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This page last updated 16 October 2017
Anglicans Online last updated 15 October 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

14 October 2017: Doubts grow over ABC's account of when he knew of abuse
The Church of England has been embroiled in a scandal involving decades-old abuses that occurred in holiday camps for boys where Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby worked in his 20s. The archbishop has said that he knew nothing of the abuse until 2013. But now the New York Times reports the men who were victims of the abuse as boys are coming forward to challenge the archbishop's version of events, casting doubt on his claims of ignorance.

13 October 2017: Plans forming for 2020 Lambeth Conference
The Anglican Communion News Service reports on the state of planning for a Lambeth Conference in 2020. Several years ago there were widespread rumours that no more Lambeth Conferences would be held. Many newsworthy things happen at these conferences, so we at Anglicans Online look forward to the event even if we aren't sure that it would be worth the considerable expense.

12 October 2017: Retired Bishop of London made a 'life peer'
The Diocese of London has announced the Prime Minister's intention of naming Richard Chartres, retired Bishop of London, a life peer.

11 October 2017: Sydney archbishop defends diocese's $1M political donation
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports on the Archbishop of Sydney using the platform of his presidential address at the diocesan synod to justify his decision to donate a million dollars to the 'vote no' campaign in Australia's upcoming national vote on same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, The Guardian (London) reports the Diocese of Perth, on the other side of the country, has offered a 'heartfelt apology' to Australia’s gay and lesbian community, saying the church was 'deeply sorry for any harm we have done'. The Diocese of Sydney has a lot of money, while the Diocese of Perth does not, so we aren't expecting an announcement of Perth's having made a contribution to the 'vote yes' campaign.

11 October 2017: Atheists join the fray over Christchurch's cathedral
Newstalk ZB (New Zealand) reports that country's atheists are objecting to government subsidy of cathedral restoration because 'the church is a very wealthy organization'.

7 October 2017: Santa Claus's tomb may have been uncovered beneath Turkish church
The Guardian carried the fascinating story of the discovery of what might be the remains of Saint Nicholas beneath the church in his hometown of Antalya.


6 October 2017: Primates conclude Canterbury meeting 'renewed in their ministry'
Anglican Journal covers the recent Primates' meeting attended by thirty-three of the thirty-nine of the heads of Anglican provinces worldwide in Canterbury, England.

5 October 2017: Rise in Glory: Bp. Walmsley
The Living Church (USA) writes of the death of the Rt. Revd Arthur E. Walmsley, 12th Bishop of Connecticut.

3 October 2017: Anglicans sanction Scottish Episcopal Church over same-sex marriage
The BBC reports the sanctions include exclusion from ecumenical and leadership roles in the Anglican Communion, similar to those on the US Episcopal Church.

2 October 2017: Coptic Pope opens new Anglican media centre
The Anglicans News Service explains the media centre, which has recording and editing technology, will increase accessibility and community among Anglicans and Coptics.


30 September 2017: Archbishop of Canterbury accused of hypocrisy by sexual abuse survivors
The Guardian (London) reports that survivors of sexual abuse by Church of England figures have accused Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby of 'breathtaking hypocrisy' after he criticised the BBC for the way it handled abuse by Jimmy Savile.

28 September 2017: New management of London 'Musician's Church' won't budge on music ban
The Guardian (London) reports on the lack of progress in getting the new masters of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in London's Holborn district to reconsider their 'no more concerts' policy. The bishop has issued this statement.

28 September 2017: Church and state in the UK
The Guardian (London) reports that the National Secular Society has written to that country's lord chancellor calling for the annual Anglican service at Westminster Abbey (marking the official opening of the legal year) to be cancelled on the grounds that it perpetuates the medieval belief that church and state are closely intertwined. Attendance at the Westminster Abbey service is not compulsory for judges. 

27 September 2017: Missionary bishop to the UK consecrated by US breakaway sect
Christian Today (London) reports the consecration by the Christian Episcopal Church of Gavin Ashenden, who was once the Queen's Chaplain, as a missionary bishop to the UK. The appointment is part of the ongoing worldwide conflicts in many denominations about sex and gender.

25 September 2017: Church and state in Kansas, USA
The Washington Post reports on a lawsuit filed by a prisoner at the Women's Prison in Topeka, Kansas, USA, who alleges that the prison 'force-fed Christianity to prisoners'.

25 September 2017: Prayer Book Society publishes glossary for classic prayer books
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports on the publication by the UK Prayer Book Society of a short glossary of words used in prayer materials in the Church of England (and elsewhere). Described as 'A partial list of some potentially confusing words from regularly-used services in the Book of Common Prayer', it is also available as a PDF that can be printed and used as a bookmark. We expect soon to see a Facebook click-bait quiz based on these words.

25 September 2017: Life imitates art in Saskatchewan: little mosque on the prairie
Maclean's (Toronto) reports the story of a small Muslim congregation in Saskatchewan renting worship space from an Anglican church. A Canadian situation comedy television programme was based on a similar (but imaginary) situation.


24 September 2017: 110 Anglican churches closed in Wales in ten years
BBC reports that more than ten churches a year are closing in Wales, and that there are currently eleven properties for sale on the church’s website. One of those featured in the BBC report, the Church of Saint Thomas a Becket in Haverfordwest, is a listed building with a fifteenth century tower, many stained glass windows, (and an adjacent cemetery). It had a low asking price, and the estate agent’s website indicates it has already been sold. But other bargains remain.

24 September 2017: Church and state in Nigeria
The Daily Post (Lagos) reports that the Most Revd Emmanuel Chukwuma, Archbishop of Enugu, has endorsed (in the name of the Church) one of the candidates for Governor of Enugu State. Enugu State is in the centre of southern Nigeria and has a population of 3.2 million.

21 September 2017: Primate of Canada says indigenous church possible 'by 2019'
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports the statement by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, that 'The changes to church law needed to create a self-determining spiritual community for Indigenous Canadian Anglicans could conceivably be made as early as 2019.'

21 September 2017: Nigeria's General Synod convenes with theme 'Thou shalt not steal'
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports that the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria has convened in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, with a theme of 'Thou shalt not steal'.

21 September 2017: New energy and tough questions expected at Primates' Meeting in Canterbury
The Church Times (London) reports on the expectations developing for the Anglican Primates' Meeting in Canterbury the first week of October.

19 September 2019: Celebration at consecration of Tonga's first bishop
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports on the consecration and installation of the Most Revd Dr 'Afa Vaka as the first Bishop of Tonga. For those of you who are not conversant in the Tongan language, the leading quote mark on his given name ('Afa) is called a fakauʻa, and is a consonant. It is pronounced as a glottal stop and is an example of an 'okina, common in Polynesian languages.


16 September 2017: Nigerian bishop complains that 'prosperity preaching' is killing the Bible
The Nation (Lagos) reports on an address by the Rt Revd Festus Davies, Bishop of Ogori-Magongo, blaming the travails of the Church of Nigeria on the penchant for materialism by gospel preachers.

14 September 2017: Most Church of England members never read the Bible
The Telegraph (London) reports on a study by the Church of England revealing that most of its members do not ever read the Bible.

13 September 2017: After Montana church vandalized with swastika, parish responds with pink hearts
The sign in front of St James Episcopal church in Bozeman, Montana was recently defaced with a swastika, and 666 written on the sign post. One of the neighbours who saw the graffiti put a a pink heart on it, which bore the word 'Unafraid'. The idea caught on. The US Episcopal News Service reports that some members brought pink hearts and markers to the church service and reclaimed their sign with messages of love. The congregation intend to remove the offensive symbols soon. We note without comment that the swastika shown in the ENS photograph is backward.

12 September 2017: Self-immolation by English vicar accused of sex crimes
The BBC reports that a Church of England vicar doused himself in petrol and burned to death after being questioned by police over allegations of historical sexual abuse. The remains of Father Martyn Neale were found in the garden of his vicarage.

11 September 2017: Bones attributed to St Peter found by chance in ancient church in Rome
The Telegraph (London) reports on the discovery during routine restoration work at Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cappella in Rome of bones and other relics believed to be from St Peter and other early Popes.

9 September 2017: Christchurch moves quickly after synod vote to rebuild stone cathedral
Stuff (NZ) reports that (planning) work has already started for rebuilding the earthquake-destroyed Christchurch Cathedral. Anglican Taonga has full details on the problem and the process leading up to this beginning.

For news older than 9 September, please refer to our News Archives.

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