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The News Centre
Archived News Headlines for Oct/Nov/Dec 2001

Link to main News Archives page

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31 December 2001: Soundproof belltowers to help teach bellringing

The Times (London) reports on a technical innovation in bellringing: a soundproof belfry. This allows people to learn bellringing without annoying the neighbours.

31 December 2001: Sad end of an old church
The Guardian (London) reports on the end of a 700-year-old church in Wiltshire.

31 December 2001: Obituaries
The Guardian published an obituary of Paul Hogarth, cartoonist.

30 December 2001: Diocese of Cariboo?
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported today that the Diocese of Cariboo 'is preparing to fold for good Monday night after a costly legal fight over compensating victims of abuse at residential schools'. We were preparing to list this diocese in our Obituaries section, but, oddly, have found no news indicating that this shutdown actually took place. There is no mention of it on national or international news wires, no mention on the Anglican Church of Canada's news service, and no mention that we were able to find in Canadian newspapers online. Once we figure out what has happened here, we will indeed tell you.


30 December 2001: Fires and Governors-General in Australia
Our Australian correspondents assure us that there is absolutely no truth to the rumour that the Governor-General started the fires in New South Wales in order to distract the press from himself. However, it seems to have had that effect. Should there be any more actual news about the former archbishop, you may be sure we will report it. Dr Hollingworth agreed to meet victims of child abuse, but no one showed up. The Courier-Mail reports that the Governor-General has been continuing to do his job. The Sydney Morning Herald published an opinion column by David Flint asserting 'Pack mentality denies Hollingworth fair judgement'.

30 December 2001: Secularism on the rise in the USA
The Post and Courier (Charleston) reports that the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion has more than doubled in the last decade.

29 December 2001: Letters about cathedral visiting
Visits to UK cathedrals have dropped. Newspapers reported (24 Dec) that some cathedral staffs were happy at this. Several people have written to The Times offering opinions about that happiness.

29 December 2001: Inside the army's chaplains' pack
The Washington Post describes and reviews the new US Army field chaplains' kit.

29 December 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to a discussion of the Muslim and Christian God.

28 December 2001: This terror is a judgment upon us
The Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester, writes in The Guardian that we need to consider our role in the recent terrorism.

28 December 2001: Primate of Uganda asks death sentence commute
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Archbishop of Uganda has appealed for the pardon of former minister for security in Obote II government, Chris Rwakasisi. He was sentenced to death in 1988 for kidnap with intent to murder. The newspaper article does not give the name of the Archbishop, just his title (this might make us think of "cathedra dixit" rather than "ex cathedra"), but we can tell you that he is the Most Revd Dr Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyooyo.

28 December 2001: Suffolk church finds 14th-century murals
The Times (London) reports that depictions of angels in wall paintings believed to date from the 1320s have been uncovered during routine decorating work at St Andrew’s, a Norman church in Ilketshall St Andrew, Suffolk.

28 December 2001: Perfect copy, or the original? Preserving church sculpture
The Times reports that an ancient church which almost lost an important Anglo-Saxon sculpted angel to thieves and cannot risk leaving it on display again has commissioned a replica that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

26 December 2001: Interview with Nicky Gumbel
Victoria Combe, religion writer for The Telegraph, interviews the Revd Nicky Gumbel, creator of Alpha. It's a long interview and, unlike most newspaper treatments of Alpha, it does not seem to have a goal of discrediting it.

25 December 2001: More about diocesan split in Kenya
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports further on the creation of the Diocese of All Saints Cathedral by splitting the Diocese of Nairobi. We assume, at this time, that "Diocese of All Saints Cathedral" will not be its permanent name. Another article in The Nation (Nairobi), which somewhat contradicts the East African Standard, refers to the new diocese as the Diocese of St Stephen. In time this will sort itself out, and we will report the outcome.

24 December 2001: Cathedrals welcome decline in visitors
The Times (London) reports that English cathedrals are happy to have fewer visitors than in past years; there is less damage and less need to spend money on upkeep. We find that whenever we visit a cathedral, we can always surprise the docent by saying, truthfully, "we are here for the eucharist". We like to visit cathedrals by first worshipping in them, and then, afterwards, looking around.

23 December 2001: African reflections on Christmas
We enjoyed this editorial from Uganda about Christmas trees, this editorial from Nigeria about December 25, and this editorial from Kenya about the conflation of Christmas with Saturnalia. We really love the way the internet can give us a window into other worlds.


23 December 2001: Hollingworth issue in Australia heats up
See our coverage last week if you don't know what this story is. The Governor-General released this statement. The Sydney Morning Herald reported 'Governor-General denies coverup' and 'Governor-General explains, but critic says he is "tainting the office"' and 'Hollingworth crisis "a wakeup call to all"' and 'No advice to Hollingworth, says top judge'. The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) reported 'Governor-General: Silence broken on sex abuse' and 'Mayor leads chorus: Hollingworth must go' and 'Hollingworth accused of passing buck' and 'Archbishop "evaded" orphan victim' and 'Buck stops at Yarralumla' and 'Church rules out appeal on abuse compo' and 'Church apology angers families'. The Age (Melbourne) reports 'Archbishop defends GG' and 'G-G breaks silence over school abuse' and 'The meeting that began a long saga' and 'Hollingworth failed to act on abuse, says former ally' and 'G-G must quit' and 'A tragically silent Governor-General' and 'GG faces further scrutiny' and 'Howard stands by embattled G-G'. The Australian reported 'G-G breaks silence, denies cover-up'. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports a statement by the Opposition leader that 'Governor-General tarnished by child abuse scandal' and reports 'PM voices support for embattled GG'. Believe it or not, we have not included every article in the Australian press this week that mentions the former Archbishop, as some of them seemed to us to be primarily Australian politics and not Anglican Church of Australia news.

23 December 2001: Act of faith as priest goes where women are wanted
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on an ordained woman who is leaving Sydney for a diocese in which women priests are welcome.

22 December 2001: St Paul's Cathedral is a well-run business
The Guardian comments on the workaday life of England's most famous cathedral.

22 December 2001: Three magi, a manger, and the secret police
The Guardian reports that an English bishop has startled his flock by insisting the Christmas message should include secret police, the massacre of children by troops and contemplation of the baby Jesus as a refugee.

22 December 2001: A time for gratitude, joy ...and sober reflection
This week's Credo column in The Times is by Avery Dulles

22 December 2001: Sacred mysteries
In The Telegraph, Christopher Howse devotes his weekly column to a reflection on Msgr Alfred Newman Gilbey.

21 December 2001: Bishop in Uganda blocked from finishing sermon
The New Vision (Kampala), in a very brief article, reports that the congregation rebelled against the bishop of Muhabura at St Andrew's Cathedral in Kisoro.

21 December 2001: Irish priest suspended by his bishop
The Times (London) and the Irish Times (Dublin) report that the Dean of Clonmacnoise and Rector of Trim, Co Meath, the Very Rev Andrew Furlong, has had his episcopal authority removed for three months because of his unconventional views. Anglicans Online has copies of his writings, which we intend to put on our web site so that you can decide for yourself about his views, but we do not yet have them online. Very soon. On Saturday, the Irish Times published an interview with Fr Furlong. The Observer reported two days later that Fr Furlong will consider challenging this suspension.

21 December 2001: Church membership up in England
The Church Times, whose website was available this weekend for the first time in a month, reports that church membership England is up by eight percent.

20 December 2001: Church and state in Zimbabwe
The Financial Gazette, in an article written by Tim Neill, reports that people in Zimbabwe are watching events in the Anglican Church with interest and a touch of disgust.

20 December 2001: Church and bats in Uganda
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that 'Bats destroy Bugembe Cathedral'. While the headline writer was somewhat too dire, the See of the Diocese of Busoga has indeed been badly damaged by bats.

20 December 2001: Online religious sites becoming more popular
The Christian Science Monitor reports that the popularity of online religious sites has increased dramatically since September 11. Some sites claim a sevenfold increase in readership. Readership of Anglicans Online has increased perhaps 25% since then; we have about 50,000 regular weekly readers and about 200,000 who drop in a few times per year. We believe that nearly half of our regular weekly readers are clergy, church employees, churchwardens, and the like, whose web-reading habits are not likely to be changed much by such a tragedy. Someday we should run a survey and find out who our readers actually are. To date, our broadest readership sample has come from the 1136 people whose computers sent us copy of the Badtrans.B virus or the 740 people whose computers sent us copies of the SirCam worm. (Please don't worry: Anglicans Online is, always has been, and always will be virus-free. You cannot get a virus by reading Anglicans Online.)

19 December 2001: Update on residential schools in Canada
The story may no longer be in the headlines, but the issue is not resolved. The Anglican Church of Canada has just published Update #12 on the residential schools situation in that country.

19 December 2001: Cathedral of St John the Unfinished damaged by fire
New York City's Anglican cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in the world, suffered fire damage today in a predawn fire that started in the gift shop. Reports from the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, the Church Times, and the BBC. And, of course, there is extensive coverage in the New York Times: the original reports (A B C), an editorial, a report on the status of two tapestries, an end-of-the-day summary, the first report on probable cause, and some letters to the editor.

18 December 2001: Nine pastors sacked in Uganda for breaking the rules
The Monitor (Kampala) reports that the Rt Revd Ssemakula Ssalongo Kamya, Bishop of West Buganda, has fired nine priests for violating the rules of the Church of Uganda. He is reported to have threatened to sack all priests who have more than one wife.

18 December 2001: Tis the season
The Anglican Communion News Service lists a large number of Christmas messages. You can read them directly from their web site.

17 December 2001: Obituaries
The Times has published an obituary of Geoffrey Bill, librarian and archivist of Lambeth Palace Library from 1958 to 1991.

17 December 2001: Martial arts training for clergy
The Telegraph and The Times and The Guardian report that some English clergy are to be giving martial-arts training to increase the safety of their working conditions. The Church Times says that they will be taught aggression avoidance, rather than martial arts. Australia's ABC had this report.


15 December 2001: Sexual abuse scandal embroils Anglican Church of Australia
Earlier this year, Dr Peter Hollingworth gave up the post of Archbishop of Brisbane to become Australia's new Governor-General. There is now a firestorm of criticism in the Australian press because, it is alleged, he failed to respond to sexual abuse allegations against a church teacher when he was told of them 11 years ago. Newspaper reports say that the victims blame the Anglican Church for their abuse. The Sydney Morning Herald reports 'Hollingworth should resign, say activists' and 'Church backs Hollingworth's silence' and 'Crean joins calls for G-G to end silence on sex abuse'. The Chronicle reports 'Child lobby: Prep payout too little' and '$834,800 to victim of Prep sex abuse' and 'Healing begins for victim' and '"Deep regret" from Anglicans'. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that 'G-G seeks legal advice over child abuse handling uproar' and 'Child abuse row threatens to draw G-G into protests'. The Courier Mail reports 'End the silence, G-G told by priest' and 'Say nothing, lawyers told Hollingworth' and the next day ran the editorial 'Hollingworth can't shed responsibility' and 'School polled parents to see if they knew of abuse' and 'Former state law chief "told Hollingworth of abuse fears"' and 'Scandal puts Governor-General under spotlight' and 'Record payout for sex abuse' and 'Pressure builds on Hollingworth' and 'New heat on Hollingworth'.

One of our Australian correspondents told us 'I think a large part of what's fuelling this is that Peter Hollingworth as Governor-General just doesn't speak out on anything. The Australian public is not amused at his silence over refugees, etc, so this issue is simmering along. The other issue is one of how well the church handles matters of sexual abuse; the media seem to think "not well".'

15 December 2001: God's love is a fire that transforms and purifies
This week's Credo column in The Times is by Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe.

14 December 2001: Moral regeneration summit in Pretoria
The BuaNews (Pretoria) reports that more than 30 leaders representing various religious groups met with a high-level government delegation, including President Thabo Mbeki, in Pretoria yesterday. They have called on all stakeholders and the nation as a whole to support the Moral Regeneration Summit to be held early next year. The South African Press Association reports that Archbishop Ndungane warned the nation against hate and hate speech.

14 December 2001: Anglican Church of Canada sells national HQ
The Anglican News Service (Toronto) reports that the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada today announced the completion of the sale of its property in Toronto as part of an ongoing 5-year plan.

14 December 2001: Frescoes unearthed under Siena cathedral
The Telegraph (London) reports that a cycle of 13th century frescoes, said to be of 'extraordinary' importance, has been found in an oratory beneath Siena's main cathedral.

13 December 2001: Anglican and Methodist churches move closer
The Telegraph and The Guardian and The Times (all London newspapers) report that the Church of England and the Methodist Church took the significant step towards unification yesterday when they agreed on the 'Anglican-Methodist Covenant'.

13 December 2001: Study is critical of Episcopal renewal movement
The Episcopal News Service reports that a New York 'think tank' has released an in-depth study of the conservative 'renewal movement' within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, calling it 'part of a broad right-wing movement within mainline Protestant denominations nationwide.'

12 December 2001: Church of the Apostles chooses not to leave
The Episcopal News Service reports that the theologically conservative Church of the Apostles in Fairfax, Virginia, has decided to remain a part of the Episcopal Church.

12 December 2001: Conflict surrounds new bishop in Uganda
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyooyo, has sent a team to Kisoro to investigate 'wrangles' surrounding the Diocese of Muhavura.

12 December 2001: Dog bites man?
The Times reports that a popular vicar in the Church of England has stunned his congregation by leaving his wife and children to run off with the rector’s wife. The web site of the Diocese of Leicester lists the telephone number and email address of everyone involved in this, should you wish to contact them.

12 December 2001: Obituaries
The Telegraph and The Times each published an obituary of Prebendary Austen Williams, former Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields. The Times published an obituary of the Rt Revd Eryl Thomas, retired bishop in the Church in Wales.

12 December 2001: Church and State in England
The Guardian has more to say about last week's disclosure of bishops' budgets in England. Columnist Polly Toynbee argues that religion must be removed from all functions of state. The Telegraph reports that 'Bishops try to prove their value'.

11 December 2001: Religious fervour fades with memories of mayhem
The Sydney Morning Herald printed an opinion column by Chris McGillion analyzing the surge and decline in church attendance after September 11.

11 December 2001: Christian in Nigeria challenges authority of Sharia court
The BBC reports that a student has told an Islamic court in northern Nigeria that it cannot try him because he is a Christian.


9 December 2001: Alpha in Montreal
The Gazette (Montreal) reports on the success of the Alpha programme in Montreal. Most newspaper articles about Alpha seem to have the goal of discrediting it; this one notes that, despite various bad press, Alpha works.

9 December 2001: Evidence that 'the soul' is real
The Sunday Telegraph reports that doctors who studied heart attack survivors found that more than one in 10 had experienced emotions, visions or lucid thoughts while they were 'clinically dead'.

9 December 2001: Paying for bishops
The Sunday Telegraph reports on the first official disclosure of bishops' operating costs in the Church of England.

9 December 2001: Praying for revival
Dave Munday writes in the Post and Courier (Charleston) that where he lives, on the southern seacoast of the United States, that a genuine revival of faith is evident, and it's interdenominational.

9 December 2001: It's not just in Nigeria
We have reported extensively here in the News Centre on the problems with Islamic law in Nigeria. That country has decent online newspapers and has millions of Anglicans. But Nigeria is certainly not the only country with this problem. Today's Sydney Morning Herald reports on sharia-related violence in Sulawesi.

8 December 2001: At your service
The Times' weekly 'At Your Service' column today reports on a visit to Elmore Abbey.

8 December 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his weekly column in The Telegraph to a discussion of the Man in the Street and his opinion of religious disputes. We loved this sentence: 'The opinion there is not quite universal, since the only shout heard is that of the drinking man, and Muslims are prohibited from drinking strong liquor, so there is no danger of hearing their side.'

8 December 2001: Forward in Faith takes a step forward
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Forward in Faith has sent a letter to its members announcing its intention to acquire its own alternative bishop. Their web site is offline right now (we suspect that it needs a replacement 12AQ7) so we cannot link you to the text of that letter, which we presume is online there.

7 December 2001: Irish bishop says 'churches are not museums'
The Irish Times reports that the Bishop of Kerry has spoken out against planning laws, which he says treat churches as museums rather than as places of worship.

6 December 2001: Ethiopian artefact found in Scottish cupboard
The BBC reports that a sacred Ethiopian artefact has been discovered in an Episcopal church cupboard in Edinburgh, 130 years after it was seized by British soldiers in a bloody siege. The story was also reported by The Telegraph (London) and Reuters and UNIR (Addis Ababa), which notes that this object was only part of a much larger hoard, much of which is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

6 December 2001: Canada's residential schools case makes news in Washington
The Washington Post reports on the planned dissolution of the Diocese of Cariboo.

6 December 2001: How generations of scientists clung to popular but wrong theories
The Times (London) published an amusing filler with this title. We enjoyed it, and we have space to fill, too.

5 December 2001: Queen invites cardinal to stay at Sandringham
The Telegraph's Victoria Combe reports that Britain's queen '... has made an unprecedented gesture of goodwill towards the Roman Catholic Church of England and Wales by inviting its leader to stay at Sandringham and to preach to the Royal Family.' Paul Vallely offers in The Independent some commentary on this act.

3 December 2001: Conjuring in church
The Times (London) reports that an English priest has suggested that one way to increase church attendance would be for the preacher to perform conjuring tricks in the pulpit. He said that churches were often too quick to dismiss light entertainment. The Times ran an editorial about this, suggesting that perhaps a little magic could be just what the Church of England needs.

2 December 2001: +Rochester too old to be ABC?
The Sunday Times (London) reports that a senior Church of England figure has raised concerns that Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester and a leading contender to succeed George Carey as Archbishop of Canterbury, may have misrepresented his date of birth.


1 December 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his weekly column in The Telegraph to church work in prisons.

1 December 2001: Alpha on television
Columnist Mike Purton writes in The Guardian about the recent BBC television series about Alpha.

30 November 2001: Obituaries
Since so much of the energy of the Anglican church goes into discussion of sexuality and homosexuality, it seemed to us that the obituary in The Times of Alan Bray, historian of homosexuality, was Anglican news.

30 November 2001: Major art prize goes to tinfoil Buddhas
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the lucrative and prestigious Blake Prize for religious art has gone to an artist who made chocolate egg wrappers in the shape of sitting Buddhas.

30 November 2001: Many churches burned in Nigeria
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that twenty churches were burned by 'rampaging fundamentalists' in the ancient town of Osogbo. The newspaper This Day carried a longer and more detailed report, but numbers only ten burned churches, including the Anglican cathedral.

29 November 2001: Nigerian Bishop speaks out on Sharia
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Henry Ndukuba, Bishop of Gombe, has spoken out sharply against the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law) in Gombe.

29 November 2001: Preacher of the Year award won by Methodist
The Times (London) reports that the annual Preacher of the Year award was won not by an Anglican preacher but by a Methodist, the Revd Martin Camroux. The winning sermon was published in The Times.

28 November 2001: Campus revolt at ban on preaching
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a ban on preaching on campus at Australia's Southern Cross University has sparked accusations of discrimination and censorship.

27 November 2001: Nigerian primate scolds politicians
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Most Revd Peter Akinola, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, has expressed public dismay over the high level of corruption in his country.

26 November 2001: Missionary friars from the Bronx go to London
The Telegraph reports that a community of young friars from New York's Bronx has settled in London's East End on a mission which includes basketball, skateboarding and busking in Covent Garden. They came to London rather than a Third World country because they believe Britain is more Godless.

26 November 2001: Archbishop calls his countrymen 'greedy and selfish'
The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) reports that Archbishop Peter Jensen said that society had forgotten how to reach out to others, after news reports indicated that donations to charities had plummeted by two thirds since September 11.

26 November 2001: Without benefit of marriage
The Telegraph (London) reports that the practice of couples living together before, or instead of, marrying is becoming increasingly acceptable even to more traditional churchgoers.

26 November 2001: The pews are empty again
The New York Times reports that, after a few weeks, USA church attendance is back to normal.

25 November 2001: Christians outraged over All Saints prayer for Mohammed
The Telegraph (London) reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, has complained about a prayer on his Church's official website because it includes Mohammed, the founder of the Muslim faith, among Christian saints and prophets.

24 November 2001: Drop in income from tourists hits cathedrals
The Telegraph (London) reports that paid attendance at English cathedrals has dropped sharply since September 11.

24 November 2001: Controversial media release now online
Some time after news of the controversy that it generated, the Media Release from the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia is now online.


24 November 2001: Christian ecologists need not worry about the end of the world
This week's Credo column in The Times is by the Revd Stephen Plant.

24 November 2001: Sacred mysteries
This week Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph to the Dead Sea scrolls.

24 November 2001: The God who may be known
Edward Norman writes this week's meditation column in The Telegraph.

24 November 2001: We hear from the vicar of Stiffkey
The Guardian has published an essay by the current vicar of Stiffkey about Harold Davidson, rector of that parish from 1906 to 1932, who was defrocked for 'systematic misbehaviour'. A note to our readers who are not English: the word 'Stiffkey' is actually pronounced 'Worcestershire'.

24 November 2001: The Times visits Rochester Cathedral
The weekly 'At Your Service' column in The Times (London) reports on a visit to Rochester Cathedral, the second oldest cathedral foundation in England.

23 November 2001: Fire in Peterborough Cathedral
The Times, The Guardian, and The Independent all report on a significant fire in Peterborough Cathedral. It is obvious from reading these news reports that only a rapid and effective response by firefighters saved the building from utter ruin. Newspaper reports the next day (Times, Telegraph, Guardian) indicate that the fire was almost certainly arson.

23 November 2001: Ripon cathedral staff argue in public
The Yorkshire Post reports that staff are quitting over tensions at Ripon Cathedral, that an early meeting of an oversight committee is demanded, and that a past verger has come to the defence of the cathedral dean. The dispute made the national press, having been noted by The Telegraph.

23 November 2001: Australian bishops argue in public
The Age (Melbourne) reports that 'Anglican archbishops were at loggerheads today following an attack on the federal government by their national leader.' The Sydney Morning Herald, covering the same story, reported that 'A senior leader of the increasingly fragmented Anglican Church made a plea for unity yesterday, following a rift over a controversial document almost half the church's bishops have refused to sign.' The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) reports 'Bishops split on federal policy' and continues in saying that the leader of the split is the Archbishop of Sydney.

23 November 2001: Nigerian bishop entreats Christians to be good examples
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Peter Adebiyi, Bishop of Lagos West, told diocesan members that their behaviour was 'like letters that would be read daily by members of the society', and were therefore advised always to distinguish themselves as true followers of Jesus Christ.

23 November 2001: Church of England mislays 1.5 million acres
The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Church of England has 'lost' 1.5 million acres it owned 100 years ago, which today would be worth up to £10billion. The Sunday Times has some discussion of who does own the land, though we find more newsworthy the information about who does not. A few days later The Telegraph and The Times also wrote about this.

23 November 2001: Wales Archbishop says 'Don't separate economics from life'
The Church Times reports that the Archbishop of Wales has called on the Church to engage in a 'long conversation' on the future of globalisation with businesses and governments.

23 November 2001: New bishop for Melbourne's Western Region
Anglican Media Melbourne reports that the Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Revd Peter Watson, has announced the appointment of the Revd Paul White as an assistant Bishop with oversight of the Melbourne Diocese's Western Region.

23 November 2001: If ignorance is bliss, why on earth aren't we all deliriously happy?
London Times columnist Philip Howard writes about ignorance, diligence, zealotry, and the praise of folly.

23 November 2001: More about church schools in England
The Times has published both facts and opinions about church schools in England. The Church Times summarises the state of the Dearing report on church schools.

21 November 2001: No yoga in church
The Times and The Telegraph report that a Church of England vicar has banned yoga classes in his church hall because he feels that yoga is contrary to Christian teaching.

21 November 2001: More about the Children's Society and Wales
The Guardian reports that staff at the Children's Society in Wales are demanding the charity hands over more than £5m worth of assets to help them continue their work after it pulls out of the country next year.

20 November 2001: Church encourages symbolic violence
The Telegraph and the Church Times report that Britain's Methodist Church is inviting all women worshippers to smash crockery during next Sunday's service as a symbolic 'act of violence'.

20 November 2001: Guard dogs in church
The Telegraph reports that two guard dogs imprisoned worshippers in a church until police came and trapped the animals. We have no report of a man biting either dog, but we chose to tell you about this story anyhow.

20 November 2001: Church advertising
The Telegraph reports that the Church of England is spending £200,000 on television advertisements aimed at persuading people to go to a carol concert this Christmas.

20 November 2001: Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod
The Times (London) reports on the second conference of the GRAS organisation. Quote from the article: 'Since few will even have heard of the relevant Act of Synod, the fact that a group should already exist dedicated to repealing it is bound to strike the outside world as merely one more proof of the inward-looking quirkiness of Anglicanism.' This is a complex political issue involving the role of women in the church.

19 November 2001: Report on the Church of England General Synod
Anglicans Online is pleased to present a report on the Church of England General Synod by Peter Owen.


18 November 2001: Clergy threatened by 'violent' middle classes
The Telegraph (London) reports that aggressive middle-class parishioners are abusing and assaulting vicars after losing their tempers in disputes over weddings and christenings.

18 November 2001: ECUSA bishop for Europe consecrated
The Rt Revd Pierre Whalon (an Anglicans Online columnist for several years) was today consecrated Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. We understand that this was the first-ever consecration of an ECUSA bishop in Rome, so there was quite a turnout of consecrators: Frank T Griswold (ECUSA Presiding Bishop), John W Howe (Central Florida), Jeffery Rowthorn (Convocation of American Churches), Geoffrey Rowell (Diocese in Europe, C of E), Carlos Lopez (Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church), Fernando Soares (Lusitanian Church), Joachim Vobbe (Old Catholic Diocese of Germany, representing the Most Revd Joris Vercammen, Archbishop of Utrecht), Richard Garrard (C of E, head of the Anglican Centre in Rome), Christopher Epting (Ecumenical Officer, ECUSA), Michael Garrison (Western New York), George Packwood (US Armed Forces), Edward Lee (Western Michigan), William Skilton (Suffragan Bishop of South Carolina). Observers were Bishop Marc (representing Walter, Cardinal Kaspar, participant on the Council on Promoting Christian Unity) and Mark Pellew (British Ambassador to the Vatican). Zounds. It's a good thing he's large enough that they could all get their hands on him.

18 November 2001: Diocese of Venezuela to leave Anglican Communion
The Very Revd Roger Dawson, dean of St Mary's Cathedral in Caracas, Venezuela, announced today that the Diocese of Venezuela has voted to withdraw from the Anglican Communion and affiliate with the CEEC (Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches).

17 November 2001: Peace between nations first requires peace between religions
This week's Credo column in The Times is by Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe.

17 November 2001: At your service
Bess Twiston Davies visited King Charles the Martyr Church, Royal Tunbridge Wells, and wrote about it for the weekly column in The Times.

17 November 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his weekly column in The Telegraph to Christians in Iraq. Some related background material about Christians in Syria is in this week's National Catholic Reporter.

17 November 2001: Good and evil are everywhere
Guardian columnist Wendy Tyndale writes about the religious nature of the current combat.

15 November 2001: He'll show us the way...
The Courier Mail (Brisbane) reports on the Rt Revd Dr Phillip Aspinall, archbishop-elect of Brisbane.

15 November 2001: More discussion of faith-based schools
The English continue to discuss the role of church and faith-based schools. Reports in The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Independent.

15 November 2001: Congregations 'mainly female'
The Telegraph reports that a recent study found that British congregations are dominated by middle-aged and elderly women. The Times reported that the General Synod was told that the Christian Church faces imminent decline unless it adopts urgently a more contemporary image to attract younger worshippers.

14 November 2001: New primate of the Southern Cone
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Rt Revd Gregory Venables was elected and installed as the fourth presiding bishop of the seven dioceses that form the Province of the Southern Cone of America.

14 November 2001: Church and State in England
The Telegraph reports that the Church of England is considering reforms that would make its bishops no longer be appointed by the British government.

12 November 2001: Church of England Synod
The Church Times has neatly summarised the goings-on at this week's General Synod of the Church of England. The Telegraph reported on a plan to find money to prevent clergy cuts. The Times and The Telegraph and the Church Times reported the Synod's position on Afghanistan.


11 November 2001: The innocence of children's writers
Melanie Phillips writes in The Times, mesmerized by Harry Potter, that children's writers spell out the truths that adults shrink from.

11 November 2001: Fundamental flaws
Michael Lind, writing in The Guardian, asserts that America's religious Right and the West's romantic Left now share an Arcadian, pre-modern vision similar to that of Muslim conservatives.

11 November 2001: More on the feud in Dublin
The Sunday Times and the Irish Times report on the latest episodes in the ongoing war of words between Roman Catholic Cardinal Desmond Connell and Anglican Archbishop Walton Empey.

11 November 2001: New York Times notices the Episcopal Church
The New York Times has written about the election last month of the Revd Carol Gallagher as suffragan bishop.

11 November 2001: No non-Christian single-faith schools please
The Observer reports that 80 percent of those surveyed are opposed to the creation of new non-Christian single-faith church schools in the UK.

11 November 2001: Remembrance of what?
The Telegraph reports that a British vicar asked veterans to be careful not to offend the feelings of Germans in a Remembrance Day service in London. By the time you read this, it will of course already have happened. It's pretty obvious that we need more than one day a year dedicated to remembering those who fought for us.

11 November 2001: Prince attacks modern liturgy
The Telegraph reports that the Prince of Wales has called modern prayer books 'painfully inadequate'. We just bought a copy of England's 'Common Worship' and we have not yet discovered that for which it is not adequate. It doesn't contain very many 'thees' and 'thous', but neither do we.

11 November 2001: Carey and Sacks refuse to sign pledge on Islam
The Telegraph reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Britain's Chief Rabbi have refused to sign a pledge to work for greater understanding of Islam.

10 November 2001: At your service
Bruce Dear visited St Nicholas Norton, in Hertfordshire, and wrote about it in The Times.

10 November 2001: Did something come from nothing?
This week's Credo column in The Times is by Brian Davies, an English Dominican living in New York.

9 November 2001: Anglican women demand apology in Nigeria
This Day (Lagos) reports that the Mothers Union and Women's Guild of the Jos Diocese in Plateau State have demanded an apology from the state police command over an allegation that the diocese was importing firearms.

9 November 2001: Kenya diocese splits into two
While dioceses in other countries are struggling with creative ways to use empty churches and underemployed clergy, the church in Africa keeps growing and growing. Today The Nation (Nairobi, Kenya) reports that the Diocese of Nairobi has split into two dioceses. The new one is the Diocese of All Saints Cathedral. Your News Centre editor is not old enough to remember the last time this happened in the Church of England or ECUSA.

9 November 2001: New move on lay presidency
The Church Times reports that the Diocese of Sydney has renewed its long campaign for 'lay presidency', and that it has the support of its new bishop.

9 November 2001: Archbishop says conflict in Afghanistan is necessary
The Church Times reports that the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury both said this week that the West’s attack on Afghanistan is not a religious war.

8 November 2001: Online church sees prayers go unanswered
The Boston Globe reports that a new 'online church' is not thriving.

8 November 2001: Kenya church clinic closed over threats of violence
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that 'An Anglican Church clinic was yesterday closed following fresh threats by suspected Muslim youths over a disputed land.'

7 November 2001: Bishop denies football exorcism
The BBC reports that the Bishop of Oxford has denied reports he performed an exorcism to lift a curse at a football club, but admits he held a ceremony to bless the ground.

6 November 2001: Welsh Archbishop cross with Children's Society
The BBC reports that the Archbishop of Wales has taken action to express his unhappiness with the withdrawal of the Children's Society from Wales.

6 November 2001: Archbishop's visit illustrates divide
The BBC reports that the visit to Qatar by the Archbishop of Canterbury was significant.


4 November 2001: Killers of church massacre traced, claimed
Dawn (Bahawalpur, Pakistain) reports that local police claim to have traced the alleged killers in last Sunday's church carnage. (Dawn is the largest-circulation English-language newspaper in Pakistan.)

4 November 2001: Cumbria curse to be lifted before it kills more sheep
The Sunday Telegraph reports that a 16th-century curse inscribed on a giant stone in Cumbria - the centrepiece of a £6.7 million millennium exhibition - is to be "exorcised" by an archbishop after clergy complained that it generated "spiritual violence".

4 November 2001: Admitting Muslims to Anglican church schools?
The Independent muses about the issue of broadening church schools by admitting more applicants from all faiths.

4 November 2001: Uneasy calm as Sharia comes to Kaduna
Another Nigerian state reverts to mediaeval government and This Day (Lagos) reports on it. Meanwhile the P.M. News (Lagos) reports that another sectarian riot is brewing in that city.

3 November 2001: If the vicar offends thee, cast him out the door
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Sydney Synod has passed a Parish Relationships Ordinance for removing vicars from their parishes. Our readers in the USA may not be willing to believe that this is utterly unrelated to the use, not of ordnance or an ordinance but of a Federal judge, for removing a rector from a parish in Accokeek, Maryland. The Episcopal News Service reports the story, and the full text of the judgment is on the web site of the Diocese of Washington.

3 November 2001: ABC in Middle East, backs Afghan war campaign
The BBC reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury is in the Persian Gulf region, and has said there that he believes the use of military force in Afghanistan is necessary to counter 'a fanatical enemy'.

3 November 2001: Illusions about death
Edward Norman devotes his meditation column in The Telegraph to All Souls day.

3 November 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his weekly column in The Telegraph to Bevis Marks.

3 November 2001: Short people, Christians, faith, and conversion
The Irish Times has an opinion column that seems at first to be about short people and tax collectors, but in truth it's just a fine essay about conversion and faith. It's not news, and it's not strictly Anglican, so we have no business really listing it here in the News Centre. Sometimes when we are trolling the world looking for news, we find things that are good to read. This is one of them. We found another fine column in the Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana) that isn't so beautifully wordsmithed as the Irish Times piece, but we think you'll like it too.

2 November 2001: Second-oldest church in Canada burns; arson suspected
The CBC reports that a Halloween prank 'may have cost the historic town of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia one of its best-loved buildings. Built in 1754, St. John's Anglican Church was the second-oldest Anglican church in Canada.'

2 November 2001: Irish Archbishop speaks of hopes for church unity
The Irish Times reports that Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Walton Empey, has described the Pope as 'by far the most outstanding Christian leader of the 20th century'. He had more to say, all of it optimistic and positive. That same newspaper reports Cardinal Connell as saying that 'Empey is not a high flyer', 'Empey finds Vatican document confusing'. The Times goes on to report that the Archdeacon of Dublin, the Ven Gordon Linney, was glad to see Connell's apology, and then a 'here we go again' editorial about the Cardinal's speaking habits.

2 November 2001: Irish Cardinal called 'master at not really saying sorry'
The Irish Times reports that Cardinal Connell's apologies for his controversial comments are frequently highly equivocal. That newspaper also published an opinion column by Medb Ruane which argues that the cardinal is not making these verbal slip-ups by accident. The Sunday Times (London) calls him 'Ireland's answer to Prince Philip' and wonders whether he is suitable for his job.

31 October 2001: Episcopal bishops join Palestine protest
The Boston Globe reports that the three bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts yesterday joined a pro-Palestinian demonstration in front of the Israeli consulate in Boston.

30 October 2001: Statement from Canadian bishops
The Anglican Church of Canada has published a statement from its bishops in response to the government announcement of residential school claim settlements.

30 October 2001: Pakistani mourners shout for revenge
The Guardian reports that thousands of angry mourners yesterday attended the funeral of 15 Pakistani Anglicans who were gunned down on Sunday. That newspaper published an editorial 'Christians under attack'.

30 October 2001: Fundamentalism as a backyard phenomenon
Chris McGillion argues in the Sydney Morning Herald that the intolerance of fundamentalism is much closer to home than Afghanistan.

30 October 2001: Dead people don't feel crowded
A few years ago we visited the English Cemetery in Florence, looking for the grave of the wife of one of our favourite dead bishops. We were stunned at its level of decay, and then realized that two generations after a graveyard fills up, there's usually nobody left who cares to tend to it. So we have seen first-hand the value of keeping active burials going in graveyards. It came as no big shock to us, therefore, to read in The Guardian that the British government will consider allowing the reuse of old graves in an attempt to prevent an overcrowding crisis in cemeteries.


28 October 2001: Christians massacred in Pakistan
The BBC reports that masked gunmen on motorcycles have opened fire indiscriminately on Anglican worshippers in a church in eastern Pakistan, killing at least 18 people. The BBC reported also that the Archbishop of Canterbury immediately issued a statement condemning the attack. More details were reported the next day by The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The Independent, and the BBC.

28 October 2001: British Muslims will soon outnumber Anglicans
The Sunday Telegraph reports that Muslims who worship regularly in the mosque will soon outnumber British Anglicans who go to church on Sundays.

28 October 2001: Another Nigerian state to have Islamic law
The BBC reports that another state in Nigeria will soon adopt Sharia (Islamic law). The first few states switching were only reported in African newspapers, but this issue has the world's attention now. Meanwhile The Telegraph reports that, in a state already converted to Sharia, a woman convicted of adultery has been sentenced to death by stoning while the man involved was acquitted.

28 October 2001: Churches for sale in England
The Sunday Times reports in its 'Property' section on churches and rectories for sale. The bishop's palace used to illustrate the article is not for sale, alas.

28 October 2001: Clergy abuse in Britain
The BBC reports that the majority of Anglican clergy have been verbally abused or threatened in the past two years. We suspect that the percentage is higher in Pakistan.

27 October 2001: Sydney Archbishop deplores fundamentalism
There are certainly circles in which the phrases 'fundamentalist' and 'Sydney Anglicans' are seen as synonyms, so some people may be surprised to read in the Sydney Morning Herald that the Most Revd Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, 'yesterday turned a spirited defence of what he calls classic Anglican Christianity into an attack on fundamentalism in all religions and on modern secularism'. His diocesan web site has the full text of his speech.

27 October 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his weekly column in The Telegraph to killing in the name of the Lord.

27 October 2001: At your service
In the weekly Times column, Antony Bye writes about his visit to St Bartholomew in Brighton, England.

27 October 2001: In the Communion of Saints we find our work is finally done
This week's Credo column in The Times is by the Revd Philip Ursell, Principal of Pusey House, Oxford.

27 October 2001: Comparative religions
Don Cupitt writes today's religion column in The Guardian. It carries his views on why Islam and Christianity seem so at odds. We found this to be one of the more interesting articles we read this week.

27 October 2001: The witching hour approaches
The Irish Times writes about Halloween. Over in America, our friend John Berryhill shows us Osama bin Lantern.

27 October 2001: Can computers save this cathedral?
The New York Times reports on efforts by French and US scholars to save the endangered Cathedral of St Peter at Beauvais.

26 October 2001: ANC official to mediate church dispute in South Africa
The Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg) reports that African National Congress secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe is to step into the row between the party's head of religious affairs, Cedric Mayson, and Anglican Church leaders over Mayson's accusation that they are politicising the HIV/AIDS issue.

26 October 2001: Church of Ireland primate talks to Loyalists
The Church Times reports that the Most Revd Dr Robin Eames points out, in the light of the IRA's announcement that it will get rid of weapons, that it takes at least two to tangle.

24 October 2001: Church college wins 'University' status
The Times (London) reports that a Church of England college has become the first new university to be created in England for eight years. Your News Centre editor is keenly interested in this story, because his 'day job' (the one that actually pays him) involves helping to start a new university in the USA.

24 October 2001: Ely Cathedral plc?
The Times has published a letter from the dean of Ely Cathedral responding to an offer from the Taxman to buy shares in his employer's company. Several readers joined the fun.

23 October 2001: Church of England relaxes some wedding rules
The Independent and The Guardian report that the Church of England is preparing to issue the biggest change to its wedding rules in 50 years. The Telegraph reported it too, but their web site is not working at our press time, so fie on them.

22 October 2001: Oath in British courts to become secular
The Independent reports that the British government has plans to abolish the oath that witnesses swear in court and replace it with one that makes no reference to God. The Church Times sees this issue somewhat differently.

22 October 2001: Church attendance still growing
The Guardian reports that English churches are still seeing larger congregations, and have been since September 11. Several days later, The Telegraph reported that Bible sales are soaring.

21 October 2001: Parish conflict in Zimbabwe
It is normally our policy to ignore parish news unless it contributes directly to something global. This story reported by the Zimbabwe Standard does not. We note it because we are so weary of the standard topics of conflict, namely homosexuality and women clergy. We find it encouraging that people are willing to punch one another in church for reasons that do not seem to be related to sex or sexuality.


21 October 2001: Bishops said to 'protect old boy network'
The Sunday Telegraph reports that Church of England bishops are ignoring prejudice against women priests because many are misogynists who want to protect "old boy" or "closet gay" networks. During the following week, the story was also reported by The Independent and The Times and The Guardian.

21 October 2001: Jubilee hymn praises Queen
The Sunday Times reports that Britain's poet laureate, Andrew Motion, has written a hymn for the Queen's golden jubilee casting the monarch as the rock on which the nation can rely. The photograph of the poet that accompanies the article is, um, interesting.

20 October 2001: Why church leaders are getting it wrong
Writing for The Telegraph, Edward Norman observes that 'Church leaders notable for their lack of precision in Christian theology are suddenly experts on Islamic culture and Muslim beliefs.'

20 October 2001: Archbishop Eames speaks on the IRA
The Irish Times reports that Church of Ireland Primate, Dr Robin Eames, has spoken to his diocesan synod on an important development with the IRA. The Church of Ireland provided this text of his speech.

20 October 2001: Judge says South Carolina law awards church to congregation
The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina) reports that a judge has awarded a summary judgment to a congregation in Pawley's Island that is breaking away from its diocese, saying that a deed dated 1745 (prior to the creation of the US Episcopal Church in 1789) is still valid.

20 October 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his column in The Telegraph this week to a discussion of the name 'Osama'.

20 October 2001: At your service
Bess Twiston Davies writes about her visit to an Arabic-language Roman Catholic mass at Our Lady of Sorrows in London.

20 October 2001: Religion's internal struggle between beauty and savagery
This week's Credo column in The Times is by Bruce Dear.

19 October 2001: Obituaries
Obituary of Elizabeth Hoare, expert in ecclesiastical needlework, in The Times and The Telegraph and The Independent. Obituary of Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, British politician and actual churchgoer, in The Telegraph.

18 October 2001: Bones of the saints
Famously contentious religion writer Andrew Brown writes in The Times about the authenticity of the bones of St Luke, in Padua. The science editors of The Independent and The Telegraph also discussed the bones. Your News Centre editor is passionate about visiting and seeing the bones of the saints and apostles and gospellers, and will always visit the crypt of a cathedral to look for relics before setting foot in the nave. The Times has a little sidebar about famous relics, but have left out both the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch and our own personal favourite, the bones of St Andrew in Amalfi. The Sunday Times includes a long article, which has photographs of the teeth from which DNA samples were taken.

18 October 2001: Sermon in the fields
From time to time we enjoy drawing your attention to sermons that we find to be worth reading. We have scanned in the sermon preached by The Revd Nicholas Holtam, Vicar, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, at the consecration of two suffragan bishops. We find that a column by David Quinn a few days later in the Sunday Times is sufficiently related to this sermon that we choose to list them together.

16 October 2001: Bishop of Chester speaks at the Vatican
Last week there was various din and blather in the press about the Bishop of Chester having said outrageous things about the bombing in Afghanistan. We chose not to feature that story because we were in general ignoring what bishops were saying unless we thought it noteworthy. Today The Independent printed much of what he actually said, and we find it noteworthy.

16 October 2001: Carey and Arafat
The Times reports, albeit succinctly, on a meeting that took place between George Carey and Yasser Arafat. The same issue of that newspaper includes an essay by Dr Carey about the war in Afghanistan. The Independent reports that the next day Dr Carey visited a London mosque. Friday's Church Times reported that Mr Arafat had good things to say about the meeting, and the Archbishop's office issued this statement.

15 October 2001: Anthrax scares reach Anglican places
The fear of anthrax attacks has closed numerous public places around the world when a 'mysterious white powder' is found or scattered. The list of such places includes various Anglican cathedrals.

15 October 2001: More riots in Nigeria
The Telegraph and The Guardian and the Church Times report that anti-Christian rioting in Nigeria has spread to Kano. The Economist notes that these riots are probably more political than religious in nature, and This Day (Lagos) reports that the governor of Kano concurs. The Weekly Trust (Abuja) reports that one result of the rioting is that street vendors have raised the price of portraits of Osama bin Laden to 200 naira. Nearly every story in the AllAfrica.com religious news roundup this week pertains to Afghanistan.

14 October 2001: Ministry via modem
The Washington Post reports that a Dallas internet entrepreneur has created a 'cyberchurch' that claims 40,000 members. Articles in that newspaper expire quickly, but if the article is gone from the Post, the church to which it refers is at 777live.com.


14 October 2001: Maybe it was just salt, being used in an exorcism
The BBC reports that Canterbury Cathedral was evacuated on Sunday after a man was seen dropping white powder in one of the chapels.

13 October 2001: Bishop of West Virginia consecrated
The Diocese of West Virginia reports that it has consecrated its seventh bishop, the Rt Revd Mike Klusmeyer.

13 October 2001: Love thy enemy
Chris Hardwick writes in The Guardian about attitudes towards the enemy. The whole time we were reading the article we kept thinking it should be 'thine enemy'.

13 October 2001: The couch or the pew?
As reported in The Times and The Telegraph, there has been a recent surge in attendance at psychiatric centres and churches.

13 October 2001: At your service
Ruth Gledhill attended a service at Canterbury Cathedral and wrote about it in her weekly column in The Times. (Ruth, are you going to start reviewing pram services?)

13 October 2001: The City of God is the only place where we truly belong
This week's Credo column in The Times is by Geoffrey Rowell. If you don't know who he is, search this page for his name. We explain it somewhere. Or read his article all the way to the end.

13 October 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his weekly column in The Telegraph to talking about Muslims and the Koran.

12 October 2001: British firefighters in St Paul's
As reported in The Independent, The Times, and The Telegraph, three thousand British firefighters gathered at St Paul's Cathedral in London to mourn the deaths of their colleagues in New York. This isn't really Anglican news, but we wish to report it anyhow, because we enjoyed reading it.

12 October 2001: Two civilisations entwined in history
This isn't Anglican news either, but we think you will enjoy it, too. William Dalrymple writes in The Independent about being in Istanbul when the bombs started to fall on Afghanistan, and visiting the tomb of fallen Ottoman military leaders.

12 October 2001: Bishops talk about the bombings
After reading all the various statements by Anglican Communion bishops about the war, we've decided not to link most of them. There are so many bishops, and their points of view do not differ remarkably. Of course when we determine that a bishop's contribution is significant, for whatever reasons, we shall indeed link it. If you must know, go to any newspaper's search engine and search for recent articles that contain the words 'bishop' and 'bombing'. Oh: this just in. Our favourite reporter at the Church Times has gathered a bushel of bishops' statements all in one place, for your concentrated reading. And do read the CT's leader 'Why this war is probably wrong'.

12 October 2001: Sheldon Harnick predicted it in 1958
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that thousands of angry Muslims defied the Government and took to the streets of Nairobi and Mombasa yesterday, protesting at the United States-led attacks on Afghanistan. Nigeria probably has the most evenly-divided mix of Muslims and Christians of any country in the world. The Daily Trust (Abuja) muses about whether or not Nigeria is safe right now. The BBC reports that 'at least 13 people' were killed.

12 October 2001: Ashafa Abdullahi Aliyu Tanko Moh'd Nuraini Ashafa on religious war
The Daily Trust (Abuja, Nigeria) reports on the Nigerian interfaith leader's opinion.

11 October 2001: Anthrax does not cure foot-and-mouth disease
Bombings and anthrax may be grabbing all of the headlines these days, but, as noted by the Church Times, the relentless plague of foot-and-mouth disease is still there and still hurting.

11 October 2001: This war is not about religion, but a battle for beliefs, values and ideas
The Bishop of Rochester, who is a native of Pakistan, writes in The Times that he doesn't really agree with what Andrew Sullivan said last week. The BBC reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury takes a similar point of view. There is no truth to the rumour that he was shot in the back just before the BBC's photograph was taken. Writing in The Tablet, Michael Quinlan analyses whether or not this is a 'just war'.

11 October 2001: Luke Skywalker, I am your father
The Telegraph reports that the British government now lists 'Jedi Knight' as an official religion, at least for census purposes. And the census does actually care who your father is, doesn't it?

9 October 2001: Separation of Church and State
The British government reports that it has appointed another English suffragan bishop. Over in the US, the Diocese of Southern Virginia reports that it has elected one with actual voting by actual members of the diocese. You should read what Libby Purves had to say in The Times about the separation of Church and State.

8 October 2001: Warning against 'holy' war
The BBC reports that the Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, has urged the public to remember that this is not a war against Islam. He spoke in New York last month, and the Diocese of New York has published the written text of his speech and also a transcript of what he actually said.


7 October 2001: This is a religious war
Columnist Andrew Sullivan argues in The Times that 'The religious dimension of this conflict is central to its meaning. The words of Osama bin Laden are saturated with religious argument and theological language. Whatever else the Taliban regime is in Afghanistan, it is fanatically religious.' Meanwhile Nick Cohen writes in The Observer that 'If blame is to be cast, then the world's religions must take the major share.'

6 October 2001: At your service
The Times' Ruth Gledhill attended a service at Chester Cathedral and wrote about it for her weekly column.

6 October 2001: Sacred mysteries
Christopher Howse devotes his weekly column in The Telegraph to Spain's experiences with war against Muslims. He notes that 'There was an Islamic state on the Iberian Peninsula for more centuries than have elapsed since its final destruction.'

6 October 2001: Rumbling trains ruin tribute of silence
The Times (London) reports that at a service to remember the dead and injured of the 1999 Paddington train crash, trains ran beside the tracks during a minute’s silence observed on the second anniversary of the crash. Prayers led by the Bishop of Kensington, the Rt Revd Michael Colclough, were drowned out by a slow-moving freight train only a few feet from the ceremony.

5 October 2001: Synod in Melbourne
The Diocese of Melbourne is having a synod. We don't normally pay much attention to individual diocesan synods, but we were intrigued by Archbishop Watson's column in The Age, 'How Christians can save Australia', so we took a look. Every time we see the domain name of the Diocese of Melbourne (anglican.com.au) we think of train wrecks and brain injuries, but the content of the web site doesn't know its domain name.

4 October 2001: Bug forces chalice ban
The Mercury (Tasmania) reports that Tasmania's RC Church has suspended use of the communal cup in holy mass because of the risk of spreading meningococcal bacteria. The Rt Revd John Harrower, Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, has responded by permitting the use of a second cup for intinction only.

4 October 2001: Power of prayer doubles the chance of getting pregnant
The Telegraph reports that in a study of women undergoing in vitro fertilisation, the success rate doubled when a group of Christians prayed for a pregnancy.

4 October 2001: Bishops speak in the House of Lords
A number of bishops spoke today to the House of Lords in Britain. We find it worthwhile to report on what was said by the Bishop of Rochester, a native of Pakistan, and the Bishop of London, an expert in the affairs of countries whose names end in 'istan'.

2 October 2001: Terrorism should not take our peace away
Gordon Linney, Anglican Archdeacon of Dublin, writes in The Irish Times about the effect of terrorism on life and society. And the Church Times reports that Irish Anglicans are becoming impatient with what they see as a double standard adopted in both jurisdictions with regard to terrorism in the aftermath of the US atrocities.

2 October 2001: Priests called 'too feminine'
The Telegraph reports that a recent survey indicates men are put off church because priests tend to have feminine personalities that appeal to women. The Church Times reported that 'C of E clergymen are "rather like women"'.

2 October 2001: Near-secret invitation to prayer
The Archbishop of Canterbury issued an ecumenical invitation to prayer for Friday 5 October 2001. There has been some confusion as to whether or not it was supposed to be worldwide or Britain only. By and large he seems to have waited so long to announce it that nobody found out in time. These days it's a safe bet that people were praying anyhow. Publicity in The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph; report on what happened in The Times, The Telegraph, the BBC, and The Guardian.

1 October 2001: Sectarian violence continues in Nigeria
Newswatch (Lagos) reports on the 'orgy of violence' in the city of Jos, with fighting between Christians and Muslims.

1 October 2001: Suffragan bishop
The British government reports that it has appointed another bishop suffragan.


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