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This page last updated 19 February 2018
Anglicans Online last updated 18 February 2018

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

17 February 2018: Spreading the Word (and everything else) at 5.56 gigahertz
The Guardian (London) reports an ambitious plan to increase internet connectivity in under-served areas of Britain by leveraging the location and height of ancient village churches and their steeples.

17 February 2018: Allegations of bribing bishops in Nigeria
The Sundiata Post (Abuja) reports that the selection of the new Bishop of Lagos has come under fierce criticism because of allegations of significant corruption and bribery of synod members during the election. Given that Nigeria is usually found near the top of lists of 'most corrupt countries', we are assuming that something referred to as 'significant corruption' in Nigeria must be corrupt indeed.

16 February 2018: ACNA defends Gafcon decision not to reveal existence of female bishop
The Episcopal Café (USA) reports on the ACNA's defence of Gafcon's decision to conceal the existence of a female bishop in South Sudan.

16 February 2018: New primate for Tanzania
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the election of the Rt Revd Maimbo Mndolwa, Bishop of Tanga, as the next Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania.

15 February 2018: Western Australia area bishop refuses to accept authority of female archbishop
The West Australian (Perth) reports that the bishop of North West Australia in the Province of Western Australia has announced that the Most Revd Kay Goldsworthy, new Archbishop of Perth, would not be accepted or recognised as a bishop were she to visit his episcopal area. ABC News reported that when Kay Goldsworthy was installed as Archbishop of Perth, she became the first female archbishop in the Anglican communion. She is used to being a pioneer, and was the first woman in Australia to be ordained deacon (1986, the service was interrupted by a bomb scare), priest (1992) and bishop (2008).

14 February 2018: US Supreme Court asked to review South Carolina property decision
The US Episcopal News Service reports leaders of a group that broke away from the US Episcopal Church in South Carolina have asked the United States Supreme Court to review a state court ruling that property, assets and most parishes must remain with the Episcopal Church.

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9 February 2018: C of E General Synod welcomes move towards Methodist Church
The Church of England reports that its General Synod has given its welcome to a report containing proposals which could bring the Church of England and the Methodist Church in Great Britain into communion with each other.

9 February 2018: Religious school in Texas argues courts can't intervene in discipline case
A teenage student and his family have sued a religious private school in Texas after the teen experienced racist bullying. The student claims the school did little to stop the bullying. But the school says its religious doctrine makes it immune from legal repercussions. The Huffington Post reports.

9 February 2018: A USA town where only Christians are allowed to own houses
The Guardian (London) reports on a town in Michigan USA whose laws prohibit non-Christians from owning a house. Prospective homeowners are required to produce evidence of their faith by providing (among other things) a letter from a Christian minister testifying to their active participation in a church.

8 February 2018: ABC and ABY launch new websites
The Church Times (London) reports the announcement from the Church of England that its two archbishops, of Canterbury and York, have new websites. (A historical note: the very first website for the Archbishop of Canterbury was produced by Anglicans Online, a long time ago.)

8 February 2018: ABC calls for greater Anglican Communion voice in selection of successor
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the address by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to the Church of England General Synod, in which he asserted that the selection of the next Archbishop of Canterbury should not be done entirely by and within the Church of England, as it has been for centuries.

8 February 2018: Alumni tell Anglican Church to hand over control of schools in southern Queensland
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports on a demand by a group of influential alumni that the Diocese of Brisbane hand over control of its schools in southern Queensland amid concern over the handling of child sexual abuse cases and its dated school governance practices.

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4 February 2018: English and US Churches call for mental health care
A survey of over 1,000 Church of England priests has revealed a severe concern over the mental health of those in their communities, according to a press release issued Sunday morning. The prevalent issue of mental health issues leading to violence in America has led churches there to call for Mental Health Crisis training for clergy, laity, and law enforcement, according to the US Episcopal News Service.

4 February 2018: ABC said to have blocked payments to abused students
The Times (London) reports that a victim of child sex abuse has written to Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury accusing him of 'personally' blocking extra compensation payments.

2 February 2018: USA Diocese votes to avoid using 'gendered pronouns' for God in BCP
The Christian News Network reports that the US Episcopal Diocese of Washington (DC) has voted to 'stop using "gendered pronouns" for God in future revisions of its Book of Common Prayer and to “remove all obstacles” for "c" participation in church life by making all gender-specific facilities and activities accessible to those who identify as the opposite sex' at their annual convention. The full text of the resolution is available here.

31 January 2018: 'We want a local bishop' say Ethiopian Anglicans
Following decades of bishops from Egypt or the West, Anglicans in the fast-growing Gambella district of Ethiopia hope their next bishop to be local, reports the Anglican News Service. The region, which is part of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, is part of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

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27 January 2018: Bishop of London criticised for high church comments
The Telegraph (London) reports that the (acting) Bishop of London, Pete Broadbent, has been criticised by senior clergy for describing the High Church tradition as 'faffy ceremonial' and suggesting it lacks 'deep faith'. We recall the era, more than a century ago, when English clergy could be jailed for lighting candles on an altar.

26 January 2018: Revived plan to unite C of E and Methodists to receive General Synod scrutiny
The Church Times reports that next month's General Synod will include a debate on the report proposing unification of the Church of England and the Methodist Church. Christian Today (London) offers this report on it all.

24 January 2018: Brazil elects its first female bishop
In 1983 the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil decided that all three orders of ministry would be open to women. Now, 34 years later, the Diocese of the Amazon has elected the first female bishop in the province. The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Canon Marinez Santos Bassotto was chosen at a meeting in Belém. She sees a number of challenges as she helps her church proclaim and live the gospel in a way that is missionary, embedded in the local culture and prophetic.

23 January 2018: New archbishop for South Sudan
Africa News (Johannesburg) reports that the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) elected a new primate and Archbishop. He is the Rt Revd Justin Badi Arama, bishop of the Diocese of Maridi.

22 January 2018: ABC won't retract statement about George Bell
The Guardian (London) reports that the 'archbishop of Canterbury has refused to retract a statement saying that a leading church figure of the 20th century had a "significant cloud" over his name because of allegations of child abuse, despite mounting pressure from historians who believe the claims are untrue.' The archbishop released this statement.

20 January 2018: African-American deaconess honoured at church she founded
Anna E.B. Alexander was born to recently emancipated slaves on the Butler Plantation in Georgia (in her later years, she never acknowledged the date of her birth, lest she be forced to retire). An Episcopal church for the former slaves was started in Darien, dedicated to St Cyprian of Carthage, an African saint. Anna taught at the school there, and started a mission in Pennick, where her parents had settled. In 1907 she became the only African-American to be ordained a deaconess in the Episcopal Church (the same year the diocese removed representation of African-American congregations in its convention). For decades her efforts sustained the school and church she founded. The Florida Times-Union reports that the Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, celebrated her life, as the church considers her feast in the calendar.

20 January 2018: C of E bishops refuse to work on new transgender liturgy
The Daily Mail (London) reports 'Church of England bishops throw out Synod demand for prayer celebrating a transgender person's change of sex'.

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For news older than 20 January, please refer to our News Archives.


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