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The News Centre

Archived News Headlines for Apr/May/Jun 2009

Link to main News Archives page

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30 June 2009: Retired bishop Robert Miller dies in Alabama
The Diocese of Alabama reports that the Rt Revd Robert O Miller, Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Alabama, has died in Birmingham. Nearly every mention of him we've seen for some time has contained the word 'beloved'.

28 June 2009: Church and state in South Africa: Zuma's 'Jesus' remarks are dangerous
When President Zuma mused that the AMC might rule till Jesus returns, Archbishop Makgoba thought the comments an unfortunate aspiration to one-party rule, which has done damage to too many of Africa's people. He was speaking as the recipient of the 'Naught for your Comfort Award' and his speech can be found here.

27 June 2009: C of E bishop declares Britain 'no longer a Christian nation'
The Telegraph reports that the Rt Revd Paul Richardson, Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, has said declining church attendance and the rise in multiculturalism mean that 'Christian Britain is dead'. It could well be that the position of suffragan bishop is also in decline; the Church of England General Synod will consider that at its next meeting; the Church Times reports that the post of Suffragan Bishop of Hulme (part of Manchester) will be dissolved when its incumbent retires. If being a good Christian requires discrimination against homosexuals, then perhaps this survey reported in The Times explains the root causes of Bishop Richardson's angst.

27 June 2009: A bishop for the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI)
The Diocese of New Westminster announced that the Provincial Synod of British Columbia has confirmed the choice of Barbara Andrews, currently director of the Sorrento Centre, as bishop with responsibility for the APCI. The parishes had been part of the Diocese of Cariboo, which was dissolved after the financial toll from lawsuits regarding abuse at residential schools.

26 June 2009: Canon Prof. Rodwell wins medal
Ekklesia reports that scientist and Anglican priest Canon Professor John Rodwell was awarded the 2009 President’s Medal by the Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management. The British media are calling this the 'top green award'.

25 June 2009: Cuban electoral synod ends in stalemate
Canada's Anglican Journal reports that after 10 rounds of voting in the Diocese of Cuba no new bishop was elected to replace the soon-to-retire interim bishop.

25 June 2009: First female Anglican priest in Ghana
The Ghana News Agency reports that the Revd Hannah Dwomoh, a 60- year-old educationist, has become the first female priest of the Anglican Church of Ghana.

24 June 2009: North American breakaway group status report
Thinking Anglicans is keeping an eye on the activities of the groups collectively calling themselves the 'Anglican Church in North America', or ACNA. So is the US Episcopal Church, which filed this report.

23 June 2009: C of E says organ donation is a Christian duty
The BBC reports that the Church of England is part of the group of church leaders that have appealed to their members to register as organ donors.

23 June 2009: Interview: Christian formation, No longer your grandmother's Sunday School
The Examiner (San Francisco) has published an interview with a leading US Christian Formation specialist, Sharon Ely Pearson. We've discovered by listening that the way you can tell a person is involved in Christian formation is that they use the term 'Christian formation'. Everyone else seems to call it 'Sunday school'.

23 June 2009: Cardinal Newman miracle verified
Catholic Online (USA) reports that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints confirmed the latest miracle attributed to John Henry Cardinal Newman. Cardinal Newman is in line to become the first non-martyred English saint since before the Reformation. The BBC last year noted that no English person who has lived since the 16th Century has been made a Roman Catholic saint.

22 June 2009: Upcoming Church of England General Synod
The General Synod of the Church of England will meet in York from 10 to 13 July 2009. This press release summarizes its agenda.

22 June 2007: Eels for the Bishop of Ely
For 500 years people have evaded the eel tax owed to the Bishop of Ely. But Peter Carter, one of the fens' last traditional eel fishermen, presented a bucket of his slippery catch to the bishop, to commemorate the cathedral's 900th birthday. Cambs24 reports that during his four-day pilgrimage in a fen punt, Mr Carter raised money for a children's hospice, and for St Clement's church in Outwell, where he is a warden. You can watch him at work here.


21 June 2009: Vicar wants thieves' heads hanging on stakes
After thieves stole 20,000 pounds worth of lead from the roof of St George's in Ivychurch, Romney Marsh, the vicar, Jim Field, told Kent on Sunday
that if they caught the culprits, he wanted their heads on stakes outside. He did acknowledge that 'as a vicar I should not be saying this.'
But the picture in the article doesn't look anything like other photos of the church, such as this one or this one.

21 June 2009: Tsvangirai jeered in Southwark Cathedral
Zimbabwe's premier, Morgan Tsvangirai, was welcomed to Southwark Cathedral with the sound of ululations and an emotional rendition of his national anthem. But when he urged ex-pats to return to a country that now enjoyed peace and stability, reports the Independent,
over a thousand exiled Zimbabweans chanted that Mugabe must go. You can see and hear what happened here on the BBC website. The crowd was not impressed. The Church Times filed this report a few days later.

20 June 2009: Church and television in the UK
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'The BBC faces a clash with the Church of England over claims that its new head of religious broadcasting has given preferential treatment to minority faiths.'
And Religious Intelligence reports that Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCullough has berated the BBC's children's programming.

20 June 2009: Church blesses fathers with beer
The Telegraph (London) reports on the novel way some parishes have attempted to attract men to church on Fathers' Day. At St Stephen's church in Barbourne, Worcester, for example, children will give men bottles of beer during the service. The bishop of Worcester argues that the free beer is symbolic of the generosity of God. We wonder if this song got entered in the Canadian contest (below).

18 June 2009: Contest in Canada for best new liturgical music: results are in
The Anglican Church of Canada has announced the results of a contest sponsored by the Anglican Foundation of Canada to find better musical settings for the liturgy. Your News Centre editor is the only member of the Anglicans Online staff who can't sight-read music, and is eagerly awaiting getting his hands on a recording of the winning music by Dr Derek Holman.

18 June 2009: Baltimore Convent to be received into the Roman Catholic Church
Eight of the ten members of All Saints Sisters of the Poor will be received into the Roman Catholic church in September. The Living Church reports the bishop visitor as saying that the sisters had become discouraged in their efforts to recruit new members. He suggested that a court battle over the property was unlikely.

14 June 2009: Church and wine in the UK
The Telegraph (London) reports that Bishop of Chelmsford John Gladwin has claimed 'Middle-class drinkers who consume alcohol in their homes are just as irresponsible as drunk youths on the streets'. The photograph accompanying the article shows the consumption not of beer but of red wine. So does the photograph accompanying the Church Times report on Bishop Gladwin's remarks.


14 June 2009: A new Primus for the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, David Chillingworth, has been elected the new Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was the only nominee for the position, but no one has suggested that he is a Buddhist. Before coming to Scotland in 2005, his parish ministry in Northern Ireland had focussed on the challenge of reconciliation. He is the Anglican Communion's first blogging primate, and you can read his weblog here.

13 June 2009: Hope for a miracle in Melbourne
The Age (Melbourne) reports on the end-of-parish agony among parishioners at St Matthew, Ashwood, as the diocese prepares to deconsecrate the church building.

11 June 2009: The clown of God?
The Retford Trader and Guardian (Nottinghamshire, UK) reports on the success of a parish priest who is also a professional clown. A few days earlier, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Bishop of South Sydney expressed displeasure at the use of humour in church, asserting that it interfered with the congregation's relationship with God. Tomie de Paola would be rolling over in his grave except that he is still quite alive.

11 June 2009: Unjust discrimination? Is there any other sort?
There has been considerable churn in the UK in recent weeks over the 'Equality Bill', which is currently being discussed in a House of Commons committee. Simon Sarmiento has written a concise reflection on the dispute, in The Guardian, entitled 'Equality, the church, and discrimination'. The author is a principal of Thinking Anglicans, whose coverage of equality legislation is always encyclopedic.

10 June 2009: Australian dioceses suffer big losses in financial markets
The Sydney Morning Herald, referring to the Diocese of Sydney as the richest and largest diocese in the world, reports that it has lost more than AUS$100 million in the value of its investment portfolio (a 50% drop in value) and is looking for ways to cut back spending. The Australian reports that every Anglican diocese was affected, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation notes that the Archbishop of Sydney has written a letter on this topic to all of the parishes in the diocese, calling it 'a terrible loss'.

10 June 2009: Three California churches returned
A California appellate court has returned St Luke's church in La Crescenta to the Diocese of Los Angeles. The US Episcopal News Service also reports that, in unrelated agreements, displaced Episcopalians will return to St John's church, Petaluma and St Paul's church, Modesto. The Modesto Bee reports that the dissenting congregation at St Paul's is walking away from the property before a lawsuit is filed. We have seen no mention of legal wrangling over the parish websites; in every one of these cases the breakaway group has kept the parish URL and has converted the website contents from Episcopal to Anglican.


7 June 2009: Five new bishops for Nigeria
The Guardian (Lagos) reports that at the end of its Economic Empowerment Summit in Lokoja, the Nigerian House of Bishops elected five new bishops. The press release is here.

5 June 2009: ABC appeals for environmental prayer and action
The Christian Post reports the Archbishop of Canterbury urged churches to use Environment Sunday (7 June) as an opportunity to pray for the planet and the campaign for climate change to ensure that the best deal is reached by government leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year.

5 June 2009: Ecumenical report released by ACO
ACNS announced a major ecumenical report 'The Vision Before Us' is now published. The volume records the work of the Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations which maintains an overview of the Anglican Communion’s engagement with Christians of other traditions, and of giving encouragement and advice to the ecumenical activities of the Communion and the Provinces.

4 June 2009: Orombi says Uganda needs to end child sacrifice
Martyrs Day pays homage to the Christian martyrs — 22 Catholics and 23 Anglicans — who were killed at the orders of the Kabaka of Buganda in 1886, after they refused to renounce their faith. At the Anglican commemoration, Archbishop Orombi spoke of suspected cases of ritual sacrifice and urged the government to take steps to stop it, according to The Monitor (Kampala). The New Vision (Kampala also) reports the Deputy Speaker of the government wondered why the country's president and chief justice, both Anglicans, attended the RC commemoration instead of the Anglican one.

4 June 2009: Higher education reasserts higher calling
Rebecca Attwood of The Times Higher Education Supplement reports on the UK conference of Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC) where speakers say the present financial crisis offers the chance to turn away from market principles in higher education.

3 June 2009: Jerusalem receives healthcare grant
The Episcopal News Service reports that the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East (the Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, Bishop) received a substantial grant to undertake a training program in neurosurgery. The press release from the diocese is here.

3 June 2009: Church and State in Rwanda
Catholic Information Services for Africa (Nairobi) reports on the protest by Rwandan religious leaders, led by the Rt Revd Emmanuel Koline, over certain portions of a proposed Religious Bill that would 'regulate the activities of the country's religious organizations including regular auditing of their finances'.

3 June 2009: US bishop refuses to release names of study group members
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the bishop who chairs the Theology Committee has declined to release names of the members of its same-gender study group. The Church Times reports that many are unhappy with this decision and are pressuring him to change his mind.

3 June 2009: Colorado church property dispute settled in mediation
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that all parties have reached an agreement in the dispute that originated when a Colorado Springs church withdrew itself from the US Episcopal Church. The US Episcopal News Service filed this report. The former rector of that church still faces criminal charges, but we shan't be reporting on that until there is a resolution of those charges.

31 May 2009: Bishop from nearby diocese elected 'provisional bishop' of Eastern Oregon
The US Episcopal News service reports that Bishop Edna Bavi Rivera was elected provisional bishop of the Diocese of Eastern Oregon by unanimous vote during a special convention. This is important news in our opinion because we see it as a harbinger of things to come. There are quite a few small dioceses, and bishops are expensive. If these two dioceses can work out a bishop-sharing agreement and it is generally seen to be good, we expect other adjacent pairs of dioceses to try something similar. It may never get to be like dioceses in Ireland, where (for example) the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh was created by merging smaller dioceses, but it is worth watching.


31 May 2009: Scandal priest goes over to the other side
The Revd Alberto Cutié was called Padre Oprah, because of his advice about relationships. When a Spanish-language tabloid published photos of him on a beach with a woman, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami removed him from his post. Despite the widespread newspaper coverage of the scandal, he was quickly received into the Episcopal Church. The Independent on Sunday reports that this has strained relations between the two churches. Fr Cutié was received into the Episcopal Church by the Bishop of Southeast Florida, Leo Frade, who has written this about why he did it.

31 May 2009: C of E financial loss means turning away clergy trainees after training completed
The Mail (London) reports that the Church of England is turning away trainee clergy for the first time in history after £1.3billion of its investments were wiped out in the financial crisis.

30 May 2009: Village church in England bought by City Council for £1
The Journal (Lowestoft, Norwich) reports that the ruins of the old St Margaret's Church in Hopton on Sea (a bit south of Great Yarmouth) officially now belong to the parish council - bought from the Church of England for just £1.

30 May 2009: Religious leaders and corruption in Nigeria
When the President of the Senate, David Mark, spoke to the synod of the Diocese of Kaduna, the Nigeria Calabash reports, he accused religious leaders of all denominations of blackmailing politicians for financial support.

29 May 2009: High tea atop Westminster Abbey
As part of a tourist initiative by Visit London, the Dean of Westminster has been photographed taking 'high tea' on the Abbey roof. The Church Times shows the picture, and you can see the promotional video on YouTube.

29 May 2009: Riding bikes, raising money for “Waters of Hope”
The St Louis Post-Dispatch (USA) reports on an effort in the Diocese of Missouri to raise money via Waters of Hope through the vehicle of sponsored bike-a-thon rides.

28 May 2009: Names of new Covenant Working Group announced
The Anglican Communion News Service has announced the names of the appointed members of the Working Group to study Section 4 of the Draft Covenant.

28 May 2009: New Bishop of Carlisle appointed
Number 10 (the British Prime Minister's website) announced that the Queen has approved the nomination of James Newcome, Suffragan Bishop of Penrith, as Bishop of Carlisle.

28 May 2009: Trickle-down charity in Wyoming
The Star Tribune (Casper, Wyoming, USA) reports on an innovative approach to missionary outreach being tried by a local church. The adjective 'trickle-down' was first used widely during the Ronald Reagan era in the USA to describe the belief that if the government provided money to large corporations, it would ultimately trickle down to needy individuals. Though Wikipedia claims that the term was coined by Will Rogers.

27 May 2009: Terry Waite considers running as an independent MP
As the Archbishop of Canterbury warned that MPs were being humiliated by publicity over their expenses claims, the former special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote a letter to The Times saying he would consider running as an independent, in an effort to bring reform to Parliament. The Church Times' story about this is, oddly, illustrated with a photograph of the Dean of Westminster taking tea on the roof.

27 May 2009: I already quit, so you can't fire me
The Modesto Bee (California) reports that the Diocese of San Joaquin deposed 61 clergy because they have left the Episcopal Church to follow their former bishop into a South American province. The diocese issued this press release. The Diocese of Fort Worth announced that its bishop has sent letters to Fort Worth clergy who have left the church.

24 May 2009: Church and state in the UK
The Archbishops of York and Canterbury have issued a joint statement urging British voters not to vote for British National Party candidates.


24 May 2009: Anglican-Methodist covenant signed in New Zealand
Scoop (New Zealand) reports on the signing by both parties of a covenant between the Anglican and Methodist churches in that country. The Anglican press release on which Scoop based its article is here. The Methodist announcement is here.

23 May 2009: Church and state in the UK
The Times published this essay, 'Enough humiliation. We must move on', by Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, on the recent monetary kerfuffle involving members of that country's parliament.
We cannot bring ourselves to use the word 'scandal' over all this. The Times' religion correspondent, Ruth Gledhill, used her blog space to say 'amen' to the ABC's essay. The Independent also said 'amen', but The Telegraph disagreed. From our vantage point, it appears as though responses to Dr Williams' essay are aligning along standard political boundaries, which means that this issue will very quickly become political news instead of Anglican news.

23 May 2009: Church and mammon in Australia
The Sydney Morning Herald reports on ambitious plans to rebuild a burnt-down urban church in the center of Sydney into something much more than just a church. We are intrigued that there is no mention in this article that St Barnabas is an Anglican Church.

23 May 2009: Small-town New York church to rebuild and reconsecrate after arson fire
After a zealot set fire to Christ Episcopal Church in Pottersville, New York, the tiny congregation continued to meet - in the firehall. They pray each Sunday for the arsonist, and overcame the bishop's reluctance to let them rebuild. The Albany Times Union reports that the Bishop of Albany would consecrate the new church, with a cross blackened by flames on its top.

22 May 2009: Diocese of Peshawar helps Swat refugees
As the government of Pakistan attempts to dislodge the Taliban from the Swat valley, the Diocese of Peshawar has set up a relief camp at its Christian Vocational Centre in Mardan. The Church Times reports on the effort to help some of the hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing the fighting.

21 May 2009: Interim bishop in Zimbabwe helps fight dictatorship
The US Episcopal News Service has published this feel-good story about life for Anglicans being improved in Zimbabwe since Sebastian Bakare became Interim Bishop.

20 May 2009: Church vs state in the UK
Thinking Anglicans has published the otherwise-not-online press release from the 'Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia, & Human Rights Conference' in the UK last week. Basically the UK government intends to stand firm against religious excuses for what it sees as bigotry. A friend drew our attention to this map of sodomy laws worldwide; if we published it but told you it was a map of church conflict worldwide, we don't think you'd find it implausible. The Church Times' report on this conference is not yet accessible to non-subscribers, but an excerpt that summarises it is 'Maria Eagle, Under-Secretary of State in the Government Equalities Office, said that, apart from a few key issues such as whether to have women clergy, churches could not claim to be outside the scope of discrimination law.'


17 May 2009: Church accredited as 'green' in Diocese of New Westminster.
The Coast Reporter (Whistler, British Columbia) reports on the first accredited green church in the Diocese of New Westminster.

17 May 2009: Archdeacon visiting all 180 diocesan churches by bicycle
The Hunts Post (Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire) reports that an Archdeacon has begun a bike ride that will see him visit each of the 180 Anglican churches in the Diocese of Ely. They don't mention what sort of bicycle he is using; we suspect it is not a Pashley delivery bicycle.

16 May 2009: New ultra-modern church in Nigeria
The Daily Sun-Thesaurus (Abuja, Nigeria) reports on the opening of an 'ultra modern church building' in Anambra State in Nigeria, which was under construction for 18 years. We've not yet managed to find a picture to better understand the interaction of the term 'ultra modern' with an 18-year construction time.

15 May 2009: Muslim named head of religious programming at the BBC
The Church Times reports on the appointment of Aaqil Ahmed, a Muslim, as head of religious programming at the BBC. We are very impressed with the good job that Riazat Butt has been doing as the religious affairs correspondent of The Guardian, so know that the religious beliefs of such a person do not necessarily bias their work.

14 May 2009: Floods threaten Episcopal villages in Alaska
The US Episcopal New Service reports on damage caused by the floodwaters of the the Yukon river. Some villages have been evacuated, and some villagers, who are mostly native Alaskans and Episcopalians, found refuge in St Matthew's Episcopal Church in Fairbanks.
[Strangely, there is a mention in the Fairbanks News-Miner, but nary a word on the parish website.]

14 May 2009: Communion wine ban for swine flu pandemic?
In a debate on public health in the House of Lords, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds said that faith communities could be crucial in helping to combat the spread of a flu virus. But they need to consider how to adapt their own ceremonies should a pandemic arise, such as the receiving of communion in bread alone. From Religious Intelligence.

14 May 2009: New Zealand church to add window memorializing early settlers
The Manawatu Standard (Palmerston North, New Zealand) reports that a recent renovation of St John in Feilding, in the Diocese of Wellington, created a new window. The church building is classified 'Heritage A', and its windows are 'nearly all in the classical design of etched stained glass with a central figure'. They have found a glass artist able to create a new window in the heritage style, and have begun fundraising to make it happen.

14 May 2009: Anglican Health Services acquires 10 new vehicles for malaria programme
The radio station 'Peace FM' (Accra, Ghana) reports that 'The Anglican Health Services under the Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organisation (ADDRO), has acquired ten vehicles for its malaria programme.'

14 May 2009: Church and state in Nigeria
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Synod of the Diocese of Minna has issued a communiqué describing the Federal Government's 7-Point Agenda as a failure, pointing out that instead of enriching Nigerians, it has continued to impoverish them.

12 May 2009: What canny capitalists the C of E clergy have become
Andrew Brown writes in the Guardian about the relative success of the Church Commissioners. Though they have lost 20% of their assets in the slump, they have consistently outperformed the markets.

13 May 2009: Final reports from the ACC meeting in Jamaica
Thinking Anglicans has gathered up the wrapup reports on the 14th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.

12 May 2009: Irish cardinal attends Anglican synod
Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh attended the General Synod of the Church of Ireland this week. It is interesting to compare the reports in The Catholic Review (Baltimore, Maryland, USA), Catholic Culture (Manassas, Virginia, USA), the Irish Times (Dublin), and the Belfast Telegraph. Here is the Church of Ireland press release about it, which includes the text of what Cardinal Brady said.


10 May 2009: Anglican Consultative Council meeting in progress
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meets every three years to do what it does. Exactly what it does can be elusive.
The official explanation doesn't say much. It also hasn't been proofread very well, because it asserts that 'The ACC is one of the three Instruments of Communion ...' and then goes on to list four Instruments of Communion. Anglicans Online can't afford a professional proofreader, either. The Anglican Communion Office maintains this list of documents produced by or for the current ACC meeting in Jamaica. The US Episcopal News Service filed this summary report of the ACC meeting thus far. Thinking Anglicans has gathered hundreds of links to pages relevant to the ACC and its business and this meeting. Dave Walker, cartooning for the Church Times, made this observation.

9 May 2009: Malawi bishop elected new ACC chair
The Anglican Journal (Canada) reports that Bishop James Tenga Tenga from the Diocese of Southern Malawi has been elected chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council.

9 May 2009: New bishop for South Dakota
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the election of The Very Revd John Tarrant as bishop coadjutor of South Dakota. The diocese's website provides the details.

8 May 2009: Kenyan church leaders reject polygamous marriage proposal
A draft law due to be debated in parliament would authorise polygamous marriages and outlaw compulsory dowries. Anglican and other church leaders have opposed such recognition of polygamy, according to Ecumenical News International.

8 May 2009: Almost a new diocese in Ankole
The New Vision (Kampala) reports that a new diocese is soon to be formed in Uganda, out of territory currently part of the dioceses of East Ankole and West Ankole.

8 May 2009: Not a new diocese in Sudan
The Archbishop of Sudan has reminded Anglicans Online that there is no such thing as the 'Anglican Church of Sudan' and that the Area Diocese of Twic does not actually exist. The real diocese, which is so new its paint hasn't finished drying, is part of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and is the Diocese of Twic East.

7 May 2009: The worst hymn ever?
Andrew Brown, writing for The Guardian (London), asks his readers if they share his belief that he has found the worst hymn verse ever written. One of those readers suggests that the following verse in the same hymn is worse, and we must confess that we find merit in that suggestion. Other readers have penned proposed hymn verses that might surpass Mr Brown's nomination in awfulness, but then again they might not.

7 May 2009: No chocolate for Vicar of Baghdad?
This is Derbyshire reports that Canon Andrew White, vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, reminisces about the Thorntons chocolate he enjoyed in Derbyshire.

5 May 2009: Interim bishop of Harare steps down
The Herald (Zimbabwe, published by the government of Zimbabwe) reports that 'Bishop Sebastian Bakare leaves his post as Bishop of the Anglican Church's disputed Harare Diocese following the appointment of Reverend Canon Dr Chad Gandiya as the new leader of the Province of Central Africa.' The US Episcopal News Service, reporting the same story, notes that the reason Bishop Bakare stepped down is that the diocese elected a permanent bishop, The Revd Canon Chad Nicholas Gandiya (no doctorate mentioned). The ENS provides details of the election. The Herald can't quite come out and say this, because the official government position is that Nolbert Kunonga is still the bishop. Ah, the never-ending conflict between church and state in Zimbabwe.

5 May 2009: Pacific island church deconsecrated after rising seas damaged it
The Solomon Star (Honiara) reports that Anglicans on the island of Walande have deconsecrated their church before they abandon the island because of rising seas. 'The site where the church once stood is now part of the ocean.'

5 May 2009: Britain's first green cathedral
Chelmsford Cathedral's stewardship efforts have been rewarded with its recognition as an 'eco congregation', reports the East Anglian Daily Times.


3 May 2009: Church and gender politics in Singapore
The Straits Times published an article that was rather startling to those of us who only read that newspaper once a week. It reported that 'Key religious leaders in Singapore have thrown their backing behind the Anglican Archbishop's stand that churches - and religious bodies in general - should stay out of the affairs of secular organisations.' After some rooting around, we found this mention of feminist politics in the organization AWARE, and this mention of a counter-coup. The Anglican Church got involved when Fr Derek Hong expressed support for the new order at AWARE in a sermon, which led him to issue an apology and his church to issue this statement. No wonder the archbishop got involved.

3 May 2009: Church and sex in Nigeria
This Day (Abuja, Nigeria) reports that Archbishop Peter Akinola of the Church of Nigeria has decried the use by Nigerian banks of female bankers to attract deposits. 'Many commercial banks today have turned their single female employees to corporate and official prostitutes, while married ones have become adulterous.'

3 May 2009: Bishop of Lagos speaks about synod and church governance
The Guardian (Lagos) has published an interview with Archbishop Ephraim Ademowo, Bishop of Lagos.

2 May 2009: Reports from the ACC meeting in Jamaica
Various reports are starting to flow in from the 14th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. The Anglican Communion News Service announced the availability of a podcast. Not to be outdone, the US Episcopal News Service released various 'vodcasts', or video podcasts, of events and non-events at the ACC meeting. The Anglican Church of Canada has set up a 'hub for news and commentary' on the ACC meeting. And, as usual, Thinking Anglicans has hoovered up every imaginable link to relevant pages, and put them here and here.

1 May 2009: Peter Toon has died
The US Episcopal News Service reports that The Revd Peter Toon, president emeritus of the Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A., died April 25 in San Diego. Graham Eglington, former National Director of the Prayer Book Society of Canada, wrote this tribute to Dr Toon. Mr Eglington's tribute is followed by online contributions from many people, and ends with the last reflection Dr Toon wrote before his death.

1 May 2009: Giving up after 800 years?
The Telegraph (London) reports that 'One of the Church of England's finest retreat houses, which dates back to the 12th century, is facing closure because it can no longer afford to pay for renovations to meet health and safety regulations.'

1 May 2009: Sometimes a war is just a war, and sometimes a cigar is a just cigar
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the US House of Bishops' theology committee has published a reflection on the concept of a 'just war'.

30 April 2009: Five Anglicans arrested in Zimbabwe church violence
The ZimDiaspora reports that five people were arrested following the assault on a priest and his wife in Mutare.
Deep divisions in the Diocese of Manicaland have provoked strong feelings and occasional violence. He talks about the role of the Diocesan Synod, church governance, and the role of Pentecostalism in the Anglican Church.

28 April 2009: Desmond Tutu to help national reconciliation in Solomon Islands
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Solomon Islands is launching a national reconciliation process with the help of South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

28 April 2009: Church and gender politics in Solomon Islands
The Solomon Star, reporting on the recent celebration of St Mark's Day in Guadalcanal, quoted the officiating priest 'The strength of the Anglican Church in the Guadalcanal Plains lies on the involvement of women. Take them out of the equation and the church is dead.'


25 April 2009: Cathedral's peregrines due to hatch chicks - on camera
The Portsmouth (UK) news reports on Chichester Cathedral's peregrine falcons who have nested for the ninth year on the top of the cathedral. A camera inside their nest box will broadcast the birth to a telly in the cathedral. Eggs due to hatch very soon.

25 April 2009: Bishop equates rise in piracy to globalisation
The Church Times reports on statements by the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa, noting that piracy is 'almost an industry' and that 'globalisation works two ways'.

24 April 2009: Central Africa bishop's election confirmed
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that after a complex canonical process was followed, the December 2008 election of Fr Brighton Malasa as Bishop of the Diocese of Upper Shire was confirmed.
The News Centre has received a large number of press releases from various factions in this situation, and we must confess that we are not sufficiently educated in the politics of the Diocese of Upper Shire to formulate an opinion as to whether or not justice was served here. But we know that whatever had been the outcome of this process, some groups would have been jubilant and some would have been despondent.

24 April 2009: New Archbishop for Kenya
The East African Standard (Nairobi) reports that Dr Eliud Wabukala has 'trounced three other contestants to become the fifth Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop'. Wabukala told The Standard (Nairobi) that 'the squabbles in Government were affecting progress' in Kenya. The Catholic Information Service reports that outgoing Archbishop is one of 15 nominees for the proposed Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commision in the country.

23 April 2009: Statement from conservative bishops
The Anglican Communion Institute Inc has written and issued a statement signed by 15 current and retired bishops asserting that dioceses in the US Episcopal Church are independent and not subject to governance by any other body, including General Convention. The US Episcopal News Service wrote this report on the statement and its impact, and the Church Times offered this commentary. Thinking Anglicans offers this commentary on the planned effect of the statement on the former Diocese of Pittsburgh, which claims already to have left the US Episcopal Church.

Damian Thompson of The Telegraph (London) has decreed that the Anglican Communion is now officially beyond parody. Some Reliable Source assures us that Mr Thompson is the Parody General and has the right to rule in these matters.


18 April 2009: Soon-to-resign C of E bishop accused of trying to set up rival church
The Telegraph (London)
reports that the Dean of Southwark has accused the soon-to-be-former Bishop of Rochester of resigning his position as a Church of England bishop so that he could set up an alternative church in that country. Setting up new churches does seem to be popular now, so we're tempted to believe the Dean.

18 April 2009: Australian renovations and restorations yield (pleasant) surprises
The West Australian (Perth) reports on a renovation at St John, Pinjarra, where old coins were found scatterred under the old sanctuary floorboards. Another 'down under' church restoration project, reported in the 17 April 2009 Macleay Argus, focused on the restoration and re-installation of almost 200 year old stained glass windows at St Peter in Frederickton.

18 April 2009: Death of Sir Marcus Loane reported
The Age reports the 14 April death of Sir Marcus Loane, former Primate of Australia and first Australian-born Anglican archbishop of Sydney. The thoughtful evaluation notes that Loane, a committed Evangelical, had good relations with Cardinal Gilroy — when a letter complimenting the archbishop for having no dealings with 'the papal whore' found its way to Gilroy, he sent it on to Loane with a note, 'I think this is for you'.

17 April 2009: Analysis of Third Draft of proposed Anglican Covenant
Last week the Covenant Design Group released the text of the third draft of the proposed Anglican Covenant.
For those of you unable to spend the time comparing it paragraph by paragraph with previous drafts, the Church Times published this summary.

17 April 2009: Government imposes 'power-sharing' deal on Anglican factions
The Financial Times of Zimbabwe reports that government 'ministers told the clergy, in the presence of their respective legal advisors, that the government was miffed by the disturbances in the church and ordered the equitable use of the premises.'

17 April 2009: Nigerian bishops speak out
The Vanguard (Lagos) reports that the Rt Revd Cyril Okorocha, Bishop of Owerri, decried the degeneration in churches. The day before (16 April 2009) the paper published a report that the Bishop of Okigwe, the Rt Revd Edward Osuegbu, spoke on the need for governments to find a lasting solution to unemployment.

15 April 2009: Various interpretations of 'setting up a new church'
The Telegraph (London) reports that a man in Worcestershire built a 12-seat chapel behind his house because his wife found the local church to be too crowded. A local vicar has agreed to host home communion services there occasionally.

13 April 2009: Annual Easter youth rally big hit in Diocese of Central Melanesia
The Solomon Star carried a story on a large rally for over 500 youth held over the Triduum and Easter. 'Youth population in the Diocese accounts for half the total population of 22,000 Anglicans spread over 10 parishes both within and outside of Honiara city.'

12 April 2009: Although it's from last week's news, we can't resist this photo...
Drive through foot-washing on Maundy Thursday: The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario) has a picture of a priest from the Church of the Resurrection washing the feet of one of the faithful, as she extends them from her car. The headline writer couldn't resist talking about saving soles.


12 April 2009: Church and State in Kenya
The Nation (Nairobi) reports that several national church leaders, including an Anglican bishop and archbishop, have pleaded with Kenya's president to take forceful action to save their country from chaos and turmoil.

11 April 2009: Church and State in Wales
Wales Online reports that the Archbishop of Wales has said in a newspaper interview that the world's current financial crisis is a wake-up call for society, and that its causal greed is being replaced by traditional Christian values.

11 April 2009: Church and State in Nigeria
The Sun (Lagos) reports that the Archbishop of Lagos has pleaded with Nigeria's government to 'enthrone peace'. But a few days earlier, Vanguard reported that heavily-armed policemen destroyed a church building in Ugbuwangue while the Bishop of Warri was visiting there. This sentence from that news report, while utterly unrelated to Anglican news, should give many readers a sense that Nigeria is not like some other places:

'Meanwhile, a large parcel of land belonging to the government, where a housing estate is situated, has been illegally fenced off by land speculators from the community and hired out to cattle rearers along the NPA/Ugbuwangue expressway.'

11 April 2009: He's afraid of Virginia Woolf
The Age (Melbourne) reports that the Dean of Sydney's Anglican Cathedral has said that Virginia Woolf 'and that crowd' is the origin of the promiscuity that is a root cause of current crises. We're glad to learn whose fault this all is.

11 April 2009: Sydney archbishop laments Biblical ignorance
The Australian reports that the Archbishop of Sydney has expressed sadness and frustration at the vast ignorance of the Bible among the people. Since we know that the Bible tells us that only Bible experts will be saved, we find this all quite sad.

10 April 2009: Easter before the church buildings are resurrected
The Herald Sun (Melbourne) reports on the outdoor celebration of Easter in the fire-ravaged parts of Victoria, where many church buildings were destroyed.

10 April 2009: Manhattan church organ plays for the first time since 9/11
New York One reports that the organ at St Paul's Chapel in Manhattan was played publicly for the first time Friday since being badly damaged on 11 September 2001. We are amused that they refer to the 1964-vintage organ as 'an antique'.

9 April 2009: A different take on Maundy Thursday in Zimbabwe
Ekklesia reports that a bishop in Zimbabwe has taken to shining boots instead of washing feet.

8 April 2009: Burning a cross in Western Australia
The West Australian (Perth) reports on plans to burn a cross for Easter in the town of Wongan Hills. We've always enjoyed the smell of burning hay bales, but thought that considerations of air pollution made it unlikely that we'd smell it ever again.

8 April 2009: New draft of proposed Anglican covenant
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Covenant Design Group has released a new draft thereof, and has issued a communiqué about it all.

7 April 2009: Passion play via Twitter?
USA Today reports that Trinity Church Wall Street has staged a telling of the Passion via Twitter.
We wish them well. Here is Trinity Church's explanation and transcript of the event.

6 April 2009: Australia's second female dean in Adelaide
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports on the appointment of Sarah Macneil as Dean of Adelaide's St Peter's Cathedral.

5 April 2009: Australian RC congregation moves to Anglican church after fire
The Courier Mail (Melbourne) reports that while the Roman Catholic parish of St Brigid, Ballan recovers from the destruction of its church, they are meeting in nearby St John's Anglican church.


5 April 2009: Holy Week has begun
Anglican churches all over the world celebrated Palm Sunday today.
But you knew that.

5 April 2009: Saving the flag of St George
Archbishop John Sentamu has hailed the England footbll team for rescuing the flag of St George from racist bigots and turning it into a banner of unity that symbolises modern Englishness. The Times also mentions that he wondered if it was now time to recognise St George's day as a public holiday.

5 April 2009: Bishop of Rochester writes about why he quit
The Sunday Telegraph has published an essay by the recently-resigned former bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, which offers some explanation and insight into why he resigned and what he plans to do next.

4 April 2009: Two new bishops in Wales
The BBC reports on the joint consecration of the Revd Canon Gregory Cameron as Bishop of St Asaph and the Revd Canon David Wilbourne was consecrated as Assistant Bishop of Llandaff. We are dismayed that the BBC's proofreader (do they actually have one?) allowed the sentence "Meanwhile, Rev Canon David Wilbourne was consecrated as ...".

4 April 2009: Hawaiian legacy
As members of the Anglican Indigenous Network prepare to meet in Hawaii to discuss how to weave native culture and languages into worship services, the Star-Bulletin (Honolulu) describes the Hawaiian language liturgy at St John's-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Kahaluu.

4 April 2009: The high priest of HSBC
The Mail (London) features an interview with Stephen Green, head of the world's biggest non-state-run bank, who is also an Anglican priest.

4 April 2009: Rebuilding the Diocese of Quincy
The US Episcopal News Service reports on the activity surrounding the reconstitution of the Diocese of Quincy, whose bishop and much of his flock quit the Episcopal Church last year.

3 April 2009: Anglican Consultative Council to meet in Jamaica
The Anglican Communion News Service has issued its formal announcement of what's been known for a while, namely that the Anglican Consultative Council will meet in Jamaica from 1 May to 13 May. The article also explains what the ACC is and is not.

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