News Stand

8-14 November

An editor prepares to retire; a verdict in a terror case is delivered; and NZ Church leaders turn down a proposal from Sydney's Archbishop to cater for Anglicans opposed to blessing same-sex marriages.

November 14 2018


Roland Ashby calls time as TMA Editor and Anglican Media's Director after more than 23 years

Roland Ashby and his wife Ros (a social worker for more than 40 years) are to retire in December and plan a six-month sabbatical in 2019, including the ‘In the Footsteps of Jesus’ program at St George’s College, Jerusalem, Holy Week with the Taizé community in France and three months as volunteers at Bonnevaux, the new international centre of the World Community for Christian Meditation, also in France, where he will assist Benedictine monk Fr Laurence Freeman with editing and publishing projects. Mr Ashby’s deputy, Emma Halgren, will be acting Editor/Director while the communication needs and priorities of the Anglican Centre and the Diocese of Melbourne are reviewed in the coming months.


Anglicans to research domestic violence

The Anglican Church of Australia has approved a research program next year into the nature and prevalence of family violence in Anglican-affiliated families. It will include surveys and interviews with Anglicans within and outside the Church, with clergy and church leaders, and a sample of the broader population. The Revd Tracy Lauersen, the new Rector of Warragul who has been leading a working group on family violence for the Church, said: “The decision to conduct research is a recognition of the extent of the problem of family violence in our culture and a desire by the Church to be part of the solution.”


Three men guilty of plotting to rain Christmas Day terror on Melbourne

The Age reports that three Melbourne men have been found guilty of plotting a Christmas 2016 terror attack at major city landmarks, including St Paul’s Cathedral, in a jihad-inspired plan to inflict mass carnage. A Supreme Court jury deliberated for six days before delivering its verdicts on 2 November, but the verdicts were suppressed until yesterday. The lifting of the ban on reporting the verdicts comes five days after a terror attack in Bourke Street left two dead, including the alleged assailant, and two people injured.


NZ Church leaders reject Sydney proposal for overlapping Anglican jurisdiction

A proposal by Sydney’s Archbishop Glenn Davies for an overlapping Anglican diocese or province to cater for Anglicans in New Zealand opposed to the blessing of same-sex marriages has been rejected by the leaders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia, the Anglican Communion News Service reports. Click on a link in the story to read their letter to Dr Davies.


British and German heads of state symbolise reconciliation in Armistice commemoration at Abbey

Madeleine Davies reports for Church Times on the Westminster Abbey service at which the Queen was joined by the President of Germany in marking the centenary of the Armistice that silenced the guns of World War I. You may also read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon delivered at the service, in which Archbishop Justin Welby said conflict had been transformed and enemies reconciled. “And that is hope for the world.”


‘A day to be remembered while life lasts’

Church Times reprints its 1918 reportage of the Armistice as it wrestled with the demands of justice and charity: “While... the Allies are determined to exact justice, they are not forgetful of the tender side of charity. The precept, ‘If thine enemy hunger, feed him,’ still stands, and starving Germany — starving though she be through her mad effort to starve us — is to be supplied with food during the armistice. We do not know if this lesson in magnanimity will be lost on the German people, but, so far as the Allies are concerned, that is no matter. The law of charity imposes this duty on us.”


BCA National Director Dr Mark Short to be new Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn

The Revd Dr Mark Short, National Director of The Bush Church Aid Society (BCA), has been elected as the 11th Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn. An electoral synod, consisting of 124 clergy and 175 lay representatives, chose the former graduate economist with the Department of Industrial Relations and journalist with The Sydney Morning Herald to lead a diocese that covers south-eastern NSW and the ACT. He will be consecrated and installed in St Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn, early in the New Year.


Visiting a different universe

A writer reflects on a transformative encounter with need on a wet night in Sydney’s inner west.


Dying with dignity?

Listen to Sydney Anglican priest Peter Kurti, from the Centre for Independent Studies, talk to Andrew West on ABC Radio National’s Religion and Ethics Report about his new book, Euthanasia: Putting the Culture to Death? From mid-2019, people who’ve been living in Victoria for at least year – and who face what they believe is intolerable suffering – can ask for help when taking a lethal drug, while the West Australian Parliament is to debate a bill next year to legalise assisted dying.


Nationalism: The world's greatest threat

Former Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn George Browning salutes French President Emmanuel Macron’s reference at an Armistice Day commemoration in Paris to nationalism as “a betrayal of patriotism”. Bishop Browning recalls that the 1920 Lambeth Conference of the world’s Anglican bishopsasserted that the greatest lesson to be drawn from this calamity was that the real danger facing humanity was self-interest and that as dangerous as individual self-interest might be, national self-interest was far greater”.