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World news in brief

by
01 April 2021

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St Bavo’s Cathedral

Altar case: the Chapter at St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent, in Belgium, last week unveiled the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck in its new glass case and location inside the cathedral (Arts, 20 March 2020). The move to the Sacrament Chapel, described as “one of the most ambitious restoration projects undertaken in Flanders”, was prompted by a need to manage the large crowds wanting to see the altarpiece. Now, visitors are channelled through the crypt, where an augmented-reality interpretation of the cathedral and the altarpiece is intended to reduce crowds around the altarpiece itself

Altar case: the Chapter at St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent, in Belgium, last week unveiled the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck in its new glass case and location inside the cathedral (Arts, 20 March 2020). The move to the Sacrament Chapel, described as “one of the most ambitious restoration projects undertaken in Flanders”, was prompted by a need to manage the large crowds wanting to see the altarpiece. Now, visitors are channelled through the crypt, where an augmented-reality interpretation of the cathedral and the altarpiece is intended to reduce crowds around the altarpiece itself

 

Nominations for Archbishop of Sydney announced

FOUR senior Sydney clergy have been nominated for the forthcoming election of the next Archbishop of Sydney, writes Muriel Porter. Three Sydney regional bishops — the Rt Revd Chris Edwards (North Sydney), the Rt Revd Peter Hayward (Wollongong), and Dr Michael Stead (South Sydney) — have been nominated, as well as the Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, the Very Revd Kanishka Raffel. The nominees, each supported by 20 synod members, as is required, were announced late last week. The election, by the synod of the diocese, will begin on 4 May; it is expected to conclude by 7 May. The election follows the retirement of Dr Glenn Davies. A farewell service was held for Dr Davies in St Andrew’s Cathedral last Friday. His original retirement date of last July was moved on to the end of March, owing to the pandemic. Dr Davies had been Archbishop since 2013.

 

Gender pay gap found in US Episcopal Church

MALE priests in the Episcopal Church in the United States are still being paid an average of $10,000 a year more than women priests, the 2019 Church Pension Group report, published last week, suggests. The average stipend for all domestic clergy in 2019 was $76,734. For men, it was $80,994, and for women, it was $70,772. Bishops’ salaries are not reported. The report states that fewer women priests are being appointed to senior and higher-paid posts. This reflects a US-wide gender pay gap. There are currently 5344 clerics in the Church, of whom 4677 are full-time; 60 per cent are men. There are more women deacons (four per cent) than men (one per cent). A canon to the Ordinary in the diocese of Virginia, the Revd Mary Brennan Thorpe, told the Episcopal News Service: “The biggest lifter of average compensation, the fastest way to get there, would be for female clergy to be called to large churches, to be rectors of large churches which compensate more highly. And yet, there’s still some resistance on the part of some parishes.”

 

Noose hanging in US churchyard ‘racial hate crime’

POLICE in Washington, DC, are investigating the appearance of a noose — found on Friday of last week hanging from a branch of the largest tree in the courtyard of St Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill — as a racial hate crime. Two Black Lives Matter signs have been stolen from the church in recent months. The noose has since been removed, and the Bishop of Washington, the Rt Revd Marianne Budde, re-consecrated the area, blessing the tree and the church. She wrote in a message to the congregation: “That symbol of hatred has no place in our churchyard, in our city, or our country. I know that this symbol causes fear in people’s hearts.”

 

Archbishop prays for victims of Egyptian train crash

THE Archbishop of Alexandria, Dr Mouneer Anis, has prayed for the souls of the 19 people who were killed and for the dozens more people who were injured when two trains collided in Sohag, in central Egypt, last Friday. “We mourn these innocent people and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured, praising the speedy movement of state agencies immediately after the accident,” he said in a statement.

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