to share bishop
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the US dioceses of Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan are close to finalizing an agreement in which they would share a bishop and pool other resources.

13 June 2019: US Episcopal news reporter gets a medal from the House of Deputies
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Revd Mary Frances Schjonberg, its long-time senior editor and reporter, was awarded the House of Deputies medal on June 10 by the Revd Gay Clark Jennings, president of the US Episcopal Church's House of Deputies. Through the years a vast number of ENS articles have carried her byline, but of course this one does not. AO congratulates Mary Frances Schjonberg for her excellent work, and the House of Deputies for its good sense in honouring her. Her scheduled retirement on 1 July will leave a big empty space in the world of Episcopal and Anglican journalism.

13 June 2019: Former Anglican Primate elected Governor General of the Solomon Islands
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Bishop David Vunagi, the former Archbishop of Melanesia, has been elected to serve as the next Governor General of the Solomon Islands. The report includes an explanation of what a Governor General is.

13 June 2019: Anglican clergy claim Bishop of Chelmsford told them to leave C of E
Christian Today (London) reports on a claim by more than 30 evangelical clergy in the Diocese of Chelmsford they were told by their bishop that if they didn't agree with his diocese's approach to sexuality they could quit the Church of England.

12 June 2019: Church lead thefts in Thames Valley an 'epidemic'
ITV (London) reports the theft of lead from church roofs is dramatically increasing in the Thames Valley. We find ourselves thinking that if it became difficult to sell stolen lead anonymously, there wouldn't be so much of it stolen.

11 June 2019: An Episcopal church looks to the heavens for its electricity
St Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt Lebanon, Pennsylvania has a three-storey building that is used seven days a week. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a picture of the bishop and rector on the rooftop, blessing its 51 solar panels with holy water, during a 'moving off the grid' ceremony. The church believes that reducing its carbon footprint is part of its stewardship of creation, and its environmental sustainability task force is dreaming about what will be next.

11 June 2019: Price of churchyard burial plots in Tasmania to increase 20 fold
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a video segment with Bishop of Tasmania Richard Condie, reveals that the price of a burial plot in a parish in that diocese is set to rise from AUD$500 to AUD$10k. The Advocate (Burnie, Tasmania) reports Tasmania's state treasurer has opened an investigation to find the justification for this increase.

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7 June 2019: Green health: how gardens make you sane
Prisoners at the Isle of Sheppey who had problems with stress and anger calmed down when they were gardening. This was one of the many stories about the therapeutic effects of gardening, told at a conference at Lambeth Palace on the health benefits of green spaces, particularly within a parish or a chaplaincy. The Church Times, whose Green Health awards inspired the gathering, reports on some of the novel ways that churches have used their green spaces to bring healing, and offers a resource for using church spaces.

6 June 2019: Australia Supreme Court halts action against bishop accused of allowing child sexual abuse
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports 'Disciplinary action against former Anglican Bishop Philip Newell halted', explaining 'The Anglican Church in Tasmania has been ordered by the Supreme Court to stop its proceedings against the Bishop.'

6 June 2019: A parish hall for the community, not just the parish
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the intriguing construction of a new parish hall at St Peter in Lakewood, Ohio, USA. The rector says 'The building is designed to invite people in.' They are encouraging the whole community to use the building and suggest uses for it. 'Rather than limiting the new building to church-related usage and income-generating space rentals, St. Peter is inviting its neighbours to approach the building with their own ideas and on their own terms.'

6 June 2019: US National Cathedral to rebuild and repurpose College for Preachers
The US Episcopal News Service reports the announcement by Washington National Cathedral its plans to renovate a building that once housed its College for Preachers and reopen it as a hub of faith programming and spiritual formation.

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1 June 2019: Westminster Abbey stops Ethiopian priests visiting holy tablet
Leaders of Westminster Abbey have been accused of gross cultural insensitivity over their denial of a request by Ethiopian Orthodox clergy to pray next to a tablet that was looted from their country in 1868, according to The Guardian. This is following controversy in 2010 about the possible returning of the item to Ethiopia that year. This week, an email exchange between Samuel Berhanu, a deacon in the Ethiopian church in London and Duncan Jeffery, head of Abbey communications has made it clear that the Dean has 'no plans to change [current] arrangements.' In Ethiopian Orthodoxy, these tablets are kept in a sacred area where only clergy may see them.

1 June 2019: New Archbishop for West Indies, new bishops in US Dioceses
The Bishop of Jamaica, Howard Gregory, was elected to serve as Archbishop of the West Indies. Howard received more votes than the other candidate, Bishop of Belize Phillip Wright, during the 40th Synod of the province in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He succeeds Archbishop John Holder, who retired as Bishop of Barbados in February 2018. He is the first Jamaican-born bishop to hold this position, though not the first bishop of Jamaica to do so. The Diocese of El Camino Real (California) has elected the Revd Lucinda Ashby as its 4th bishop, and the Diocese of Michigan has elected the Revd Bonnie Perry as its 11th bishop. Both dioceses are part of the US Episcopal Church.

1 June 2019: Funeral of Rachel Held Evans
The Religion News Service reports on the funeral held in Tennessee for beloved writer Rachel Held Evans.

31 May 2019: Criminals impersonate Anglican Communion Secretary General in gift card fraud
The Anglican Communion office is making the public aware of a scam to defraud recipients by impersonating the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, via a fraudulent email account. At least one recipient is £200 out of pocket. 'The Anglican Communion’s Director for Communications, Gavin Drake, said: 'Staff at the Anglican Communion Office will never ask people to order gift cards on their behalf. We are aware that this type of forged identify fraud is very common. People should be vigilant when receiving such requests.' More details are available. We note that this scam is common worldwide, with many other targets.

29 May 2019: First woman bishop makes history in Philippine Independent Church
The Revd Emelyn Dacuycuy has become the first woman bishop in the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) according to the Episcopal News Service. The group has been in full communion with the US Episcopal Church since 1961.

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24 May 2019: Anglican Communion Sunday
The Anglican Communion News Service has explained that 26 May 2019 is to be celebrated as Anglican Communion Sunday. Absent their announcement, we don't think we would have noticed.

24 May 2019: New director for the Anglican Centre in Rome
The Church Times (London) reports the appointment of the Bishop of Mauritius, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, as the new director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

21 May 2019: Church of England General Synod agenda for July
Thinking Anglicans reports on the just-released agenda for July's Church of England General Synod.

18 May 2019: New bishop for Vermont
The Diocese of Vermont has announced the election of the Revd Dr Shannon MacVean-Brown, currently Interim Rector at St Thomas in Franklin, Indiana, as its 11th bishop. All of the candidates in the election were women.

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For news older than 18 May 2019, please refer to our News Archives.


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