More than 700 participants attended the final service of Rowan Williams as the Archibishop of Canterbury on Sunday, Dec. 30. The Anglican leader will officially steps down from his post as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury as 2013 begins.
Williams, 62, retired as leader of the Church of England and the wider 77-million strong worldwide Anglican Communion after 10 years of service.
"It was a way for the local congregation and the people of Canterbury to come together and say thank you to archbishop Rowan for all he has done for the last 10 years," a Canterbury Cathedral spokesperson said of Sunday's service, during which Williams was presented with five porcelain bowls by the Very Rev. Robert Willis as a gift for his service. more >>
An extremely rare version of the Bible, called the Bishop's Bible and printed more than 400 years ago, has been discovered and salvaged in England before it could be thrown out.
"It was rotting away in a cupboard, the wooden and leather covers covered in beetles. The pages were like blotting paper and didn't smell too good," Arthur Brooks, a church reader at St James' Church in Teignmouth told the Telegraph. The book was apparently about to be thrown out by the church, before Brooks recognized its significance and potential value.
The Bishop's Bible, only 70 copies of which are said to have been produced, was first printed in 1568 by the Church of England during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, only 30 years after the Church of England separated from the Vatican and established its own authority. more >>
The Texas Supreme Court will determine whether or not a diocese that broke away from The Episcopal Church four years ago holds the right to the 52 church properties in its territory.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, led by conservative bishop Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, appealed a lower court decision giving them 30 days to give the disputed property to The Episcopal Church.
Arguments for the case were heard in October and presently both the departed diocese and its continuing Episcopal counterpart await the court's decision. more >>
In an effort to address the concerns of religious leaders, the British government has announced that it will be illegal for the Church of England to perform same-sex marriages, while other religious institutions will be allowed to perform such unions if they wish.
The government is pushing on with efforts to legalize same-sex marriage by 2015, although it has met opposition from the Church of England, Britain's major denomination, which has insisted that the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman needs to be preserved. It has also shared fears that its churches will be forced to conduct same-sex marriages if the practice is legalized around the country.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller tried to alleviate these fears on Monday, however, announcing before the parliament that the Church of England will be banned from conducting same-sex marriages, although other religious institutions will be provided with the opportunity of "opting in" should they express the desire, BBC News reported. more >>
A spokesman for the Diocese of South Carolina, which voted to leave The Episcopal Church over theological differences, has denounced the recent decision by the denomination to "accept the renunciation" of their bishop.
Episcopal News Service reported that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori "has accepted the renunciation of the ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church of Mark Lawrence."
The Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary for the diocese, told The Christian Post that the official report on the renunciation is inaccurate since Lawrence "never offered a renunciation of his orders." more >>
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams has sent his final Advent letter to the Anglican Communion as he gets ready to retire this month as leader of the Church of England after a decade of service.
He wrote that in the 10 years he has been in charge, "our Communion has endured much suffering and confusion," but added that the Church has been privileged to "to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ in different ways within our common life."
"Despite many questions about how our decisions about doctrine and mutual responsibility are made in the Communion, and some challenges to the various 'Instruments of Communion,' the truth is that our Communion has never been the sort of Church that looks for one central authority," Williams wrote. more >>