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This page last updated 19 October 2014
Anglicans Online last updated 19 October 2014

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 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

18 October 2014: Architect of Anzac Day remembered
Canon David Garland was an Australian chaplain who served in the Middle East during the first world war, and who planned the ceremonies and rituals (a march, a returned soldier's luncheon, two minutes silence, and wreath-laying ceremonies) that mark Anzac Day, which honoured the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought with heavy casualties at Gallipoli. ABC reports that his tomb in Toowong cemetery has been restored, after being damaged by earth movement.

18 October 2014: The strip of land that began an unholy row
The Melbourne Herald Sun reports on the claim made by St John's, East Malvern against their neighbour for a narrow strip of land. They only discovered their ownership after a dispute over the cost of repairing a fence prompted a survey which showed the church owned a strip of their neighbour's land.

17 October 2014: RIP: Rt Revd M Thomas Shaw
The Diocese of Massachusetts reported the death of Bishop Shaw, recently retired bishop of the diocese. The Boston Globe report is here. In addition to his 20 years as bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts, Shaw was life-professed in the Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE), the oldest religious order for men in the Episcopal/Anglican church. You can read their announcement of the passing of their Brother Tom here.

17 October 2014: Don't forget Peshawar
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) carried a reflection and update from Anglican Alliance on those affected by the bombing of All Saints Church last year.

17 October 2014: Rumours of hauntings became church's downfall
St John's church, Shrewsbury (Canada) was built in 1858, a wooden building with a modest steeple. It continued services into this century, though most of its members had moved. But rumours circulated that the congregation had committed mass suicide, and it showed up on ghost-hunting websites. For years it was subject to vandalism, and the diocese of Montreal deconsecrated it in 2010. The Montreal Gazette reports that this year it was burned to the ground, a victim of arson. The Gazette comments, 'The fire was an act of cultural erasure.'

17 October 2014: General Theological Seminary update
The Board of Trustees of General Theology Seminary issued a statement which was reprinted at Episcopal News Service (ENS). Episcopal Cafe posted details of the meeting with students and seminary as well as the statement by the dismissed faculty. Later the Cafe added another post with links to the largely negative reaction to the events from around the province. Comments after each article are different and illuminating. On October 19, the Diocese of New York released an email sent by the bishop, the Rt Revd Andrew Dietsche, to the diocese with his accounting of the board discussions and his call to reinstate the eight faculty in full.

16 October 2014: Central Tanzania has new bishop
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported Tanzania Anglicans have elected their Provincial Secretary, the Revd Dr Dickson Chilongani, the sixth bishop of Central Tanganyika, the Tanzania's largest diocese.

13 October 2014: Church provides land for Ebola fight
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Diocese of Freetown has provided land for an Ebola holding centre for the Ola During Children's Hospital, the only children's referral hospital in the country.

10 October 2014: Obituary: Bishop Stephen Sykes
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) published an obituary for the Rt Reverend Stephen Sykes, who was Bishop of Ely from 1990 to 1999 and one of the most distinguished prelates of his time. His tenure was, however, a comparatively brief interlude in a career of considerable academic distinction: he moved to Ely from the Regius chair of Divinity at Cambridge, and before that held the Van Mildert chair of Divinity at Durham. ACNS based their article on the full obituary published in the Telegraph on 8 October and can be found here.

10 October 2014: Wrong Number, Right Message
The Anglican Church of Canada posted an uplifting story about Back to Church Sunday. Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) re-published this story as well.


10 October 2015: Survey finds C of E clergy wedded to the parish system
The Church Times reports the results of a survey of 1500 Church of England clergy. It found that Church of England clergy are overwhelmingly committed to the parish system, despite the challenges it poses.

8 October 2014: Obituary: Fr David Russell
South African priest David Russell was a key contributor to the end of apartheid. This week his obituary is in The Independent (London).

7 October 2014: Anglican Vicar of Baghdad is now a refugee
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned Canon Andrew White, who is vicar of the only remaining Anglican church in Iraq, not to return to that city because of threats from ISIS. The Christian Post has the story.

6 October 2014: Interview with the ABC, Part 1
The Church of Ireland Gazette released an interview with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. It's a 21-minute sound recording, so we can't really excerpt it here, but we can tell you that Archbishop Welby said during the interview that ACNA — the Anglican Church in North America — is not part of the Anglican Communion. The Post Courier (Charleston, South Carolina, USA) reports various things that ACNA leaders have said in response. Meanwhile The Telegraph (London) reports that Pope Francis has made welcoming overtures to ACNA.

6 October 2014: Interview with the ABC, Part 2
In that same interview, Archbishop Welby addressed the various rumors circulating about 'cancellation' of the 2018 Lambeth Conference. Canada's Anglican Journal has transcribed much of that portion of the interview.

5 October 2014: Diocese of Tasmania to cooperate with sex abuse investigators
The Examiner (Tasmania) reports on the announcement by Bishop John Harrower that the Diocese of Tasmania will 'fully co-operate with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse'.


4 October 2014: Update from Malaysia on the 'Allah' issue
The Malay Mail reported remarks by Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok on the government's persistence in refusing non-Muslim Malaysians the right to use the word 'Allah'. The Archbishop said it 'is tantamount to the systematic destruction of the language and culture of the Bumiputera community in Sabah and Sarawak'.

2 October 2014: Uganda Martyrs Museum begins construction
New Vision (Kampala) reported on the start of construction for the Uganda Martyrs Museum. Located at the Anglican Shrine, the museum's design includes 47 pillars, each representing one of the Uganda martyrs. In the 1880s, twenty-three Anglican and twenty-two Catholic converts were killed after they defied orders to renounce Christianity.

1 October 2014: Upset and uproar at General Theological Seminary
The New York Times reported on the troubles at General Theological Seminary (GTS), the oldest Episcopal seminary in the US. The majority of the full-time faculty were relieved of their positions after a communications impasse with the Seminary's Board over the behavior of, and conflict surrounding, the Dean of the Seminary, the Very Revd Kurt Dunkle. Much has been reported on different sites (including Episcopal News Service, EpiscopalCafe, ChristianToday, Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Higher Education) and the dismissed faculty have started their own website to provide their perspective on the situation.

30 September 2014: Kenya primate appointed to head anti-corruption committee
The Star (Nairobi) reported Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala has been appointed by the President of Kenya to chair the National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee. The committee will run nationwide public education campaign aimed at changing Kenyans' attitude towards corruption and is answerable only the President.

30 September 2014: Malawi Anglicans to erect memorial for former Archbishop
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the family of Bishop Donald Arden, who was both Bishop of Southern Malawi and Archbishop of Central Africa in the 1970s, has granted permission to the Church in Malawi to take his ashes back to Malawi. The Church in Malawi will erect a memorial pillar for their former archbishop who died in July in the UK. The report includes many inspiring details about the Church in Malawi during Bishop Arden's tenure.

29 September 2014: Korean priests walk to commemorate ferry disaster
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on the 400-plus kilometre walk three priests in the Church of Korea have undertaken to commemorate the victims of South Korea's worst maritime disaster in recent history. The priests are members of The Angican Priest Corps for Justice and Peace.

29 September 2014: Mississippi consecrates Seage as coadjutor
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the ordination and consecration of the Rt Revd Brian Seage as the bishop coadjutor for the Diocese of Mississippi (US).


27 September 2014: Update: Christians in northern Iraq
The Telegraph (UK) reported on the situation in northern Iraq for Christians. For the first time in two millenia, Christians in the Nineveh region are unable to celebrate communion. Canon Andrew White also gives an update in this report.

26 September 2014: Street musicians v. Choral Evensong
Church Times reported on a row between buskers and the leadership of Bath Abbey after the abbey was forced to cancel choral evensong for the first time in living memory because music from buskers outside the abbey was drowning out the choir.

26 September 2014: Chancellor lambasts 'really stupid' sale of painting
Church Times reported on the strong message sent out by the Diocesan Chancellor of Gloucester reminding Church of England clergy, churchwardens, parishioners, auctioneers, and antique dealers that they should not buy or sell any item belonging to a church unless they were sure that a faculty had been obtained from the diocesan chancellor, authorising the sale of the item in question. This warning was issued as a result of the actions of one parish and their minister selling a painting of the Madonna & Child that did not match the theological bent of the current serving clergy. Just read it and be edified.

26 September 2014: New bishop for Guildford
Thinking Anglicans reports the Queen's approval of the Rt Revd Andrew Watson as the next Bishop of Guildford. He has been Suffragan Bishop of Aston in the diocese of Birmingham.

22 September 2014: Muslim woman must leave church refuge for medical treatment
Global News (Canada) reports on the plight of a woman who took refuge in an Anglican church in Montreal to avoid being deported to certain death at the hands of Muslim extremists. Her health has been failing and she has been forced to leave the church to receive medical care. It would be bitterly ironic if her efforts to get medical treatment ended up getting her killed. Judging from that report, her prospects might be acceptable.

22 September 2014: Church in Wales lowers voting age to 16
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us that the Church in Wales will soon permit 16 and 17-year-olds to have their say at key church meetings such as Diocesan Conferences.


20 September 2014: Church in New Brunswick destroyed by fire
The CBC reports that the church of St John the Baptist in Edmundston, New Brunswick was destroyed by fire overnight. That city's entire fire department — about 35 people — fought the fire, which was reported at 4:40am. A spokesman said that the fire 'started from outside the building' but voiced no theories as to its origin.

19 September 2014: ABC Justin Welby expresses doubt in God
The Guardian (London) reports on a recent public reflection by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, in which he 'admitted to having doubts about the existence of God and disclosed that, on a recent morning jog with his dog, he questioned why the Almighty had failed to intervene to prevent an injustice.'

19 September 2014: Canon Andrew White recognized
Religion and Ethics Newsweekly reported Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad, received the Anne Frank Special Recognition Award for his work promoting reconciliation and religious tolerance in Iraq.

19 September 2014: Anglicans beat Vatican team at first interfaith cricket match
The world-famous Canterbury Times tells us of the victory of the Anglican cricket team over the Vatican cricket team in a match that was held in Canterbury at the Kent County Cricket Club's Spitfire Ground. Priests are standing by throughout the world to welcome the thousands expected to convert as a result of this match.

18 September 2014: Sydney dean criticizes Islam, blames it for rise of IS
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on comments made by Phillip Jensen, dean of Sydney's cathedral, against Islam and Muslims. His comments included 'Islam is false.'

18 September 2014: English bishops spend two days talking about sex
The Church Times reports on the recent two-day meeting of the Church of England's College of Bishops in Market Bosworth (a tiny town in Leicestershire), during which they are reputed to have spent their time discussing issues of gender and sexuality.


13 September 2014: New Bishop of Massachusetts has interesting background
The new bishop of Massachusetts, Alan M. Gates, was once a Russian translator and intelligence analyst for the Department of Defense, and more recently rector of St Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. In an interview with the Boston Globe he spoke of how the younger generation tends to enter church life differently than in the past, often seeking opportunities to serve the community first and showing up on Sunday mornings later.

12 September 2014: Imam in residence at Calgary's St Martin's church
The Calgary Herald reports on an 'Imam in Residence' program at St. Martin's Church in Calgary, Alberta. A page on the church's website has some information about the program and a link to register for it.

10 September 2014: Lamentation Sunday services to apologize for past abuse
The Australian reports that congregations across the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn have held special services to apologise for abuse or mistreatment at the hands of the church. The services were intended to recognise the pain, hurt and sorrow caused by the church's past actions and inaction.

8 September 2014: Secretary General of Anglican Communion elected bishop in Ireland
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the election of the Revd Canon Dr Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion as the next bishop of Limerick and Killaloe.

8 September 2014: Yale University chaplain resigns after LTTE about anti-semitism
The New Haven Register (Connecticut, USA) reported the resignation of the priest-in-charge of the Episcopal Church at Yale, the Revd Bruce M. Shipman, after being accused of 'blaming Jews for anti-Semitism.' If you read all of the current news reports about this situation you will find that it is more nuanced than it might seem at first glance. You will find quite a chasm between reports from, say, Shalom Life and Intifada Palestine.


7 September 2014: Details of Richard III reinterment announced
The Leicester Mercury (UK) reported on the plans for the reinterment of Richard III next March at Leicester Cathedral. Both Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, will be present.

6 September 2014: Bishop leads prayer from cathedral tower roof
The Chronicle (Newcastle, UK) reported on Spiritus 2014, a series of events held in, on, and around Durham Cathedral. The events were to allow people to examine the role of prayer in everyday life. One prayer workshop was led by the Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, and was held at the top of the tower of the cathedral.

4 September 2014: Archbishop of Canterbury joins multi-faith peace vigil
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the multi-faith peace vigil for Iraq held outside Westminster Abbey at the Innocent Victims Memorial. The ABC met and prayed with Middle east church leaders in the morning before participating in (and speaking at) the vigil.

4 September 2014: There will always be an England — Cricket match dust up
The Folkestone Herald and Kent Online reported Michael Claughton, a life-long cricketer and umpire for 12 years, offered to serve as umpire at the upcoming cricket match between Roman Catholic and Church of England clergy. The event is a fundraiser in aid of the Network, a joint Anglican/RC anti-trafficking campaign, and is organized by the Church Times. They turned down Claughton's offer because Michael Claughton is related to Thomas Claughton, a 19th century Bishop of Rochester and of St Albans. We aren't sure how a relation from 200 or so years ago could make one favour a team over the other, but the Church Times wants the match seen as 'completely fairly played'.

3 September 2014: Bishop speaks: South Sudan
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported on remarks by the Rt Revd Moses Deng Bol, Bishop of Wau, South Sudan. 'Did our martyrs die in vain?' '...[I]f our country is ever going to develop and become a better place we must find a way to forgive this pain...[W]e must challenge ourselves to forgive freely as a people.'

3 September 2014: RIP 'Fr Ernie'
The Warrnambool Standard (Australia) reported the founder of St Mark's Benedictine Abbey near Camperdown has died. Father Michael King, known universally as 'Father Ernie', was one of the few Anglican Benedictine ministers in Australia. The Camperdown abbey manufactures incense and provides it to all of Australia's major cathedrals and many parish churches.


30 August 2014: Indianapolis cathedral sues JP Morgan for mishandling bequest
The Post-Tribune reports on a lawsuit filed in US Federal Court by the management of Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis against the bank that had been for some decades managing a major bequest.

28 August 2014: Liberia's Cuttington University, diocese at epicenter of Ebola crisis
The Episcopal News Service reports on the fate of Cuttington University in the Diocese of Liberia, which is at the very epicenter of the current Ebola outbreak.

27 August 2014: Church banned from using altar to serve cups of tea
The Telegraph (London) reports on a ruling by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Lincoln forbidding the church of St Michael and All Angels in Uffington, Lincolnshire from using its altar as a serving table for refreshments at other events.

27 August 2014: Could Kerala alcohol ban include communion wine?
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us that bishops in the Indian state of Kerala are worried that legislation there to ban alcohol would also ban communion wine.

26 August 2014: Two new Area Bishops for West Yorkshire & the Dales
Thinking Anglicans reports on the appointment by the British Prime Minister's office of two new area bishops for the recently-created Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. The appointments are described in more detail on the diocesan website.

26 August 2014: Another major historical child abuse scandal in Australia
The Australian (a national newspaper), under the headline 'New abuse inquiry for Anglican Church', has revealed a new police investigation into allegations that the church ignored sexual abuse of children in the Diocese of Newcastle in the 1970s. Police in New South Wales have issued this press release and the Newcastle Herald published this report that warnings were ignored.


PRIOR TO 26 August 2014: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages. And don't send any email to We mention it only as spam bait, and assume all mail sent to it is spam.

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