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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Apr/May/Jun 2000

Link to main News Archives page

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30 June 2000: Vicar of Knightsbridge flees blackmailer
The Times reports that the vicar of one of England's most exclusive parishes has been forced to flee his vicarage by a hate campaign of intimidation and blackmail after he disclosed that he was gay. Another article in The Times asserts that 'Rich people's parish deceived by "family vicar"'. A third article in the same newspaper asserts that 'Most of the parishioners attending a garden party at St Paul's in Knightsbridge last night supported [that vicar]'.

29 June 2000: New bishop in Newcastle
No, not that Newcastle. The other one. There are two dioceses with the same name. The Rt Rev Roger Herft, Bishop of Newcastle, announced the appointment of the new Assistant Bishop for the Central Coast. The other duplicated diocesan name is Rochester.

29 June 2000: Religion and politics in the UK
An essay in The Guardian (London) about British politicians and their religious beliefs, all triggered by interactions between Tony Blair (British Prime Minister) and Hans Küng (Swiss theologian). This is an important topic in the UK these days: the Times wrote about it too, and ran an opinion piece by Alice Miles commenting on it. The Independent opined that 'When politicians consult priests on moral matters, it is time to start worrying', and Independent columnist Anne McElvoy devoted her column to the same topic. Clifford Longley snorts that Hans Küng may be 'the one living non-English theologian someone like Tony Blair will have heard of.' The Independent noted the next day that 'It is a measure of the banality of political debate in this country that when the Prime Minister went to meet one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century, Hans Küng, at the Global Ethics Foundation in Germany on Friday the headlines that followed said things like: "Blair wants £100 spot fines for hooligans".'

28 June 2000: Tumult in Nigeria over adoption of Islamic law
Every region of the Anglican world has different core problems. In Africa, one of the core problems is coexistence with Muslims. The Post Express (Lagos) reports on the launch last week of an Islamic government in Zamfara state and also reports on a warning that the governors of the 17 southern states have been placed on 'red alert' for sectarian violence. The Vanguard Daily (Lagos) reports that Kaduna State is set to join other states in the North in the full implementation of Sharia. The BBC reports that the Nigerian Government has expressed concern about the decision of the most populous northern state, Kano, to adopt Sharia. Africa News reports that the Rt Revd Joseph Idowu Fearon, Bishop of the Diocese of Kaduna, has said that an Interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians with complete freedom and mutual understanding is "an imperative for the survival of Nigeria." This in the context of a meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council which was reported in The Guardian (Lagos). Another newspaper in Lagos, the Vanguard Daily, reports that the Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, has called on the Federal Government to suspend all monetary allocations and petrol supply to all the states implementing Sharia. The head of the 15 million-member Anglican Church made the call yesterday at a press conference to state the church's position on the adoption of Sharia by some states of the federation. [AO editor's note: Sharia is an Islamic legal system; see this overview last year in Nigeria World]. A good starting point for learning more about Nigeria is the University of Pennsylvania African Studies Center

27 June 2000: Bishop of Liverpool apologises to Nigerians for slave trade
The Guardian (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd James Jones, has apologised to Nigerians over the role of the Liverpool in slave trade.

27 June 2000: Computers causing marriage problems?
The Times (London) today reports that 'A man will know that he is entering the "male menopause" because he will develop "cyberphobia" - an all-consuming obsession with the young, virile computer whiz-kids who are shooting up the corporate ladder behind him, a Christian conference on marriage will be told today.' A British doctor offers some advice for dealing with it. If you are worried, we recommend that you stop reading immediately and switch to Anglicans Offline.

27 June 2000: Vatican reveals the 'last secret of Fatima'
The Times (London) reports that the Vatican released the long-suppressed text of the "Third Secret of Fatima" yesterday, maintaining that it was not the feared doomsday prophecy so much as a message of optimism, asserting that disaster could be averted through repentance and faith. It also reports that the revelation provoked angry reactions from the Portuguese church over the decision to keep the prophecy secret for half a century. In truth, most of the newspapers in the world reported this story. Here are some excerpts from letters about it. Here is the Reuters wire story. Here is what the Irish Times had to say about it. Turning to primary sources, here is the Vatican press release, here is the Vatican's official translation into English of the full text of the third secret of Fatima, and here is Cardinal Ratzinger's analysis of it.


26 June The other ABC does a religion story
Last week the Australian Broadcasting Company did a major TV show on the Anglican Church in Australia. Here's what we said about it before it happened; the transcript of the show is now online. (Monday 26 June) the American Broadcasting Company will air, on US television, The Search for Jesus. We have heard that it is very much worth watching. The web version of it, linked on the ABC site, looks as though it will be interesting once you have seen the show. ABC has put a lot of work into this.

26 June 2000: Huge gift to US seminary
Nashotah House, a theological seminary of the Episcopal Church, today announced that it has received a grant in the amount of $1.5 million, to create a permanent endowment for a faculty chair.

25 June 2000: Rumours of stirring the Archbishop pot
The Telegraph (London) reports the rumour that the Bishop of London would be promoted to an archbishop and assume many of the duties of the Archbishop of Canterbury under proposals being considered as part of a far-reaching review of Dr George Carey's office.

25 June 2000: Nigerian primate says adherents have shallow understanding
The Guardian (Lagos, Nigeria) interviews the Most Revd Dr Peter Akinola, primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria. This is a fascinating interview, even if you have no interest in Nigeria.

25 June 2000: Break time worship among Christians in Nigeria
Ahem. We just bought a subscription to the Lagos Guardian Online, which we would never get to read without the power of the Internet, and we're having a lot of fun looking up stories. Also, faithful reader Bob Wiard draws our attention to an African story almost every week. In any event, the Guardian reports that Christendom in Nigeria gathers for service and worship not just on Sundays but on mid-week.

25 June 2000: Observer columnist sees nothing unusual about the Internet
John Naughton, writing for The Observer (London), notes (among other things) that 'We in Britain have become wearily accustomed to the prating of bishops and technophobic fanatics about how the internet supposedly threatens family life...'

24 June 2000: Rt Revd Arthur Thompson consecrated Bishop of New Providence
The Diocese of Nassau and the Bahamas has consecrated the Rt Revd Gilbert Arthur Thompson S.Th; M.A; J.P as Bishop Suffragan of New Providence. The event was documented, with many pictures. The new bishop's brother, the Ven William Edward Thompson, retired subdean and Vicar General of the Diocese, died just 24 hours before the consecration. Despite that sad event, you can see from the pictures that everyone involved was touched by the holy spirit. By our count, 13 bishops participated in the consecration, and you can see most of them right before the laying on of hands.

24 June 2000: Ugandan bishops to officiate in England
The Telegraph (London) reports that a vicar who has banned his bishop from a confirmation
service tomorrow for holding pro-homosexual views said yesterday that he was determined to go ahead with a renegade service, using former Ugandan bishops. The Times reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has castigated this vicar for defying the authority of his bishop. The Telegraph later reported further information on this story.

24 June 2000: June Osborne writes a Credo
Credo columnist June Osborne writes in The Times that the marriage issue in Britain is about more than just Charles and whats-her-name. Ms Osborne is Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral.

24 June 2000: English Methodists and Anglicans talking again
The Times reports that the on-off love affair between Anglicans and Methodists is warming again.

24 June 2000: Everyone rejected in Magna Carta architecture contest
The Guardian (London) reports that the dean and chapter of Salisbury Cathedral have caused consternation among a group of star architects by turning down all their plans for a modern centre to house the Magna Carta.

23 June 2000: Clifford Longley on political labels
The Telegraph's columnist writes that 'An American conservative is typically someone who is against abortion, against gay rights, against gun control, against state medicine, and for the death penalty. It is perfectly possible to be a British Conservative and to hold none of those opinions - indeed, to find oneself classified as a Lefty liberal in American terms.' This column writes about the British mix of religion and politics described here in The Telegraph; here and here in The Guardian and in this editorial in The Telegraph. The topic is quite important in Britain now; there's an article in The Observer about the role of religion in government, another about the British Prime Minister's meeting with Hans Küng, an article in the Sunday Telegraph about American conservatives and British politicians. And the Daily Telegraph reports on the political aspects of the Prime Minister speaking to the Faith in the Future conference.

23 June 2000: Dean of St Albans dies
The Very Revd Peter Moore, OBE, whose vision gave St Alban's Cathedral its modern Chapter House, and who opposed not only the ordination of women but also the whole concept of a General Synod, has died. There's an obituary is in The Times and The Telegraph.

23 York's mystery plays to be performed in the Minster
The Independent reports that after centuries of performances in the streets of York and decades in a local theatre, the city's medieval cycle of mystery plays, written in 1376, opened at the minster for the start of a one-month run. There is also a review in the Theatre section of that newspaper. We trust that these plays will be shorter than the six-hour extravaganza currently being performed in Oberammergau (see this summary if you don't know what this means).

22 June 2000: +Rochester on 'Faith in a world of good and evil'
The Bishop of Rochester, has written a letter to the editor of The Times about the 'good and evil' article of last week. Your News Centre editor, whose education did not include much Latin, did not at first comprehend the signature 'Michael Roffen', but his better-educated colleagues at Anglicans Online have informed him that 'Roffen' is the Latin abbreviation for Rochester.

21 June 2000: England gets ready to fight about women bishops
The General Synod of the Church of England will be next month. Gosh, it seems like they just recovered from their last synod. Arguments are expected to erupt over the issue of women priests and bishops, according to articles in The Times and The Telegraph.

21 June 2000: Maclean's writes about the Canadian residential schools story
We have found and linked numerous stories from Canadian daily newspapers about the residential schools saga. Here is a story from a weekly newsmagazine, Maclean's, that engages in more reflection and analysis than a daily newspaper can afford. Very much worth your while if you are following this story.

21 June 2000: Church organs too expensive to fix
The Times (London) reports that an 18th-century organ admired by Handel is among historic instruments that have become unplayable because churches cannot afford huge repair bills.

20 June 2000: Church repair in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Times reports on a man whose business is restoring old and damaged churches. 'He can take what looked like a ski lodge and turn it into a Gothic cathedral, carve a dark cave into an English abbey, whip a stark side aisle into a regal arcade. Sometimes his biggest job is to undo what's been done "the ugly way," as he would call it.'

20 June 2000: A different sex please: we're British
Nowhere else in the world is there as much attention paid by commercial newspapers to church issues as there is in Britain. But often the British newspapers all get stuck on the same few stories. It is a small island, after all. This week it's the story of an English vicar who has received permission from his bishop to keep his job after a sex-change operation. Coverage in The Telegraph, The Times, and the Church Times, a column by Ruth Gledhill, a leader in the Church Times, and an interview with that vicar in The Telegraph.

20 June 2000: Attention to the Venerable Bede
A church history book written in the 8th century. Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum is a work that still stands today. Today in The Times there are two articles about him, one about what he did, and another about the Mayor of London's comments about him being politically incorrect. And a few days later, a letter to the editor commenting on same.


19 June 2000: Anglican Church of Australia in the spotlight
The Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) runs an investigative program named '4 Corners' on Monday nights. Today (19 June 2000) at 8:30 pm, ABC will run a program called 'An Unholy Row'. Its summary says 'The Anglican Church is in danger of breaking apart. Australia's oldest and largest church is being destabilised by a power struggle ferocious enough to rival anything staged by the main political parties.' Anglican Media Sydney tells us that the transcript of the program will be available on the 4 Corners web site once it has aired.

18 June 2000: It worked for Samuel Seabury, why not Camilla and Charles?
The Sunday Times (London) reports that the Prince of Wales is exploring the possibility of a marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles in the Church of Scotland. (Seabury, the first US bishop, was consecrated in an Anglican church in Scotland because Scotland was not England. Yes, we know that the Church of Scotland is Presbyterian and not Anglican; the common thread here is the use of Scotland to circumvent church policy in England.)

18 June 2000: Looking for the lost coin where the light is better
The Independent (London) reports that the Church of England has proposed to use a different counting system as a way of dealing with shrinking attendance figures.

18 June 2000: Uganda govt to consider religion in public service appointments
The Sunday Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that the government of Uganda has embarked on a secret policy of distributing top public service jobs, like those of ambassadors, high commissioners and their deputies, by religion.

17 June 2000: The Dome grows on Gledhill
Ruth Gledhill reports on a visit to a worship service in the Millennium Dome, and says that it wasn't terrible. The Times reported this same service as a news story several days earlier.

17 June 2000: Paul Nathanson on Michael Buerk on God and free will
Paul Nathanson of The Times (London) interviews Michael Buerk, a BBC news television news reader, on the problem of reconciling a compassionate God with the presence of evil in the world. Buerk spent some years as a war correspondent, where he saw his share of evil.

17 June 2000: Nigel McCulloch reflects on inclusiveness in the church
In today's Credo column in The Times (London), Nigel McCulloch reflects on inclusiveness and exclusivity in the Church of England.

17 June 2000: What the English do instead of going to church
Two articles, one in The Times (London) and another in the Mercury News (San Jose, California) mention sunday pastimes for the English that do not involve attending a worship service. Well, to be fair, some of this takes place on Saturday too.

17 June 2000: Two new bishops in Connecticut
The Diocese of Connecticut tells us that the Revd Jim Curry and the Revd Wilfrido Ramos-Orench were both elected bishops suffragan in that Diocese.

16 June 2000: Government bailout in Canada?
The Toronto Globe and Mail reported on 16 June that a proposal before the Canadian federal cabinet would offer a partial bailout for church organizations that may face hundreds of millions of dollars in legal costs and liability claims arising from past abuses at aboriginal residential schools. This proposal, if accepted, would commit the government to paying the churches' legal costs for the lawsuits, but not necessarily any final settlements. This article provoked a reply by a member of parliament, also published by the Globe and Mail. A day later the BBC reported that several leading Canadian churches, including the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, are demanding that the Canadian Government help them financially. If you read these articles, please also read this op-ed piece by Archdeacon Jim Boyles (General Secretary of the ACC), which appeared in the Toronto Star on Sunday, 4 June 2000.

16 June 2000: Clifford Longley on political correctness
We like Clifford Longley, even when we disagree with him. Now that The Telegraph (London) has started putting his columns online, we're almost certainly going to link to them each week. This week he writes that 'PC has turned into the Big Bad Wolf'.

16 June 2000: A different sort of funeral service
Your California-based News Centre editor has actually seen a biker funeral procession like the one reported today in The Times. They are not uncommon in California, but are a real rarity in Britain. If you plan to attend one of these, bring ear protection.

16 June 2000: The Evening Standard writes about Alpha and HTB
Your News Centre editor once heard someone say that 'Everyone who wants to read about Alpha already has, so there's no point in writing about it further.' The Evening Standard (London) published an article that shows this isn't true. You probably want to read 'The saviour of Christianity?'

16 June 2000: Colleges urged to train priests in security techniques
The Telegraph (London) reports that a British organisation called 'National Churchwatch' is trying to persuade theological colleges to include lessons on safety and security in their curriculum.

14 June 2000: Parker Library perhaps to open
The Times (London) reports that the fabled Matthew Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, may upgrade its facilities so that ordinary people can see its fabulous collection. May.

14 June 2000: US National Public Radio interviewed Frank Griswold
The Most Revd Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, was interviewed on June 14 by Diane Rehm of National Public Radio. The producing station's schedule tells you how to listen to the show in RealAudio.

13 June 2000: The Archbishop of Melanesia on the crisis in the Solomon Islands
Anglican Media Sydney has published a statement from the Rt Revd Ellison Pogo, Archbishop of Melanesia, on the crisis in the Solomon Islands. A day earlier Bishop Pogo had released this pastoral letter.

13 June 2000: Anglican cemeteries in foreign lands
It's awful to die far from home. Well, it's awful to die, but it does happen to all of us, and if you are an Anglican and you die in a country without a strong Anglican presence, there are, here and there throughout the world, Anglican cemeteries. Your News Centre editor visited one in Florence, which the locals call the English Cemetery; it has the remains of Eliza Doane, wife of G.W. Doane (2nd Bishop of New Jersey), whom we admire. And other people, some more famous. Today The Times (London) contains an article about another such cemetery, in Naples.

13 June 2000: Two new bishops in Chester
The Prime Minister's press office tells us that the Revd Canon William Nigel Stock, Canon Residentiary of Durham Cathedral, is to be the next Bishop of Stockport, and that the Revd Canon David Andrew Urquhart, Rector of Holy Trinity, Coventry, is to be the next Bishop of Birkenhead. Both of these bishoprics are suffragan sees in the Diocese of Chester.

12 June 2000: Diocese of Mt Kenya Central victimized by internet scam
The East African Standard (Nairobi, Kenya) reports that the Anglican Church of Kenya is among victims conned of millions of shillings by a bogus city car importing firm. A number of lawyers, Army officers and other prospective car buyers have also fallen prey to the fake company - Internet Backed Car Imports.

12 June 2000: Vicar of Alpha birthplace says the end is near
No, not the end of Alpha. The end of the world. The Times reports that the Rev Sandy Millar, Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, in Knightsbridge, London, has linked the contemporary worldwide evangelical revival to the imminent return of Jesus and the start of a "New Age". This topic provoked letters to the editor of The Times, including one from Fr Millar, who insists he was misquoted.


11 June 2000: You can't fool the children
The Observer (London) today carried a story about children and Christianity and Alpha that is, if nothing else, optimistic about the future of our faith.

11 June 2000: Church of England members want women bishops
The Independent (London) reports that an overwhelming majority of churchgoers want to see women priests appointed as bishops, according to a new survey that will reopen one of the biggest divisions within the Anglican Church. It shows that 80 per cent of worshippers are in favour of female bishops, despite fierce opposition from conservative sections of the clergy. Compare with the sea of male faces shown here in the company of the Archbishop of York.

10 June 2000: Careful with that fire and brimstone message
The Times (London) reports that at the very same time that the vicar of an English church was writing his Pentecost sermon about fire descending on the disciples, a fire was descending on his church from a more mundane source. The church fire was caused not by the holy spirit, but by an electrical problem.

10 June 2000: Alpha program specifically for gays
All Saints Church Beverly Hills (Diocese of Los Angeles) now offers a version of the Alpha program that is specifically targeted at gay people.

9 June 2000: Church technology
Old cathedrals have electricity, running water, and public address systems. We speculate that those additions were considered crass at the time they were added. Just a few miles away from the Anglicans Online distribution centre, Menlo Park Presbyterian church brings high-tech razzle and dazzle, with six full-time audiovisual employees, to Sunday morning. The Star (Kansas City, USA) carries a wire service story about it.

9 June 2000: Clifford Longley makes the web
Clifford Longley is one of the world's foremost religion writers, but his writings have to our knowledge never been published on the web before today. Even though he writes today nominally about Charles and Camilla, we link you to his column to welcome him to the web. It's not entirely about them.

9 June 2000: Gadfly excommunicated in North Carolina
The Citizen-Times (Asheville, North Carolina, USA) reports that an Episcopal cathedral parish in Asheville has taken the extremely rare step of excommunicating a church member, a move that followed years of contentious interaction often centered on the church's inclusive policy regarding gay churchgoers. Here is the Associated Press version of the story.

9 June 2000: North India Bishop detained in Singapore
Anglican Media Sydney reports that Bishop Dr George Ninan was detained at Singapore airport on June 6, 2000 while returning to Mumbai after attending the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) annual assembly held in Tomohon, Indonesia. The immigration police held him in the detention room incommunicado for 10 hours and later escorted him to the plane ensuring that he boarded the plane to Mumbai.

8 June 2000: Church admits to shortage of miracles
God rely performs miracles these days but there has never been a greater need for them, according to a Church of England report published today. The demand for healing, counselling and even exorcisms is higher than ever. Story in The Times.

8 June 2000: English clergy instructed to offer healing services
The Guardian (London) reports that Anglican clergy are being instructed that they should offer healing to their congregations, that miraculous cures should not be ruled out and that in some circumstances diocesan exorcists may need to be called in. The Telegraph reports the story less dramatically. The original press release is actually on the C of E web site. A few days later The Independent (London) offered this observation by one of its columnists, Janet Street-Porter.

8 June 2000: Anglican Sisters report on the Solomon Islands
This week's international news is peppered with stories about events in the Solomon Islands. Anglican Media Sydney carries a report by Margaret Rodgers in which she interviews the Community of the Sisters of the Church about events in the Solomon Islands.

7 June 2000: No news on Camilla, or on sex scandals
Some news sources are abuzz with news about Camilla Parker Bowles and another buzzing with news about a sex scandal. We have neither, though we found nearly 20 stories on one topic or the other. Even a clarification by a major international publication that in a story about a past sex scandal the perpetrator was a Baptist minister and not an Anglican priest as previously reported. It's so easy to let your mind warp to the point at which you think this kind of information actually matters.

7 June 2000: Is US-style evangelism damaging England?
The Guardian interviews the author of Ungodly Fear, a new book about misdeeds by clergy in England. He believes that many of the guilty clerics originated their beliefs and techniques in the USA.

7 June 2000: 'Thou shalt not murder' in the cathedral
The Times (London) reports that the performances by an evangelical preacher named J. John are packing the house at Coventry Cathedral.

6 June 2000: New bridge near St Paul's
This item is really a stretch as Anglican news, but the first new bridge across the River Thames in 100 years takes you directly to St Paul's cathedral. Report in The Telegraph. A few days later the BBC reported that the bridge has 'an unknown engineering problem which causes "excessive movement" in certain weather conditions.' Generations of engineering students have had to deal with ancient monochrome footage of the Tacoma Narrows bridge as an example of catastrophic failure. Wouldn't it be, um, interesting if they could have modern colour footage of a bridge across the Thames instead.

6 June 2000: Convent in need of a saviour
The Times (London) reports that there is a race to find money to save the Victorian-era Convent of St John Baptist in England.

6 June 2000: Church blamed for tragedy in Uganda
You may recall that in March 2000 about 1000 bodies were found in mass graves in Uganda, associated with a 'Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God.' Today The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that the initial report mentions that the established church in Uganda may have had a portion of the blame. Would an Alpha programme have saved them?

5 June 2000: Bishop of Willesden moves to Carlisle
The Diocese of London reports that the Rt Revd Geoffrey Graham Dow, at present Area Bishop of Willesden, Diocese of London, will become the 66th Bishop of Carlisle. We assume that the good Bishop Carlisle is accustomed to being asked if he likes vintage port, so we won't ask him ourselves.

4 June 2000: Reflection on the church as a career and profession
The Independent (London) published a piece, fairly intellectual, about the role in modern life of law, medicine, church, and academia.

4 June 2000: Church steeples to serve mobile phones?
The Independent (London) reports that there is a plan in England to put mobile-phone cells inside church steeples, which are already high in the air.

4 June 2000: Interview with Frank Griswold
The Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, USA) published a few weeks ago an interview with the Most Revd Frank Griswold, presiding bishop of ECUSA. Now the full text of the interview is available online.


4 June 2000: Attending church makes you live longer
The Observer (London) today reports that a religious life will not only save you from eternal damnation but also extend your time on Earth and keep your weight down, according to psychologists. (Yes, folks, it's a slow week for Anglican news. The News Centre would be much more exciting if some bishops were to break out in fistfights or the Anglican Communion Office were to offer an IPO. )

4 June 2000: Camilla and +Carey hold secret talks
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has held secret talks with Camilla Parker Bowles. Church of England sources say there have been at least six meetings between Dr Carey and the Prince of Wales's close friend since the Prince's divorce. We warned you it was a slow news week.

3 June 2000: Stacy Sauls elected Sixth Bishop of Lexington
The Diocese of Lexington (ECUSA) reports that the Rev. Stacy F. Sauls of St. Bartholomew's Church, Atlanta, Georgia was elected to serve as the Sixth Bishop.

3 June 2000: Ruth Gledhill visits a church by the beach
Ruth Gledhill writes for The Times (London) a weekly column called 'At your Service' . It is usually interesting, but rarely profound. In today's column she visits a huge old stone church near a seaside resort north of Liverpool, England.

2 June 2000: Collecting Bibles instead of reading them
The Telegraph (London) reports that the market in collectible Bibles is booming, and that merchants are cutting up old Bibles and selling individual pages.

2 June 2000: Media release from the Fiji council of Churches
A coup followed by military rule has thrown Fiji into tumult. Today the Fiji Council of Churches released this statement. A previous report and an earlier report by the Bishop of Polynesia confirms that media coverage of events in Fiji is largely accurate.

2 June 2000: English Methodists closer to unity with Anglicans
The Times (London) reports that the Methodist Church in Britain took a significant step closer to unity with the Church of England yesterday with a report that calls for the creation of Methodist bishops.

2 June 2000: Two thirds of the English still believe
The declining attendance at English churches has been a running theme in the news over the last few years. Today the Church Times (London) reports that almost two-thirds of people in Britain still believe in God and Jesus, and even more believe in the concept of sin, a new survey shows.

2 June 2000: 'Untidy' Anglican ways appeal to some under Rome's heavy hand
The National Catholic Reporter carried a column by Richard P. McBrien, in which he discusses the issue of central and decentralised authority in the church. Anglicans Online is grateful to Murdoch Matthew for drawing this material to our attention.

1 June 2000: Australian Broadcasting on the Most Revd Peter Carnley
The Australian Broadcasting Company has interviewed Peter Carnley, the new Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, and Anglican Media Melbourne has written about it on their web site.

1 June 2000: The Times on church decor before the Victorian era
The Times (London) today ran an article about a new exhibit at the National Art Library, 'Furnishing the Nineteenth-Century Church'. The article notes that 'So dramatic were the changes which churches of all denominations and varieties of churchmanship underwent in the 19th century that preVictorian survivals stand out.'

31 May 2000: First woman ordained in Diocese of the Bahamas
The Diocese of Nassau and the Bahamas, Including the Turks and Caicos Islands, has just ordained its first woman priest. While the event took place at Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau, its online coverage is on the web site of St George's Church. There you can find a description of the event, with numerous photographs, and an interview with the newly-priested Angela Palacious. There are some absolutely lovely photographs to look at. Our favourite shows her processing out, obviously to music, side-by-side with Bishop Gomez.

30 May 2000: Bishops assaulted in Nigeria
Anglican Media Sydney reports that last week violence broke out again in Kaduna, Nigeria. The Bishop of Jos, the Rt Rev Benjamin Kwashi, was among those attacked. The riots also forced the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Harry Goodhew and his wife Pam, to leave Kaduna under armed escort.

30 May 2000: A retro showbiz view of Canterbury Cathedral
The Independent (London) columnist Miles Kington writes a silly but entertaining column about the marketing of Canterbury Cathedral to pilgrims in the middle ages. A few days later he wrote another column that your News Centre editor absolutely fails to comprehend, which is usually an indication that the column is English Humour. We therefore suspect that if you are English you will think this column is funny, but we offer no warranty.

29 May 2000: More about 'who was Jesus, really?'
Indy columnist Andreas Whittam Smith contributes to the global oeuvre of speculation about who Jesus might have been, really.

28 May 2000: Organist sues vicar over right to 'live in sin'
The Independent (London) reports that a Church of England choirmaster is taking the unprecedented step of suing his parish priest to uphold his right to "live in sin". The case of Stephen Hartley, aged 62, who is living with his partner Joyce, also in her 60s, has sparked a heated theological debate over cohabitation – and divided the local congregation in Wetherby, Yorkshire.


28 May 2000: Anglican Church of Canada warns members of possible collapse
The Most Revd Michael Peers, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, asked that this letter be read today in every Anglican church in Canada. It contains no information that hasn't been known for weeks. Nevertheless, we weep for the Anglican Church of Canada and for the indigenous peoples who were so mistreated decades ago. If you are unfamiliar with this situation, start with this Anglican Journal report. If the dire predictions come true, we would imagine that all of these people will be looking for new jobs soon. The Canadian Broadcasting Company reported first on this; the National Post (Toronto) followed soon after. The CBC video clip is well done. The news media interpretation of this letter is that ACC members have stopped Sunday donations for fear the money would just go to lawyers.

27 May 2000: Geoffrey Rowell on stewardship of the earth
In the Credo series in The Times (London), Geoffrey Rowell says that we are guardians of the Earth and everything in it. Fr Rowell is Suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke in the Diocese of Winchester.

26 May 2000: New English report says church must change or die
The Church Times reports that the Church 'will resemble "a beached whale" by 2020 if it keeps offering an "off-the-peg" faith package, when people want to be treated as individuals, says a new report published today. It stresses that the Church must wake up to a fundamental change in mind-set if it is going to engage effectively with contemporary culture in the next 20 years.' This makes your News Centre editor wonder what would happen if he were to ask his church to modify the creeds to his liking.

26 May 2000: Bishop backs moves towards church unity
The Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, USA) reports that the Most Revd Dr Frank T Griswold, presiding bishop of ECUSA, spoke at length about ecumenism at a recent visit to Nashotah House, where he received an honorary doctor of divinity degree.

26 May 2000: Foolishness about closing churches in England
In England people are looking for ways to be happy about the closing down of bank branches, police stations, parish churches, and what not. As a result, foolishness like this in the Independent sometimes finds its way into the newspaper.

25 May 2000: New primate of Nippon Sei Ko Kai
The Rt. Rev. John Junichiro Furumoto, Bishop of Kobe, was elected Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai for a two-year term on May 25, 2000 at the close of the General Synod. The House of Bishops pledged their help and support to Bishop Furumoto, and promised to share in the duties of the Primate. As is their custom he was then installed while the members who elected him were still present. Bishop Furumoto succeeds John Makoto Takeda who will retire on March 31, 2001 as Bishop of Tokyo. Bishop Furumoto has been Bishop of Kobe for the past eight years. It was shortly after his consecration as bishop, on 17 January 1995, that the Great Hanshin Earthquake occurred in Kobe. As a young priest, Bishop Furumoto studied for two years at Wycliffe College, Toronto. Recently he was conferred an honorary doctorate of divinity from that college. Bishop Furumoto served his entire ordained ministry at the Church of the Ascension, Kobe, before he was made Bishop. His father, the Rev. Paul Masao Furumoto, served for over 40 years, his entire ministry, in the Tokushima area, particularly at St. Timothy's Church, and Emmanuel Church, Tokushima (on the Island of Shikoku) in the Diocese of Kobe.

25 May 2000: New bishop in Panama
The Diocese of Panama reports that the Rev. Canon Julio Murray was elected Diocesan Bishop by the Special Convention as the successor to the Right Rev. Clarence W. Hayes, who will be retiring soon.

24 May 2000: Looking for love? Try church
The Times (London) reported today that men looking for love should forget dating agencies and go to church instead. Men will find that single women in the average congregation outnumber them by more than two to one. But while it represents good news for God-fearing men, it is a disaster for women. Flirtatious male worshippers play the field, leaving a string of broken hearts behind them. The Telegraph reported this story somewhat differently, but we saw the Times' story first so we listed it first.

24 May 2000: Wales archbishop to focus on child abuse at home
The BBC reports that 'church leaders in Wales are holding a special service to celebrate the value of children, in the wake of the Waterhouse report into abuse in children's homes.'

24 May 2000: Wells Cathedral ends scholarships for girls
The Times (London) reports that Wells Cathedral has scrapped scholarships for girl choristers but is keeping them for boys. The article includes various blather from cathedral officials about why this is a good idea and not discriminatory. The reporter is named Ruth, but she didn't attend school on scholarship.

23 May 2000: Bishop of Oxford says sexuality doesn't matter to God
The Times (London) reports that the Bishop of Oxford has said that homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals in the eyes of God and should not be condemned for being gay. The Right Rev Richard Harries made his call in a paper in which he sets out the arguments in support of homosexual relationships.

22 May 2000: Church of Ireland regrets lack of inter-church communion
The Irish Times reports that the Church of Ireland has said it is "a matter for profound regret" that inter-church Communion has been "so severely, and it would appear, unnecessarily, restricted by the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church".

22 May 2000: Coup in Fiji
Anglican Media Sydney reports that the Rt Revd Jabez Bryce, Bishop of Polynesia, is currently safe in the coup d'etat in Fiji today. People at the Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji reported in with this news, and the Bishop of Polynesia has issued this statement. We've linked the ACNS copy of the Sydney material in this story, but you can read the originals here and here if you have better access to Australia than to England.

22 May 2000: The bishop, the chef, and the fisherman
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a new 20-episode television programme filmed in Israel, and featuring the Rt Revd Paul Barnett, will be shown on Australian television starting 26 May.

22 May 2000: Art in the church confusing everyone
The Independent (London) reports confusingly on the reaction of a north London vicar to art in his church by Damien Hirst.

22 May 2000: Wrapping up the Mississauga meeting.
The Meeting of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops (see our coverage of it last week) held 14-20 May in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada has issued this final statement and, to accompany it, this press release. They also issued this action plan.

21 May 2000: A new spin on the concept of 'lay presidency'?
The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, was to have preached at a church service in Kirema, Luwero, Uganda, with the approval of bishop Evans Mukasa Kisekka. It's a good thing they didn't let him preside, because then we'd be faced with presidential presidency.

21 May 2000: Presumably because politicians are now presiding?
The Sunday Times (London) reports that one of the five most senior bishops in the Church of England is lobbying for the abolition of the 1,300-year-old parish system in a radical attempt to halt the decline in churchgoing. We have heard that an article repudiating this has appeared in the paper edition of the Church Times, but as it's not online we can't link you to it.

21 May 2000: Creative ways to fill the empty churches?
Perhaps as a way of finding more people to sit in church buildings? The Telegraph (London) reports that senior Church of England clergy are to join Druids and pagans at a controversial conference designed to help "reconcile" the traditions, much to the alarm of Church leaders. The conference, Spirit of the Land 2000, is described as "a Christian-Druid dialogue and reconciliation meeting for the new Millennium".

21 May 2000: New primate in Jerusalem; new bishop in Egypt
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Most Reverend Iraj Mottahedeh, Bishop of Iran, is the new President Bishop and Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. ACNS also reports that the Reverend Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis is the new Bishop in Egypt.


21 May 2000: New bishop for Spokane
The Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of Spokane (Washington, USA) is the Revd Canon James E. Waggoner, from the Diocese of West Virginia.

21 May 2000: New bishop for Panama
The Revd Canon Julio Murray was declared bishop-elect for the Diocese of Panama.

19 May 2000: Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops confer
Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops concluded a week of prayer and dialogue Friday by announcing plans for a joint commission to further explore the possibility of unification. Coverage by the Associated Press, a statement from the Pope, a report by The Star (Toronto) on the sermon delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Toronto's Roman Catholic cathedral, a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Company, which manages to get wrong the origins of the Anglican Church. The Church Times filed this report. An article in the Globe and Mail (Toronto) comments on what happened there.
Here is a brief personal take on the Toronto meetings by Garry Lovatt, a layperson from St Mary Magdalene's, Toronto, based on his reading of press reports in the Toronto and national papers:

In the absence of the communiqué, it's been possible to glean the following:

  • the bishops are proposing the creation of a new joint commission, which in contrast to ARCIC will not be dominated by theologians
  • specific effort will be directed to increasing joint ministries.

Tom Harpur, an Anglican priest and journalist, writes in today's Toronto Star that the Toronto event broke new ground, simply because bishops from the two churches have never before formally met to examine the issues. I'd add that there were also some interesting symbolic occurrences:

  • an Anglican Evensong, officiated by an Anglican priest, took place in a Roman cathedral with the local Roman Cardinal Archbishop presiding;
  • a female bishop was in the procession and sat amongst her peers;
  • and an Anglican priest censed the High Altar of a Roman cathedral.

Small and ambiguous perhaps, but I suspect none of these has ever occurred before, let alone all of them on the same occasion, and all surrounded by an atmosphere of genuine encouragement, warmth and solidarity. On the other hand, in spite of all the gestures and rhetoric, Tom Harpur also emphatically predicted in his article that there would be no "union" in the lifetime of anyone alive today. He noted that the two major problems are papal supremacy, currently marked by what he referred to as "creeping infallibility", and the ordination of women priests and especially bishops in the Anglican Church. I'd have to say I think his prediction was a pretty safe one.

18 May 2000: Retired ABC Lord Coggan of Canterbury and Sissinghurst dead at 90
Lord Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1974 to 1980, has died. Coverage by the Associated Press, an announcement and a tribute from the Anglican Communion News Service, a brilliant and detailed obituary in The Times (London), a summary of tributes in The Times, an obituary in the Church Times, and extensive coverage by the BBC,

18 May 2000: New primate for the Middle East
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Most Revd. Iraj Mottahedh, Bishop of Iran, has been appointed the new President Bishop and Primate of the province of Jerusalem in the Middle East. The unanimous resolution came forth from the Provincial Synod meeting this week in Cairo.

18 May 2000: Many feature releases from ACNS
The Anglican Communion News Service has released more than a dozen feature stories all at once. We are choosing not to list them as news, or individually, but they are all worth reading.

16 May 2000: Ugandan bishop wants residential camps closed
The Monitor (Kampala) reports that the Rt Revd Nelson Onono Ongweng, Bishop of Gulu, has called on all leaders in the country to support his bid to have all protected villages in his diocese dismantled. "I am celebrating my second anniversary as bishop when the people are still in camps. This is terrible. It must stop. All leaders must work towards peace in Acholiland," he said.

16 May 2000: Retired bishop finds new career as a writer
The Associated Press reports that the Rt Revd John Spong, retired bishop of Newark, has "
has found a new career - as a cybersex writer."

15 May 2000: Diocese of California responds to Lambeth I.10
This week the Bishop of California released a major document that is the response of the Diocese of California to the Lambeth sexuality resolution. Given the location of the Diocese of California its continuing lack of sophistication in the use of the Internet is odd, but real. The online version of this document does not, at our press time, contain the final version that includes the bishop's cover letter. Bishop Swing's letter includes the sentence "Although I see sexuality to be vital and important, I do not think that the core of the Christian faith is a matter of sex."

15 May 2000: New Archbishop in Melbourne
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the Rt Revd Peter Watson was installed as Archbishop of Melbourne. Anglican Media Sydney had this to say about it, and the Diocese of Melbourne put this report on their web site.

14 May 2000: Ministering in tropical mountain country
The Straits Times (Singapore) reports that the Rt Revd John Tan, Assistant Bishop of Singapore, made an episcopal visit to a troubled neighbourhood near the border of Thailand and Myanmar. That same newspaper also published today an interview with the recently-retired Dr Moses Tay, former diocesan bishop of Singapore.

14 May 2000: Electing bishops is such good fun
The Dean of Ely, the Very Revd Dr Michael Higgins, has written an article on the process by which bishops are elected in England. This article, which originally appeared in the Ely diocesan newspaper, is now on the Diocese of Ely's web site for all the world to see.

14 May 2000: Rwanda churches organize to fight rape
The East African (Kigali, Rwanda) reports that Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of the Protestant Council of Rwanda (CPR) declared last week that the spiral in rape cases could be compared to the 1994 genocide because it exposed the youth to HIV /Aids, prostitution and trauma. The News Centre is grateful to Bob Wiard for directing us to new sources of Anglican news in Africa.

14 May 2000: Episcopal church burns in Seattle
The Seattle Times reports that much of St John's Episcopal Church has been destroyed by fire. It reports also on comments from parish members and the fundraising drive to rebuild.


14 May 2000: Controversy in an English play starring Jesus
We think that most artists and playwrights have learned that there is little difference between fame and notoriety, and after a while no one can remember which you were. Even when it's a play produced by Southwark Cathedral. The Telegraph reports that 'Dean rejects critics of Southwark's Mystery play'.

14 May 2000: New kind of cemetery in England
The Telegraph reports that the Church of England has been inundated with calls from people who want to be buried in the 40 acres of natural woodland it has reserved as an alternative to conventional cemeteries.

14 May 2000: A new kind of fight about sex
According to The Telegraph, the Evangelical Alliance has issued a report that transsexuals are defying God's will and should not be allowed to alter their birth certificates or get married, an organisation representing more than a million British Christians has told Jack Straw, the Home Secretary.

14 May 2000: ABC pleads for via media
The Times (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury pleaded yesterday for a return to "sanity" in religion and for the extremes of literalism and liberalism to be rejected.

11 May 2000: Canada readying for bishops' summit
The Star (Toronto) reports that 'Anglican and Catholic leaders from around the world are meeting in Mississauga next week to find ways of mending rifts in a church divided since Henry VIII of England wooed Anne Boleyn almost 500 years ago.'

10 May 2000: Fun with Jerusalem
English newspapers are having fun with the Church of Scotland's decision to omit the hymn Jerusalem from the next Scottish hymnal. This piece of silliness in The Times is quite comprehensible to colonials despite its references to English secular life. The hymn "Jerusalem" does not appear in the ECUSA hymnal; your News Centre editor had never heard it sung until AO's managing editor sang it to him on the telephone this afternoon, but he found this web site with words and a MIDI file. AO's reporter in England, Simon Sarmiento, points out that "My Country 'tis of Thee" does not appear in the English hymnal.

7 May 2000: The People's Bible
The Sunday Times (London) points out that William Tyndale, whose Bible translation preceded the acclaimed King James version, was strangled and burnt at the stake in 1536. Undeterred by this sort of precedent, Sidney Brichto has produced a new translation. The Sunday Times notes that 'the aim of its translator, Sidney Brichto, is to make it more accessible. So he invented some extra bits'.


7 May 2000: Church of Scotland to abandon 200 old hymns
The Independent (London) reports that the Church of Scotland is going to abandon 200 old hymns because they are deemed to be 'out of tune with the 21st century'. Our favourite paragraph in the article is the penultimate.

6 May 2000: Vandalism at Ely Cathedral
Not only are the English no longer attending church, but their children are smashing them. Report in The Times (London) on vandalism at Ely, home of Britain's only stained glass museum.

6 May 2000: +York visits Vatican; doesn't check his email
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Archbishop of York met the Pope yesterday for what was described as "an informal ecumenical visit".

6 May 2000: Leo Frade elected III Bishop of Southeast Florida
Report from that diocese, and from the Associated Press,

6 May 2000: Historic consultation of Anglican, Roman Catholic bishops next week
Roman Catholic and Anglican bishops from thirteen regions around the world are to gather in Canada May 14-20 to review and evaluate the accomplishment of thirty years of ecumenical dialogue between the two traditions and to reflect on how the special relationship between them has been developing in different parts of the world. This high level meeting is happening at a time when Anglicans and Roman Catholics around the world are exploring the possibilities for further steps toward visible unity. [News editor's note: it is fairly common for people to send email to Anglicans Online thinking that they are reaching some officials of the church. We try always to explain that we are unofficial and, where we think it is appropriate, to route their message to a better recipient. This meeting next week has generated the largest amount of such email in our history.]

5 May 2000: Exorcism still rare, experts say
Last week there was a flurry of press coverage of an increase in exorcisms performed in Britain. Today's Church Times reports that exorcisms are still quite rare.

5 May 2000: Church Times report on Australia installation
The Church Times has published a report on last week's installation of Dr Peter Carnley as Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia.

4 May 2000: Anglican Church of Canada in desperate times
The Anglican News Service (Canada) reports that the Anglican Church's national executive council began four days of meetings here this morning attempting to balance hope for the church's future with the stark possibility of looming bankruptcy for the national structure.

4 May 2000: Cardinal John O'Connor, Roman Archbishop of New York, dead at 80
Cardinal John O'Connor died this week of cancer after 15 years as a Cardinal and 16 years as leader of the Archdiocese of New York. He was by all accounts an amazing person. The Associated Press published this story by Verena Dobnik, this report by Lukas Albert. The Religion News Service released this tribute by Eugene Kennedy. The Pope had this to say, and the Vatican News Service released this brief comment. The Episcopal News Service (ECUSA) published a statement by Frank Griswold, Primate of ECUSA, on the death of John Cardinal O''Connor, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in the USA. Each of the two leading candidates for president of the US issued a statement, which are summarized here.

4 May 2000: Churches in the middle ages sold junk, too
Most modern tourist attractions have 'gift shops' in which they sell overpriced junk that you are supposed to feel good about buying because it's for a worthy cause. The Indepdendent (London) reports that a new museum exhibit in North Yorkshire shows that this practice dates back at least to the 12th century. After a certain number of centuries, a piece of souvenir junk becomes a valuable museum piece.

2 May 2000: Not even slightly scandalous
The Times (London) reports that a bishop has kept his romance secret for five years for fear of fuelling gossip. The problem is that every aspect of this romance is out of a storybook: each had a spouse die. One is male and one is female. They love each other. Why, the very secrecy of this is almost, well, scandalous.

1 May 2000: English clergy wives said to need assertiveness training
The Telegraph (London) reports that Church of England clergy wives suffer from low self-esteem and need assertiveness training. They got the idea from a diocesan newspaper.


1 May 2000: Anglican primate turns the other cheek
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Most Revd Dr Peter Carnley was installed as Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia while many Australians (largely in the Diocese of Sydney), were denouncing him and boycotting his installation. This story made the front page of Australia's newspapers. A companion article, which also made the front page of the newspapers, described the mood at the ceremony. Earlier Anglicans Online coverage of this issue are listed below under 27 April.

30 April 2000: New bishop in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Diocese of Los Angeles has consecrated the Rt Revd J Jon Bruno as Bishop Coadjutor of Los Angeles. Fr Bruno was formerly a professional football player (Denver Broncos) and later a policeman. The newspaper reports that 4000 people attended this ceremony.

30 April 2000: Institutional abuse in Christian churches?
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'churchgoers are being subjected to widespread abuse from fraud to rape at the hands of Christian ministers, and the ecclesiastical authorities are unwilling to face the fact, according to two senior Anglican clergy. The Rev Stephen Parsons, an adviser to the Bishop of Gloucester, claims in a new book to have documentary evidence of "institutional abuse" among the Christian denominations, especially in the rapidly growing evangelical and charismatic branches.' Full, in-depth coverage of this book and these issues in Ship of Fools.

30 April 2000: Book review: A History of the English Parish
The Sunday Times (London) reviews the new book by N J G Pounds. Fundamentally they like it.

30 April 2000: ABC Pleads for peace in The Sudan
The BBC reports that 'the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey - has made an impassioned plea for peace in Sudan during a visit to enthrone a new archbishop for the country. In a sermon in the southern city of Juba, Dr Carey appealed for tolerance between Christians and Muslims and urged warring factions to search for a peaceful solution.' Your News Centre editor has just bought and studied Inferno, by James Nachtwey, which includes 29 pages of photographs of Sudan that make this wish seem unachievable.

29 April 2000: Bishop of Utah returns from rehab
The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) reports on the return to her diocese after treatment for alcoholism of bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish.

29 April 2000: Primate of Wales looks at Notting Hill and Simpsons
In his first official address to the governing body of the Church in Wales, the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, new Welsh Primate, took examples from The Simpsons and from last year's film Notting Hill. Story in The Telegraph (London) and The Times (London).

29 April 2000: +Basingstoke on Low Sunday
The Rt Revd Geoffrey Rowell, suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Winchester, has written a Credo about the Sunday after Easter, and its role in our church.

28 April 2000: More charges in the Canadian residential schools mess
One of the biggest crises in the Anglican Church of Canada has been the legal fallout of a judgment against the church, holding it financially responsible for abuse to natives there. The Anglican Journal has just published a major article by a freelance writer, which seems to show a much greater involvement by Canada's national government.

28 April 2000: Loss of faith leading to increase in exorcisms?
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'more people are turning to the Roman Catholic Church for exorcisms because of the "rise of the demonic" and the confusion caused by "New Age" religions.' The Times' Ruth Gledhill writes about the growing concern this practice is causing in the Church of England. The Times also ran a piece explaining how an exorcism is performed. We note that our 1662 prayer book contains the entire exorcism ceremony.

27 April 2000: Tempers in Sydney
On Tuesday the Sydney Morning Herald reported that some members of the Anglican Church of Australia, particularly those in Sydney, are less than thrilled with what their new primate has been saying. We at the News Centre don't see that the Most Revd Dr Peter Carnley is saying anything recently that he hasn't said before, but we suppose that he wasn't primate before. The next day that same newspaper, the largest in Australia, reported that 'Alarmed Anglicans may boycott the installation of the Primate of Australia after he wrote an article challenging the significance of the physical resurrection of Jesus and the universal significance of Christ's death on the Cross.' Then on Thursday there were two more articles, one reporting that the Most Revd Dr Harry Goodhew, Archbishop of Sydney is so steamed at the Most Revd Dr Peter Carnley, newly-elected primate of Australia that he might split his diocese away from the national church. The other was an article resulting from an interview with Dr Carnley. You can, of course, find Sydney's position on this issue on the excellent Anglican Media Sydney web site. We are disappointed that the full text of the controversial article is not available online anywhere that we can find. Anglicans Online likes to focus on primary sources, and we prefer to read something rather than to read about it.

27 April 2000: Bishop of Oxford suggests Judiaism as a compromise
The Times (London) and The Guardian (London) report that the Rt Rev Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, put forward his proposal that those searching for God should try Judaism if Christianity did not appeal, on the basis that he would rather people believe in God even if they could not believe in the divinity of Christ.

27 April 2000: W. D. McHardy dies; obituary in the Times
The Times reports on the life and death of the scholar who directed the translation team for the Revised English Bible, Prof William D. McHardy.

26 April 2000: Death threat to priest in Zimbabwe
Several sources report that an Anglican priest has received a death threat from the same group of Robert Mugabe supporters blamed for the recent bomb attack on a newspaper office in Harare, Zimbabwe. Coverage in The Times (London) and the Church Times, The Bishop of Harare (in Zimbabwe) has issued this statement about the situation there.

25 April 2000: Church vandalism in England
The Times has run an opinion piece (what in Britain is called a 'leader') on the growing problem of vandalism in English churches. The accompanying news story explains the issue in more detail. A few days later there was a letter to the editor in response.

24 April 2000: The Guardian on Holy Trinity Brompton
The Guardian (London) has run a piece looking at Holy Trinity, Brompton, the English mega-church at which the 'Alpha' course originated.

23 April 2000: Canadian youth still believe
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) reports that a recent survey by a well-known Canadian polling organisation shows that the core elements of Christian faith are accepted by a substantial majority of young adult Canadians although few of them have grown up in a church or regularly attend religious services. Where they get it from is a bit of a mystery. It will be good news -- maybe -- for Canada's mainstream churches, which increasingly voice fears that an entire generation could be largely beyond their reach, oblivious of the Christian stories and the Christian church's teachings.


23 April 2000: More about 'Seeing Salvation'
There is an exhibit at London's National Gallery called 'Seeing Salvation', which shows varying images of Christ through the centuries, is turning out to be one of the most popular art-museum exhibits ever shown in London. We first mentioned it on 8 March 2000. Today The Sunday Times and The Observer both write about it, and this week's Church Times leader story references that exhibit. Your News Centre editor lives in California and really wishes he could make it to London to see this exhibit before it closes on 7 May.

23 April 2000: Carey 'faces revolt on women priests'
The Telegraph (London) reports that senior Church of England traditionalists have protested to the Archbishop of Canterbury that the Church is failing to appoint bishops who oppose women priests. We have had a lot of trouble getting to The Telegraph's web site this week, so say a quick prayer before you click on Telegraph links.

23 April 2000: Alpha Course to get its own TV series
The Independent (London) reports that the hugely popular 'Alpha' course, which originated at Holy Trinity Brompton, is to get its own television series hosted by David Frost.

22 April 2000: Easter Messages
Easter messages from (in no particular order) the Bishop of London, the Archbishop of Sydney, John Chrysostom, the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, The Bishop in Europe, and the editor of the Catholic Herald, We were wondering why we didn't see an online copy of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter sermon, but then we saw this BBC story and we know why his sermon wasn't online in advance. But then his sermon appeared online. We're glad that we're a dot org and not a dot com.

22 April 2000: Welsh crucifixion re-enactment scares onlookers
The Guardian (London) reports that a Good Friday procession that included a portrayal of Jesus on the cross was so realistic that onlookers in a South Wales town centre yesterday called an ambulance.

22 April 2000: Get the abbey habit
The Times' Ruth Gledhill writes about her visit to an order of Benedictine nuns on the Isle of Wight.

22 April 2000: British MP calls for separation of church and state
The Telegraph (London) reports that Labour MP Tony Benn launched a campaign yesterday to sever the constitutional link between the Church of England and the state.

22 April 2000: ABC dissolves group of advisers
The Times (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has dismissed the squad of "theological advisers" who used to meet regularly to advise him on issues such as homosexuality and marriage.

22 April 2000: More on the decline of the Church of England
The Guardian continues the discussion of the alleged decline of the Church of England. But several days earlier in the same newspaper there was an article about the tremendous growth in enrollment at religious schools.

22 April 2000: English teenagers, the Internet, and witchcraft
According to a recent poll in Britain, one in four English teenagers has a fascination with the occult and experients with occult sites on the Internet. Story in The Times.

22 April 2000: Patron saint, George, slew no dragons and never saw England
According to The Times (London), Saint George was never in England even though he is its patron saint. But a recent survey showed that most English don't know or care about St George's day. And The Independent comments that people can't even agree on whether or not to reschedule it. The Sunday Times weighs in also, but is just wordy enough that it's hard for us to summarise. Come to think of it, we can't remember why we thought this issue has anything to do with the Anglican church, except that he's a saint, by George.

21 April 2000: Three Easter messages in the Australian press
The Sydney Morning Herald published three side-by-side Easter messages from three different churches in Australia: the Anglican Church, the Australian Christian Churches, and the Roman Catholic Church. It's a fascinating study in contrasting styles; one of them even slipped in an advertisement. We are grateful to Lesley de Voil, Musical Director of St Luke's in Toowoomba, Queensland, for making sure we noticed these.

21 April 2000: Sharp words from St Paul's about a protest outside
The Guardian (London) reports that 'The Church of England yesterday branded as "extreme bad taste" a stunt in which disgruntled bank customers erected a 10 ft cross outside St Paul's Cathedral.' We think that the protesters had gotten an advance copy of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter Sermon and were really protesting the change in St Pauls' URL from a .ORG domain to a .CO.UK domain. (.CO.UK is what passes for .COM in the UK, as the exchange rate is 3 letters for 2).

21 April 2000: Help from the heavens to make it to church on time
It is old news that English churches are in decline. It is common to have several church buildings but only one priest, who must travel between them on a tight schedule to hold services. This year a big motorcar race took place on Easter Sunday, and would have made it impossible for a certain English vicar to visit all of her assigned church buildings on schedule. The Times has the story of how she coped.

21 April 2000: The Times on Christ and Cross
The Times (London) reports on art depicting the Crucifixion. If we understand their web site vocabulary correctly, this article was on the front page of the newspaper on Good Friday.

21 April 2000: Interview with the Bishop of Southwark
The Times (London) interviews the Rt Revd Thomas Butler, Bishop of Southwark.

21 April 2000: Senior clergy to boycott woman provost
The Times (London) reports that the Church of England's most senior woman priest will take up her new job as head of an inner-city cathedral amid dissent from senior clergy who do not recognise her ministry, it has been disclosed.

21 April 2000: Interview with Lord Runcie, former ABC
The Telegraph (London) has published an interview with Robert Runcie, former Archbishop of Canterbury. We found it delightful. A few days before, BBC radio interviewed him, and The Times reported on that interview.

20 April 2000: About the date for Easter
The Telegraph says that 'A ruling 1,700 years ago made Holy Week late this year - but kept science alive during its darkest hour.' and then goes on to explain the dating of Easter.

20 April 2000: Former bishop says 'Capitalism Rules'
The BBC reports that David Jenkins, former Bishop of Durham, has spoken out against involving the church in capitalism. We find the article almost impossible to summarise, as did, we think, the BBC.

20 April 2000: About the teaching of Easter
The Times reports, in its Education section, about how schools teach Easter to children.

19 April 2000: Are they going to the pub, or to other churches?
The Times' Ruth Gledhill writes about Britain's evangelical churches and churchgoers.

18 April 2000: Committee to review powers of the ABC
The Archbishop of Canterbury has formed a committee to study the powers of the Archbishop of Canterbury and make suggestions as to how those powers should be changed. Today the Anglican Communion News Service revealed the membership of this review committee.

16 April 2000: Empty churches, but the service is held anyhow
The Independent (London) reports on English churches that hold services even though no one is there.


16 April 2000: Church will be dead in 40 years?
Christianity was kept alive during the dark ages by retreating to the edges of the known world. The Independent (London) reports today that at least one expert believes that the Church in England will be dead in 40 years. The Guardian reported this same story on 11 April, but The Guardian's web server was offline all day on the day that we would normally have noticed such things, so we list the Independent's story first.

15 April 2000: +Canterbury says he was 'plucked from obscurity'
The Times (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has described how it feels to be "press-ganged" into a top job in the Church.

15 April 2000: English bishop joins the squabble over asylum
The BBC reports that a Church of England bishop has joined the attacks on ministers over asylum-seekers. If this sentence is confusing to you, you probably don't live in England. We don't, either. The issue is about alleged racism and favouritism in immigration politics in the UK, and it is well documented and reported on that BBC page.

15 April 2000: A response to +York about Internet
Letters to the editor of The Times from two readers disagreeing with the Archbishop's stated opinion about the dangers of the Internet.

15 April 2000: June Osborne writes a Credo
The Times (London) has a weekly column called Credo that is almost always worth reading. Today's column is by June Osborne, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral. A regular.

15 April 2000: Children should be told of Hell
The Guardian reported today the Hell Exists story (Evangelical Alliance).

13 April 2000: Obituary of Derrick Walters, Dean of Liverpool
The Times (London) reports on the death of the Very Revd Derrick Walters, OBE, Dean of Liverpool.

13 April 2000: Church of England in solid financial shape
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Church of England's Commissioners announced excellent financial results yesterday but still faced criticism that parishioners were being asked to save the Church from ruin.

12 April 2000: ECUSA announces receipt of letter from ELCA
The Rev. H. George Anderson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has formally transmitted to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church the text of a pastoral letter from the ELCA Conference of Bishops. The bishops' letter, adopted March 6 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, addressed the implementation of "Called to Common Mission" (CCM), a Lutheran proposal for full communion with the Episcopal Church. Press Release on Episcopal News Service. Although it's dated 17 March, it was only released today.

12 April 2000: Letters to the editor about +York on the Internet
Readers of The Times (London) comment on the statement made last week by the Archbishop of York that the Internet has a potential for evil.

11 April 2000: Scottish churches predict future union
The Herald (Glasgow) reports that Scotland's mainstream Protestant churches yesterday revealed their hopes of seeing a new "super church" up and running by 2010. Five Scottish churches, including the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church, have been looking at the possibility of creating a united church with a membership of about 700,000 - equivalent to two-thirds of churchgoers in Scotland.

10 April 2000: Multi-faith coronation for Prince Charles?
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Prince of Wales could be crowned King in a multi-faith inauguration ceremony rather than the 1,000-year-old Coronation service, under proposals to tackle "religious discrimination" being considered by the British government.


9 April 2000: ABC predicts disestablishment
The Times (London) reports that 'The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has surprised clerical colleagues by declaring that he does not believe the Church of England will retain its constitutional position as the established church.'

9 April 2000: English parish may follow Arkansas to Rwanda
The Independent (London) reports that the Vicar of a Church of England parish wants to copy what a US parish did and secede from his church to become an African mission. The issue, as usual, is sexuality.

8 April 2000: The Archbishop of York says internet has a potential for evil
The Times' Ruth Gledhill reports that the 'Archbishop of York has launched a powerful warning about the dangers of the Internet, claiming that it has a "potential for evil".' So does electricity; so do motor vehicles. So does central heating. This explains why the Diocese of York has been so slow in getting up a web presence. The BBC also reported the story, and has pretty pictures.

8 April 2000: The Tablet writes about the Anglican Communion
In last week's dead-tree edition of The Tablet, a British Roman-Catholic publication, Geoffrey Kirk (national secretary of Forward in Faith) wrote about divisions in the Anglican world. We have finally managed to get a copy of this for you to read. In this week's online edition of The Tablet, Rowan Williams writes that 'The Anglican Communion sees its unity under threat as dioceses take different views on homosexuality. These tensions emerged as Anglican primates met in Portugal last week, but the Archbishop of Wales believes that the Anglican Communion can hold together, without a new central power.'

8 April 2000: Nelson Mandela pays tribute to Trevor Huddleston
The Times reports that the former South African President Nelson Mandela unveiled a bust of a British clergyman yesterday, describing him as one of the "giants" of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

8 April 2000: In praise of brave sailors
Ruth Gledhill's weekly 'At Your Service' column visits the (re)dedication of the Mission to Seafarers. The Telegraph was there, too, and filed this report of the name change.

8 April 2000: Churchwardens in England
The church news in England this week seems to focus on the 'Churchwardens Measure'. The Church Times has both a news story and an editorial on this topic.

8 April 2000: Nigel McCulloch writes a Credo
In The Times: 'Giving up drink can concentrate the mind'. Note that despite what The Times claims, Bp McCulloch is the Bishop of Wakefield.

8 April 2000: Empty churches
The Guardian (London) has published a piece 'The temple barred' about the decline in church attendance in England. It was written by Christopher Rowland and it is very much worth reading.

7 April 2000: England's new Common Worship
The Guardian reports that after 15 years, the Church of England has finally released a version of its new prayer book, and reflects on the nature of this new book. The BBC also published a story about Common Worship, but they put it in their Entertainment section. Maybe this is the reason for the decline in church attendance: people are expecting to be entertained? Mean while, The Times reports that there is some competition between the old and the new. Who ever would imagine such a thing in the Anglican church?

7 April 2000: Hell exists, and it's occupied
The Religion News service reports that 'The reality of hell and the teaching that it is "occupied to some degree" have been reaffirmed in a 140-page report soon to be published by the Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom, the body linking evangelicals in the Church of England and the Free Churches.' We found the Evangelical Alliance's press release about this; it tells you where you can buy a copy of this report.

7 April 2000: CCLEC releases a video about the Oporto meeting
The CCLEC organization (a group in ECUSA whose logo is the Episcopal shield being torn in half) has produced a video about Oporto. A snippet of it is available in RealPlayer format on their web page. We have talked to many people about the interview with Archbishop Kolini (primate of the Episcopal Church of the Province of Rwanda) and all of them find it fascinating, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with what he is saying.

7 April 2000: ECUSA bishops meet in California mountains, agree to disagree
From 30 March to 4 April, about 135 bishops of ECUSA met at Lake Arrowhead, California to talk about things. ECUSA issued this press release, and the Associated Press filed this story.

7 April 2000: Canadian shareholders asked to think about Talisman actions
The Anglican News Service (Canada) reports that Canadian Anglicans who hold shares in Talisman Energy Inc. of Calgary are being asked to participate in a shareholder action arising from the company's business activities in Sudan.

5 April 2000: Church of England committee reports in on GM crops
The Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group has concluded that the genetic modification of crops is not beyond the range of acceptable human activities but has called for a clear ethical framework for practical applications of the science, whether experimental or commercial. Press release on the C of E website.

5 April 2000: Vote fails to stop quest by archbishop
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Revd Harry Goodhew, has gone over the heads of his Synod Standing Committee to appoint a replacement for Bishop Peter Watson in the South Sydney region of the diocese.

3 April 2000: Southern Cross on the new Archbishop of Melbourne
Southern Cross, the monthly from Anglican Media Sydney, has published an analysis of the arrival of Sydney's Peter Watson in Melbourne to be its new Archbishop.

3 April 2000: New bishop in Barbados
The Rev. Canon Dr. John W.D. Holder was elected on March 29th 2000 to be the 13th bishop of Barbados. Coverage on the Diocese of Barbados web site.


2 April 2000: The primates met in Oporto
The regularly-scheduled meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion took place as scheduled in Portugal. They issued this Communiqué after their meeting, and the Anglican Communion News Service released this summary. As you can see, the official summary doesn't say much. The best coverage of Oporto's events were in the dead-tree edition of the Church Times; not all of that coverage made it to their web page. But do read what's there: 'Primates' meeting calms things down', by Pat Ashworth, and 'Primates go to the gym'. The Ashworth article also includes a Church Times editorial as a sidebar. The Church Times reporter did not feel well-treated by the Anglican Communion Office. The British press seems to have ignored this meeting, thinking of it as an American issue. The US-based Associated Press ran this story. The Diocese of Sydney, never one to keep its light under a bushel, published this response.

2 April 2000: Africa has problems with cults
We don't need to carry the story of the church in Uganda where 800 people were found dead of either suicide or murder. This gruesome story has made front-page news all over the world. But the problem behind it, as exemplified by this story from Agence France Presse, is worth noting here in the Anglicans Online News Centre. There is, according to this story, a big problem in Africa with cults that call themselves Christian churches but are focused mostly on making money for their leaders. What this has to do with the Anglican church is that it is obvious to us that Africa desperately needs the foundation and structure of established churches like the Anglican church.
The Associated Press ran a story a few days ago that has an entirely different spin on these 'independent Christian churches'; it focuses on the ones that are helping and not the ones that are hurting.

2 April 2000: Tax problems for English priests
The Telegraph (London) reports an odd story about tax investigations of undeclared income for clergy. Hm. Maybe we should have included this story in the next item instead of listing it separately.

2 April 2000: ABC wants Charles and Camilla to get married
The British press may have ignored the Oporto story, but The Sunday Times (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked for 'a resolution in the status of the long-standing affair between the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles'. In fact, most of the 'Anglican' news out of England this week is silly stuff that is really news about England and not about the Anglican church. For example, several newspapers have reported this story about an old church (also reported here and here and even here); it even prompted an opinion piece from Simon Jenkins (of '1000 best churches' fame). There's an article about English bishops writing to the Prime Minister. Two articles about how the Prince of Wales will be handling Lent: this one and this one. And in the Mother Country it is today Mothering Sunday, we don't know why we're telling you this or this or this about it. Well, that last one isn't really about Mothering Sunday, though it mentions mothers. There's an obituary of Desmond Llewelyn whose funeral service was in an Anglican church. The C of E management has suggested that a priest consider resigning because of his differences with the Bishop of Worcester; story here. An English church school has banned Harry Potter. The ABC apologized to the Prince of Wales about something that happened in 1645. The article has a great quote from the usually unquotable Prince (third paragraph).

1 April 2000: Florida Bishop helps reordain Pat Robertson
The Washington Post reports that US religous broadcaster Pat Robertson, who resigned his position as a Southern Baptist minister when he ran for US president in 1988, has assembled a group of people to restore his clergy status, and that one of them is the Episcopal Bishop of Central Florida.


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