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This page last updated 16 October 2016
Anglicans Online last updated 16 October 2016

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

14 October 2016: Liverpool Anglican Cathedral donates £910 to RC Cathedral after break-in
The Liverpool Echo reports that the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool has received a donation from its neighbour across the street, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

14 October 2016: Shake-up in lay ministry in the Church of England
The Church Times (London) reports on the contents of an unreleased report by the Lay Leadership Task Group of the Church of England. It will report that the laity in the Church of England must be treated as equal with the clergy if the Church is to grow.

12 October 2016: York Minster axes renowned team of 30 bellringers
The Press (York) reports that the dean and chapter of York Minster told its volunteer bell ringers that their access to the bell tower would be blocked. The head ringer acknowledged that there had been grievances between themselves and chapter, and expressed dismay that the dean had rejected offers to meet to resolve the problems. The Minster suggested that safety was a concern, but when one ringer pointed out that the bells were left in the up position when the volunteers were dismissed, and offered to lower them to a safe position, a canon said he did not have the power to permit it. York Mix reports that the Lord Mayor of York called the chapter’s action 'a spectacular piece of foot-shooting'. The York Minster Society of Change Ringers had this to say.

12 October 2016: Evangelical leaders write to C of E bishops, warn of 'fundamental disunity'
Christian Today reports on a letter from 'nearly a hundred evangelical leaders' to bishops of the Church of England warning that any change in teaching or practice over same-sex relationships would cause 'fundamental disunity'.

10 October 2016: Can forgotten liturgies help dementia sufferers to remember?
Christian Today reports that the Church of England’s Liturgical Commission is planning for dementia-friendly services, where familiar prayers and hymns may unlock the gates of memory. A church blog tells how St Andrew’s church, Aston held a dementia-friendly main Sunday service.

10 October 2016: Consistory Court bans Freemason headstone engraving in Cumbrian churchyard
William Wilson had been a mason for over forty years, and when he died, he was buried in the churchyard at St Oswald’s church, Dean, Cumbria. His niece wanted to put the Freemason’s square and compass on his tombstone, and the parochial church council had no objections. The Times and Star (Cumbria) reports, however, that the chancellor of the diocese of Carlisle has ruled against it, saying it would be detrimental to allow it.


8 October 2016: 6th Global South Conference publishes a communiqué
The Sixth Global South Anglican Conference took place in Cairo, Egypt from 3 through 8 October, 2016. At the end, it issued this communiqué. The Anglican Communion News Service published this report on the meeting.

7 October 2016: Communiqué from IARCCUM Summit
We often poke fun at church-related summit meetings and their subsequent formal communiqués, thinking of them as being primarily a source of frequent-flier miles and résumé lines. The recent IARCCUM summit feels different. Its identity and mission are sufficiently intricate that we shan't try to summarize it here. Go look at, or read the communiqué. It begins 'IARCCUM 2016 has been an extraordinary, historic summit, rich in symbolism and significance for the Anglican Communion and Catholic Church. It brought together 36 bishops from around the world for a week in Canterbury and Rome to celebrate the deepening relationship between the two traditions over the past 50 years – and to find practical ways to work together to demonstrate that unity to the world and address its social and pastoral issues.'

7 October 2016: Dean of Peterborough resigns with sharp criticism for the administrators of the Church of England
The Church Times reports on the fiery resignation sermon delivered by the Very Revd Charles Taylor, who has been the Dean of Peterborough Cathedral.

6 October 2016: Canada primate calls for national Native gathering
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports that Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has called for a nationwide meeting to assess the progress made since Indigenous Anglicans first declared their intention to work toward self-determination in the 1994 Covenant.

4 October 2016: ABC appoints Adviser for Anglican Communion Affairs
The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a press release announcing the appointment of the Rt Revd Anthony Poggo, Bishop of Kajo-Keji in South Sudan, as his new Adviser for Anglican Communion Affairs.


30 September 2016: Anglican Church of Southern Africa rejects blessing of same-sex civil unions
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the decision by the ACSA to reject a proposal to allow 'prayers of blessing' to be offered for people in same-sex civil unions under South African law. The ACSA includes Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and the island of St Helena. Same-sex marriage is allowed only under South African civil law. Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba spoke out on Saturday about his anguish over the debate and its outcome.

29 September 2016: New Anglican resources to promote the Bible in the life of the Church
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the publication of the new Deeper Engagement collection of educational resources for use by Anglican churches.

28 September 2016: ACK refuses to reinstate priests found innocent of being gay
The Daily Nation (Nairobi) reports the refusal by the Anglican Church of Kenya to welcome back three priests who were cleared by a civil court of allegations that they were homosexuals.

26 September 2016: Standing Rock oil pipe protest 'may become the new Selma'
The Anglican Communion News Service quotes the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church in an impassioned speech in support of the Standing Rock Sioux community. Bishop Michael Curry told them that their stand against a controversial oil pipeline could become as important in US history as the 1965 civil rights stand in Selma, Alabama.

23 September 2016: Anglican mission to rival C of E plans to evangelise the UK
Christian Today reports on new plans by the AMiE (Anglican Mission in England) to evangelise the entire UK. The plan is sponsored and managed by the Church of Nigeria. The Church Times quotes one of the leaders of this movement as having said 'The Church of England should not have a monopoly on Anglicanism in England.'


23 September 2016: Declining Welsh attendance figures noted 'with a heavy heart'
According to the Church Times, average Sunday attendance in the Church in Wales has fallen to below one per cent of the population, the Membership and Finance Report said. And the Governing Body was in no mood simply to “receive” the report, as the motion on the order paper asked it to do.

23 September 2016: Bear necessities in bid for teddy record
The Grimsby Telegraph reports that a small group were knitting teddy bears to go in Christmas shoeboxes for needy children across the world. But the 15,687 bears they have knitted has broken the previous record, and they are striving to reach 16,000 by the end of the week. The bears are currently residing in St Mary’s parish church, Barton-on-Humber. The BBC noted that bears had been received from Spain, Italy, Turkey and Australia.

23 September 2016: English cathedral statistics 2015 show continued growth
Thinking Anglicans reported on the release by the Church of England of its Cathedral statistics for 2015.

22 September 2016: Drama as Anglican church bishops flee Anambra
The Daily Post reports that 170 bishops of the Church of Nigeria at a five-day meeting in Awka cut short their deliberations on Wednesday. The Indigenous People of Biafra had urged people to stay at home on September 23rd, in protest against the continued incarceration of their leader, despite court rulings for his release. The bishops feared that the Niger bridge, the only exit from the state, would be blocked and they would be trapped.

20 September 2016: Church of England needs 50 per cent increase in ordinands
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the C of E is seeking to increase the number of candidates for ordained ministry from around 500 each year to 750. And they are targeting a 'substantial increase' in the number of young, and black and minority ethnic ordinands.


17 September 2016: Holy Communion in the Church in Wales to be open to all the baptised
Thinking Anglicans tells us the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales has announced that, with effect from Advent Sunday, everyone who has been baptised can participate fully in Holy Communion, regardless of their age or whether they have been confirmed.

16 September 2016: Anglican priest is first patient of robotic eye surgery
The Anglican Communion News Service reports the successful outcome of the world's first robotic eye surgery. The patient, the Revd Dr Bill Beaver, is a priest in the Church of England and was formerly the director of communications for the Church of England and introduced corporate branding to it, including the now-iconic 'e' symbol.

16 September 2016: The ABC makes a plea on social media
The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked for prayers 'for wisdom, for patience, and for courage' on both Facebook and Twitter.

12 September 2016: Australia's Anglican hierarchy divided over marriage equality plebiscite
The Guardian (London), in its Australia News section, reports divisions in the Anglican Church of Australia on whether to back or oppose the federal government’s planned marriage equality plebiscite.

11 September 2016: Steampunk Bible game from NZ takes hold worldwide
The Bible Society of New Zealand announces the success of their online Bible game designed to bring the Scriptures alive. Called The Aetherlight: Chronicles of the Resistance, it claims more than 15,000 players mainly from New Zealand, Australia and the United States, with 400 kids playing the game every day.


8 September 2016: Australian primate says church will accept plebiscite results
The Guardian (London) reports that Archbishop Philip Freier, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, has said that his church must accept a change in the definition of marriage if the upcoming plebiscite in that country approves marriage equality. He also said it is unlikely the church's doctrine will change. In his statement, Archbishop Freier welcomes the referendum but expresses concern about the 'tenor of the debate.'

8 September 2016: Church of England 2014 parish finance results released
The Church of England published this press release, which summarizes aggregated parish finance figures for 2014. It reports a 'record level of giving' to parishes. The Church Times notes that although the level of giving has increased, it is not enough.

5 September 2016: Church in north London applies for permit as live music venue
The Telegraph (London) reports on the application by the vicar of St Michael in the Parish of Old St Pancras, Camden, to serve alcohol at evening musical events, a necessary step in enabling it to be a paid concert venue.

3 September 2016: Much to-do about gender issues in the Church of England
The LGBTI Mission has issued this statement about the recent statement by the Bishop of Grantham. Thinking Anglicans has reproduced a letter to the Sunday Times by various married lesbian and gay members of the Church of England. 138 members of General Synod have published an open letter to the C of E College of Bishops.

2 September 2016: Christians experiencing supernatural phenomena
The Church Times, reporting on a survey by Christian Research in a recently published book, tells us two-thirds of the Christians surveyed had had a personal supernatural experience at some point in their lives.

2 September 2016: Dodransbicentennial for Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba
The Anglican Communion News Service, demonstrating its ownership of good dictionaries and style guide, announced the celebration of the 175th anniversary of DNECA (Diocese of the North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba) in the Province of the West Indies. Our style guide notes that 'dodransbicentennial' is preferred over 'dodrabicentennial', 'dequasbicentennial', 'demisemiseptcentennial', or 'septaquintaquinquecentennial'. A previous employer of ours celebrated in 2007 its purported terquasquicentennial, but we think they invented the word and fibbed about the date of its founding, and they have since then gone out of business.

For news older than 2 September, please refer to our News Archives.

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