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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Dean of Llandaff resigns

A Press Release from the Church in Wales has announced the shock resignation of the new Dean of Llandaff after only two months in the post, hardly enough time for the paint to dry on the Deanery walls. The fact that the Archbishop has asked the Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Venerable Peggy Jackson to "have necessary oversight of the Cathedral on his behalf, until a new Dean is appointed" appears to contradict the assertion here that  some clergy resented the appointment of a woman.

From the Dales to Wales must rank as one of the saddest journeys in the Church in Wales' history. If it were true that some clergy resented the appointment of a woman, why appoint a woman to be temporary Dean in her place? The Archbishop could have resumed his role as temporary Dean if a problem were perceived in not appointing the senior Chapter member to the post. The real problem is Dr Morgan himself. I understand that Dean Henderson is not the first import to find her position impossible, the exceptions being the Archdeacon herself and the Ass Bishop, apparently in a world of his own with most of the clergy content to leave him there. On the other hand 'Peggy pilot' is said to be likeable and competent but the ordination of women is not about 'can' but 'should'. What Dean Henderson may not have realised is that ministry in Wales is all about the Archbishop's 'Ministry of Women' which  has more to do with politics than the Gospel.

A rumour circulating in Llandaff has the Ass Bishop taking up the soon to be vacant post of Bishop of Monmouth leaving the way open for ++ Barry to appoint the first female Bishop as Assistant Bishop in Llandaff if he can persuade the Governing Body to do his bidding. Even if that had a shred of truth it should be a dead duck now. 

It will be interesting to see what further details emerge.


  1. To lie about the ability of those to be preferred, is the ultimate deceit of the ecclesiastical scoundrel.

  2. I find it hard to believe that the Dean resigned due to pressure from clergy. Most of the cathedral clergy are women, and most of the cathedral chapter are in favour of women priests. Some are women themselves.

  3. Women there may be in the chapter anonymous, but there's nought more bitchy and jealous in the powder room!

    Well done Ancient Briton - this is excellent 'Chronicles' stuff.

  4. "A rumour circulating in Llandaff has the Ass Bishop taking up the soon to be vacant post of Bishop of Monmouth"

    Oh please no!

  5. It would be helpful to other readers if anyone without a blog account who wishes to add a comment would add a pen name to identify their comment(s) from others. Thanks.

  6. At last, a smack in the teeth for the arrogant, bullying Archbishop who thinks he's untouchable. How candid was he with Janet Henderson about the likely opposition she would face and the degree to which he was using her as a pawn in his power games? First, Liz Griffiths as Rector of Cardiff; now the Dean of Llandaf; both gone before you can blink. And what's the betting that poor, long-suffering Graham Holcombe will become the fall-guy. It stinks. One thing you can be sure of: no woman in the Church of England will ever be tempted over the border now. What a shabby and devious operator Morgan is. Byzantine doesn't begin to describe his twisted personality.

  7. The sadness of the dean's departure is indescribable. This is a total disaster for all of us, both traditionalist and non-traditionalist. We can weep together on this one.
    The tv pictures show one looking forward with enthusiasm to new work for Christ. How can such enthusiasm be so shot to pieces in such a short period of time? She had a vulnerability and sensitivity that could have served us all well. There has to be an enquiry. Discernment has been lacking. Too many who are pro the girls, are in it for the ride, falling at the totem of tokenism. Janet will be abandoned-that is my fear. "Did you so learn Christ?"

    1. I agree - this is very sad both for Janet (and her Dave) and for Archbishop Barry - much maligned in some quarters, but rarely deserving it. In due course he will probably need to appoint two Welsh men to be Dean of Llandaff and Bishop of Monmouth - two men he can trust and known to be in favour of women as priests and bishops. I've heard two good peole mentioned: the excellent and clever Archdeacon of Monmouth Richard Pain for Llandaff (if he would cross the border from Monmouth) and the highly regarded Dean Geoffrey Marshall (previously Rector of Wrexham like the Archbishop) for Monmouth - unless this energetic priest is regarded as too old at 65.

    2. Perhaps you can enlighten me 'Anonymous'.
      In England under the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod 1993: "Except as provided by the Measure and this Act no person or body shall discriminate against candidates either for ordination or for appointment to senior office in the Church of England on the grounds of their views about the ordination of women to the priesthood."
      Is there no impediment in the Church in Wales to such blatant discrimination when appointing, as you put it, "two men he can trust and known to be in favour of women as priests and bishops"?

      [May I add another plea for 'anonymous' commentators to use pen names please.]

    3. Richard Pain is also being mentioned as the next bishop of Monmouth - apparently they want a man who will continue their current agenda.