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This page last updated 13 July 2014
Anglicans Online last updated 13 July 2014

The News Centre
Editors: Brian Reid and Helen Gordon
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


12 July 2014: Assisted dying debate in UK
The BBC reported the Church of England has called for an inquiry to carefully assess the issues associated with assisted dying as a result of potential legislation to allow the terminally ill in England and Wales to get help to end their lives. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says the bill is 'mistaken and dangerous'. In the Observer (UK), Archbishop Tutu weighs in with an opinion piece in which he writes, 'I have been fortunate to spend my life working for dignity for the living. Now I wish to apply my mind to the issue of dignity for the dying.' The Observer also published an editorial on the topic.

11 July 2014: Kenyan ordinands denied UK visas — again
Church Times reported the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, has launched a campaign to change the UK's visa rules after Kenyan ordinands who were invited to visit his diocese were refused visas for a second time. The diocese has had a link with the Anglican Church of Kenya for many years. The ordinands, part of the group invited, were refused visas on the grounds that they did not provide evidence of sufficient income.

9 July 2014: New archbishop for IpWA
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported the Rt Revd Jonathan Hart of the Episcopal Church of Liberia was enthroned as archbishop of the Internal Province of West Africa (IpWA). He succeeds Bishop Solomon Tilewa Johnson of The Gambia who died in office in January of this year.

8 July 2014: Oceans of Justice campaign
ACNS reported on the Oceans of Justice campaign which Anglican Alliance is supporting. The campaign is calling on the G20 to bring climate change to the top of their agenda when they meet in Brisbane in November 2014.

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05 July 2014: Another diocesan newspaper stops paper printing
The Winnipeg Free Press reported 42% of Canadian Church Press member publications indicated they do not expect to exist in their present form in 10 years. The Diocese of Rupert's Land is giving up its printed edition starting in September. The new digital format will contain less news and more opinion and reflection pieces and will give subscribers the option of a weekly email for news updates. The report lists a website for those wishing more information: http://www.progress.rupertslandnews.ca.

3 July 2014: Australian Synod backs change to confession
The Adelaide Advertiser reported on a unanimous vote at the General Synod in Adelaide that amends the canon on confession. Individual dioceses must vote to adopt the changes that allow priests to report serious crimes if the person making confession has not already reported the offence to authorities.

03 July 2014: Service of Thanksgiving for Bishop Crowther
The Canterbury Times reported on the special service at Canterbury Cathedral celebrating the sesquicentennial of the consecration of the first black Anglican bishop, the Rt Revd Samuel Ajayi Crowther. The Archbishop of Canterbury preached, and representatives from the Nigerian Government and members of the Ghanaian Royal family attended. 'We are sorry for his suffering at the hands of Anglicans in this country. Learning from their foolishness and from his heroism, we seek to be a church that does not again exclude those whom God is calling.' One may also peruse this story in the Church Times.

3 July 2014: Church jargon jettisoned for better communication
Episcopal News Service (ENS) has the above titled report on its website. Of course, 'better' is in the eyes of the beholder. Ditto 'jargon'. Part of the account is about the initiative in the US Diocese of Los Angeles, thads, which has had positive impacts in its community.

30 June 2014: Crowdsourcing to return Anglican presence to Pitcairn
The St Helena Star (California, US) reported on the efforts of John Brantley, 'who claims to be an Anglican Rite Old Catholic priest,' to raise funds in order to bring an Anglican presence back to Pitcairn Island.

30 June 2014: Leading CofE academic in fatal car accident
Ruth Gledhill writes on Christian Today of the death of Dr John Hughes, Dean of Chapel at Jesus College, Cambridge. Aged just 35, he was from the academic Anglican-Catholic tradition and a leading thinker on a project set up by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to examine Anglican social thought. Besides having developed a coherent intellectual response to the new atheism, he had studied and become an expert on Roman Catholic social teaching especially in relation to economics.

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28 June 2014: Faith debates: 'The future of the Church of England'
The Westminster Faith Debates sponsors have announced a series of 5 debates on the future of the Church of England, to be held in Oxford on five Thursdays from 9 October to 4 December. Debates about the future are rarely swayed by measurable data. We recall having attended debates a few decades ago about the future of urban transportation and the future of telephony that somberly agreed on outcomes making it obvious that no time travel had been involved.

28 June 2014: Anglican Church of Australia elects new primate
The Anglican Church of Australia has elected the Most Revd Dr Phillip Freier, currently Archbishop of Melbourne, as its new primate. Its own website is in disarray, but the Sydney Morning Herald has good coverage of Dr Freier's election. This article from 18 June in the Brisbane Times sketches some of the challenges that he will face as he takes on this new job without being able to step down from his previous job.

26 June 2014: New bishop for Church of England Diocese of Winchester
The British government has announced the appointment of the Revd Canon David Grant Williams as the next Bishop of Basingstoke. Basingstoke is a suffragan see of the Diocese of Winchester, which posted this announcement.

24 June 2014: New bishop for Diocese of the Northern Territory
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the election of Dr Greg Anderson, currently at Moore Theological College, to be the next Bishop of the Northern Territory.

19 June 2014: Ropley church gutted by blaze
Much of St Peter's church in the Hampshire (UK) village of Ropley dates back to Norman times.
BBC News reports that the church has been gutted by a blaze whose cause is still unknown. The Southern Daily Echo has this dramatic photograph taken by photographer Kevin Milner using a small drone to take the picture from 250 feet above the church.

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21 June 2014: Australia electing a new primate
There's an article in The Australian this week about the Most Revd Phillip Aspinall stepping down after 9 years as Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia. A new primate will be elected at the General Synod in July.

20 June 2014: Decline in English Anglicans
The Church Times reports the results of a study revealing that the proportion of the British population who identify themselves as Anglican has more than halved in the past ten years.

20 June 2014: Planned decline in Scottish Anglicans
Scotland's upcoming referendum on independence has sparked discussion of whether the Scottish Episcopal Church is just a branch of the Church of England, and if it is, whether it should remain so. So reports the Church Times.

19 June 2014: Financial decline among Australian Anglican dioceses
The Courier Mail (Brisbane) tells us the Anglican Church of Australia is in 'real financial strife' in up to a third of its 23 dioceses.

17 June 2014: Trinity Wall Street names next rector
The Anglican Communion News Service has reported the call of the Very Revd Dr William Lupfer to be the next rector of Trinity Wall Street, which is generally believed to be the wealthiest parish in the world.

16 June 2014: ABC and Pope meet in Rome
The Anglican Communion News Service has reported the second meeting between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope. Among other topics noted in that report, the two of them discussed solutions to modern slavery and human trafficking.

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13 June 2014: Urgent prayers, help needed for Iraq's Christians
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) reported that, in the wake of the growing crisis in Iraq, a plea for prayer and help has been issued by the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf and the Anglican vicar of St George's Church in Baghdad, Canon Andrew White. In addition to the ACNS report, one can read more at the website of The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (Canon White's ministry).

13 June 2014: Prayers for the World Cup
The Church of England issued a press release to announce they have released Prayers for the World Cup. Included are prayers for participants, those traveling to attend matches, and also a prayer for those who 'are simply not interested' by the competition.

12 June 2014: RIP: McAllister, McIntyre
Episcopal News Service (ENS) published an obituary for the Rt Revd Gerald Nicholas McAllister, Bishop of Oklahoma, 1977-1989. The Gippsland Times (Australia) reported the death of the Rt Revd John McIntyre, Bishop of Gippsland, after a short respiratory illness.

11 June 2014: ABC inspires rap song
The Mirror reported a rap combo have penned a song about the scourge of payday loans inspired by the Archbishop of Canterbury's efforts to expand Britain's network of credit unions. A video of the rap is included in the article.

10 June 2014: Bishop speaks in Malaysia
The Malaysian Insider reported on remarks by the new president of the Bible Society of Malaysia, the Rt Revd Datuk Ng Moon Hing. 'This nation has begun to lose a generation of people who no longer trust the government, the authorities, the elders, the religious leaders, and more so each other.'

9 June 2014: Episcopal Church in Colombia marks 50 years
Episcopal News Service (ENS) reported on the latest diocesan convention which celebrated the history and the growth of the Diocese of Colombia in the last 50 years, as well as workshops on self-sustainability for the future.

5 June 2014: A twist in author Tom Sharpe's burial plot
Tom Sharpe, author of black comedies like Porterhouse Blue and Blott on the Landscape, died at his home in Spain last year. The Journal (Newcastle) reported that his partner of the last ten years, Montserrat Verdaguer i Clavera, brought his ashes back to Thockrington, where he spent his youth. His father, the Revd George Sharpe, had been rector of St Aidan's church there, one of the oldest churches in Northumberland. And it was there, the Journal noted, that she made an unauthorized burial of his ashes, along with a bottle of Famous Grouse whisky, a Cuban cigar, and his favourite pen. The vicar, the Revd Michael Slade, would not speculate about what would happen to the remains.

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6 June 2014: First indigenous diocese celebrated
The Anglican Journal reports on the installation of Bishop Lydia Mamakwa as the first bishop of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh at Kingfisher Lake. The diocese encompasses over 25 first nations communities in northern Ontario and Manitoba - only one of which is accessible by road.

6 June 2014: Church of England bishops to discipline clergy members of radical right-wing political parties
The Church Times has written about the statement from the House of Bishops of the Church of England that any C of E clergy who are members of the British National Party or the National Front (or 'promotes or expresses or solicits support' for them) might have misconduct proceedings brought against them. This press release from the Church of England explains the thinking behind the decision.

3 June 2014: Large Anglican school building in Nigeria collapses
Naij.com, an online news portal in Nigeria, has reported on the amazingly complete destruction of an Anglican school in Anambra State in southern Nigeria. It was still under construction and was not occupied by school children at the time it collapsed, though children had been playing in the unfinished structure just minutes earlier. Several construction workers are reportedly trapped in the rubble. The Nigerian Daily Post and WorldStage News have posted additional details and calls for church and governmental committees to look into the circumstances of the collapse.

3 June 2014: Primates elected in Japan and Philippines
The Anglican Communion News Service has reported the re-election of the Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai and the election of a new Prime Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

3 June 2014: St James Episcopal church celebrates 300 years.
Delaware Online notes that St James, Mill Creek was established in 1714, with an Anglican presence that goes back further still. Its first rector was the Revd George Ross, father-in-law of flag-maker Betsy Ross.

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1 June 2014: Kuujjuaraapik woman becomes first female Inuk priest in Nunavik
When she was growing up in Nunavik, Annie Napartuk-Ittoshat always thought she would become a social worker. Then she felt a calling to ministry, and after three years of study in Pangnirtung, and a year of parish work, she was unable to find a home in her community because of a housing shortage. So she finished a Master of Divinity course at Wycliffe College in Toronto, and now, as CBC news reports, she is returning to Nunavik to work as the first female Inuk priest in the region.

30 May 2014: Churchyards are safer places to buzz
The Church Times reports (you can read the start of the article here) that the declining population of mason bees is responsible for nearly half the pollination in the wild. In the diocese of Lichfield, the Praise Bee Charity seeks to multiply the mason bee across the United Kingdom, by churches offering their graveyards as breeding grounds. St George's church, Shrewsbury reports on its involvement with the project.

29 May 2014: Ground broken for joint Anglican/Roman Catholic shrine to Uganda martyrs
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the groundbreaking by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kampala and the Anglican Archbishop of Kampala to begin construction of the Uganda Martyrs Museum. The next day, one of Uganda's largest newspapers, The Observer, published an editorial 'Let's tap martyrs' tourism potential'.

29 May 2014: First Hmong priest now rector of only Hmong-majority Anglican church
The National Catholic Reporter (USA) reports on the coming together of a Hmong priest with a Hmong congregation at an Episcopal church in Minnesota.

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23 May 2014: Church of England dioceses vote in favour of women bishops
The Church of England posted this press release, in which it announces that 'The Church of England's dioceses have now all voted in favour of the current draft legislation to enable women to be bishops.'

23 May 2014: Fossil fuels in the Long White Cloud
At its synod this week, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia passed a resolution requiring it 'to take all reasonable steps' to divest its shares in fossil fuel companies by its next synod, whch will be in mid-2016.

19 May 2014: New bishop for East Carolina
The US Episcopal News Service noted the election of the Revd Robert Skirving as the next Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina. For those who live far from Carolina, a brief tutorial: North Carolina and South Carolina are US states. Eastern Carolina is the part of the Carolinas near Greenville, which happens to be in the state of North Carolina. The University of East Carolina and the Diocese of East Carolina are both located in eastern Carolina. You might think that 'East Carolina' would include the easterly parts of South Carolina, but there are no such parts. So in fact East Carolina refers to a geographic section of North Carolina, though it is never called East North Carolina. The see city of the Diocese of East Carolina is Kinston, which has a population of about 20 thousand and isn't really close to any large city. It is passably near (an hour's drive) the US Marine training facility at Camp Lejeune.

17 May 2014: Name change for Te Pihopatanga o te Waipounamu
The General Synod in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia has passed a bill changing the name of Te Pihopatanga o te Waipounamu to the Anglican Maori Diocese of Te Waipounamu. We think we're going to wait for the Anglican Communion Office in London to provide the details of the structure of this diocese and perhaps the name of its bishop.

17 May 2014: Last full-time religion reporter in the UK is gone
Ruth Gledhill has been Religious Affairs Correspondent at The Times (London) for almost 30 years. She has been made redundant, and is currently between jobs. This is really the end of an era, as she was the last full-time religion correspondent in the UK. (The second-to-last such correspondent is now employed by Al Jazeera). This event was barely covered in traditional news but widely discussed in British blogs, such as Media Monkey or Decanus Borealis. Ruthie, we hardly knew ye!

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PRIOR TO 17 May 2014: Older news stories are headlined in our Archive Pages. And don't send any email to newsTrap@anglicansonline.org. We mention it only as spam bait, and assume all mail sent to it is spam.


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