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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Jul/Aug/Sep 2000

Link to main News Archives page

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30 September 2000: We will always be drawn to worship
The weekly Credo column in The Times (London) is this week by the Rt Revd James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool.

30 September 2000: Mission statement
The weekly meditation column in The Telegraph (London) is by the Revd Dr Denis Duncan.

30 September 2000: A short history of biblical time
The Guardian (London) has published an explanation, for those of us not experts in the Hebrew calendar, of why last night was the first day of the year 5761.

30 September 2000: +Rochester fears Church of England will be exiled
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, fears that the Human Rights Act which comes into force next month will be used as a 'Trojan horse' for non-Christian agendas that could push the churches to the margins of society. This ratzinger originated in the Church of England Newspaper, but that newspaper's web site always crashes our Windows PC, so we don't look at it any more and we recommend that you don't either.

29 September 2000: Former dean of Worcester dies; redefined clergy education
The Times (London) printed an obituary for the Very Revd Tom Baker, past Dean of Worcester, who 'was a distinguished and learned Anglican priest and pastor who devoted his considerable talents to rethinking theology for the contemporary English church.' A few days later the Guardian ran this obituary by the Most Revd Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford.

29 September 2000: Apathy overcomes Church of England synod elections
The Church Times (London) reports that the Church of England’s synodical process appears to be faltering and that a general apathy is undermining the current synod elections. If you care (yawn?), the candidates statements are on the New Synod web site. We enjoyed reading the submission by the Revd Dr Paul Roberts, and perhaps some of the others.

28 September 2000: Presses roll for Church's new prayer book
The Telegraph (London) reports that the first finished copies of Common Worship, the Church of England's new prayer book, left the bindery at Cambridge University Press yesterday. Its release prompted this response in the Telegraph, 'Sacred mysteries'.

28 September 2000: The Revd Marc Nikkel, missionary to Sudan
The Telegraph (London) published today this obituary of the Revd Marc Nikkel, priest and missionary to and from Sudan.

28 September 2000: Vicar of Dibley preparing to emigrate
The Vicar of Dibley is a British television comedy. The Guardian (London) reported today that a US television production group has bought the rights to produce a Yank version of the show.

27 September 2000: Anglican bishops agree to undergo voluntary HIV/AIDS testing
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that all Anglican Bishops in Southern Africa will undergo a voluntary HIV/AIDS test in the near future and they hope to encourage other clergy and leaders in their congregations to follow suit. A day later, former South Africa president Nelson Mandela repudiated the controversial position on AIDS of his successor, Thabo Mbeki, saying HIV is the primary cause of the disease that threatens to kill 6 million South Africans. (Mbeki has said that HIV is not the cause of AIDS and that AIDS is not a disease; AIDS is spreading faster in South Africa than anywhere else on earth.)

27 September 2000: R S Thomas, Welshman
R S Thomas, who died recently, was a fervent defender of Wales and the Welsh language, and also of the best modern poets writing in English. Obituary in The Telegraph, The Guardian, the Church Times, and The Times. The Guardian also carried this news story about him, the Independent published this column about him, the Telegraph asked this snarky question about him, and The Times' literary editor wrote this review of his life. Reuters filed this brief note; the Associated Press had more to say. We can't tell from the Church Times' new format how long this story is likely to last on their web site, so read their obituary first in case it evaporates.

27 September 2000: Pope meets with, reassures Reformed leaders on ecumenism
Anglican Media Sydney (a noncommercial organisation) reports that after an alliance of Protestant churches criticized a Vatican document as "ecumenically insensitive," Pope John Paul met with alliance representatives Sept. 18 and underscored the Catholic Church's commitment to improving ecumenical relations.

26 September 2000: Another Nigerian state adopts Islamic law
The Vanguard Daily (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that the Islamic government called 'sharia' will go into effect in the Nigerian state of Yobe on 1 October. Meanwhile the Post Express (Lagos) reports that the Vatican will have nothing to do with the controversy over the introduction of Sharia, and published this editorial on sharia. The Pan African News Agency filed this wire story about organising against sharia.

26 September 2000: Do we update the prayer book? Do we update the church building?
The Times (London) reports on the controversy in Britain over church renovation of ancient structures.

25 September 2000: Holy socks, not wife inheritance
We were struggling to understand the cultural and political history behind the Kenyan practice of 'wife inheritance', about which a news story contained the following sentence that caused us to do hours of research: 'Raburu was quoted in the media yesterday saying he had outlawed the practice due to the alarming spread of HIV/Aids. ... [he] said a clique of “professional” widow cleansers known as Jokowiny or Joter were spreading Aids in Nyanza by inheriting widows for a fee'. The East African Standard (Nairobi) wrote this editorial. We just couldn't integrate this concept with our own cultural background well enough to understand the news story, so instead we decided to tell you that the Church Times (London), in an undated story, reports that Anglican church leaders will be the first recipients next month of the large-size 'Holy Sock', which is already available by mail-order for the smaller-footed. We do understand the global import of holy socks, so we can report on them without further intellectual effort.

25 September 2000: Light a candle around the world, or burn a calendar?
St John in the Wilderness, a small old church in Devon, England, held a millennium event called "2000 years in 2000 minutes". It started at 8.00am GMT on 30th September and finished at 5.20pm GMT on Sunday 1st October. As we are a weekly publication, we did not learn about this event in time to ask you to join them in lighting a candle, but you can read about it as an historical event and imagine that you had lit a candle. Or you could light a candle in memory of their event, or in prayer that their publicist give more advance notice the next time they do something like this. Come to think of it, could probably make them happy by telling them that you lit a candle. Call it a 'temporally shifted virtual candle' and don't let on that you didn't know about the event until after it was over. Important safety tip: physical candles can cause fires; virtual candles normally cannot.

24 September 2000: A holy man at ease with his alter-ego
The Sunday Herald (Glasgow) writes about the current state of the Most Revd Richard Holloway, Bishop of Edinburgh, who has a 6-part series on BBC2 Scotland starting on Tuesday 26 October 2000 at 10:00pm.


24 September 2000: Common Worship is not the 1662 BCP
The Independent (London) reports that the new Common Worship book for the Church of England is starting just as many arguments as it is ending. Why are we not surprised that a major change to the Praier Booke is starting arguments?

23 September 2000: New Anglican university in Uganda
The Monitor (Kampala) reports briefly that a new Anglican university, Bishop Barham University of Kabale, will open today in Kabale in the Diocese of Kigezi.

22 September 2000: Tumult in Minnesota
Reports have reached Anglicans Online from a reliable source that four members of the staff of the Diocese of Minnesota—all of the Bishop's senior staff except the Canon to the Ordinary—have resigned effective immediately, and Bishop Jelinek has accepted their resignations. The web site for the diocese is clumsily disabled; we hope that this disabling is not part of whatever squabble led to these resignations. We can't link you to anything further on this story yet, but when online material becomes available, we will link to it.

22 September 2000: The Independent on BCP incest taboos
The Independent (London) wrote today about the philosophy behind the list in the back of the Book of Common Prayer that lists forbidden marriages, e.g. brother marrying sister. There are 25 forbidden relationships.

22 September 2000: Dances with Lutherans
The Associated Press reports that although the new alliance between Lutherans and Episcopalians isn't official until January, two ministers in Maine already are showing how crossover congregations can work.

21 September 2000: Anglican Church Enters AIDS Debate In South Africa
UNIRIN reports that the Anglican Church in South Africa this week entered the AIDS debate saying that the South African government would be judged by its inaction over AIDS as a crime against humanity.

20 September 2000: Russian Orthodox church fundraising innovations
The Times (London) reports that the Russian Orthodox Church is mired in illegal or dubious business schemes ranging from money-laundering to selling candles at extortionate mark-ups. What's next? ATM machines in Russian cathedrals?

19 September 2000: Move to make Queen no longer supreme governor of church
Numerous British publications (the Times, the Independent, the Telegraph, the Church Times) reported today that the Liberal Democrats in the British parliament think that the Queen should be stripped of her historic constitutional role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. We suppose that another way of equalising this issue would be to have Bill Clinton appoint bishops in the USA, William Deane those in Australia, and Adrienne Clarkson those in Canada. Maybe we're paying attention to British politics in an attempt to ignore the noise made by US politicians, but we also note that the Telegraph reports that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has infuriated Conservative Christians by claiming that there is a link between the "values of Christ" and the "values of socialism", and the Guardian reports that a recent survey of Anglican bishops found that not one of them could find a single Conservative politician to name as a moral role model.

18 September 2000: Paul Barnett says 'Remember to Survive'
Anglican Media Sydney has published a nice essay by the Rt Revd Dr Paul Barnett, Bishop of North Sydney, about surviving as believers.

18 September 2000: Australian church tries to face 'stolen generations'
Southern Cross (Sydney) writes about the relationship between the Anglican Church of Australia and the indigenous people of Australia. Please note that because of the way the Southern Cross web site is set up, this link will point to something different once the October issue is online. Read it now.


18 September 2000: Sydney Churches welcome visitors to the Olympic City
Anglican Media Sydney reports on a large Ecumenical Morning Service held in St Andrew's Cathedral, at which the Most Revd Harry Goodhew was the preacher.

17 September 2000: Rome warns the clergy not to get too familiar with the Devil
The Independent (London) reports that Italian bishops meeting in Turin this week will be grappling with a tricky linguistic question; how to address the Devil. The Italian Bishops Conference will be considering how to implement changes to the official exorcism rite, approved last year by the Vatican.

17 September 2000: When the sermon is really really good?
Two weeks ago we drew your attention to reports of suggestions made in Britain for getting some use out of churches in which nobody is worshipping any more. Today The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Church of England is drawing up plans to install hole-in-the-wall cash machines in thousands of rural churches. Senior officials say that they want to exploit the vacuum left by the closure of bank branches and post offices across the countryside by encouraging churches to revert to their mediaeval role as centres of the community. This plan makes sense to us. Getting people to go to church, for whatever reason, sounds like a good idea. Who knows: they might even step inside. We note that casinos have had ATM machines for years, while clock towers have been largely the province of churches. Today's Associated Press wire reports that a casino in New Jersey USA is putting in a clock. Fair's fair.

17 September 2000: Divorce as a television game show
See if you can guess what the Church of England had to say (according to The Telegraph) about a television show in which married couples compete for £25,000 and a divorce.

16 September 2000: Raising money by jumping off a cliff?
Ruth Gledhill of The Times (London) writes about the Mothers' union raising money with a process that involves walking backwards off a high cliff. This article is less frightening to those who know what the word 'abseil' means.

16 September 2000: More on the murder of US priest in Kenya
The murder recently of the Revd John Anthony Kaiser continues to be major news in Kenya. The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the president of Kenya made a stern statement to a group of bishops and reports that the government has no objection to the suspects being tried in the USA.

16 September 2000: Thieving and grieving in a material world
The weekly Credo column in The Times (London) is this week by William Oddie, Editor of the Catholic Herald.

15 September 2000: Maybe the cardinal thinks it's time for a crusade
The Times (London) reports that a leading conservative contender to succeed the Pope yesterday triggered an explosive row over immigration by giving warning that "Christian Europe" was in danger of being overwhelmed by a "Muslim invasion" and by urging the Italian Government to allow only Roman Catholic immigrants to enter the country. The Times ran this opinion leader on that issue. Perhaps noting that they are not Muslims, the church has suggested that the Siamese twins who are the subject of the great ethical debate be moved to Italy.

15 September 2000: Finally a good suggestion for The Dome
Longtime readers of the News Centre are aware that we have been scornful of The Millennium Dome, built in Greenwich, England to celebrate the year that came just before the end of the millennium. Today the Guardian reports that Andrew Lloyd Webber, famous producer of musical entertainment, has suggested that the best thing to do with it is to burn it down. 'A giant bonfire would provide a "profitable exit route for all concerned. Torching the dome would attract a vast crowd, probably in the millions, who could be charged handsomely to view the conflagration. There would be hugely profitable worldwide TV, satellite and pay-per-view sales.' We think that, if this idea is borne out, that they should at least wait until the millennium to torch it.

15 September 2000: A News Release from the Church of England
We have from time to time commented on the difference between news and meta-news. News is something that happens, and a news report tells you something that happens. Meta-news is news about news, or news about the reporting of news, or news about other news. Today's meta-news is that the Church of England has issued a press release. Its content is not globally newsworthy, but the fact that it has been issued at all is, in our opinion, news. Well, meta-news.

14 September 2000: Kenya bishops speak out on Declaration Dominus Iesus
The Daily Nation (Nairobi, Kenya) reports that Kenyan bishops explained a controversial Vatican statement that appeared to raise its denomination over other Christian groups.

14 September 2000: NET BENEFIT? The pros and cons of the Internet
Several British newspapers today carried an advertising section devoted to the church and the internet. Its contents are available online here.

12 September 2000: Much ado in Canada about the residential schools issue
On 7 September 2000 the Globe and Mail (Toronto) published an opinion piece by Ian Hunter that asserted 'Let the churches bear the financial cross' for the reparations owed in the matter of the Indian residential schools. The following Monday, 11 September 2000, the same newspaper published a reply by Jim Boyles saying 'Don't blame the churches'. The next day it published an editorial 'Silence is not golden', which asks the Canadian government to act. If you have strong feelings about this issue, you need to read these three pieces. Most Canadians will know the Globe and Mail as one of the biggest newspapers in the country's largest city.

11 September 2000: Death of a great Methodist leader and ecumenist
The Times (London) reports on the death of the Revd Gordon Wakefield, the Methodist leader once described as 'the greatest Anglican the Church of England never had'. An obituary later in The Guardian, and several weeks later in The Telegraph.

10 September 2000: New 'flying bishop' for Church of England
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Church of England has appointed a new 'Flying Bishop'. A 'Flying Bishop', officially called a Provincial Episcopal Visitor, is a bishop within the C of E who tends to parishes that are unwilling to deal with their normal diocesan bishops because those bishops accept the ordination of women.

10 September 2000: English commission reports on 'homophobia'
The Independent (London) reports that 'The Church of England is riddled with "very serious homophobia", according to a new commission set up to investigate the problem.'


10 September 2000: Does a bear, um, live in the woods?
The big news this week is the release by the Vatican this week of Declaration Dominus Iesus. The release of this declaration seems to have been mentioned on the front page of every newspaper in the world, so we feel no pressing need to report it. The Times (London) reported it like this and the BBC had this to say. Anglicans Online tries to find you primary sources whenever we can; here is the official Vatican release in English and Latin. The Vatican organisation in whose name this document was released was originally called the Universal Inquisition, but changed its name in 1908 and again in 1965. (No one expected the Spanish Inquisition).

There has been a blizzard of responses, both official and journalistic. The Archbishop of Canterbury filed this rebuttal, translated into this Spanish version by the Dean of St Andrew's Seminary. The leader of Britain's Roman Catholics, Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, released this ‘interpretation’ of Declaration Dominus Iesus and Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles USA issued a 'clarification'. The Rt Revd Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester (England), wrote this response. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America published this response. We like the rejoinder published in The Nation (Nairobi, Kenya). Africa has an ongoing issue with old white men from Europe telling its citizens they are bad people, so this is a hot topic on the continent with the most Anglicans. The Nation (Nairobi, Kenya) published this fascinating editorial, The Independent this editorial, and The Times (London) published this opinion piece. The Guardian published this opinion piece and the Church Times this leader. Reuters gathered and published this collection of responses, including a sharp criticism from Hans Küng. The English custom of letters to the editor sometimes achieves greatness; this is not one of those times but this (a few days later) might be.

10 September 2000: 85 percent believe prayers are answered
The Telegraph (London) reports that more than 85 per cent of Christians believe their prayers are answered and at least half feel that God is in direct communication with them when they pray, according to a survey of more than 400 churches. While people devote most of their prayers to friends and family, they claim to pray least for their own material well-being.

9 September 2000: The Saturday Times on an Internet Theological Library
The Saturday Times (a London newspaper that resembles The Times, save that it does not research its stories very thoroughly) has written a shallow little piece about theological resources on the Internet.

9 September 2000: The cross bears witness to all the Church's actions
The weekly meditation column 'Credo' in The Times (London), written this week by Geoffrey Rowell.

9 September 2000: Silent Music
The weekly meditation column in The Telegraph (London), written this week by the Revd Dr Denis Duncan.

8 September 2000: Sacred and Profane no more
Clifford Longley has been writing the 'Sacred and Profane' column in The Telegraph for eight years; only in the last few months has the column made it to his web site. We are told that this is his last column, and though it doesn't actually say as much, it reads like a farewell, and he refers people to his web site.

5 September 2000: List of supporters of Murphy and Rodgers
OrthodoxAnglican.org now maintains a web page that lists supporters of the Anglican Mission in America.

5 September 2000: Canadian Churches Apologize to Natives Over Past
Reuters reports that 'four major Canadian churches apologized on Tuesday to natives in Newfoundland and Labrador for centuries of suffering they had endured at the hands of white church officials.' We note that Reuters did not follow Cardinal Ratzinger's lead and report this as 'the church and three other ecclesiastical bodies apologized...'.

5 September 2000: Canadian national church cuts jobs, grants, and programs
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports that the Anglican Church is eliminating the equivalent of eight full-time positions at its national office and cutting $500,000 in grants to northern Canada and overseas in an effort to balance this year's budget and cut next year's by about 11 per cent. While this may sound like just a number, one of the casualties is the brilliant David Harris, under whose leadership the Anglican Journal became one of the best religious publications in the world and which won ten church press awards this year.

5 September 2000: Diocese of Cariboo plans own shutdown
The Anglican Journal reports that the Diocese of Cariboo is expected to approve a plan to wind itself up during a synod Oct. 13 to 15. The diocese is being bankrupted by residential school lawsuits.

4 September 2000: Never trust a politician who goes to church
An editorial in the East African (Nairobi, Kenya) looks at the problem of religion infiltrating government. But the Vanguard Daily (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that the Most Revd Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, primate of Province I of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, has called on those politicians who do go to church to be Christ-like and to steer clear of corruption.

4 September 2000: Well, it worked
The Times (London) reports that 'the Rev Neil Follett, the Church of England vicar who fled his vicarage to escape a campaign of blackmail and homophobic harassment yesterday resigned his living at St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge.' A few days later the Times' Ruth Gledhill wrote about that parish's beginning the process of moving beyond these difficulties. The Guardian carried this about it the next day.

4 September 2000: Probably better than welcoming pagans
Britain is plagued with the problem of what to do with all of those church buildings in a country where practically nobody goes to church any more. In previous months we reported discussions of having pagans use church buildings. Today The Times reports that the British government is planning to enlist church buildings and staff to help to deliver vital public needs in rural areas. Government officials are convinced that churches in isolated areas offer the ideal venue to provide facilities such as post offices and even premises for visiting GPs or pharmacists. The newspaper also ran this op-ed leader and these letters to the editor about it. As the churches fall out of use, they also fall out of repair. The Telegraph reports that a farmer who faces a potential £100,000 bill for repairs to a medieval village church under the requirements of an ancient religious statute has been thrown a lifeline by English Heritage, which is considering his application for grant aid. The move will bring sighs of relief from scores, possibly hundreds, of landowners similarly burdened with archaic church maintenance responsibilities.

4 September 2000: Jesus loves y'all
The Sydney Morning Herald has published a long report on the Americanisation of Christianity. Near the end it says 'It would be wrong to see these changes simply as the result of the efforts of American evangelists. In many ways the trend toward individual gratification in religion reflects an even stronger pull in that direction in society generally. It would also be wrong to ignore the continuing strength of the Catholic, Orthodox and historical Protestant churches. Still, almost everywhere the membership of these churches is haemorrhaging to the kind of entrepreneurial Christianity favoured by Americans and the born-again certainties they most actively and enthusiastically promote.'


3 September 2000: Elderly losing faith
The Observer (London) reports that older people are losing faith in God as they age. 'New research confirming the trend will shock Britain's crisis-hit churches, which until now have regarded the elderly as the enduring backbone of their dwindling congregations.' Its sister newspaper The Guardian offered this opinion piece the next day.

3 September 2000: Group declares Episcopal crisis
The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina) reports that a group of Anglican church leaders, including South Carolina Bishop Edward L. Salmon Jr., has issued a letter to the top leaders of the Anglican Communion declaring a state of pastoral emergency in the Episcopal Church USA.

3 September 2000: Kenya's Archbishop supports election boycott
The Nation (Nairobi) reported that the Anglican Church of Kenya expressed support for the National Council of Churches of Kenya's call to boycott the next General Election if comprehensive reforms are not in place. Archbishop David Gitari told Kenyans to participate in elections only if those reforms have been carried out.

3 September 2000: Church of Ireland celebrates ten years of female priests
RTÉ News (Dublin, Ireland) reports on a service to mark the tenth anniversary of the ordination of women priests in the Church of Ireland.

3 September 2000: Queen and Pope to meet
The Sunday Times (London) reports on an upcoming meeting between Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II.

3 September 2000: US FBI investigating murder of Kenyan priest
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that the FBI has flown a team of investigators to Kenya to investigate the murder of American priest John Kaiser. That newspaper reported yesterday that Fr Kaiser's murderers turned him into a national hero. Though largely unknown in his Minnesota homeland, his death brought him into national limelight in the US. Earlier The Nation had reported that Roman Catholic Bishop Giovanni Tonucci said that Fr Kaiser was murdered to silence the church. 'It was a religious assassination, meant to stop the church denouncing social injustice'.

3 September 2000: Pin-up girl sells God to Britain
The Observer (London) reports that a young Sunday School teacher from west London, presumably certified heterosexual, has been chosen to be the pinup poster girl for the Alpha program in Britain.

3 September 2000: General Synod fights Prime Minister over appointment of bishops
The Sunday Telegraph (London) reports that senior English Churchmen have launched a campaign to end the Prime Minister's central role in the appointment of bishops.

2 September 2000: Unholy war over prayer books
The Telegraph (London) reports that the plan to have Common Worship in the pews from November has been called into serious question by a joint venture by Cambridge University Press and the Prayer Book Society, which champions the Book of Common Prayer. The Telegraph story contained errors, inter alia the mis-attribution of quotes. The quotes were in fact from another book, which gives advice on desk top publishing techniques, and contains worked examples. On Wednesday of last week The Telegraph printed—but did not publish on the web—the following announcement (buried at the foot of a News in Brief column on page 12).

Common Worship
Common Worship, the Church of England's new prayer book, does not contain the glosses alluded to in our report on Sept 2. These are contained in a companion book Producing Your Own Orders of Service.

2 September 2000: Liberal stance prompts church to sever ties
The Daily News (Northwest Florida USA) reports that an Episcopal parish in Destin, Florida voted to leave ECUSA and affiliate with the Province of Rwanda. The newspaper mentioned that a fractional group had split away from another Florida church the previous week for the same reason.

2 September 2000: Credo: Harry Potter and the triumph of love
June Osborne writes this week's Credo column in The Times (London).

2 September 2000: The art of worship
One never knows whether to focus on what's wrong with the church or what's right with it. In The Times (London), Ruth Gledhill writes about something that's right with it, celebrating midweek Communion with a talented congregation.

1 September 2000: Luring children to church with Harry Potter
The Times (London) reports that a vicar in the Church of England is to hold a special "Harry Potter" family service this weekend, complete with wizards, pointy hats, broomsticks and a game of quidditch. The Hogwarts liturgy was welcomed by other clergy who wish to adapt it for their churches as well.

1 September 2000: Sacred and profane
Clifford Longley writes in The Telegraph (London) that too much rational theorising can lead away from the truth.

31 August 2000: Politics and religion in the UK
The Guardian (London) reports that the appeal to religion of British politician William Hague is appealing to Muslims as much as to Christians.

30 August 2000: Remarriage in Kenya only with AIDS test
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) will allow widows to remarry in the church after establishing the HIV/Aids status of their late husbands.

29 August 2000: The vicar of Fleet Street
Ruth Gledhill writes in a newspaper (The Times) that Canon David Meara, the new Rector of St Bride's in Fleet Street, has expressed his determination for his new parish to remain at the centre of newspaper life in Britain.

28 August 2000: Churches 'should hold seances'
The Times (London) reports that parishes in the Church of England will next month be urged to hold "Christian seances" and encourage worshippers to develop their "psychic skills", at a church conference. David Christie-Murray, a former Harrow schoolmaster and Anglican priest, will call on parishes to set up a "Christian rescue group", or seance, to help the souls of atheists and others who have "passed over to the other side".

27 August 2000: Murphy and Rodgers launch Anglican Mission in America
The ECUSA Episcopal News Service reports that two American priests say they have been authorized to form an "Anglican Mission in America" under the auspices of the Provinces of Rwanda and South East Asia, whose archbishops irregularly consecrated them as 'missionary bishops' to the American church in January.


27 August 2000: A hazardous week for overseas US priests
This week Fr Steve Charles Malcom, a US Episcopal priest was found dead in Russia and Fr John Anthony Kaiser, a US priest, was killed in Kenya. African newspapers are asking 'Did Father Kaiser know his killers?' and reporting 'Priest quizzed in Kaiser probe' and 'Kaiser documents named 2 Ministers'. Here's the news story of his murder as distributed by the Associated Press and here is the excellent BBC coverage.

27 August 2000: Early Christian outpost discovered in remote islands
The Independent (London) reports that 'one of early Christianity's most remote outposts has been discovered on a tiny island in the Orkney archipelago, 45 miles north of the Scottish mainland.'

27 August 2000: Religion and Science in Siamese twins
Much of the attention of Britain this week is focused on two Siamese twins, Jodie and Mary, and on who shall decide, and how, which of them is going to die. The story in the Telegraph and the Associated Press; an opinion column is in The Telegraph. Mary Warnock reflects on the process, and on the relationship between religion and science, in The Guardian.

27 August 2000: Long-range solution to church decline, cont'd
The Independent (London) reports on the progress of the Church of England's plan to open 100 more schools. The British Secretary of State for Education is happy with the plan.

27 August 2000: Quoted without comment
The Guardian (London) reports that British television, on which US-style 'televangelism' has heretofore been banned, may soon get its own version of the 700 Club.

26 August 2000: Highland sanctuary
We're delighted to see growth in the habit of publishing literate meditations in commercial newspapers. Today in The Telegraph (London), the Revd Dr Denis Duncan writes about the ancient Scottish holy place, Applecross.

26 August 2000: Credo: Life after death
Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Wakefield, in a Credo column in The Times (London), writes that 'We should look forward to life after death'.

26 August 2000: On church decline in England
The Guardian (London) published an article by Roman Catholic freelance writer Chris Hardwick about the decline of churches and churchgoing in England. So many special-interest groups are shouting these days that the church is in decline because of some specific situation. It's refreshing to read an article that can talk about it without grinding any particular axe.

26 August 2000: Ann the Word
In The Times (London), June Osborn, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, writes a worthy review of Ann the Word, the new biography by Richard Francis of Ann Lee, founder of America's Shakers.

26 August 2000: National priorities in Britain value trees over churches
In The Times (London), Ruth Gledhill reports on a church that is in desperate need of repair but does not seem likely ever to get that repair.

25 August 2000: Drug testing in Sydney Anglican schools
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Dr Harry Goodhew, backed drug testing at schools, increasing the impetus for its introduction at more than 30 Anglican schools in the diocese. Dr Goodhew said he backed the year-long trial of drug testing which has just begun at St Andrew's Cathedral School. That same newspaper also published an editorial on the matter (scroll down).

25 August 2000: Bishop of London admits authorship of famous speech
During the 1982 Falklands War (or La Guerra de Malvinas, depending on which side of it you were fighting on) the late Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Runcie, delivered a speech in which he asked the British to pray for the dead of both sides. London newspapers reported at that time that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was 'incandescent with fury' at this speech. Today The Telegraph (London) reports that the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, has recently admitted to being the speechwriter.

25 August 2000: 100 years after Nietzsche's death
The famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that "The Christian Church has left nothing untouched by its depravity..." On this occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death, The Independent (London) has printed a summary of his life and work. It begins 'A is for Antichrist' and has 26 sections. If you've ever read Nietzsche, either because you wanted to or because a college professor forced you to, this article is a must-see.

25 August 2000: Charities must resist government's embrace
Last week we noted that there were a lot of news stories about the relationship between church and government. In today's Telegraph (London), columnist Clifford Longley warns that charities should also stay off the dole.

23 August 2000: Songs of Praise Down Under
Anglican Media Sydney reports that the Australian Broadcasting Company has confirmed that the two Australian "Songs of Praise" programs will be broadcast the two Sunday mornings prior to the Olympics, September 3 and 10.

23 August 2000: Official story on budget cuts in Canada
The budget cuts in the Anglican Church of Canada interfered with its ability to get its press releases out; today the news from 14 August has reached the web. The Anglican Church will cut more than half a million dollars in grants to support ministry in Canada's north and overseas, and eliminate eight full time positions at its national office. This story appeared in commercial newspapers on 10 August.

21 August 2000: We should probably make some joke about 'carved in stone'
The Telegraph (London) reports that the stonemason at Hereford Cathedral decided to fashion a living member of the cathedral community as a change from the usual long-dead saints and bishops. He sketched an unsuspecting Dr Roy Massey, cathedral organist and choirmaster, as he walked his dog in the cathedral grounds.

21 August 2000: Roy Hattersley on William Booth
The Salvation Army, which more or less invented the genre of forcible evangelism of complacent churchmen feeling no need to be evangelised, was founded by William Booth. The Independent reports on a biographical speech about this fascinating man that was given at this year's Edinburgh Book Festival. Teaser quote: 'Reformed drunkards, thieves and prostitutes marched shoulder to shoulder with the morally spotless officers of his Army and urged other drunkards, thieves and prostitutes to mend their ways. Not only was such overt evangelism embarrassing, it had unfortunate social consequences.'

20 August 2000: Scottish Cathedral gets huge bequest
The Telegraph (London) reports that an 86-year-old spinster whose neighbours worried that she could not afford her private hospital bills has left £1.6 million in her will to St Paul's Cathedral, Dundee, the See of the Diocese of Brechin.


27 August 2000: A hazardous week for overseas US priests
This week Fr Steve Charles Malcom, a US Episcopal priest was found dead in Russia and Fr John Anthony Kaiser, a US priest, was killed in Kenya. African newspapers are asking 'Did Father Kaiser know his killers?' and reporting 'Priest quizzed in Kaiser probe' and 'Kaiser documents named 2 Ministers'. Here's the news story of his murder as distributed by the Associated Press and here is the excellent BBC coverage.

27 August 2000: Early Christian outpost discovered in remote islands
The Independent (London) reports that 'one of early Christianity's most remote outposts has been discovered on a tiny island in the Orkney archipelago, 45 miles north of the Scottish mainland.'

27 August 2000: Religion and Science in Siamese twins
Much of the attention of Britain this week is focused on two Siamese twins, Jodie and Mary, and on who shall decide, and how, which of them is going to die. The story in the Telegraph and the Associated Press; an opinion column is in The Telegraph. Mary Warnock reflects on the process, and on the relationship between religion and science, in The Guardian.

27 August 2000: Long-range solution to church decline, cont'd
The Independent (London) reports on the progress of the Church of England's plan to open 100 more schools. The British Secretary of State for Education is happy with the plan.

27 August 2000: Quoted without comment
The Guardian (London) reports that British television, on which US-style 'televangelism' has heretofore been banned, may soon get its own version of the 700 Club.

26 August 2000: Highland sanctuary
We're delighted to see growth in the habit of publishing literate meditations in commercial newspapers. Today in The Telegraph (London), the Revd Dr Denis Duncan writes about the ancient Scottish holy place, Applecross.

26 August 2000: Credo: Life after death
Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Wakefield, in a Credo column in The Times (London), writes that 'We should look forward to life after death'.

26 August 2000: On church decline in England
The Guardian (London) published an article by Roman Catholic freelance writer Chris Hardwick about the decline of churches and churchgoing in England. So many special-interest groups are shouting these days that the church is in decline because of some specific situation. It's refreshing to read an article that can talk about it without grinding any particular axe.

26 August 2000: Ann the Word
In The Times (London), June Osborn, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, writes a worthy review of Ann the Word, the new biography by Richard Francis of Ann Lee, founder of America's Shakers.

26 August 2000: National priorities in Britain value trees over churches
In The Times (London), Ruth Gledhill reports on a church that is in desperate need of repair but does not seem likely ever to get that repair.

25 August 2000: Drug testing in Sydney Anglican schools
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Dr Harry Goodhew, backed drug testing at schools, increasing the impetus for its introduction at more than 30 Anglican schools in the diocese. Dr Goodhew said he backed the year-long trial of drug testing which has just begun at St Andrew's Cathedral School. That same newspaper also published an editorial on the matter (scroll down).

25 August 2000: Bishop of London admits authorship of famous speech
During the 1982 Falklands War (or La Guerra de Malvinas, depending on which side of it you were fighting on) the late Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Runcie, delivered a speech in which he asked the British to pray for the dead of both sides. London newspapers reported at that time that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was 'incandescent with fury' at this speech. Today The Telegraph (London) reports that the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, has recently admitted to being the speechwriter.

25 August 2000: 100 years after Nietzsche's death
The famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that "The Christian Church has left nothing untouched by its depravity..." On this occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death, The Independent (London) has printed a summary of his life and work. It begins 'A is for Antichrist' and has 26 sections. If you've ever read Nietzsche, either because you wanted to or because a college professor forced you to, this article is a must-see.

25 August 2000: Charities must resist government's embrace
Last week we noted that there were a lot of news stories about the relationship between church and government. In today's Telegraph (London), columnist Clifford Longley warns that charities should also stay off the dole.

23 August 2000: Songs of Praise Down Under
Anglican Media Sydney reports that the Australian Broadcasting Company has confirmed that the two Australian "Songs of Praise" programs will be broadcast the two Sunday mornings prior to the Olympics, September 3 and 10.

23 August 2000: Official story on budget cuts in Canada
The budget cuts in the Anglican Church of Canada interfered with its ability to get its press releases out; today the news from 14 August has reached the web. The Anglican Church will cut more than half a million dollars in grants to support ministry in Canada's north and overseas, and eliminate eight full time positions at its national office. This story appeared in commercial newspapers on 10 August.

21 August 2000: We should probably make some joke about 'carved in stone'
The Telegraph (London) reports that the stonemason at Hereford Cathedral decided to fashion a living member of the cathedral community as a change from the usual long-dead saints and bishops. He sketched an unsuspecting Dr Roy Massey, cathedral organist and choirmaster, as he walked his dog in the cathedral grounds.

21 August 2000: Roy Hattersley on William Booth
The Salvation Army, which more or less invented the genre of forcible evangelism of complacent churchmen feeling no need to be evangelised, was founded by William Booth. The Independent reports on a biographical speech about this fascinating man that was given at this year's Edinburgh Book Festival. Teaser quote: 'Reformed drunkards, thieves and prostitutes marched shoulder to shoulder with the morally spotless officers of his Army and urged other drunkards, thieves and prostitutes to mend their ways. Not only was such overt evangelism embarrassing, it had unfortunate social consequences.'

20 August 2000: Scottish Cathedral gets huge bequest
The Telegraph (London) reports that an 86-year-old spinster whose neighbours worried that she could not afford her private hospital bills has left £1.6 million in her will to St Paul's Cathedral, Dundee, the See of the Diocese of Brechin.


20 August 2000: Tumult about human cloning
The Telegraph (London) reports that Cardinal Thomas Winning, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, has criticised the Government's plans to relax the ban on cloning human embryo cells, saying the practise "actually means killing". He has written to explain his position in the Sunday Telegraph. Columnist Clifford Longley also writes about this issue in his column this week.

19 August 2000: Church and state in America: election 2000
The Times (London) columnist Rabbi Professor Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, has written a fascinating Credo about the difference between state religion and religious statesmen.

19 August 2000: Seeing God
Vivien Northcote, the author of a book about art and religious education, writes in the Guardian (London) about what one might see when one sees God.

19 August 2000: Seeing each other, but in a zoo
The BBC reports that The Rt Rev James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool, has criticised the television programme Big Brother for creating a "human zoo". The Telegraph and The Guardian also reported on this criticism.

19 August 2000: Battle between congregation and its Vicar
The Independent (London) reports that a congregation in North Yorkshire, England, is trying very hard to get rid of its vicar because he is too progressive.

18 August 2000: Grandmother arrested in Neil Follett case
The Times (London) reports that a grandmother aged 63 yesterday became the second person to be arrested in connection with the alleged homophobic harassment of the Rev Neil Follett, vicar of St Paul's, Knightsbridge. Maggie Quail, who lives in Brompton Road near the exclusive Belgravia parish, where she is a deputy church warden, was arrested by police at the Westminster community safety unit at Belgravia. She was released on bail until October 9.

17 August 2000: Frail Tutu returns to South Africa
The Pan African News Agency reports that former Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa's most popular religious leader, returned to Cape Town Thursday after a two-year stint in the United States, declaring that he has "come home to sleep." This story was also reported from a European and North American perspective by Reuters and the Associated Press.

17 August 2000: Ex-punk rocker ordained vicar
The Times (London) reports that the Revd Bob Simmonds, 42, who wore spiky hair and make-up on stage in the late 1970s, has become Vicar of Brighton Hill, Basingstoke.

17 August 2000: About church schools in England
Times columnist John O'Leary reports that about 940,000 pupils attend Church of England state schools, but only 150,000 of them are at secondary level. Each year thousands of children are denied the option of continuing their education with the Church. The mismatch is bad news, not only for parental choice but also for an institution needing to halt the drift from religion.

17 August 2000: About priest pædophiles in England
England, especially near Portsmouth, continues to be in a public dither over issues relating to pædophilia. The Guardian published today an opinion piece by Monsignor James Joyce, who was child protection officer for the Catholic diocese of Portsmouth from 1994-99.

16 August 2000: 'Christian' means more than Dior
In The Times (London), Feature columnist Noreen Taylor reports that personal spiritual advisers have become the new religion for high achievers.

15 August 2000: Islamic leader invites critics of Sharia to use the courts
The Vanguard Daily (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Abdul Lateef Adegbite, has challenged those opposed to the introduction of sharia law in the country to go to court. Dr. Adegbite speaking in Ilorin on the occasion of the Islamic cultural day, Asarat Islamic Thought Foundation, regretted that most jurists who knew the truth about sharia even proclaimed it unconstitutional. We assume that the court in question is run under the same Islamic law as the rest of the government.

15 August 2000: Africa News Agency expands
The regular reader of Anglicans Online will have noticed that we pay a lot of attention to African news. The reason that we are able to do this is that the Internet is growing tremendously in Africa. One delightful piece of that growth is the expansion of the Africa News Agency, whose new URL is http://allafrica.com/. The growth of the Internet in Africa was somewhat impeded by well-meaning but inappropriate subsidies from American charities, but that is now firmly in the past and we are absolutely delighted at the quality of access to primary African news.

15 August 2000: Dismissed English rector loses appeal
The Times (London) reports that a rector who took his bishop to court after his contract was not renewed failed to win his job back.

15 August 2000: Norwich leads the world in Viagra consumption
This is Anglian, not Anglican, but Norwich has a cathedral, and the article has a quotation from the office of the Bishop of Norwich.

14 August 2000: A boom year at Lourdes; lots of Jesus holograms
Lourdes isn't exactly Anglican, but we all worship the same God. The Times reports on a boom year in the sales of miracle gear in Lourdes.

14 August 2000: Diocese of Lagos West seeks police apology
The custom in African journalism is to refer to the Anglican Church as the Anglican Communion. That phrase is in wide public use. Today the Vanguard Daily (Lagos) reports that the 'Anglican Communion Seeks Police Apology Over Invasion of Church.' The request was made by the Bishop of Lagos West, the Rt Revd Peter Adebiyi.


12 August 2000: Refugees from good families ...
Ruth Gledhill writes in The Times (London) about the return, 60 years later, of children who were rushed out of England's good schools and sent to Canada as protection against a possible German invasion.

12 August 2000: ... and saints from a dead family
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Russian Orthodox church is ready to canonize the Romanovs. The Times reports that not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

12 August 2000: Different fates for different victims
The news today in England is of stress and mourning; the memorial service for 8-year-old Sarah Payne was at Guildford Cathedral (reports in The Sunday Times and The Independent). The news in California started out the same, with a frantic report of the disappearance of a little girl, but 8-year-old Midsi Sanchez managed to escape her attacker. Sarah's sad story in the Independent; Midsi's happy story in the Mercury News. Oddly enough, given the reputation of the two countries, there seem to be more vigilante acts in England than in California.

11 August 2000: Nigerian governor signs law against un-Islamic practices
The Weekly Trust (Kaduna, Nigeria) reports that Governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim of Yobe State has signed into law a bill that prohibits various unIslamic practices passed by the state House of Assembly as "a preliminary step to the full implementation of the Shariah legal system" in the state. But according to This Day (Lagos), the government of nearby Katsina state has postponed indefinitely its proposed launching of Sharia. Meanwhile, the Weekly Trust (Kaduna) reports that a leading Muslim journalist has chided his colleagues for criticizing 'the divine law enjoined by God Almighty'. In an unrelated development in another country, the Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that the local government in Kakira, Uganda has shut down food stands selling pork because it offends Muslims.

11 August 2000: ECUSA Presiding Bishop to undergo surgery for cancer
The Church Times (London) reports that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA, the Most Revd Frank Griswold, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is still at an early stage, and he has chosen to have surgery, scheduled for 11 September.

11 August 2000: Bishops Peculiar given more freedom
The Church Times (London) reports that 'the danger of formal schism in the Anglican Communion, arising partly out of differing policies on homosexuality, loomed larger this week. The two bishops irregularly consecrated in Singapore in January have been given the go-ahead by their archbishops to plant churches in any diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA) without invitation or permission from the diocesan bishop.' From the standpoint of experimental science, this is an interesting action. Until it happens there is no way of testing the oft-asserted claim that the reason people aren't going to church as much as they used to is that their churches have become tolerant of homosexuality. If anti-homosexual churches are planted and they become very successful, or if they do not become successful, we will at least have some facts in the middle of this otherwise-abstract conflict.

11 August 2000: Clifford Longley on original sin
Columnist Clifford Longley writes in The Telegraph (London) that 'the Archbishop of Canterbury's rebuke for the modern world's reliance on psychotherapy was not, as the press subsequently dealt with it, an attack on one of the standard treatments for mental sickness. It was a warning to those who think therapy has a cure for spiritual sickness, too.'

11 August 2000: A crowded church, but it's not Anglican
The Telegraph reports on a church in Cheshire that has been given a quota because too many people are crowding into it at once. Heh. It's a Russian Orthodox church, and the borough council has given them a limit of 5 worshippers at a time. We didn't know what a 'strimmer' was, either, but our British correspondent explained it, and we found this link with a picture.

10 August 2000: Anglican Church of Canada cuts staff as it tries to avoid bankruptcy
The National Post (Toronto) reports that the Anglican Church of Canada will begin laying off staff and shedding operations on Monday as it copes with the threat of bankruptcy stemming from hundreds of lawsuits brought by former students of native residential schools.

10 August 2000: Senior Nigerian politician/writer says Sharia will destroy the country
The Tempo (Lagos, Nigeria) interviewed Ben Gbulie, one of the architects of the current secular government in Nigeria, and now a writer. He is gloomy about Sharia.

9 August 2000: Bishop Coote dies in Zimbabwe. Obituary in London.
If you are a regular reader of this News Centre you will know that we often talk about the phenomenal growth of the Anglican church in Africa. These days the church there is generally staffed by Africans, but in the beginning it was staffed by volunteers from other countries who donated major portions of their lives to evangelism in Africa. One such person was the Rt Revd Roderic Coote, whose obituary is in The Times today. 'Coote came from the last generation of British missionaries who served in the Empire. Sixty years after founding the first boys' club in Bathurst (now Banjul) he is still remembered there for his love of The Gambia and his service to the whole community.'

9 August 2000: Responses to ABC's speech to Billy Graham conference
The Times (London) carried today letters to the editor in response to the speech by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Amsterdam 2000 conference. Nobody writes letters quite like the English. Come to think of it, nobody writes obituaries like the English, either.

9 August 2000: Old church art
The Times (London) reports that 'an "extremely rare and significant" 14th-century wall painting has been discovered in almost perfect condition hidden behind an organ in a parish church. The 18 sq ft painting from the 1330s, showing a gesturing figure and three knights on horseback, is the most important find of its type in 20 years, according to experts.

8 August 2000: Last year the party and the dome; this year the millennium
The Times reports that 'a 50ft cross, made of roughened pinewood encasing a core of steel, is to be erected in the Piazza of the Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral in London, in celebration of the millennium.' Anglicans Online has made enquiries, and we can assure you now that no part of this cross will be designated a 'faith zone'.

7 August 2000: Sacked English rector fights back in the courts
The Times (London) reports that a rector dismissed by his bishop is taking the Church of England to court this week in an unprecedented action that could revolutionise the way the Church employs its clergy. The Telegraph reports that he told the Court of Appeal that he was 'threatened with eviction after his bishop refused to keep him on was "condemned, unheard" at a meeting in his diocese'.

7 August 2000: Kenyans respond to new funeral rules
The Daily Nation (Nairobi) reported on various responses to last week's proclamation by the Anglican church that Kenyan funeral customs are too expensive.

7 August 2000: Movement Against Bats in Churches
In America you can just get a gun and start shooting bats, but in England it's not so simple. The Telegraph reports that the Church of England has been urged to press for a change in the law to help 4,000 parish churches where brasses, organs, memorials, wall paintings and fabrics are suffering daily damage from bats. Seven of Britain's 18 bat species are regularly found in churches, including the rare greater and lesser horseshoe bats at risk of extinction. We've heard, though, that the number of bats in church on Sunday has been declining steadily for the last several years.

7 August 2000: South Africa honours early black martyr
The African Eye (Johannesburg) reports that thousands of Anglicans gathered at the small village of Ga-Marishane in the Northern Province on Sunday to commemorate the murder of one of South Africa's earliest Christian martyrs, Manche Masemola.

6 August 2000: Living under divine law
The Post Express (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that The Muslim governor of Jigawa (a Nigerian state that has recently adopted Sharia) has issued a proclamation saying that non-Muslims do have rights under Sharia and are not to be killed. The Vanguard Daily (Lagos, Nigeria) has published an essay by an African writer for an African audience about a visit to the 'Sharia states' in the north of Nigeria. And the Weekly Trust (a newspaper based in Kaduna, a state which has adopted Sharia) reports that the Christian Association of Nigeria in Zamfara State, has strongly taken exceptions to a bye-law recently enacted by the local authorities there which prohibits male commercial motor cycle operators from commuting female passengers.

5 August 2000: Warnings in Nigeria against use of sharia to persecute Christians
The Vanguard Daily (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that elders in the Nigerian state of Kaduna, which has adopted Sharia, have warned against forcing Christians and other non-Muslims to comply with the requirements of Sharia. Our recent increase in news stories from Africa has certainly given our spelling checker a workout. Zounds.


5 August 2000: Oh, no! There's a girl in the choir stall
The Guardian (London) today writes that a group of experts, asked to evaluate whether or not girls could sing, believe that girls made a very acceptable sound.

5 August 2000: Reflections on murdered missionaries in China
The Guardian today writes about the massacre of missionaries in China 100 years ago this week.

5 August 2000: Sex wars in Britain
The Guardian reports that the British are still fighting about clause 28. And The Times reports that they are taking their horses to church. All in favour, say 'neigh'.

5 August 2000: Credo: generosity
The weekly Credo in The Times is by Geoffrey Rowell. We like these columns.

4 August 2000: Church weddings becoming rare in Britain
The Church Times reports that only about 25% of recent marriages in Britain took place in a church. In an unrelated document, the Church of England reports that baptisms typically take place in a church, and that there are 25 million persons alive in England who were baptised in the Church of England. Non-British readers should understand that the clergy of the CofE are obliged by law to officiate at the marriage of any two persons, regardless of their religious beliefs, who meet various conditions of residency, etc. In this matter they are acting strictly as officers of the state, in substitution for the civil registrars who are similarly obliged. Many people who are not Christians choose a church wedding because they like the building or find the setting romantic. Without doing a lot of mathematics, we suspect that by combining these numbers one could demonstrate that a lot of people who were baptised in the Church of England are getting married someplace besides C of E churches.

4 August 2000: Changes to British marriage law in the works
The Church Times reports that the British government has reported out two new proposals about changes to marriage law that would, if made into law, show significant changes in the concept of marriage in England.

4 August 2000: Anglican Church in Kenya issues new rules on funerals
The Daily Nation (Nairobi) reports that Anglicans will henceforth be discouraged from feasting and spending lavishly on funerals. Anglicans are also being asked to stop keeping bodies in mortuaries for more than a week before burial. The church also asked members not to make long speeches before a burial.

2 August 2000: A note from Uganda
Normally we would not consider an article like this one from The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) to be international news. A government minister deplores corruption in the church. But we couldn't help but notice the last sentence, which speaks volumes about the relative value to Ugandans about the value of, say, a tractor vs a computer.

2 August 2000: Australian bishop writes about Indonesia
Anglican Media Sydney published a press release from the Rt Revd Anthony Nichols, Bishop of North West Australia, about the ongoing Islamic violence in Indonesia. News from Indonesia uses the word 'jihad' and not the word 'sharia', but the result is similar.

1 August 2000: Churchmen at war
The Guardian (London) has a piece today on the conflict between vicar and bishop at St John Baptist, Kiddermeister, in the Diocese of Worcester. The Witness (USA) has run a piece by the bishop in question.

1 August 2000: Priest or psychiatrist?
The Times (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, said yesterday that religion is being replaced by therapy, with "Christ the saviour" becoming "Christ the counsellor". The Telegraph's report said pretty much the same thing but has a good collection of relevant external links, but The Times' opinion columnist Michael Gove cheered on the archbishop, and Times feature contributor Heather Nicholson agrees. The Times polled some famous people about it, and reported what they said. The speech itself is on the Archbishop's web site. We like living in a world in which archbishops have web sites.

31 July 2000: Sharia in Nigeria: the story continues
This Day (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that the Nigerian state of Katsina has voted to adopt the Islamic legal system of Sharia, while preserving the civil penal code. The Post Express (Lagos) reports that a leading Pentecostal bishop says that Sharia will die naturally and need not be fought. It also reports that 'barely minutes after the implementation of the Islamic legal system commenced in Katsina State, the fate of a 26-year-old man now hangs in the balance, for stealing a radio valued at N1,030 ($10.3). According to officials of the Katsina government, the man, whose name was not revealed, would have his arm amputated after the formalities required under Sharia law have been completed.

This Day (Lagos) reports that Christian leaders have started assigning blame for the sharp rise of Sharia. The Post Express (Lagos) reports that the leader of the Methodist church in Nigeria believes that these religious crises are politically motivated and argues that any state that has introduced Sharia legal system should not be allowed to benefit from tax money realised from the sale of alcoholic drinks

31 July 2000: ABC Endorses evangelicals
The Associated Press reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking Monday to the Billy Graham conference, endorsed their belief that 'the Christian faith is as relevant today as it has ever been, and the need for a Savior is as urgent as ever.' The writer clearly sees the Anglican church as a dinosaur.

29 July 2000: Conference of preaching evangelists in Amsterdam
The Billy Graham Conference of Preaching Evangelists is taking place in Amsterdam this week. Anglican Media Sydney has reporter Dominic Steele onsite.


30 July 2000: Britain and an established church
While Nigeria and the USA struggle with issues of the separation of church and state (the latter much more successfully than the former), Britain grapples with political lobbying by the religious right. An essay in the Observer (London) explores this trend and The Times interviews Baroness Young, one of the major players.

30 July 2000: Church of England predicts the death of Sunday school
The Independent (London) reports that the traditional Sunday school is in a state of terminal decline and the Anglican Church is pleading with other Christian denominations to join a last-ditch mission to save it. The church is to mount a nationwide campaign to evangelise Britain's children after warnings that worship will be dead within a generation unless it stems the flow of children from congregations.

30 July 2000: A N Wilson on the meaning of baptism
On the event of the baptism of the child of the British Prime Minister, columnist A N Wilson writes in the Sunday Telegraph that this is about history, not logic.

29 July 2000: Southwark Cathedral girls' choir
The Times (London) reports on the debut of the girls' choir at Southwark Cathedral, in London.

29 July 2000: Bishop of Rochester writes about Sharia
The Rt Revd Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, wrote a column today in the Guardian about Sharia and its principle of executing people for the crime of not being Muslims.

29 July 2000: Credo by June Osborne
Credo columnist June Osborne writes in The Times that the church should meet spiritual needs. Ms Osborne is Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral.

29 July 2000: Renewable energy and the Episcopal Church
Now that ECUSA General Convention is over, and it's summer, and it's hot, sometimes it is a real struggle to find anything to report in the religion newsbeat. Luckily for us, the Associated Press' religion writer is a real professional, and produced a column about the use of renewable energy resources in the Episcopal Church. Another link to it here if that one expires.

28 July 2000: On separation of church and state
The Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas) published an essay about the separation of church and state.

28 July 2000: Clifford Longley on Human Rights
In The Telegraph (London), columnist Clifford Longley writes about the recent Holocaust Conference in Oxford.

26 July 2000: New bishop in Tasmania already on the job
The Rt Revd John Harrower was installed this week as Bishop of Tasmania. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that he wasted no time in criticising the Australian government for its treatment of Aborigines. There is a copy of a media release about sexual abuse by clergy on the Anglican Media Sydney web site. We suspect that this new bishop is going to be a regular player here in the News Centre; we wish his diocese had a web site. If anyone from the staff of the Diocese of Tasmania is reading this, the Society of Archbishop Justus (the organisation that sponsors Anglicans Online) would be happy to host a web site for the Diocese of Tasmania.

We heard this from a correspondent in Tasmania:

'People often confuse Tasmania with other parts of the world. It is, in fact the largest island south of the Australian mainland. It is a separate state in the commonwealth and also the oldest extant diocese in the country, founded in 1842. On St. James' Day the new bishop was ordained and installed in St. David's Cathedral in Hobart. John Douglas Harrower was a former CMS Missionary in Argentina where he was ordained deacon and priest. Most recently he has served in the Diocese of Melbourne as Vicar of one of the largest congregations (St. Barnabas Glen Waverly) and Archdeacon of Kew.

The presiding bishop was our Primate, Archbishop Peter Carnley. Two former Bishops of Tasmania assisted in the laying on of hands - Phillip Newell (1982 - 2000) and Robert Davies (1963 - 1982). The former primate, Keith Rayner of Melbourne, was among the ordaining bishops. One of the most profound aspects of the service was the greeting from the aboriginal people of Tasmania. It recognised the pain and bloodshed that occurred when white settlers first came to Tasmania. The leaders indicated their desire for a peaceful future. Bishop John was invited to place his hands in a bowl of soil to be at one with the spirits of the land.'

26 July 2000: Nagpur Statement of churches in India
The Anglican Communion News Service released today a statement by the leaders of the Indian churches, who met at Nagpur on 11 July.

26 July 2000: African clergy meet on the refugee problem
The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that delegates from church councils from Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan and Tanzania are unhappy with the violence and wars within Africa's Great Lakes Region. They called for continued dialogue and non-violent means of conflict resolution to end the war.

25 July 2000: Tutu suggests money for southern Africa
All Africa News Agency reports that Desmond Tutu, retired bishop and Nobel laureate, suggested that the world would be a better place if the developed countries put a lot of money into helping the developing countries fight AIDS.

25 July 2000: Text of sermon at Lord Runcie's funeral
The Anglican Communion News Service has released the text of the sermon, by the Bishop of Norwich, at the funeral of the Rt Revd Lord Runcie.

24 July 2000: Sharia in Nigeria
Newswatch Nigeria reports that introduction of Sharia by some states in the north is likened to a ticking time bomb. In a separate article, it reports that the National Youth Service Corps Scheme is seriously threatened by the introduction Sharia. Meanwhile, the governor of Zamfara (the first Nigerian state to introduce Sharia) has further modernized his state by donating 100 donkeys for public transportation. And This Day (Lagos, Nigeria) reports on a proposed nationwide relief effort for Christian victims of Sharia violence. Meanwhile This Day (Lagos) reports that the Muslims in the southern parts of Nigeria are distressed by the things that non-Muslimsin the south are saying about Sharia in the north.

22 July 2000: Uganda university leader criticizes church
The New Vision (Kampala, Uganda) reports that Dr. Richard Akankwasa of Makerere University criticised the church for failing to counter human rights abuses and instead seeking privileges from sitting regimes. Akankwasa said that the Christian church, Catholic and Anglican together, would have been a strong voice for the oppressed. But, he said, the two denominations often acted in competition for privileges.

22 July 2000: Kansas City newspaper column on blessing same-sex marriages
The Star (Kansas City, USA) carried a column by David Gibson of the Religion News Service studying the event of an upcoming same-sex relationship blessing. Probably not by coincidence, the newspaper ran, the same day, this op-ed opinion piece about the church and homosexuality.


22 July 2000: Lord Runcie's funeral
Last week Anglican news was dominated by the death of Lord Runcie, former Archbishop of Canterbury. Our correspondent in England, Simon Sarmiento, wrote this first-hand report; the funeral was in his parish church.
Today the reports about his funeral fill the news. Ananova reported this beforehand; The Telegraph said this beforehand. After it had actually happened, Ananova reported this, and The Telegraph printed this tiny squib. The BBC filed this detailed report and has a video clip of the service including an interview with Desmond Tutu, who flew to Britain just for this service. The Sunday Times seems also to have attended the service, and filed this detailed report afterwards. Earlier in the week The Times published letters about Lord Runcie, then later a letter by the Bishop of Basingstoke. The service was attended by Desmond Tutu, George Carey, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, and Terry Waite. A public memorial service will be held at Westminster Abbey in November 2000.

22 July 2000: Knight Ridder: 'Episcopal convention does the right thing'
Lauren Stanley, a columnist for Knight Ridder newspapers, wrote this essay about the outcome of ECUSA's General Convention. This is the first major public analysis of ECUSA's GC by someone not directly involved in it or in reporting it.

22 July 2000: Diocese of Benin to have a bishop again
The Guardian (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that a 5-year-old acrimonious division in the Benin diocese over who becomes its bishop 'appears to have been resolved with an agreement brokered by the new Primate of the Nigerian Church, the Rt Revd Peter Akinola. The agreement grants one of the two bishops who had laid claim to the headship of Benin diocese to now be consecrated and hold the position for just six weeks and thereafter be transferred to another diocese.'

22 July 2000: Interview with new Nigerian archbishop
The Guardian (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that the Rt Revd M. S. C. Anikwenwa is being presented at Awka, Anambra State, this Wednesday, 26 July 2000, as the Archbishop of Province 2 in the Anglican Church of Nigeria. In this interview he explains to a literate Nigerian audience (Guardian readers) the difference between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Nigeria.

22 July 2000: US traditionalists get qualified support from African primate
The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Most Revd Peter Akinola, Archbishop of Abuja and Primate of Nigeria, speaking to the Western press for the first time since assuming that post, 'gave qualified support to US traditionalists in their battle with the liberal Church establishment in New York.' Please note that whenever we try to look at this page with any browser but Microsoft, we find that we have to reboot our computers. If you aren't using Microsoft, you can look at this safety-cleaned copy of the article.

22 July 2000: Nigel McCulloch writes a Credo on weeding
The weekly Credo column in The Times is today devoted to the subject of weeds and weeding.

21 July 2000: Antidisestablishmentarianism
The Guardian (London) reports that the British government has promised to help the Church of England find the money to set up 100 secondary schools over the next five years, capable of educating at least 100,000 teenagers in a religious environment. The Church Times reports this story in more depth. Unlike Nigeria, we presume that this is not an Islamic government-paid education.

21 July 2000: Continuing uproar in Nigeria
Recently several states in the north of Nigeria declared Sharia, or Islamic government. This has created much internal conflict in Nigeria. Today the Post Express (Lagos) reports a non-Anglican church leader as saying that the uproar generated by the introduction of the sharia legal system has exposed the hypocrisy of the unity of Nigerians. The Post Express also reports that the state of Jigawa (which has announced plans to convert to Sharia but has not yet done so) has established a high powered committee that would over see the successful launching of Sharia there. The Pan African News Agency reports further on sharia in Jigawa. The same newspaper reports that 'the Arewa Peoples Congress (APC) said that the introduction of the Islamic legal code, Sharia, is a potent weapon of defence to cover-up for the misdeeds of some highly placed northerners especially in the assassination attempt on the life of the publisher of The Guardian newspapers, Chief Alex Ibru.'

21 July 2000: Bishops win sex vote in House of Lords
The Church Times reports that schools will have to teach pupils about marriage after a successful manoeuvre by the Bishops in the House of Lords. You can read the debate verbatim on the Parliament web site, and the Bishop of Blackburn's speech also.

19 July 2000: Fort Worth Diocese refusing to ordain women
The Star Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas) reports that 'Defiant officials of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth say they won't bend to the national church's demand that they accept women as priests. "We will stay and fight for the right to believe what we believe," said the Rev. Canon Charles Hough, a close associate of Fort Worth Episcopal Bishop Jack Iker.'

19 July 2000: Judge tells vicar to put the pews back
The Times (London) reports that a vicar in Lancashire who removed Victorian carved pews from his church to make room for a more evangelical style of worship has been ordered by a judge to replace them.


16 July 2000: Anglican Congress in Province of the West Indies
From 16 July to 23 July, the Province of the West Indies is holding its Congress of Anglicans at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies, Kingston Jamaica.

16 July 2000: Nightclub chaplain
The Telegraph (London) reports that a Church Army sister who has rings through her nose and eyebrows and dyed red hair will be licensed by the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, as a nightclub chaplain this week.

16 July 2000: Phone mast revolt in Hampshire, England
The Telegraph reports that plans to erect a mobile phone mast on an ancient parish church are being resisted in a village made famous by Gilbert White, the 18th-century naturalist. Objectors in Selborne, Hampshire, condemn the scheme as "sacrilege" and "smacking of corruption".

15 July 2000: Farewell to the C of E Synod
The Times' Ruth Gledhill reports on the closing of the Church of England's General Synod.

14 July 2000: General Convention in ECUSA
The triennial General Convention of ECUSA has just finished. Anglicans Online reported ECUSA GC news separately from the News Centre, to avoid choking it with regional reports. Since they only do this once every three years, there is a lot of business to transact, but most of the attention went to resolutions about sex, marriage, sexuality, and relationships that are not marriage.

14 July 2000: Clifford Longley on the next ABC
Telegraph columnist Clifford Longley writes about choosing the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Um, we wonder if somebody should tell Mr Longley that the chap who just died (Lord Runcie) is the previous Archbishop, and that the incumbent, Dr Carey, has several more years left of his term.

13 July 2000: Cardinal to celebrate (in Latin, yet) at Winchester Cathedral
The Telegraph (London) reports that for the first time since the 16th century, a Roman Catholic cardinal will - in place of the annual St Swithuntide service - celebrate Mass in Latin at the High Altar of Winchester Cathedral.

12 July 2000: Lord Runcie is dead
The Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury reports that former Archbishop Lord Runcie died last evening. The BBC carried the story, along with an excellent photograph. The BBC carried four sidebar stories: 'The reformist archbishop', 'Tributes pour in', 'Lord Runcie: Speaking his mind' and 'Runcie and the hostage crisis'. Most of the British press missed this story on Wednesday, but expect a blast tomorrow. The Guardian was awake, though, and reported his death, ran this obituary, this story about the man ('He loved people very much indeed'), ran this list of Runcie quotes (he was a very quotable fellow), and this reflection by Stephen Bates about the 'maligned man of God' whose 'social concern in the face of a rightwing government made him one of the most vilified ever to hold office'. The Telegraph managed to scrambled together a short article. The Independent ran the Associated Press wire story. The Pope sent this telegram of condolence. (Makes us wonder how long it will be before polite popes send email instead of telegrams). The Times must have had this obituary on the shelf waiting for the chance to use it.

Over the next few days the entire British press launched a barrage of Runcie stories. Five in The Times (tributes, obituary, opinion column, personal recollection, and reminiscences). Seven in the Telegraph (report, obituary, personal recollection, reminiscence, another personal recollection, a meditation, and an op-ed leader). The Independent published a news story. The Guardian published three more beyond the five it published yesterday (opinion column, a reflection on history, and another historical reflection). The Church Times printed an obituary by Dr David Edwards. If you don't have time to read all of this, our favourites are the historical reflection by Margaret Duggan published in the Guardian and the obituary by Andrew Brown that was published in The Independent.

12 July 2000: The Sharia issue in Nigeria, still bubbling
The Vanguard Daily (Lagos, Nigeria) reports that the Rt Revd Peter Adebiyi, the Bishop of Lagos West, has called on Christian youth corps members posted to any Sharia state to reject their posting. He also called for the restructuring of the country, in view of the current Sharia controversy, and ethnic and tribal conflicts going on in the nation. (See prior AO coverage of the Sharia situation). Meanwhile the Pan African News Agency reports that the introduction of the Islamic Sharia law by some states in northern Nigeria has continued to divide the nation with southern leaders warning that the young democratic experiment could be scuttled unless the religious controversy is resolved. And The Guardian (Lagos) reports that 'leaders in all the geo-political zones in Southern Nigeria met yesterday and reaffirmed Nigeria's secularity, saying that the adoption of Sharia by some states in the North is an affront to the supremacy of the constitution.'

12 July 2000: Charges of sexism in Tanzania
The Arusha (Tanzania) times reports that ELCT church leaders 'lashed out at those paying lip service to gender equity'

12 July 2000: Uganda government minister lashes out at bishops
The Monitor (Kampala, Uganda) reports that the Ungandan Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Miria Matembe, has 'condemned the clergy for committing the very evils they are supposed to fight against.'

12 July 2000: Folks, this is not Hogwart's School of Magic
The phenomenally successful Harry Potter books have been in the news recently, as has the decision of Canterbury Cathedral not to allow filming there (see our coverage of this story). It makes magic seem, well, playful. But see this story out of Tanzania, reported by the Pan African News Agency, about supplies of human skin for use in casting spells.


10 July 2000: Church of England takes first step towards women bishops
In a story filed well after midnight, the Guardian (London) reports that the Church of England last night took the next step in its tortuous 25-year-old debate over the ordination of women by agreeing to set in motion moves which could eventually - probably in another 10 years - see them being appointed as bishops.

9 July 2000: Christianity vs Islam in Uganda
The New Vision (Kampala, Uganda) reports that 'Muslims Friday held prayers condemning and cursing a pastor who donned an Islamic tunic and slaughtered a pig in Masaka claiming the religion allows pork eating. The prayers follow a picture in Bukedde on Tuesday showing men in Islamic caps skinning a pig.' No salt was involved.

9 July 2000: Jittery Church leaders coy on female bishops
The Telegraph (London) reports that only six Church of England bishops are willing publicly to declare their backing for women bishops as the General Synod prepares for a key debate on the issue today.

9 July 2000: Tensions mount in Ireland
Sometimes it's hard for us who are 7 time zones away from the troubles to remember that when we read about clashes between catholics and protestants in Drumcree and Portadown, that the protestants being referred to are often Anglicans. Today the Associated Press reports on events in Portadown, and notes that the Drumcree Anglican church is the 'spiritual home of the Orangemen'. Yahoo News has a good Northern Ireland section, with links to dozens of current stories. Drumcree is in the Anglican Diocese of Armagh, part of the Church of Ireland, part of the Anglican Communion.

9 July 2000: Village fights antenna
The Sunday Telegraph (London) reports that plans to erect a mobile phone mast on an ancient parish church are being resisted in a village made famous by an 18th century naturalist. Objectors in Selborne, Hampshire, condemn the scheme as "sacrilege" and "smacking of corruption".

8 July 2000: ECUSA votes to approve intercommunion with Lutherans
The US Episcopal Church is in the middle of its triennial General Convention, and one of the first pieces of real news to come from it is the approval, by a wide margin, of full intercommunion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). See also the statement issued by the leader of ECUSA and the leader of ELCA.

8 July 2000: Canterbury Cathedral says 'no' to Harry Potter
The Religion News Service reports that the authorities at Canterbury Cathedral have turned down a request from the Warner Bros. film company to use shots of the medieval building to portray Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the movie it is making of J.K. Rowlings' "Harry Potter" children's book series.

8 July 2000: Ruth Gledhill interviews Judith Rose
The Times (London) interviews the Ven Judith Rose, Archdeacon of Tonbridge, on the subject of women bishops in England.

8 July 2000: Credo: Don't take Christians for granted
The Times' Credo column is consistently one of our favourites. Today's Credo is by William Oddie, on the relationship between religion and politics in Britain. Dr Oddie is editor of the Catholic Herald.

8 July 2000: Deputy resigns after incident with consecrated salt
ECUSA is having its General Convention now. That convention is divided into two bodies, the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. People in the House of Deputies sit with others from their own diocese. Yesterday it arose that a priest in the deputation of the Diocese of Dallas had placed consecrated salt on the floor under the tables of several deputations, including that of the Diocese of Newark, whose chairman is a well-known activist for gay rights. Full coverage of this story is in Anglicans Online's GC2000 News Centre.

7 July 2000: Church of England denies claims in Sunday Times article
The Church of England says that it has has lodged strong objections to inaccurate statements made in The Sunday Times (2 July 2000) which paint a misleading picture of Church finances. In an article headlined "Lavish bishops cost church £21 million," The Sunday Times claimed that the Church of England was spending more money on its bishops and cathedrals than on parish ministry. Also there are three letters, one from a bishop, in the Sunday Times about this issue of the bishops and the money.

5 July 2000: Hawksmoor's London Churches
The Times (London) reviews today a new book by Pierre de la Ruffinière du Prey on the churches of London. The reviewer sees the book as formal and theological.

4 July 2000: Letter to the editor about Peter Moore, late dean of St Albans
An interesting letter to the editor of The Times about Peter Moore, the late Dean of St Albans.

4 July 2000: Ancient crozier found in Irish bog
The Times (London) reports that an early bishop's crozier, possibly the oldest in Ireland, has been found in a bog 60 miles from Dublin. It may date from less than 200 years after the reputed date of St Patrick's conversion of the pagan Irish in the 5th-century AD.

3 July 2000: Italian archbishop asks return from England of looted manuscript
The Times (London) reports that an Italian archbishop is demanding the return of an important 12th-century manuscript in the British Library, believed to have been looted from a cathedral near Naples during the Second World War.

3 July 2000: Memorial services for late retired Archbishop of Canterbury
The Times (London) reports that memorial services for the Right Rev Lord Coggan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1974-80, were held last Friday in Winchester Cathedral.


3 July 2000: Time Magazine writes about same-sex issues in the church
News of the US Presbyterian Church rejecting same-sex unions has made most world newspapers, so we don't need to report it here. But you might not have noticed Time Magazine's essay about the topic. We can see that they did not put a lot of work into finding the web resources to list with the article..

2 July 2000: Decline of the Anglican church? Not in Alabama
The Birmingham News (Alabama, USA) reports that the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama increased its baptized membership by 1,000 new members last year. "We're among the five fastest-growing dioceses in the country," said the Rt Revd Henry N. Parsley, Bishop of Alabama.

2 July 2000: Separation of church and state? Not in England or Nigeria
The Sunday Times (London) reports that the British prime minister has rejected the Church of England's preferred candidates for bishop on at least two occasions in the past two years. In one case, in Carlisle, he is understood to have spurned the personal preference of George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, because of the candidate's "old Labour" links.

2 July 2000: Apres nous, le deluge? Lavish spending by English bishops
The Sunday Times reports that the Church of England is, for the first time for 200 years, spending more on its bishops and cathedrals than on priests and hard-pressed parishes. And the Telegraph reports on evidence of growing discontent in the pews over Church finances. Can England learn from Russia?

2 July 2000: Split in Church of Ireland over abortion issue
The Sunday Times reports that there is an 'embarrassing split within the Church of Ireland over abortion'. The Irish Times doesn't publish on Sundays, but we expect they'll have something to say about this next week.

1 July 2000: Various official comments in Australia
Anglican Media Sydney has listed various official comments about the television show exploring the Anglican Church of Australia. An editorial from New Life. A statement of clarification from the General Secretary. And many sets of comments from individuals listed on the Anglican Media news page. If one imagines the television programme as having represented two sides of a conflict, the Sydney web site is produced by people associated with one of those sides. We do not know of a web site produced by the "other side".

1 July 2000: Corruption in the Russian Orthodox Church
The Age (Melbourne, Australia) reports that Russia's Orthodox Church is a 'gigantic corporation' tainted with the vices of the country's shadow economy, from bribery and corruption to money-laundering and tax evasion, says the first serious study of its finances. 'Its impenetrable finances and exemptions from many taxes and duties encourage corruption inside the church and attract criminals from outside, the report by Moscow's Centre for Research on Extralegal Economic Systems concludes.'

1 July 2000: Doing the Limbo
The Times (London) reports that Sunday attendance in the Church of England has fallen to its lowest level since records began. We're sure that both sides in every disagreement will take this as evidence that if the church would only listen to them, the attendance would improve. Would that it were so simple.

1 July 2000: Geoffrey Rowell on the meaning of faith
These 'Credo' columns that run weekly in The Times (London) are almost always interesting, and this one is no exception. Geoffrey Rowell is the Bishop of Basingstoke, which is a suffragan see in Winchester.

1 July 2000: Edward Norman on pride
The Telegraph (London) runs periodic opinion pieces about religion. Today's is by Edward Norman, on pride. Edward Norman is a Residentiary Canon of York.

1 July 2000: Compassionate conservatism in action
Ruth Gledhill of The Times reports on the Shekinah Mission, 'a Christian project which cares for - but takes care not to evangelise to - the dozens of homeless men and women, drug addicts, prostitutes and otherwise lost and wounded people on the streets of Plymouth.'

1 July 2000: Christians and pagans to hold talks
The Times (London) reports that 'after 2,000 years of mutual suspicion, not helped by allegations of devil worship and the Church's former habit of burning witches, Christians and pagans will sit down for the first time in public today. A conference attended by 70 Druids, white witches and vicars in cassocks will discuss the hostile relationship between the organised Church and paganism, which its devotees claim is an even older religion.' We are given to understand that this is not an attempt to increase attendance in English churches by welcoming pagans.


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