You are here . on the pale blue dot

Please note that 'Anonymous' comments without a pseudonym are not published.

Comments for publication should be 'on topic' and not involve third parties please.

If pseudonyms are linked to commercial sites the comments will be removed as spam.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Florence Nightingale

It was odd that the bishop of Llandaff in her first interview for Wales Online should choose Florence Nightingale as a fellow victim of her alleged prejudice and discrimination.

June Osborne: “But isn’t it inspiring that social history is changing in front of us? If you think back to Florence Nightingale, she would probably have been a bishop had she been allowed.

“She was a very devout Christian but the church wouldn’t welcome her.

"I think of women who haven’t had the kind of chance we have watched come in my lifetime. It’s inspiring."

Nothing could be further from the truth. Florence Nightingale's upbringing was one of great wealth and luxury. She was brought up by governesses but she was determined to serve, not to be served.

She felt called by God to serve others, unlike women motivated by Women and the Church (WATCH) who serve only themselves. Not content with admission to the episcopate they campaign for self advancement with spurious claims of injustice, inequality and exclusion, ignoring or belittling the views of anyone taking a contrary view. Ideology has replaced theology.

Florence Nightingale reflected on Mary's service to mankind when she said, "'Behold the handmaid of the Lord and so have I said in my youth.' (Luke 1:38) To a night nurse in 1886 Nightingale prayed: May we all answer the angel as Mary did: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it unto me according to Thy word."

She was an Anglican with a Unitarian background. From Caring & the Christian Story:  "Her theology was far from orthodox - she dismissed the incarnation, the Trinity and the atonement as abortions of a comprehension of God's plan. However, she considered herself a Christian and her work a "call from God."

Baptised in the Anglican Church, Florence Nightingale was "highly critical of the Church of England, dismissing both its male centred power structure as unjust and the Apostles' Creed as unbelievable. She regarded the theology of the Book of Common Prayer as childish and was particularly aggrieved by the sort of prayer which she believed was insulting to God's majesty and grandeur." (Florence Nightingale, radical theologian).

In that sense Florence Nightingale would have made a typical Anglican woman bishop but in stark contrast to the desolation caused by those holding the 'victim' views expounded by the bishop of Llandaff, Florence Nightingale dedicated her life to saving others.

As the founder or 'mother' of modern nursing Florence Nightingale improved lives. WATCH shatters them.

The movement for the ordination of women was built on deception. The deception continues with references to what Jesus would have said or done. We know from the Bible what He said and what He did. Feminists choose to ignore it or twist scripture to mean what they want it to mean.

Florence Nightingale a bishop? Rubbish. She was far superior.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The cost of change

View enjoyed by Church in Wales Representative Body staff                                                                                                                                  Source: Twitter

The revelation that the former Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion’s first woman primate, Katharine Jefferts Schori, is acting as mentor to Two Church in Wales bishops, Joanna Penberthy, bishop of St Davids and June Osborne, bishop of Llandaff, suggests that the Church in Wales is awash with money.

I hear that the annual rental of their new HQ at 2 Callaghan Square, Cardiff is £500,000 but the lease is for just one year.

Perhaps that explains the letterhead stuck on the nameplate (illustrated) signifying a temporary arrangement as the blind continue to lead the blind into extinction. The departure of the architect of destruction, the former archbishop, offered the opportunity for real change, to right former wrongs. An opportunity lost.

Rumour has it that the staff are not happy in their new home, preferring their previous accommodation in Cathedral Road but no longer at the heart of the nation the Church in Wales continues the pretence that it is a force to be reckoned with, regardless of cost, so it needs to be at the hub, perhaps giving them closer access to BBC Wales following their relocation to the centre of Cardiff.

Some thought that the demise of St Michael's College, Llandaff, Wales' only Theological College, now a conference centre, would have provided the opportunity to relocate there since half the bench will have very fond memories of their leisure time there. 

There has also been a rash of senior appointments under the umbrella of the never popular Mission Areas designed to keep the chiefs happy at the expense of the indians. As the Parish share goes up perhaps some of the indians will go on the warpath but many congregations are either too old or too compliant to make a fuss. Hence the expectation that they will dig deeper, compensating for all those who have lapsed on discovering that their Church has left them.

Archbishop John Davies promised more of the same - but faster. His Llandaff appointee obliges by choosing change as the theme for her Lenten addresses. That is unlikely to be for the better, rather, as the bench chooses.

So far that has led only to decline and disillusionment while those who speak up are constantly accused of prejudice and discrimination without any supporting evidence. When the first woman bishop to be appointed in Wales was challenged she admitted that it amounts to nothing more than holding opposing views rather than nodding compliantly.

No theology is offered, only appeals to secular values of equality of opportunity in the workplace, advancing feminism in the church regardless of the consequences. There is more of the same in the bishop of Llandaff's 'Wales Online' interview: Victim, prejudice, discrimination, inequality, parity, barriers, unwelcome, change, battle, etc, etc.

Spiritual leadership was mentioned without any evidence of its presence. Quite the contrary. The constant decline in people attending church is not helped by women bishops and their admirers droning on about how beastly men are, particularly in the church.

Bishop June said "You can talk about it as a story of decline but actually what it is about is change." How very convenient.

I wonder what she makes of the many remarkable women who have left the church because they do not share her politically motivated, limited views.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Reflections after Synod

The Rt Revd Rachel Treweek (left), and the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, after their consecrations
at Canterbury Cathedral, in July 2015      Credit: PA/Church Times

Good news is hard to come by for Anglicans left stranded by a church which now gives more weight to politics than to faith, often the faith of cradle Anglicans who were to discover that their Church had left them after the women's movement occupied the driving seat.

It was good to read, then, that the House of Bishops expressed regret that “not nearly enough” was done to create an understanding of the practical outworking of the settlement that accompanied the Women Bishops Measure (see previous entry).

Mission and Ministry in Covenant (GS 2086) responded to a resolution of the General Synod in 2014
by outlining 'proposals for bringing the Church of England and the Methodist Church into communion with one another and enabling interchangeability of their presbyteral ministries'. From Christian Today:

"The particular difference between the two churches lies around their understanding of how churches should be led. Anglican churches operate under an episcopal model with bishops seen as following on from the apostles, as the Church's leaders. As bishops consecrate more bishops and ordain new clergy, the 'apostolic succession' continues.

"However Methodists do not accept the idea of 'apostolic succession' in the Anglican sense. But now under the proposals an Anglican bishop would take part in ordaining new Methodist ministers, meaning they would enter this 'apostolic succession'.

"However the nub of the controversy and opposition lay around existing Methodist presbyters who would not have to be re-ordained – a point the CofE's bishops consider a 'bearable anomaly'. "

A 'bearable anomaly' for some is 'an intolerable departure from order' for others which widens the divide between the Anglican Church and Roman Catholic/Orthodox Churches. For supporters of the ordination of women that is unlikely to be an issue. For others, for whom a woman priest has the same standing as a Methodist minister, it is yet another nail in the coffin.

Original source: Morton Morland/Twitter

Having won the votes to allow women priests then bishops, the women's movement appears to assume that we must all change to their way of thinking but conscience is not something that can be altered by synodical vote.

One of the more telling moments was when Justin Welby called for greater Anglican Communion say in the selection of a successor: He told the Synod: “The work of the Archbishop in the Anglican Communion is quite demanding and quite extensive. The representative of the . . . other members of the Anglican Communion – about 90 per cent from the Global South – when I was interviewed was the Archbishop of Wales [Barry Morgan] who is a wonderful man who did a wonderful job as Archbishop of Wales, but may not have entirely represented the Global South.”

Exactly! Barry Morgan always represented himself regardless of the consequences, particularly for those who have found themselves unchurched. He imitated Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori with the same disastrous consequences which have crippled the United States Episcopal Church (TEC). That Justin Welby applauded the award of Oxford doctorate to Katharine Jefferts Schori helps to explain his archiepiscopacy and his baffling performance over the treatment of Bishop George Bell as explained by Bishop Gavin Ashenden on his blog.

Finally a tweet from the Rev Sally Hitchiner‏ @SallyHitchiner:
"And my first full synod as a member is complete. Highlight was passing motion to support and welcome people with Downs and their families, even after a heated debate.... unanimously."  Hobbit's Wife tweeted in reply: "I really don’t get why this even needed debate. Meant to be Christians so everyone should be welcome. Please help me understand!"

As I understand it the debate was a ruse to discuss screening/abortion. The problem with this is that various groups are welcomed leaving others feeling excluded, and with good reason.

Women priests and bishops have been welcomed, gay, lesbian and transgender people have been welcomed. Since 'love' is the passphrase, how soon before polyamorous people are welcomed, responding to the claim, "I'm polyamorous, why should I limit my love?"

The only people who appear to be unwelcome are traditional Anglicans. The House of Bishops of the Church of England recognise the problem but as far has the bench of bishops in the Church in Wales are concerned, traditionalists can whistle, thanks mainly to archbishop Barry Morgan. This is his legacy from Twitter. His heretical mentor mentoring the new women bishops:

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church(USA) and the Anglican Communion’s first woman primate,visited the diocesan office while in the UK as part of the Bishop’s Training programme.  She is acting as mentor to @BishopJuno and Bishop Joanna

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Mutual flourishing - that it should come to this

Synod voting to approve women bishops in 2014                                                  Source: BBC video

The Movement for the Ordination of Women (MOW) campaigned for women to become priests in the Church of England from 1979 to 1994 when the ordination of the first women took place at Bristol Cathedral. The Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure was passed by General Synod on 11 November 1992.

MOW was succeeded by Women and the Church (WATCH). In 2014 the General Synod of the Church of England formally approved plans for women bishops. There are now 2 diocesan women bishops and 10 suffragan bishops, one of which, the bishop elect of London has already been tipped to be the first woman Archbishop of Canterbury. But that is not good enough for WATCH. Their way must prevail and they are 'Just getting started'.

Following the selection of the first women bishops support was reportedly growing within the Church of England to rewrite its official liturgies to refer to God as a female and same sex marriage is high on the agenda.

In a BBC interview after the 2014 Synod vote which approved women bishops Canon Rosie Harper said "This is the culmination of many people's lifetime work and we've got there and it's been hard, it's been painful and all we've achieved is equality. We're not looking for superiority for women but we do now have equality."

That is not how it appears with the passage of time.

Also interviewed by the BBC, Archbishop Justin Welby said, "We rejoice that we have this opportunity to show a point. These remarkable women. There are some very wonderful ones. Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together (my emphasis - Ed.). We will also continue to seek the flourishing of the church of those who disagree."

Perhaps Canon Harper's name was on the archbishop's mind when he referred to "embracing a new way of being the church and moving forward together". Listening to Canon Harper's presentation at the Faith Debate on the future of the Church of England in December 2014. She said that without some considerable changes "the future of the Church of England is very bleak".

Harper went on to say, "In the context of global agony at the effect of bad religion, the C of E has simply lost the trust of the Nation and leaders in the spiritual and ethical values of our society. As a church which will not sign up to equalities legislation and scorns some aspects of human rights, it has moved in the opposite direction from the changes that society see as fundamental, ethical reform.

"OK they were bemused by the struggles to allow women to become bishops but I tell you, they are repelled by the way we claim to have God's authority to treat LGBTI people not only with discrimination but with downright cruelty."

If the church didn't follow Canon Harper's way of thinking she hoped the church does die out. It has followed her way of thinking and the Anglican church in the UK is constantly shrinking. The C of E has moved to reflect society rather than inform it. The LGBTI agenda is firmly established pressing the church to abandon the traditional view of marriage. Politics not faith has become the motivating force.

In 2016 the C of E’s decline was expected to continue for another three decades with figures of 18 people per 1,000 regularly attending church falling to 10 per 1,000. An 81-year-old was eight times more likely to attend church than a 21-year-old.

WATCH has gained so much influence that in 2018 Christian Today reports that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York find it necessary to call on parishes to recommit to a 2014 agreement that allowed for women bishops but also promised traditionalists who oppose female ordination 'mutual flourishing'.

There is no mutual flourishing in the Church in Wales. where two of the six diocesan bishops are women with the same agenda as their counterparts in England. The bench appears unable or unwilling to recognise the fact that the Church in Wales is on the rocks even after throwing the faithful overboard.

The Church of England supposedly supports 'mutual flourishing' but the Philip North Sheffield fiasco casts doubt on the integrity of those who signed up to mutual flourishing simply to achieve the culmination of many people's lifetime work to achieve equality as Canon Harper claimed.

That it should come to this!

Tuesday, 6 February 2018


Suffragette arrest                                                                                            Source: Huffington Post

Things have moved on in the 100 years since (some) women were given the vote but the Guardian view on women’s suffrage is that there is still no real equality:

"After a campaign that had lasted more than 50 years, that had seen violence and death – as well as the forcefeeding of a thousand suffragettes in prison – women had at last won “the full rights of citizenship”; some women, at least. The Representation of the People Act 1918 extended the vote to those women over 30 who owned property or were married to a man who did. At a stroke, 40% of British women were enfranchised. An intellectual revolution rapidly became a political one as Britain absorbed ideas about gender equality and the purpose of political representation...

...Britain still has a serious democratic deficit: women make up more than half of the population, but less than a third of MPs. While Theresa May is the country’s second female PM, only after a byelection in 2016 did the total number of women ever elected finally exceed the number of men elected at a single election. This raises questions of legitimacy: “who” is present in political institutions directly affects whether they represent the public symbolically and substantively."

The following percentages are provided in a Commons Library briefing paper, Women in Public life, the Professions and the Boardroom. The table provides an overview of female representation in the public sphere across the UK:


MPs (2017)                                                       32
Lords (2017)                                                     26
Cabinet (2017)                                                  26
MSPs (2016)                                                     35
AMs (2016)                                                       42
MLAs (2017)                                                     30
Board of public bodies (2016)                          39
Senior civil service (2017)                                41
Justice of the Supreme Court (2017)                 9
GPs (2015)                                                       54
NHS Consultants (2015)                                  34
Secondary head teachers (2015)                     39
University Professors (2015-16)                      24
FTSE 100 directors (2016)                              26

The table shows that GPs are predominately women. In the teaching profession women represent a majority of teachers in English state-maintained nursery and primary education. The proportion of  female teachers was 85% in 2016. Unlike their male colleagues, many women GPs work part time while teaching offers the attraction of being home for much of the school holidays suggesting choice rather than discrimination accounts for the apparent imbalance.

Feminists use numerical parity as a synonym for equality to gain an advantage through positive discrimination. This is particularly so in the Anglican Church where feminism is rife. Women bishops in the Church of England are being fast-tracked while the women bishops in Wales have made it clear that they regard parity as a priority.

The Conservative Woman blog gave its own particular take on the  Presidents Club "pearl-clutching hysteria" which was about the behaviour of some men and the reaction of some women. As comedian Jimmy Tarbuck pointed out women attending hen parties are also known for "bad behaviour", and that "it has to be both ways".

The Channel 4 News interview with clinical psychologist, Professor Jordan B Peterson was another attempt to show males in an a poor light. That confrontation has been viewed over 6 million times on YouTube. As The Atlantic put it, a British broadcaster doggedly tried to put words into the academic’s mouth. A more comical response is available here.

One hundred years after the female heroes who led the suffrage movement gained the vote, the battle continues.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Destructive and outrageous

Rachel Treweek was the first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords     Source: Christian Today

The Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, has blasted the presence in Church House, Westminster,  of Jules Gomes, formerly a priest at St Mary's on the Harbour on the Isle of Man, who addressed a group of supporters of the former Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, who is accused of historical sex abuse.

She said it is 'outrageous' that a disgraced priest banned from ministry has been allowed to speak at the Church of England's headquarters. There is another side to that story in the following video (5 mins in).

Choosing to ignore our great British tradition of freedom of speech, bishop Treweek said "I think it is outrageous that he [Jules Gomes] has been allowed to speak at Church House under that title ['Rebuilding bridges'] when his writings demonstrate that he is not up for living in reconciliation or relationship.'

Her objection was that Gomes had been "invited to speak under that 'wonderful title' whereas all his writings about me and other bishops who are women are being destructive and destroying bridges not building them".

So in her view opposition on theological grounds to the ordination of women is "destructive"! Treweek was not only priested but consecrated bishop in an organisation which claims to belong to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church while adopting its own rules to permit the ordination of women against the wishes of the vast majority of Christians, including most Anglicans. The decision was a huge impediment to unity. That was destructive.

Not content with their members being admitted to the priesthood and the episcopate, the feminist organisation Women and the Church (WATCH) has persistently tried to undermine the process which enabled them to be ordained. That is outrageous.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Yr eglwys a'r Gymraeg: 'Dechreuad' ond mwy i'w wneud

Andy John Bishop of Bangor                                               Source: BBC/Twitter

Another top job post has been created at the Church in Wales' expensive new HQ while ministry areas continue to scratch around for clergy and any help they can get if it is freely provided.

This time the bench of bishops require a Director of Welsh Language and Bilingual Mission to assist them having been negligent in ensuring that Welsh speaking bishops were appointed where appropriate. The diocese of St Davids is a glaring example where political correctness in appointing a woman bishop took precedence over all else.

Andy Pandy, as he is affectionately known in some quarters, gives his spin here on the need for a new post to promote Welsh within the Church in Wales which he says is "beginning" but there is more work to do.

Typically +Andy's account is in Welsh as if he has a vast Welsh speaking audience while Welsh speaking congregations are neglected. Certainly there is more work to do, starting with inadequate bishops engaged in empire building. Three dioceses have already come to readers' attention where the number of clergy is in stark contrast to priests out in the country dashing from church to church.