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This page last updated 11 August 2019
Anglicans Online last updated 11 August 2019

The News Centre

Editor: Brian Reid
Contributors: Richard Ruggle and Allie Graham

IN THE NEWS CENTRE we report news of global interest that relates to the Anglican Communion. Sometimes we write news articles ourselves. More frequently, we refer you to some article we have found elsewhere in the world. We focus more on news reported about the church than by the church. New articles are also referenced in our Noted This Week section. We depend on you to tell us about news where you live; here's how to contribute. It is unusual for us to mention news items that contain phrases such as 'youth gather', 'bishop calls for', 'releases report on', 're-envisions', or 'synod debate'. Simon Sarmiento, our UK correspondent, maintains a list of more specific UK-oriented news articles as part of the Thinking Anglicans site. There you can find items we might not normally link at Anglicans Online.

Other News Centre resource pages: Newspapers Online, Official Church Publications, and Online News Sources. And of course, our News Centre Archives. If you are having trouble finding something, don't forget our search engine.

News Stories

9 August 2019: Norwich Cathedral installs a carnival ride in its nave
The Guardian (London) reports on the installation of a 'Helter Skelter' carnival ride inside the nave of Norwich Cathedral. It seems to have been planned independently of Rochester Cathedral's installation of a crazy golf course. As we read the negative reviews by various angry critics of the installations at Rochester and Norwich, we can't help but recall French critics in the 19th century denouncing the under-construction Eiffel Tower as being so barbaric that even the Americans wouldn't build it. The Dean of Norwich Cathedral has said that the purpose of the unusual installation is to give visitors a better view of the roof, which is beautiful and hard to see from the ground.

7 August 2019: ELCA overwhelmingly re-elects first female presiding bishop
The Christian Post reports the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has re-elected their first female presiding bishop, the Reverend Elizabeth A. Eaton, by a large margin (81%).

5 August 2019: New bishop for Taiwan
The US Episcopal News Service reports that the Diocese of Taiwan has elected the Revd Lennon Yuan-Rung Chang as its next bishop. He is currently rector of Advent Church in Taipei.

4 August 2019: New bishop for Montana
The Sun Times (Fairfield, Montana) reports on the election by the Diocese of Montana of the Revd Martha Stebbins as its next bishop.


2 August 2019: US Presiding Bishop urges massive get-out-the-vote campaign
In the USA there are many accusations about 'voter suppression'—organized attempts to prevent people from voting. The Anglican Communion News Service reports on a challenge by Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, to get as many young people as possible to vote.

31 July 2019: US National Cathedral issues rare political statement denouncing Trump
The Washington Post reports on a statement by the bishop, dean, and canon theologian of the (Episcopal) National Cathedral in Washington DC in response to President Trump's verbal assaults on the city of Baltimore. It is titled 'Have We No Decency? A response to President Trump.' and you can read it here.

30 July 2019: UK LGBT people are 'being made homeless due to religion'
The BBC reports on a study revealing nearly half of young British LGBT people who are left homeless after coming out are from religious backgrounds. The study determined that three in four LGBT people are rejected by their families, and 45% of that number are from a faith background, and the majority are from Muslim and Christian families.

30 July 2019: 9-hole 'crazy golf' course in nave of Rochester Cathedral
The BBC reports on positive and negative responses to the installation of a miniature golf course inside Rochester Cathedral.


26 July 2019: International forum calls for joint church action to end nuclear energy development
ACNS reports on an international forum convened by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican church in Japan) which has called for the denuclearisation of the world's power supply and a focus on natural power sources.

26 July 2019: Anglican Church of Canada to remove prayer for Jewish conversion
The Canadian Jewish News notes that the recent General Synod approved a replacement for a prayer calling for the conversion of the Jews that instead asks for 'reconciiation with the Jews'. They report that the move is being hailed as a milestone within the Canadian Jewish community. The measure will require a second vote in 2022. It is also worth noting that the problematic original prayer appears in the Canadian Book of Common Prayer, not the more commonly used Book of Alternative Services.

23 July 2019:Birmingham church houses beehives to better the environment
CBS42 reports on the steps taken by one Alabama church to be more sustainable. Taking inspiration from the beehives of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, and the Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Arizona, volunteers at St Stephen's Episcopal Church in Birmingham have established four beehives, providing a sanctuary for several thousand of God's creatures to continue their important work of pollination.

23 July 2019: Cleaning up St Paul's to educate Kingston's future
The Lower Burial Ground in Kingston, Ontario was laid out in 1783 by the Royal Engineers in anticipation of the arrival of loyalists after the American revolution. The cemetery was almost full by 1845, when St Paul's Anglican church was built over it. In 1872 a parish hall was added. Global News reports that almost a century and a half's debris is being cleared from the crawl space beneath the hall, and the grave markers of some of Ontario's first settlers will be conserved.


19 July 2019: Canada's General Synod expands full communion recognition
Canada's Anglican Journal reports its General Synod passed a resolution to recognize full communion among the Anglican Church of Canada, the US Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Note that the ELCIC has already passed the same resolution.

19 July 2019: Global shortage of incense?
The Anglican Communion News Service reports that a global shortage of frankincense could threaten the production of church incense. The aromatic resin, used to produce incense, comes from Boswellia, a genus of trees and shrubs from the Horn of Africa, Arabian Peninsula and India. The Boswellia trees are being destroyed by cattle farming, drought and conflict.

16 July 2019: Anglican Church of Canada in deficit position
Canada's Anglican Journal reports on the financial report by the ACC at its recent General Synod that a fall in revenues, especially contributions from dioceses, combined with increased expenses, to the Anglican Church of Canada in a deficit position in 2018.

16 July 2019: ACC re-evaluating governance after motion to recognize same-sex marriage fails
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) reports that the Anglican Church of Canada is considering whether to change its governance structure after a motion to recognize same-sex marriage across the Church failed by just two bishops' votes.

16 July 2019: New bishop in Rwanda reports the election of the next Bishop of Cyangugu, in the Anglican Church of Rwanda. The Revd Francis Karemera will be consecrated and enthroned on Sunday, September 15, 2019, in the neighbouring Diocese of Kibungo.

16 July 2019: New poll shows growing view that clergy are irrelevant
The Religion News Service reports a recent NORC/AP poll of 1,137 adults, released this month showing that doctors, teachers, members of the military — even scientists — are viewed more positively than clergy.


13 July 2019: The Canadian General Synod
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, meeting in Vancouver, elected the bishop of Huron, Linda Nicholls, to be the next primate. It approved changes to a canon to enable a self-determining indigenous church. A vote to allow same-sex marriage received strong support from the laity and clergy, but the episcopal vote in favour (23-14) failed to reach the required two-thirds majority. Thinking Anglicans has links to responses by many bishops, some of whom already authorize the marriage of all people who are qualified by civil law to be married.

13 July 2019: Church collection plates with credit card readers
The Telegraph (London) reports on the first use at York Minster of collection plates with embedded credit card readers. Four bronze digital plates were offered to the congregation before, during and after the morning worship, which was attended by hundreds. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation notes the growing use of credit-card kiosks in North American churches.

11 July 2019: ABC denies giving 'easy ride' to bishops accused of abuse
The Independent (London), reporting on testimony given by Justin Welby to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), asserts he has insisted that he does not give bishops involved in child sexual abuse 'an easy ride'.

10 July 2019: Archbishop of York accused of inaction in past clergy abuse incident
The Guardian (London) reports on some controversy surrounding the role of John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, in an incident under investigation by IICSA. Thinking Anglicans has detailed day-by-day reports on the IICSA hearings.


7 July 2019: Church of England General Synod wraps up
Thinking Anglicans reports on the last day of this session of the General Synod of the Church of England.

4 July 2019: C of E to recognise religious communities for first time in centuries
The Guardian (London), writing about the New Monasticism, reports on the progress of a canon to be enacted at General Synod that will formally recognise religious communities. Ties between the religious communities and the Church of England were broken by Henry VIII in about 1540 and have not existed since. General Synod is in progress as we write this, but that canon is expected to be approved.

2 July 2019: Church of England issues new 'ten commandments' for the internet age
The Archbishop of Canterbury unveiled a set of guidelines at Facebook's UK headquarters, designed to make online platforms be happier places. The Australian publication 10 daily approves, elaborates on, and counts those 'ten commandments for internet use'. Where the guidelines say, 'Be honest', 10 daily translates, 'Thou shalt not catfish' (Merriam-Webster defines the verb catfish as creating a false personal profile online). 10 daily also notes 'These commandments were written on a very different type of tablet.' The sassy IT publication The Register headlines their report 'What would Jesus tweet?'

1 July 2019: Women becoming US bishops at an unprecedented rate
The US Episcopal News Service observes and comments upon (in what might end up being the last article written for ENS by the Revd Mary Frances Schjonberg) the large number of women being consecrated recently as bishops in the US Episcopal Church.


28 June 2019: Archbishop Makgoba urges GAFCON bishops to attend Lambeth
Episcopal Café reports on a recent article in the Church Times that is behind a paywall so you probably can't read it: Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town urges everyone, including the GAFCON-aligned bishops who have previously said they will not attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, to attend.

28 June 2019: Leonard Dawea elected Primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia
The Anglican Communion News Service (London) reports the election of Leonard Dawea, currently Bishop of Temotu, as the next Primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia. He will replace the recently-retired Archbishop George Takeli

28 June 2019: 1000 bishops and their spouses book for the Lambeth Conference
The Anglican Communion News Service tells us more than one thousand bishops and their spouses have so far registered to take part in the Lambeth Conference 2020. We grieve for the spouses who were dis-invited.

28 June 2019: Church of England’s first black female bishop
The Guardian (London) reports the appointment of Rose Hudson-Wilkin, chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, as the new Bishop of Dover. The article quotes her: 'Hudson-Wilkin has urged the C of E to appoint more black and minority ethnic clergy and officials. In 2015 she said: "The church has to wake up. In the same way it has agonised over women, and has eventually seen that it's right for women to be in leadership within the church, it needs to put the same amount of work when it comes to minority ethnic people … It has got to right this wrong."' Because Dover is a suffragan see in the Diocese of Canterbury, its bishop has more power and influence than other suffragans.

27 June 2019: Peter Ball, Anglican bishop jailed for sex abuse, dies at 87
It should surprise no one who has been paying attention that the first major report of the death of Peter Ball should be in the New York Times rather than in a UK publication. The former Anglican bishop and protégé of Britain’s royal family was convicted of sexually abusing 16 boys and young men over 15 years. He died on 21 June at age 87.

For news older than 27 June 2019, please refer to our News Archives.

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