You are here . on the pale blue dot

Blog notes

Anonymous comments for publication must include a pseudonym.

They should be 'on topic' and not involve third parties.
If pseudonyms are linked to commercial sites comments will be removed as spam.
The blog owner is unable to ‘unfollow’ Followers.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Women bishops vote could be derailed again

Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales                                                                Picture: WalesOnline

A new bid to establish the first women bishops in the Church in Wales could be heading for the rocks, half a decade after the last attempt at reform was sunk according to a report in WalesOnline.

In another report from the BBC, 'two Bangor churches' are to close. Not particularly surprising given the steep decline in worship but the actual figures from the Visitation of the Rectorial Benefice of Bangor Report make grim reading:

Church                         Average attendance 2012
St David's                                       23
St Mary's                                        27
St Peter's                                       25
Eglwys y Groes                              11
Bangor Cathedral                           90

Under the plans, Bangor cathedral will be used as a "parish" church for congregations from St Mary's and St David's which are both within a mile-and-a-half (2.5 km) of the cathedral. But for how long is this solution sustainable with ageing congregations being bused in?

The Church in Wales should have got the message by now. Congregations are voting with their feet but still the hierarchy plods on with a political obsession with women's rights as the church falls apart around them. True, for many it just doesn't matter who is standing at the Altar but for others it is central to their faith. More the pity then that attempts are made to sideline this section of the church. Without them the church will be the poorer both spiritually and financially.

Some see the bishops' Bill as a way forward: " Susie Leafe, director of the conservative group Reform, was impressed by the Bill, saying: “We have watched with interest the approach the Church in Wales has taken and think that what’s currently on the agenda is an imaginative and helpful solution which recognises the integrity of a broad church.” But this takes no account of the fact that the Church in Wales reneged on alternative episcopal oversight after women were admitted to the priesthood and looks set to do the same again if the measure is passed.

The Jackson - Wigley Amendment illustrates the thinking of Women and the Church in England which implies concern but in effect gives no assurances. In the secular world which the church is busy mimicking, who in their right mind would enter into a contract on vague suggestions of fair treatment after the deal is done? 

What is clear in this whole sad affair both in England and in Wales is that the Anglican Church is not prepared to agree in advance acceptable provision for worshippers who follow the traditional teaching of the universal church which must raise doubts about their intentions and remains a cause of considerable concern among many who are in favour of the ordination of women. 


  1. Gogledd Cymru Correspondent10 September 2013 at 14:05

    One fact which has been lost in the detail of the Bangor closures is that these attendance figures are recent ones. They were much higher at St David's Glanadda under the former Archdeacon of Bangor. Like the five other clerics who have followed him in the past 20 months, he went to the Church of England. Bangor is losing its gifted, graduate, welsh-speaking clergy to the English province on an unprecedented scale under the hopeless (and hapless) Bishop Andy Pandy. And what of those Welsh people in Bangor who want to worship in their mother tongue? They must now drive out of town to the far edge of the city to St Peter's Penrhosgarnedd. Why? Because the Dean of Bangor Cathedral "Dr" Sue Jones ('Sour Sue' to her friends)cannot learn Welsh sufficiently well to lead worship. It makes you wonder how someone so intellectually challenged managed to get a University of Wales PhD doesn't it? I wonder if any of your followers have any suggestions? Incidentally, it's Leslie ending with "ie"!

  2. last, "The voice of one calling from the North, the rugged hills". The 'Gogledd Cymru Correspondent', otherwise known as 'Father Reg' or 'Honest Reg', parish priest of Llanbedrnodyn.

    Honestly father,you should have realized that I visit this blog.Cant fool the Enforcer old pal. Anyway,my old sport, damn good comment about the old girl - the 'Ice Maiden' that awful Dean over there. The ashes of Archbishop Gwylim must be turning over in the Lady Chapel.

    Now tell me. Whats this I hear about you having a Teddy Bear Picnic'at the Vicarage?'.

    By the way old chum chum, did you know that 'Bob the Builder' has apparently burnt himself out and is on sabbatical? No cycling with Andy for a while one hears. Splendid stuff. Cheerio!

    1. Just a thought 'Gogledd Cymru Correspondent'.

      I've often wondered about that woman's PhD. What on earth could be her subject I wonder? Glaciers, Climate Warming?'

      Like myself, an amazing late developer though.

  3. The ladies of WATCH have sent a message to the Church in Wales:

    1. Thanks Jill.
      "Grief and outrage"! The message reads more like something from a Trade Union leader than a member of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
      I thought the result was supposed to be guided by the Holy Spirit in response to the prayer of the faithful. In WATCH 'Thy will be done' has become 'our will be done'.

  4. As an outsider and Catholic, I look on with wonder, amusement and amazement at the Anglican Communion. Wasn't the thinking then that by ordaining womyn, it would be a kick up the old behind and bring people back to church and arrest declining congregations? The result? More people leaving. The Episcopal church in the US tried it all - gays, lesbians, womyn bishops, the works. The result - a mass exodus. And here, the Church in Wales is adamant it will solve all it's ills. The mind boggles.

    How do you manage to carry on, Ancient Briton? I would have lost all my hair, never mind my faith, by now. God bless you.

    1. Thank you Terry. Spot on with your summary. Personally, I carry on because I genuinely believe in a broad church as expressed by the reformed catholic faith of the Anglican Communion and out of deep concern for the faithful worshippers who are being elbowed out of their church, particularly the many women who feel betrayed by their sex, my wife included.

    2. I am told that there are more (loose) Canons in Bangor Cathedral than Curates in the parishes. What do they do? They certainly are not learning the Welsh language.

  5. I have re-read Gogledd Cymru Correspondent's post and am left with the horrifying thought that hapless and hopeless though Andy Pandy may be, on the statistics and practices of the Church in Wales he will one day be it's Archbishop. That is unless he is displaced by a woman!