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Monday, 14 January 2019

Absent bishop

Bishop Richard Pain                                                                           Source: Twitter @ChurchTimes

Over the weekend a Church Times tweet reappeared with curious regularity suggesting a possible early end to the saga of the long absent bishop of Monmouth, Richard Pain.

Glowing tributes from the bishop's supporters after the story broke along with current publicity suggest a concerted effort to reinstate the bishop as the victim of unfounded allegations.

No details of his absence were made known until an article appeared in the Western Mail forcing the story into the open and ending a curious silence which gave rise to much speculation and damaging rumours.

Given the almost saintly qualities poured on him by his supporters it is difficult to imagine  how any possible grievance could have been raised against such a bishop, a procedure which is not used lightly.

According to the Church Times the bishop is "spoken well of by his flock", presumably following a statement by 'six area deans and eight ministry area leaders in the diocese' who described their bishop as "a deeply kind and caring pastor to his clergy" and "much loved and respected not only among the clergy of the diocese but also amongst the lay members of the church from across the diocese in the parishes and communities amongst which he has served."

Appointed assessors 'exonerated' the bishop of unspecified wrongdoing but he remains absent at the archbishop's request while mediation is in process.

The bishop of Monmouth along with the bishop of St Asaph and bishop of Swansea and Brecon (now archbishop) were together at St Michael's College, Llandaff 1982-83.

The bishops of Swansea and Brecon, Monmouth and St Asaph                Photo: South Wales Argus

To avoid any suspicion of an old boy's network in operation, clarification of the grievances made against the bishop of Monmouth is needed to eliminate any doubt and restore confidence if he returns to episcopal ministry.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Anglican Essentials Wales

Source: Anglican Essential Wales

From their web site: "Anglican Essentials Wales is a national movement of lay and ordained Welsh Anglicans united in their common commitment to upholding orthodox faith and practice. Drawn from across the various traditions of the Anglican Church we are dedicated to the propagation of the unchanging gospel of Jesus Christ in a post-Christian Wales.

Our purpose is to:
  • provide a forum, a rallying point, and an identity for all "orthodox Anglicans" in the Church in Wales
  • provide a voice for this constituency to the leadership of the Church in Wales, to other Anglican constituencies, and to the world
In the rapidly changing culture of Wales, where the Christian Church has moved from central to sidelined in half a lifetime, Christians need to present the unchanging gospel of a Saviour who is the same yesterday, today and forever. How should the Church in Wales attempt this task?  What should change and what shouldn’t?  This will be focus of our 2019 conference on Missional Anglicanism."

Details of the inaugural conference may be found here.

Thanks to regular commentator Whamab for this link.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Finding faith

In this video published on Nov 8, 2018 the Bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy, was the first to testify in a series of videos that describe how senior members of the St Davids diocesan clergy "came to discover the faith that sustains them."

When Penberthy was elected the former Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan said of the 'election', “This is an historic moment for the Church in Wales as it hasn’t been possible to elect a woman bishop until now. But what is really important to stress is that Joanna wasn’t elected because she was a woman but because she was deemed to be the best person to be a bishop. She has considerable gifts – she is an excellent preacher and communicator, can relate to all sections of the community, is a warm, charismatic, caring priest and someone who is full of joy."

The election was widely regarded as a political fix.

In her December 2018 Ad Clerum bishop Penberthy wrote:

"We are not called to persuade people of the truth of our particular religious
opinions so as to feel better as we surround ourselves with those who agree with us. We
are called to be communities of flawed people, open to the healing love of God that we
might live that truthful open-eyed healing love admidst [sic] “the present form of this world
that is passing away.” (I Cor 7:31)."

The bishops have certainly surrounded themselves with people who agree with them - to the exclusion of faithful Anglicans who were promised an honoured place in the Church but abandoned after archbishop Morgan and his bench sitters achieved their objective of turning the Church in Wales into a club for liberal, like minded people.

Contrary to what bishop Penberthy claims, there is only one way to the Father, through Jesus Christ, not through other gods, paganism and witchcraft.

Jesus charged His disciples, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). Today, Anglican bishops write their own version of the Gospel message.

Postscript [09/01/2019]

Church of England bishops out of touch with clergy:

Oxford diocese in meltdown as clergy reject bishops' view on sexuality

Saturday, 5 January 2019


The bishops of Bangor, St Davids, Monmouth, Swansea & Brecon (Archbishop), St Asaph and Llandaff .                                                Source: Church in Wales

As the Monmouth diocese saga drags on, the position of the bench of bishops and the bishop of Monmouth in particular is becoming increasingly untenable.

‘Show people the power of our faith’ said the Archbishop of Wales at his enthronement (pictured) when he challenged churches to rehabilitate and refresh how they explained the Gospel message. But being a Christian, he said, was not about just going to church.

According to the archbishop, "young people would high-five the prophet Job and queue for selfies with Jesus if they properly understood Christianity".

Referring to the witness of young people he observed: "They are keenly aware of the need for social and economic justice, the stewardship of creation, and equality of opportunity; they are equally aware of the need for a society free from any form of prejudice rooted in anything which is part of the individual identity, gender, race, origin, religion or orientation of anyone."

The 'progressives' gospel.

Generally young people no longer go to church. Consequently the average age in dwindling congregations is often around 70 with few if any families left to provide continuity. The Church has become irrelevant to society.

The message reaching the people is not one of faith but one of impotence.

A recent article in the South Wales Argus, Bishop of Monmouth Richard Pain has not carried out official work for six months, was met with complete indifference and resulted in only a few derogatory comments about bishops and the Church.

The article appeared in the Argus after "Parishioners" raised "serious concerns about what is going on within the Diocese of Monmouth."

Bishop Pain's supporters want him to be reinstated in apparent ignorance of the nature of the complaints made against him. 

Contrary to the views of sources who have remained silent, the bishop has been eulogised with threats by his supporters to withhold funds due to the diocese unless the bishop returns to duties, thus prejudging the outcome of a mediation process.

Of one thing we can be sure. The departure of the bench of bishops from the true Gospel message has rendered their position as ambassadors for Christ completely untenable.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Caption corner 2 January 2019

Toronto Anglican Bishop Kevin Robertson marries his homosexual partner in cathedral Bishop Robertson (left) with Mohan Sharma and
Bishop Susan Bell of the Diocese of Niagara (Photo) Source: Virtue Online

As usual publishable captions will appear as comments.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2018 Top Ten

Celtic Bishops visit the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in Rome.                                                                                                        Source: Twitter

The entry When in Rome topped the list of reads in 2018.

                   Former giants of the Church in Wales before bishops were replaced by 'prefects'.
Five held Oxford Firsts in Theology.     Source: Anglican Misfit
In a sense When in Rome typifies the direction of the Church in Wales (CinW) today under bishops who possibly would have have made it to area dean or perhaps archdeacon in years past and two who would not have been ordained.

A week long jolly in Rome for the entire bench for a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity after Anglican bishops deliberately imperiled any move to unity, widening the gap between orthodox and progressives by Renouncing the Faith.

The bishops of the CinW along with the Church of England bishops thumbed their noses at the Roman Catholic and Holy Orthodox churches when they warned of the consequences for unity of admitting women to the priesthood.

Sat at the table with the Archbishop of Wales is the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church [1st from left]. The archbishop was so impressed with the credentials of the Primus that he would invite him to speak at the September 2018 meeting of the CinW Governing Body in favour of same sex marriage, widening the gap between orthodox and progressives even further.

Not giving a fig for Christian unity other than on their own terms and openly promoting behaviour contrary to scripture and tradition, it would be bad enough for one bishop of the CinW to have turned up in Rome, but all six!

No 2 on the list, Holy smoke commented on the report which described Llandaff Cathedral as "a wonderful place with committed clergy and staff. It has a healthy attendance at services with many young people and a wealth of skills and experience in the congregation." Despite the glowing report the Llandaff saga rumbles on along with frequent expressions of unease with domestic affairs in Bangor. Monmouth is currently under the spotlight while the institution continues to paddle along, apparently unconcerned.

The ten blog entries with the most views in 2018 were:

When in Rome...! 17 January 2018, 145 comments

Holy smoke 30 May 2018, 124 comments

The cost of change 14 February 2018, 70 comments

Church in Wales Ministry Areas 20 January 2018, 53 comments

Unholy row in Diocese of Monmouth 22 December 2018, 29 comments

Wimmin called to ministry 28 February 2018, 51 comments

Yr eglwys a'r Gymraeg: 'Dechreuad' ond mwy i'w wneud 29 January 2018, 56 comments

The Monmouth saga 24 December 2018, 34 comments

Church in Wales bench of bishops in renewed push for same sex marriage 2 September 2018, 36 comments

What a gay couple of days! 19 April 2018, 56 comments

Again typifying the direction of the CinW today, from The cost of change, No 3 on the list, their view of the world beneath them

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

Happy New Year!