|Llandaff Deanery with former temporary Dean, the Archbishop of Wales and current 'minder', the Archdeacon of Llandaff.|
The Deanery on Llandaff Cathedral Green has been vacant ever since the last appointee did a runner in May after only weeks in the job. The mystery of why she left has not been solved but everything points to her having been sold a pup. Effectively the Deanery has been empty since the Ven John Lewis returned to the hills back in July 2012.
In the June issue of the Llandaff Parish Magazine, The Bell, Archbishop Morgan wrote: [The Cathedral] "..is the Bishop’s church, the place where he has his chair – the place, in other words, where he has his home but the place from which he exercises oversight over the wider diocesan family. And, it is in my capacity as Bishop, that I have decided to exercise direct oversight over the Cathedral for the time being" while he 'pondered what to do next'. Having pondered for a while as Archbishop, Diocesan Bishop, Temp Dean and Vicar in addition to his political work, he reverted to the position of leaving the Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Venerable Peggy Jackson with the "necessary oversight of the Cathedral on his behalf, until a new Dean is appointed".
One has to ask who in their right mind would want to take on the task given the reported mess that the Cathedral is in, corporately and financially. The vogue of appointing women as Deans in preparation for accepting women bishops was an abject failure. Traditionalist clergy of the calibre of the late Dean of Monmouth, the Very Rev Jeremy Winston, are not wanted in today's church because they do not subscribe to the view that faith must be governed by society. As for the rest of the clergy we must draw our own conclusions from Dr Morgan's preference for looking outside the Province for senior staff. One suggestion I heard doing the rounds was that the Ass Bishop would be persuaded to move to the Deanery to write his books leaving the way open for Dr Morgan to achieve his goal of appointing the first woman bishop as Assistant Bishop of Llandaff before retiring, mission accomplished.
The Venerable F A Jackson obviously had sufficient time on her hands while doing both jobs to work on the amendment which scuppered the Bishops' motion for a two stage Bill accepting the ordination of women to the episcopacy subject to statutory provision being made for "those faithful worshippers who, in good conscience, hold views of scripture and the tradition of the Church which makes it difficult or impossible for them to accept the role, of ordained women", as the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon succinctly put it. Could 'Bishop' Jackson be part of a deal?
Leaving speculation aside, one thing is clear from all the comments received. It is time that Archbishop Morgan made Llys Esgob vacant giving the Church in Wales a fresh start. That is not just a majority view, it is unanimous. The "Bishop’s church" is in dire straits. Membership is plummeting leaving the remainder with an ever increasing financial burden. There is a weariness of his stewardship but there is no oversight of the overseers. Under the Constitution of the Church in Wales unless the Archbishop becomes incapacitated by infirmity he is able to carry on regardless. That cannot be for the good of the Church.
"Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity". Titus 2:7.