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This page last updated 17 February 2019
Anglicans Online last updated 17 February 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

16 February 2019: Married gay bishops told: don’t bring your spouse to Lambeth
The Sunday Times (London) reports that married gay bishops will be invited to the 2020 Lambeth conference, but have been told not to bring their spouses. Naturally, there is discord.

16 February 2019: Scottish Episcopal church considers ditching ethical investments over poor returns
The Sunday Times (London) reports that the Scottish Episcopal church is proposing to abandon ethical investments, in a move that could see it benefit financially from companies that reap huge profits in armaments, gambling and pornography. One observer suggested that it appears that ethical investments are a luxury the church can no longer afford.

15 February 2019: Status update on 2020 Lambeth Conference
The Episcopal Café has published a brief update on the status of the 2020 Lambeth conference.

15 February 2019: Complex confirmation logistics in world's most southerly Anglican cathedral
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) has published a report on what might have been an ordinary confirmation service at Christ Church Cathedral in the Falkland Islands, except that the bishop is based in London, 8000 miles away.

13 February 2019: Kidnappers murder Nigerian priest and demand ransom for his family
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us 'Reports from Nigeria say that a priest from the Diocese of Sokoto has been murdered by kidnappers who are continuing to hold his family.'

12 February 2019: US diocese, shareholder in firearms manufacturer, aims to influence
The Episcopal Café (USA) reports that the Bishop of Western Massachusetts, whose diocese now owns shares in Smith and Wesson, is planning shareholder advocacy to help force that gun manufacturing company to be more responsible.


9 February 2019: Haiti prepares for next steps in its turbulent bishop search
The Episcopal Café (USA) reports on the process that is evolving in Haiti to resume and continue its bishop search after the declared winner of the election did not receive consent from the House of Bishops of the US Episcopal Church (of which the Diocese of Haiti is a part).

8 February 2019: Archbishop of Cape Town calls on bishops to 'express your differences' at 2020 Lambeth Conference
The Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, has asked all Anglican bishops to attend the Lambeth Conference despite differences amongst themselves. 'I know people talk about the fabric of the communion as torn', he said, 'but we are all fallible human beings in need of God’s love and grace, and we need each other.'

8 February 2019: Alabama church removes pew dedicated to Confederate President Jefferson Davis
The US Episcopal News Service reports that a parish church in Montgomery, Alabama has removed a pew that was marked as dedicated to the memory of Jefferson Davis, who was the president of the short-lived Confederate States of America. Davis and the Confederacy are now seen as symbols of racism. Mr Davis was not even a member of that parish.

8 February 2019: Preliminary Christchurch cathedral rebuilding works underway as new bishop arrives
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that reconstruction work has begun on the ruined former Christchurch Cathedral and that the Rt Revd Dr Peter Carrell has been installed as the new Bishop of Christchurch in an outdoor ceremony near the cathedral ruins.

7 February 2019: Online fraudsters hit diocese of Qu'Appelle website
Canada's Anglican Journal reports that an officer with the diocese of Qu'Appelle is warning churches whose website has an online donation feature to make sure it is protected from fraudulent use. The warning follows an episode last winter in which someone used the diocese's 'Donate' button to test thousands of stolen credit card numbers.

3 February 2019: Chinese government appoints RC bishop from 'underground'
The Straits Times (Singapore) reports on the government's appointment of a bishop from China's 'underground' Roman Catholic Church as the official state-backed Bishop Coadjutor of Nanyang, a diocese in central China. Nearly half of China's RC dioceses are without bishops because the government has not approved the Vatican's choices.

2 February 2019: African churches boom in London's backstreets
The Guardian (London), in a photo essay, reports on the flourishing of African churches serving migrants in London, primarily in the Borough of Southwark.


2 February 2019: Susan Brown Snook elected bishop of San Diego
The Living Church reports that Susan Brown Snook, Canon for church growth and development in the Diocese of Oklahoma has been elected the fifth bishop of San Diego (USA).

1 February 2019: General Synod to meet this month
The General Synod of the Church of England is scheduled to meet from from Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 February in London. Thinking Anglicans has further, detailed information about the event.

1 February 2019: British law maker withdraws attempt to remove clergy exemption on same-sex marriages
The Anglican Communion News Service reports three members of the House of Lords have tabled an amendment to a Bill on marriages and civil partnerships that would have removed the exemption for members of the clergy to solemnise the marriage of a same sex couple after the government said it would not support it. According to Christian Today, currently clergy from denominations other than the Anglican Churches of England and Wales may conduct same-sex marriages if their denominations allow them do so.

30 January 2019: Archbishop George Takelu steps down as Primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that Takelu will step down on 25 March at the age of 60, as per the compulsary retirement age of the province. He has served three years in the position.

29 January 2019: Church of England plan for welcoming trans people is under fire
The Guardian (London) reports that more than 2,000 clergy and lay members of the Church of England have signed a letter calling on bishops to withdraw or change recent guidance on welcoming transgender people to the church. The Times has a similar report, but their count is 1,600.


26 January 2019: New bishop for Barbados
Barbados Today reports the consecration of the Revd Michael Bruce St John Maxwell as the 14th Bishop of Barbados. He succeeds the Most Revd Dr John Holder, who retired in February 2018.

26 Month 2019: UK priest sets up as chaplain in local supermarket
The BBC reports that Canon Nick Buck, Vicar of St Giles in Lincoln, visits a local supermarket on on a fortnightly basis. He says that most of his discussions are with staff, but he's happy to meet with anyone in the store.

26 January 2019: Canterbury plans statue of exonerated bishop George Bell
The BBC reports that 'A statue of the late Bishop of Chichester George Bell will be installed at Canterbury Cathedral after further allegations of abuse were ruled "unfounded."'

25 January 2019: Sleeping pods to be installed in Welsh churches for SpiritCymru cycle tourism campaign
There are 800 chapels and churches in rural and coastal Wales, many of which are closed or face an uncertain future. Anglican Communion News Service reports that many of these will be opened as accommodation for touring cyclists. The scheme has received financial backing from the Welsh government's tourism innovation fund.

24 January 2019: Archbishop of Canterbury apologizes for comments based on now-discredited allegations
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that an independent inquiry carried out by a senior ecclesiastical lawyer has ruled that fresh allegations against the late Bishop George Bell are 'unfounded'. Bishop Bell, the former Bishop of Chichester, was described today by ABC Justin Welby as a 'highly esteemed bishop who died over 60 years ago'. Archbishop Justin apologised for the way the Church had handled allegations against Bishop Bell. The Guardian (London) also reports the apology and retraction.

24 January 2019: Lynne McNaughton elected Bishop of Kootenay
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) reports that the Revd Lynne McNaughton, rector of St Clement in North Vancouver, and deputy prolocutor of Canada's General Synod, has been elected the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Kootenay.

23 January 2019: Church of England announces £35 million investment in new churches and outreach
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that the 'Renewal and Reform programme' of the Church of England will invest much of its £35 million funding to develop new churches and new forms of outreach. Projects underway include a new church in the nightclub area of Bradford, a new church in the Becontree Estate (the largest public housing estate in Europe).

23 January 2019: Bishop search for Minnesota extended until 2020
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Diocese of Minnesota has extended the timeline for its bishop search until January 2020.

23 January 2019: Diocese in Uganda under fire for shopping mall plans
PML Daily (Kampala, Uganda) reports that the Kampala Capital City Authority has written to Uganda's Ministry of Education and Sports, protesting plans by the Diocese of Namirembe to evict a city primary school and build a shopping mall in its place.

22 January 2019: Anglican ecumenical expert chosen as new president of Canada's Thorneloe University
The Anglican Journal (Toronto) reports on the selection of Canon Dr John Gibaut (Director of Unity, Faith and Order at the Anglican Communion Office), become president, provost and vice-chancellor of Canada’s Thorneloe University.


20 January 2019: Anglican priest exorcises poltergeist for Muslim family
The Times (London) reports that a Muslim family thought their council house was being haunted by the ghost of a Christian monk, and that only an Anglican priest could get rid of it. The call came to the Revd Jason Bray who is authorised by his bishop as a deliverance minister. There can be pitfalls: if you are blessing a house, word might get around that the house is haunted, and you could be sued for the loss of value. This sort of ministry is only done by clergy with specific training.

17 January 2019: Churches raise money to buy ambulance, save West Bank Anglican hospital
The US Episcopal News Service (New York) reports on an effort in the Diocese of Washington to support an Anglican hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus, where the lack of an ambulance could cost the charity hospital its accreditation, forcing it to close its doors.

16 January 2019: Bishop of Zululand steps down after sexual misconduct allegation
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that a bishop in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa has stepped down after being accused of sexual misconduct. Bishop Monument Makhanya has decided to stand down at the end of this month after a former deacon in the diocese lodged a complaint of sexual misconduct against him.

16 January 2019: Diocese of Lagos to build affordable Anglican housing
The Punch (Lagos) reports on plans by the Diocese of Lagos with a budget of €12 million to begin the construction of a Centenary City to address the housing needs of low income members of the church.

16 January 2019: Alabama church helping Coast Guard families affected by government shutdown
Television station WPMI (Mobile, Alabama, USA) reports on the outreach by an Episcopal church to provide for the families of Coast Guard workers caught by the government shutdown.

15 January 2019: First marriage under Church of South India's 'Green Wedding' protocol
The Church of South India (part of the Anglican Communion) has established a Green Protocol for Green Discipleship. The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the first wedding held in the Diocese of Kerala under that protocol.

15 January 2019: US survey of why young people leave church
The Religion News Service reports on a recent study by a US evangelical research firm on the reasons that young people are walking away from the church. Meanwhile, Malcolm Doney and Martin Wroe wonder aloud in the Church Times about whether stubbornly obscure church language and vocabulary is partly to blame.

For news older than 15 January 2019, please refer to our News Archives.

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