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Saturday, 17 November 2018


The above figures taken from the Diocesan Conference 2018 Edition of 'Monmouth Grapevine' illustrate the shift from the traditional parish priest to lay ministry. Rounding up the '.5' to 48 Stipends plus 20 House for Duty priests produces a figure of 68 priests for 175 churches averaging two or three churches per priest aided by 31 NSMs.

Consequently the laity are taking on more responsibility but not for the better. Anglican priestly ministry is being diluted in Wales.

Communion by Extension, "that is, where the sacrament is taken to a church from another church within the benefice, where the Holy Eucharist has previously been celebrated" is becoming commonplace. The sick and the housebound are more likely to be visited by a lay person than by a priest and funerals are conducted by LMEs (Readers).

In a postscript to a previous entry, Local Mission Areas mask decline of 24 October 2017 I wrote:

"The bishop of  Monmouth has proclaimed that 'A third archdeaconry is to be created in Monmouth Diocese following overwhelming support for the move at this year’s Diocesan Conference (21 October)'. He said, 'As Bishop I am charged with the leadership of this Diocese. Faced with such a challenge I could ignore it and almost certainly let the Anglican presence in the Valleys fade away. Or I could do – what any organisation would do – let alone the church – invest in the area and try and turn it around'."

Since her arrival the third archdeacon has been over the diocese like a rash, unlike the bishop. The 'Anglican presence in the Valleys' he referred to has not faded away but the bishop who is 'charged with the leadership of his Diocese' has. His prolonged unexplained absence has left his clergy in the dark and the diocese in limbo.

Peppered throughout the 2017 Conference Edition of Grapevine there is no mention of the bishop in the 2018 edition or elsewhere giving rise to rumours ranging from nervous exhaustion to all manner of other possibilities.

That is not to suggest anything irregular or to add to his difficulties but the current situation reveals a weakness in the governance of the Church in Wales when paralysis can exist with no apparent remedy.

In the event of an Archbishop’s incapacity or absence from the British Isles "the senior Diocesan Bishop willing to act and capable of acting and not then absent from the British Isles, as long as the Archbishop remains incapacitated or absent from the British Isles, shall be the guardian of the spiritualities of any vacant see, and shall have and exercise all the other rights of the Archbishop".

What of the spiritualities of a non-vacant see when the system breaks down?

On the broader front, under its Disciplinary Policy and Procedure of The Clergy provisions, disciplinary proceedings may be instituted on the grounds of "teaching, preaching, publishing or professing, doctrine or belief incompatible with that of the Church in Wales" (3)(b)(a) but while the bishops are of one  mind on matters incompatible with the official position of the Church in Wales, as on Holy Matrimony, they will not hold themselves to account.

There is a spiritual vacuum in the Church in Wales because the bench lacks godly men to teach the faith as received. The decline continues.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Interfaith week - for some!

 Asia Bibi, a Christian woman recently acquitted on false charges of blasphemy, is still 'in captivity'
   Source: Breitbart/AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary

People celebrating Interfaith week in the UK are fortunate that they are allowed to demonstrate their tolerance of other faiths. Not so in Pakistan where Asia Bibi was acquitted on false charges of blasphemy after spending nine years in prison but remains in custody. It's all about intolerance.

A Guardian report states that "The court established that Bibi, a Christian, was falsely accused by Muslim women picking fruit with her on 14 June, 2009. The allegation stemmed from a quarrel over the fact that she had taken a sip of water from a cup she had fetched for them, which in the eyes of her accusers she wasn’t allowed to touch."

Breitbart reports that "Bibi will remain in captivity, though not in a prison, until the 'finalization of the legal process,' despite Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordering her release. The Supreme Court is Pakistan’s court of last resort, yet the government brokered a deal with the radical Islamist Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party granting them an extra appeal on the case over the Supreme Court’s ruling." 

Mob rule prevails in Muslim Pakistan. Meanwhile, Church and State are encouraging the Islamification of Great Britain, cowed by claims of Islamophobia if anyone seeks the truth. 

The Church in Wales has been advertising an Interfaith Walking Tour in Cardiff ending at the Dar-Yl-Isra Mosque for a ‘Faith Speed Dating’ experience! 

It is probably no coincidence that the mosque is listed as the Muslim Welfare & Education Centre.

Muslims regard Jesus as a prophet, not the Son of God, and reject the fact that He died on the Cross. 

The Son of God has become a victim of political correctness. By denying Muslims the truth they are being denied salvation and others are made more vulnerable to intolerance.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Peace and Reconciliation

German president lays a wreath at the Cenotaph                                                            Source: Mirror

There was a heart-warming gesture at the spot where the First World War ended when French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel embraced at a special ceremony which marked the centenary at Compiègne north of Paris.

The mood of reconciliation continued into Remembrance Sunday when German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier placed a wreath at the base of the Cenotaph.

President Steinmeier reverently bowed his head in a prolonged gesture which encapsulated the tone of the Royal British Legion centenary commemoration at the Festival of Remembrance on Saturday night and at the commemoration service in Westminster Abbey on Sunday evening.

A fitting tribute to all those who gave their tomorrow for our today. 'Their name liveth for evermore'.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Remembrance Day 2018

Armistice Centenary

Source: MailOnline

WW1 soldiers going into action.

 Source: ITV

72,000 shrouded figures commemorating the men who died in the
 Battle of the Somme whose bodies were never recovered.

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

 Lest we forget

Friday, 9 November 2018

Caption corner 9 November 2018

"Great gathering for Maecymru at Newtown. Inspiring words from @BishopJuno
'keep telling each other that you are powerful, beautiful and loved by God'."
Source: Twitter 

As usual publishable captions will appear under Comments.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Welsh politics

To be brutally honest, Welsh Assembly Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford, the front runner in the Welsh Labour leadership race, reminds me of M. Hulot, a character far removed from his creator, the multi-talented Jacques Tati.

Drakeford said that if he wins he will not look forward to question time in the assembly or media interviews that are part of the job.

How refreshingly honest.

It has often been said that the last person to be a bishop is someone who wants to be a bishop. Looking at the parlous state of the Church in Wales that has become increasingly obvious.

Drakeford will be rubbished for his honesty but good luck to him.

More honesty and less ambition shouldn't go amiss.