News Stand

27 July - 2 August

US Bishop Curry recovers from surgery; a Prince's testimony on disgraced churchman; and "start-up" churches in the bush.

August 3 2018 

US Presiding Bishop Michael Curry resting after cancer surgery
Royal wedding preacher and leader of the US Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry, is expected to make a full recovery after surgery for prostate cancer. He is expected to resume his duties next month, the Anglican Communion News Service reports.

UK inquiry reveals how Prince Charles took disgraced Bishop Peter Ball’s side: ‘We trusted bishops in those days’
Prince Charles defended disgraced Bishop Peter Ball after the latter’s arrest in 1993, saying that he had been the victim of “monstrous wrongs”. Hattie Williams of Church Times reports that UK’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse was told that the Prince also offered Ball help and financial support, though in a statement to the inquiry, Prince Charles said: “It remains a source of deep personal regret that I was one of the many who were deceived over a long period of time about the nature of Mr Ball’s activities.”

Should Christians and Atheists get along?
Listen to The Australian’s Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan discuss his latest book, God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times, and Dr David Newheiser from the Australian Catholic University, the leader of an international project called “Atheism and Christianity: Moving Past Polemic”, discuss their works with Dr Rachael Kohn on ABC Radio National’s The Spirit of Things.

The ‘start-up’ churches gathering in the cafes, halls and living rooms of regional Australia
The Revd Elizabeth Smith, an Anglican priest in the West Australian Goldfields, says the changing worshipping habits of Australians are a critical challenge to churches such as her own, as the ABC explores the rapid spread of evangelical church plants in rural and regional WA.

Churches’ efforts for a peaceful election in Zimbabwe are undermined by Harare clashes
The General Secretary of the Zimbabwean Council of Churches, the Revd Dr Kenneth Mtata, said the lead-up to the country’s election had engendered pride that Zimbabweans could run a safe poll but that violence on the streets of Harare in recent days had shattered that belief. “What we learn from this incident is that elections alone are not a solution to the deep-seated challenges that bedevil our land,” he said.

Pakistan – a welfare state, and Imran Khan – a revolutionary leader?
In voting for cricketing legend Imran Khan as their Prime Minister, Pakistanis have also rejected power politics and dishonesty, says Church of Pakistan deacon and teacher Evelyn R. Bhajan in this piece for ACNS. Drawing inspiration from the Prophet Muhammad, Khan aims to build a Pakistan where responsibility and accountability go hand-in-hand with privilege, where all citizens receive equal rights and where the dignity of the underprivileged is reinstated, she writes. “I believe these are all noble aspirations, and as a Pakistani Christian woman, I look forward to that day.”

Working it out
Listen to the ABC’s Kumi Taguchi explore the theology of work, Sabbath and how to make sense of losing your job in this episode of Radio National’s God Forbid with Kara Martin and Tony Farley, plus archival interviews with prominent Melbourne Anglican clergymen Alan Nichols and Gordon Preece.

Nigerian farmers are under attack, so why don't we hear about it?
Sydney Anglican rector and commentator Michael Jensen asks why so little is being reported about nomadic Muslim herdsmen from the Fulani ethnic group in northern Nigeria attacking Christian farmers in a conflict that's even more deadly than the Boko Haram insurgency, compared with coverage of white South African farmers being killed on their land.

Speaking of bishops, accountability and governance
Has the Anglican concept of “episcopally led and synodically governed” fallen victim to the cult of the leader, British church commentator Andrew Lightbown asks in his Theore0 blog? “Good governance has tragically come to be seen as an impediment to executive leadership, a way of slowing things down,” he writes. “It may well be true that rigorous systems of governance slow things down, but it may also be true that this is no bad thing.”

Anglican Diocese of Leeds in serious financial crisis
The Guardian’s Harriet Sherwood reports that the Church of England’s largest diocese, Leeds, is facing a serious financial crisis, forcing it to make staff redundant, close its pension scheme and review salaries. The diocese – formed in 2014 following the dissolution of the dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield – has drawn up an action plan in an effort to tackle a deficit of £3 million ($5.3 million).