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This page last updated 10 December 2017
Anglicans Online last updated 10 December 2017

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

10 December 2017: Malta Anglicans offer church to neighbouring Carmelites for midnight mass
The Malta Independent reports that the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Valetta is not being used for services, because of work being done there, and the church where they temporarily worship is too small to accomodate the crowd expected for midnight mass on Chrismas eve. The Anglican pro-cathedral of St Paul is across the street from the basilica, and has offered its neighbour the use of the building for its Christmas mass. Wikipedia notes that the pro-cathedral, with its landmark spire, was built in 1839-44 by the Dowager Queen Adelaide, who had gone to Malta for her health after the death of her husband, William IV.

8 December 2017: Preparations for 2020 Lambeth Conference
Canada's Anglican Journal reports on discussions about preparation for the next Lambeth Conference, which is scheduled for 2020.

8 December 2017: Splinter group in UK ordains new priests
Christian Today reports on the ordination of nine men by a breakaway faction in the UK. Such breakaway ordinations have become old news in the USA, but are still a novelty in the Church of England. As usual, the dividing issues involve sex and gender.

7 December 2017: Australian Royal Commission releases report critical of Diocese of Newcastle
There are two dioceses of Newcastle in the Anglican Communion. One is in England, one is in Australia. Australia has for some time had a Royal Commission investigating past and present accusations of systematic child abuse there. The commission has been releasing reports incrementally, as they are ready. The Anglican Communion News Service (London) tells us this week the Royal Commission report on Australia's Diocese of Newcastle has been released, and that it is critical of the Diocese and two former bishops.

7 December 2017: Convicted and deposed Anglican bishop to become Roman Catholic
The Catholic Herald reports that an Anglican bishop who was jailed for sexually abusing 18 young men is converting to Roman Catholicism to 'live and worship in anonymity'.

5 December 2017: Dean of St Paul calls for consequences for 'compromised' bishops
Christian Today tells of a report in the Church of England calling for a radical overhaul in how the Church deals with issues of safeguarding. The Dean of London's St Paul made this call in an article in Christian Today and Via Media, following high-profile cases where survivors of abuse revealed their deeply troubling treatment at the hands of Church authorities.

4 December 2017: Letters between abuse victim and Archbishop of Canterbury
Thinking Anglicans reports on an exchange of letters between a victim of sexual abuse and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Church Times also reported on this correspondence.

4 December 2017: New bishop for East Tennessee
The US Episcopal News Service reported on the ordination and consecration of the Rt Revd Brian Lee Cole as fifth Bishop of East Tennessee.

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3 December 2017: Australian bishops break ranks to support same-sex marriage bill
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a group of Anglican bishops has split with some of the church's top leaders to declare support for the current version of the same-sex marriage bill before Australia's Parliament.

2 December 2017: New archbishop wants to 'refresh' Church in Wales
The BBC reports on the enthronement of the Most Rev John Davies as the 13th archbishop of Wales from the Church of England. He has stated that his agenda is not 'business as usual' and that he wants 'to try and refresh the vision of the church as that institution to support and nourish the lives of wider society.'

1 December 2017: Church Times news editor gets national award
The Anglican Commiunion News Service reports that Madeleine Davies, deputy news editor of the Church Times, has received an award from the Awareness Foundation for her reporting work. The Anglicans Online News Centre thinks highly of Madeleine Davies and is pleased to see her receive this award.

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26 November 2017: Archbishop of York resumes wearing his clerical collar
A decade ago the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, told a television interviewer that he would stop wearing his 'dog collar' until Robert Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe, was gone. Today Africa News reports Sentamu, who is a native of Uganda, put his collar back on.

21 November 2017: Purpose-built Anglican church opens in London for first time in 40 years
The Guardian (London) reports the opening of St Francis in Tottenham Hale in the Diocese of London. The first purpose-built Anglican parish church in London for 40 years occupies the site of a former factory. The Guardian tells us it is the first of 100 new churches and worshipping spaces planned in London by 2020. The number of people attending Church of England churches in that city has grown significantly over the past 25 years, although nationally, congregations have declined.

21 November 2017: New bishop and new life for San Joaquin
The US Episcopal News Service reports the celebrations surrounding the investiture of David Rice as Bishop of San Joaquin. Almost a decade ago, a former bishop broke away from the US Episcopal Church; most of the congregants in that diocese followed him. This celebration is not just about a new bishop, it is about renewed vitality for the diocese that almost died of its injuries.

21 November 2017: Global online Advent calendar again for 2017
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the online Advent calendar AdventWord, which draws together prayers and meditations around a daily theme, is to operate again in the run-up to Christmas 2017. Sign up.

22 November 2017: Complaint from neighbour silences church bells that have rung for centuries
The BBC tells the story of the bells of St Peter in Sandwich, Kent (England), whose tower bells have rung since 1779. A neighbour filed a legal complaint and the local government has instructed the church to stop ringing the bells. No violence against the neighbour has yet been reported.

18 November 2017: New rector of the Falklands is former British Army legal chief
MercoPress (Montevideo, Uruguay) reports that the Revd Nicholas Mercer has been appointed as rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Stanley. Christ Church is a cathedral without a diocese, and reports to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Mercer had served a placement in Stanley when he was training for ordination, and says he is delighted to be returning as rector. He had been the chief legal officer for the British Army during the 2003 Iraq war, and his challenges to the government brought an end to use of hooding, stress positions and food and sleep deprivation as a precursor to interrogation. In 2011 he was named Human Rights Lawyer of the Year. 

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18 November 2017: South Carolina Supreme Court rejects motion by breakaway faction
The state Supreme Court of South Carolina announced that it would not rehear the appeal of a 2015 lower court ruling against the breakaway faction. This contentious situation is unusually complex, and there will continue to be court cases and rulings in this matter for years to come. In particular, there is a case in US Federal Court concerning ownership of the name and seal of the diocese. The Charleston Post and Courier has a good summary article on this recent decision and the long legal process leading up to it. The South Carolina diocese that is part of the US Episcopal Church but which is prevented by South Carolina law from calling itself the Diocese of South Carolina, had this to say.

15 November 2017: Former bishop-elect of Caledonia fired from parish position
Canada's Anglican Journal reports that the Revd Jacob Worley has been terminated without cause as rector of the Bulkley Valley parish in the Diocese of British Columbia. Normally the firing of a rector is not global news, but earlier this year, Mr Worley had been elected bishop of Caledonia; the election was not confirmed by the House of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and Yukon, because of his previous involvement with the Anglican Mission in America. In October the diocese elected as bishop the Revd David Lehman, a priest in the Diocese of the Arctic. The decision to fire Mr Worley was made by the Metropolitan, Archbishop John Privett, who has episcopal authority during the vacancy. Mr Worley is an American citizen, whose work permit to remain in Canada depends on his employment.

15 November 2017: New website for Church of England
Thinking Anglicans reports on the new website launched recently by the Church of England. As with all large-scale revisions of important websites, there have been many optimistic predictions about the positive effects that will derive from the new site. We shall see.

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11 November 2017: New bishop for Aberdeen and Orkney
The Church Times (London) reports that the Scottish Episcopal Church has elected Canon Anne Dyer as the new Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney.

11 November 2017: First report on fate of Canada's Anglican Journal expected in spring
A group looking into whether the Anglican Journal should continue to exist in print form and be free to determine its own content is expected to release its preliminary results next spring. That very Anglican Journal reported that the announcement came at the recent meeting of Canada's Council of General Synod (CoGS).

11 November 2017: Discord over fee discrepancies for boys and girls in C of E choirs
It has been 20 years since the Church of England began ordaining women priests, but a recent report in The Times reveals that in 2017, choirboys are treated better than choirgirls.

9 November 2017: Church of England has released its Cathedral Statistics for 2016
The Church of England has released its annual statistical report on its cathedrals. The report is optimistic about the future of cathedrals in that country's social fabric, but not quite as upbeat about their role as places of worship. It is a fascinating thing to read.

9 November 2017: New area bishop for Ripon, from Waikato
It has been announced that the Rt Revd Helen-Anne Hartley, Bishop of Waikato, has been named area bishop (suffragan) of Ripon. This appears to b e much bigger news in New Zealand than in England. Until the 2014 creation of the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales (which was quickly renamed the Diocese of Leeds), Ripon was an independent diocese and its bishop was an ordinary.

9 November 2017: Diocese of Los Angeles announces plan to resume use of Newport Beach church
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the announcement by the Diocese of Los Angeles of a plan for future use of a disputed church property in Newport Beach, California, including the eventual resumption of worship services there by the St. James the Great congregation.

4 November 2017: Auckland cathedral completed after 174 years
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports the completion of Holy Trinity cathedral in the Diocese of Auckland 174 years after the land for it was purchased. The cathedral’s foundation stone wasn’t laid until 1957 – some 114 after the land was purchased. Work on the cathedral finally came to an end this year, and it was consecrated at the end of October 2017.

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For news older than 4 November, please refer to our News Archives.


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