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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Swan song? If only...

The Archbishop of Wales                                                                                      Photo: Church in Wales

[NOTE: According to the Church in Wales web site the programme referred to below has been re-scheduled for broadcast on 8 December 2013 by which time the Archbishop should have retired from the scene had he been employed in the secular world he so much admires but since he is responsible only to himself no doubt he will continue to apply his own personal standards and stay put. - Ed.]

Whether the English 'Songs of Praise' or the Welsh 'Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol',  first, praise where praise is due. My thanks to the Church in Wales for providing bloggers with such fertile ground for blogging.

From a recent press release: "The Archbishop of Wales will present a special edition of the S4C worship singing series Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol on Sunday 17 November (8pm, English subtitles) to celebrate his tenth anniversary as head of the Church in Wales".

'Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol' is the Welsh language version of  Songs of Praise broadcast on S4C which, just like the Church in Wales, serves a minority of people in Wales. It is ranked ninth in the top twenty S4C viewing figures with 31,000 viewers. That's 1% of the population, curiously a similar number of people who attend Church in Wales services regularly each Sunday. But the Archbishop likes minorities, always providing that they are secular, see here and here . They give him the platform he otherwise would be denied for his political posturing to the detriment of the Church. For minorities viewing outside Wales S4C can be accessed online, by satellite and cable, see here.

The S4C programme is produced by a Cardiff-based independent TV production company, Avanti, strangely the same company that was used to produce Songs of Praise sessions from Llandaff Cathedral which resulted in allegations that procurement rules may have been broken. If that rings a bell, so might this headline: "First female Dean of Llandaff Cathedral quits after two months". Full story here but discount the mischievous and unsubstantiated claim: "Church in Wales sources have told WalesOnline that Dean Henderson had had “a 'difficult time' since her appointment, with some clergy resenting the appointment of a woman", a story put about to influence the vote on women bishops with great success after two prominent women clergy in the Archbishop's entourage succeeded in removing statutory provision for worshippers who have not been taken in by the current fad for using the church as an organ of society. 

It is fitting that the Archbishop will be celebrating his own ministry since everything has to be done his way. A chapel boy from Neath, he clothed himself as an Anglican after using his local Anglican Church to learn to play the organ, obviously one of his passions! His journey ends in Llandaff, Cardiff, "where he now lives and where he was first ordained 41 years ago". He says: “I’m deeply aware that I’m following in a line of some of the giants of the Christian faith – people such as the translator of the Bible to Welsh, William Morgan, Alfred Oliver, Joshua Hughes and Richard Lewis and that makes me feel very humble.” Humility is not an obvious trade mark. No bishop from Dubricius in 522 to the much loved Roy Davies in 1999 has done more than Barry Morgan to marginalise the Church in Wales. His magnificent Cathedral is in dire straits with the prayerful few constantly pressed to increase their giving sacrificially to support his 'take it or leave it' regime which is designed to marginalise those who disagree with his secular approach to religion.

If you were to ask people what first came to mind on hearing the word 'Cathedral' no doubt many would say music. A musical tradition to match the splendour of the architecture, the diocesan church par excellence as Barry described his Cathedral. In Llandaff the reality is very different with talk of financial irregularities, nepotism and in-fighting - see comments under the 'Morgan's organ' entry here.

Relations in the Cathedral have taken another knock with the news that 'Peggy Pilot', the omnipresent Archdeacon of Llandaff and part time Cathedral overseer cum temp Dean is to investigate allegations of homophobia within the Cathedral’s choir, story here. No prizes for guessing who will be exonerated.

Two thousand years after Christ appointed His Apostles, Dr Morgan believes that it has fallen to him amongst all the "giants of the Christian faith" to break with the Apostolic Succession. That is not humility, it is conceit. Only he and his fellow bishops now enjoy positions of security in the Church in Wales. While they are adding to their pensions, lesser mortals face an uncertain future under the Church in Wales programme of managed decline. Instead of adding to the number of Christians, they have done the opposite while pursuing their narrow objective of appointing a woman bishop for purely political reasons contrary to the beliefs of the Apostolic Church. Barry's goal now looks likely to succeed unless the church collapses beforehand under the weight of episcopal incompetence.

Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol is often recorded in Welsh chapels with congregational singing rather than a large formal choir, the fate that awaits Llandaff Cathedral on current trends although they will have a magnificent £1.5m organ to accompany the handful of worshippers left in the congregation.

If only Dr Morgan were returning to his roots and this programme were his swan song. Then there would indeed be songs of praise, thanking God for an overdue retirement, 'Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol' yn wir!


Fans of Dr Morgan, another minority no doubt, will be disappointed to learn that Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol this week has been cancelled/postponed having given way to a fundraising concert for the Philippines appeal, details here.

Donations can be made here


  1. Impeach the Bishop now!14 November 2013 at 13:11

    What a way to celebrate a decade of senior management and leadership of the liberal, modern Anglican church! An insignificant archbishop of an insignificant church, presenting an insignificant programme on an insignificant TV channel in an insignificant language. Congratulations Your Insignificantness!

    1. Come come, Impeach the Bishop now!, you're being far too nice.
      Don't forget that the broadcast will be received in the homes of an insignificant number of viewers too, aided by - how did the members of his Cathedral choir put it - ah yes, "Anumpti" productions.
      Don't forget that his ++Insignificantness has a talent for spending not insignificant amounts of other people's hard earned cash. He has a nice new shiny personal Chapel at Llys Esgob, a personal Chaplain to wipe his backside for him, his personal propaganda team in Cathedral Road, not to mention a new £1.5million king of instruments at the foot of his garden upon which to practise his scales.

  2. Come on guys, get real. Bazza still has loads to do - building up his pension pot and property portfolio.

  3. With respect, 'Impeach the bishop ', and also to you, Mr, or, Rev 'Anonymous', I say that the Welsh language, one of the oldest living European languages, is not 'insignificant', neither are the 'Welsh', commonly known by your kind as the 'Taffs'.

    Your remarks are nothing short than a racist slur, reminiscent of the Ann Robinson and Janet Street-Porter of these islands. They are the product of hatred towards the language and its culture, which has infiltrated the province via the Church in Wales.

    As for Barry Morgan, I know him better than anyone who contributes to this blog. I was unlawfully deposed by him in a kangaroo Church in Wales court . He encouraged the end of my marriage and my family. Something of which you appear cowardly silent of 'Impeach the bishop, and also, Mr, or Rev 'Anonymous'. But then maybe, unlike 'Barry Bonk', that's because I'm a 'Taff', and not a true 'Brit'.

    Hopefully now, this ecclesiastical rat will come out to fight , unlike his schooldays of old when he refused to come out to play. Don't worry 'Ancient Briton', I accept liability. My shoulders are broad enough for this false prophet and his cronies legal so called 'professionals'.


    1. My apologies if the first comment also caused offence to other readers. I read it as a satirical remark designed to draw attention to the relative insignificance of Barry's empire - a big fish in a small pond.
      I assume no offence was intended since there would be no point in antagonising sympathisers but clarification would be appreciated please.

      Readers may find it helpful in understanding Clifford Williams' comment to refer to the Ecclesiastical law blog to read "Ecclesiastical Discipline: the Williams case" among other interesting articles concerning the Church in Wales.

    2. Thank you Ancient Briton. 'For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of darkness' Ephesians 6:12.

      The Provincial 'court' of the Church in Wales has no coercive powers outside its own jurisdiction.
      The 1997 court held at Caernarfon County Court, under the guise of the Royal Courts of Justice was an impersonation of a court of law, Its findings, alleged by me, to be a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by three members of the judiciary is not , to date, denied by the 'Office for Judicial Complaints'.

      Another important source from this period Ancient Briton is the scholarly work of Prof Thomas Glyn Watkin ' The courts of the Church in Wales and the rule of law'. (Google).

    3. Clifford, my unreserved apology for any offence caused by any remarks of mine above concerning any "insignificance" of the Welsh language. I am Welsh, proud to be Welsh and from a Church in Wales family that speaks limited Welsh.
      I understood the remarks to concern his ++Unholiness specifically in Llandaff Cathedral where, much to the annoyance of the vast majority of the local regulars who are not Welsh speaking, he imposes interludes of Welsh at every Eucharist in which he is involved.
      His ++Darkness insists we are a bilingual (Anglican) Church, but I believe we are not. At which point in Eucharist services in Eglwys Dewi Sant are interludes of English included for those not fluent in Welsh?
      Political correctness is destroying our society and our Church.
      As a Welshman I object most strongly to the pathetic tokenism imposed by his ++Insignificance. If Welsh is the significant language we would wish it to be, why doesn't his ++Irrelevance preach in Welsh in Llandaff?
      Because the vast majority of the "regulars" would not understand more than a smattering of his tripe!
      As one who has suffered more than enough of his tripe, I wish he would preach in Welsh and I would be spared having to tolerate his drivel.
      I perceive that the problem is thus : trying to be all things at all times to all people results in one outcome - meaning nothing to anyone at any time.
      Thus he is irrelevant.
      He is without any shadow of doubt by some considerable measure the worst Bishop of Llandaff and Archbishop of Wales in living memory (and that's saying something!).
      As far as I am concerned, if Llandaff doesn't get rid of him soon there will be nothing left.
      The long suffering people of Llandaff and Wales deserve so much better.

    4. Thank you anonymous . I understand totally.

  4. One would have thought that the Archbishop of Wales would have avoided presenting another programme produced by Avanti while investigations are going on into an alleged conflict of interests after the production company was awarded the profitable £180,000 contract to record three Songs of Praise editions in Llandaff Cathedral. But then if it is true that his wife is to be appointed Diocesan Registrar conflicts of interest are not likely to concern him.

    1. Theophilus, unlike the Church of England the Church in Wales is not a public body, only in part, namely, the Burial and the Marriage Act. The role of wigged 'Chancellors' and 'Registrars' in its ceremonies are no more statutory than if it were a Masonic Lodge. It is the product of a by-gone age, Ecclesiastical law ceased to be 'Law ' in Wales in 1920, when, in 'Law', it became a private club.

      Hence, the declaration made by the infamous President of the Provincial 'court' in 1997, 'We continue as we please'.It is within this type of kangaroo structure we have to understand the greed and arrogance of Dr Wonga and his wife.

      What Dr Wonga and his Grandees forget to their peril are the words of Gustav Aulen : 'When a dead man speaks, who is there who can silence him'.

    2. From the November edition of The Bell :
      "At the Diocesan Conference on 28th September, the Archbishop made a presentation to
      David Lambert, following his retirement as Diocesan Registrar after 28 years."
      Why is David Lambert's name and photograph still displayed on the Llandaff Diocesan website as the Diocesan Registrar some 8 weeks after he retired?
      Who is doing the job in the meantime?
      Another cover up by ++Darth Insidious?
      The only interests Bazza looks after are his own.

  5. Those of us who live in the diocese of Bangorai well remember that Father Clifford Williams was not ment to survive the perverse machinations of that vile Provincial Kangaroo Court which he faced with dignity and determination. Thanks be to divine providence and to high technology. RESURGAM.

    1. Yes my anonymous brother or sister,the Lord reigns - 'For those who do not have the spirit of Christ are none of His'.

  6. Programme cancelled - The Lord moves in mysterious ways!

    1. From one disaster to another but it puts our troubles into perspective!

  7. Laughter is wonderful medicine in crisis Theophilus. The Lord provides it droves these days - Barry Morgan.

    His usual PR stunt on Radio Wales yesterday, in full denial mode, was another reminder of the Emperor Nero, who claimed to have won a race even though he came in last.

  8. I am trying to establish the prevalence of freemasonry at Landaff Cathedral. Can anyone please enlighten me, with names if possible. Many thanks.

    1. You will need to provide a contact for that Anonymous. It would be unfair to post third-party names. - Ed.

    2. Yes of course Anonymous = Gerard Elias QC, a neighbour of Barry Wonga in Llandaft and Chairman of the Church in Wales Disciplinary Tribunal. See 'Rebecca TV' blog on Google. Ok Gerry lad = hope you don't mind the name dropping and all that!