When Canon Jeremy Winston was appointed Dean of Monmouth transferring his many undoubted talents to the Cathedral Church of St Woolos in Newport, many people in Wales and beyond were heartened that one of their brightest stars had, at last, received belated recognition, perhaps even opening a new chapter in the life of the Church in Wales. That joy was to be short-lived. Fr Jeremy's untimely death was a cruel blow. With the appointment of the new Dean, announced yesterday, comes another severe blow while it will be music to the ears of their Archbishop. Perhaps the Bishop of Monmouth is making amends for previously appointing a traditionalist to one of the top positions in the Church in Wales when preferment of those who do not toe the line is out of the question!
The official announcement looks straight forward enough - ignoring the implication in the Bishop's comments that former Deans may not have been up to scratch ("I was conscious that people were asking for a Dean who would make the Cathedral a place of prayer, welcome and pilgrimage so that it is truly the Mother Church of the Diocese") - but the Bishop's delight in welcoming to his diocese "someone with Fr Lister’s gifts and personality" may not be shared by the very people who were delighted by Fr Jeremy's appointment.
Following a link provided in the LNYD blog, at first there appeared to be an error but reading on, two comments under the blog entry were made abundantly clear when I read the following from he who is to be the new Dean of Monmouth:
"But, having voted for the Archbishops' disastrous compromise (torpedoeing) ammendment, be aware that the Synod is likely to throw out any Code of Practice which undermines the episcopal integrity and authority of women which you and your male colleagues enjoy.
The game is up for those who would seek to stay and at the same time wreck the forward movement of the Church of England. Their bluff has been called by Rome. It now needs to be called by Canterbury.
Posted by: Lister Tonge on Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 10:39pm BST"
With such credentials one wonders why the dear leader of the Church in Wales hadn't already spotted him. His uncompromising comments epitomise the sentiments I questioned in an earlier entry. Meanwhile in the Church of England the Archbishops are "keen to ensure the Church of England remains a broad church 'in which conscientious difference of theological judgement is fully respected' and 'do not want would-be priests to be discriminated against if they oppose the ordination of women'." How bizarre then that the Church in Wales continues policies contrary to those of its sister church across the border with whom clergy are inter-changeable as witnessed by the new appointment.