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28 September - 4 October

Melbourne's episcopal siblings a world first; prayers axed at council meetings; and the C of E to consider a Covenant for Clergy Care and Well-being.

October 5 2018

World first with Melbourne's third woman bishop
Just over 10 years since Melbourne consecrated its first female bishop, the late Bishop Barbara Darling, the Revd Kate Prowd will create a piece of history in the worldwide Anglican Communion when she is consecrated at St Paul’s Cathedral on 6 October – joining her brother, Bishop Lindsay Urwin, the Vicar of Christ Church Brunswick, as the first brother and sister to be bishops and to be working in the same diocese.

Victorian local councils remove opening prayer in step towards embracing religious diversity
Local councillors in regional Victoria say they are honouring the diversity of their communities by scrapping Christian prayers at the start of their meetings, Adriane Reardon reports for the ABC. The Macedon Ranges Shire Council is the latest municipality to replace prayer and is considering an affirmation instead.

Tasmanian Anglican Church supports move to make ministers mandatory reporters of child sexual abuse
Bishop Richard Condie of Tasmania says the State Government’s proposal to make ministers of religion mandatory reporters of child sexual abuse is “consistent with our safe church communities’ practice”. But other than serious crimes including child sexual abuse, the confession of sins is to be treated as confidential, he says.

Clergy burdened by unrealistic job specs, Church of England told
A paper commissioned by the Church of England has called for an end to “unrealistic” job descriptions when clergy appointments are made and has proposed a draft Covenant for Clergy Care and Well-being, Madeleine Davies reports for Britain’s Church Times newspaper.

I believe her: No on Kavanaugh
President Trump’s controversial nominee for the US Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, should not be endorsed by the US Senate after his appearance, and that of his accuser Dr Christine Blasey Ford, before that chamber’s Judiciary Committee, says prominent American Christian Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners. The US is “in the midst of a national trauma”, Wallis says.

What is Pentecostalism, and how might it influence Scott Morrison’s politics?
Mark Jennings, an Adjunct Lecturer in Religious Studies at Perth’s Murdoch University, writes in The Conversation that new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a Pentecostal, “may seek to make a sharp distinction between faith and politics” on asylum seekers and other policies.

Amazon raises minimum wage after pay-level criticism from the Archbishop of Canterbury
Online retailer Amazon has announced it is raising its minimum wage levels, just weeks after it was criticised by Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury in a speech to Britain’s Trades Union Congress for not paying its staff “a real living wage”.

Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to retire in 2020 after Queen Elizabeth extends tenure
Ugandan-born Archbishop John Sentamu of York is to retire in 2020 after the Queen used her discretionary powers to extend his term in office by a year, the Anglican Communion News Service reports. His retirement after almost 15 years opens up the possibility of the Church of England having its first female archbishop.

Banishing God
Hear Simon Smart, Executive Director of the Centre for Public Christianity, talk to prominent journalist and commentator Greg Sheridan about Sheridan’s new book, God Is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times, in this podcast for CPX.

The Missing People Choir
The London-based Missing People Choir is made up of families with missing loved ones and volunteers who want to sing with them, bringing powerful support at times of tremendous grief. Their motto is “Where words end, music carries on” and an appearance on popular TV show Britain's Got Talent prompted a reunion between a mother and her young son.