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Monday, 1 July 2013

Vacantsee in the Church in Wales

Coat of arms of the Diocese of Monmouth
Wikimedia Commons

Following the retirement of the Bishop of Monmouth a vacancy has arisen for a bishop in the Church in Wales to assist five other diocesan bishops plus an Ass Bishop managing observing the decline of the Anglican church in Wales.

A gay and/or divorced candidate is preferred to demonstrate that the Church in Wales is 'swimming along with the cultural tide' by putting Worldliness before Godliness.

To enrich the pool of provincial candidates, interest from outside the Province will be especially welcome. Interest from female clergy will be doubly appreciated. Although not yet approved by the Church in Wales' Governing Body (synod), a strong female interest will be regarded as useful ammunition in justification of the Archbishop's obsession with admitting women to the episcopate.

Nothing should be inferred from the short tenures of appointees in the neighbouring Diocese of Llandaff where unspecified problems are considered irrelevant to outsiders.

A flexible backbone will be seen as a distinct advantage given the need to bend to the Archbishop's will but theologically His Grace only demands a level of literacy and scholarship sufficient to enable the candidate to misquote passages from the Bible and put a politically correct spin on Holy Scripture.

As chief pastor the bishop will be expected to lead and teach beliefs approved only by the bench of bishops. Dissenters are to be ignored in line with Welsh episcopal policy other than for the collection of the parish share.

While minor clergy and congregations must adapt to the reality of their situation, the office of bishop remains a secure, permanent position strengthened by the independent review carried out for the Archbishop by the former Bishop of Oxford and confidant of Dr Morgan.

Press Release: "A successor for Bishop Dominic will be chosen by an electoral college, made up of people from all over Wales and all the Welsh bishops, which will meet in private in Newport Cathedral from July 23."

An earlier (October 2012) press release stated that "the process for electing a new bishop will start in the New Year when the Archbishop of Wales will appoint a facilitator to help diocesan representatives draw up a profile of the diocese". - No doubt to ensure that the electoral college comes to the right conclusion!


  1. Happily I believe we can trust the electors from this diocese and outside to listen carefully for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to nominate the candidate who is right for this Diocese at this time.

    I cannot see why you would wish to prejudge their decision. Lampoon the result all you like when a nomination is made, but please give the electors (and more important the Holy Spirit) some space in the mean time.

    1. Lampoon! The only joke is in the title, the rest is evidence based.

      Your faith in the Holy Spirit is admirable Abervicar but consider the evidence. On the issue which separates us, in Wales as in England the work of the Holy Spirit is claimed by the establishment only when the vote goes in their favour. Every 'No' vote results in another bite of the apple. A former Archbishop of Wales went so far as to claim that a lost vote was the work of the devil!

      In England the House of Bishops has granted the right to eight senior women priests elected by senior women priests to attend and speak at their meetings leaving traditionalist bishops and PEVs in a minority of five.

      Synod and GB are being manipulated to achieve the desired result but if the votes are lost again will that be the work of the Holy Spirit? Not in their book.

      Dr Morgan is using a different ruse to achieve his aim despite the previous rejection by suggesting that the principle of women bishops be accepted by the Governing Body but not implemented until arrangements are made for those who, like the overwhelming majority of Christians, are unable to accept the ordination of women. If the desire is genuine why not first make acceptable provision? You will find the answer in the Church of England where every promise has been broken and even that which was given is being taken away. That is not my idea of the Holy Spirit at work in the church, quite the contrary.

    2. The Church in Wales is not the Church of England; the Diocese of Monmouth is not the Diocese of Llandaff; and I would be a charlatan if I did not have faith and confidence in the work of the Holy Spirit.

      It strikes me as inconsistent that you criticise two Archbishops for seeking to predetermine the work the Holy Spirit has to do in the Church, yet you are happy to advance your own idea on how the Holy Spirit should (or should not) be at work in the Church.

      The only Church worth having (because it is the only Church full stop) is the one where God has the ideas as to how the Holy Spirit is to be at work.

      To turn more closely to your original post (and those matters which you allege are based on fact), it is worth pointing out: (a) there appears to be no church-political agenda among the diocesan electors, nor a specific stance on issues of morality; (b) it is evident from the (legitimate) diversity of views and styles among the current occupants of the Bench that they are not supinely following a common agenda, however set.

      I repeat that the electors (all of them) need the space to respond to the Holy Spirit, and the closer the election comes, the less they will need our comments, and the more they will need our prayers.

    3. True Abervicar, the Church in Wales is not the Church in England. At least in England the continuing commitment to appoint PEVs has been honoured, unlike in Wales where Abp Barry Morgan is adamant that he will not countenance what he likes to term 'a Church within a Church' by appointing another PAB, clearly blind to the fact that he already leads a relatively tiny church within the wider, universal Church which rejects the blatantly liberal policies which he has adopted along with the bench of bishops.

      Even Abp Rowan Williams whom I thought to be the protector of minorities changed his tune when the Holy Spirit moved Synod to reject the admission of women to the episcopate. Both Archbishops have prejudged the admission of women to episcopate by ignoring the 'No' votes.

      In my book the 'only church worth having' is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church we hold to in our creed, not in Wales, not in England, not in the Anglican Communion, but in Christ's church here on Earth.

      As I previously replied, when the Holy Spirit speaks in rejecting moves to ordain women, there is always another bite of the apple. Hence the diminishing church. Yes by all means let electors respond to the Holy Spirit as you suggest but when the choice is predetermined, how meaningful can the result be?

      I hope you have had the time to listen to Prof Peter Kreeft in the following entry. If you have you will have a better understanding of where those of my constituency are coming from.

    4. Can you please explain how the choice of the next Bishop of Monmouth has been predetermined.

    5. Thank you Archie. To clarify I do not use the word in the personal sense but in the general sense summed up in an entry on 25 January 2013:
      I hope that helps.

    6. I listened to some of the stuff in the following entry and frankly it strikes me as paranoia. You are right in saying we should be strong in our faith; yet it is only weak faith that needs to attack and blame others to bolster itself. Strong faith is convinced and convincing, and need not harp on about how everyone else is wrong because it is itself clearly right.

      Or to quote from 1John: 'Perfect love casts out fear'.

  2. Joseph Golightly1 July 2013 at 15:51

    I was fascinated to read the latest today from the Director of Forward in Faith - here is the article

    In it he talks about Inclusivity, living together, accepting others points of view etc. He asserts that there is "..anger, bile and sheer nastiness" which is not Christian and lacking in love. He talks about those opponents of women's ordination not having read the Scriptures they purport to defend. Perhaps he has not remembered, for example Athanasius and many many others who having read the scriptures then had to bravely fight for the truth Without their steadfastness the Church as we know it would not exist. Colin Podmore is in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water. And in order to achieve what he has set out Forward in Faith's Communion Document has to go

  3. Joseph Golightly2 July 2013 at 07:55

    What I should have added yesterday was that Inclusive Church already exists - for those who don't know here is the link

    So that will save time setting up the structure. Is that what Forward in Faith is now about - members need to be told.

  4. Dear Ancient Briton,

    I have been wondering whether you received my further response to you, as it has not appeared. I have tried email, but no answer yet. Perhaps you would be kind enough to let me know by emailing

    Many thanks.

    1. I have emailed a reply direct as requested confirming that I have received only your original comment. Sorry about that Abervicar. If at first you don't succeed....

  5. Is there a gay divorced candidate in the running? Imagine there are one or two secretly-gay-but-married ones about and they'd have more of chance of being elected. I know which I would prefer.

    1. I don't know the answer to that.
      The Church in Wales has had a divorced bishop but not an openly gay bishop that I know of. Dr Morgan is on record as being open to the appointment of a gay bishop and there have been suggestions that the Dean of St Albans may be in the running.
      The Monmouth Diocesan web site invites nominations leaving the door open to all, including a nomination from FiF Wales. That would be interesting although I understand that early money was on a local boy known to be in sympathy with current trends.

  6. Elephant in the room - why all the fuss about a possible gay bishop - wasn't the last one gay? Clearly. Move on guys this is the 21st Century and society rightly expects equality and common sense to prevail. In a caring profession, odds are that there are loads of gays in the church and the majority do a good job (not so sure about the mysogonists).