|Llandaff Cathedral with the Archbishop of Wales (also Bishop of Llandaff), Archdeacon of Llandaff and the still vacant Deanery|
Among the dismal, declining attendance figures in the Church of England (CofE) there has been a ray of hope where cathedrals have bucked the trend with an increase in attendance over the last decade although the CofE report cautions that "almost all the increase in attendance in the past decade is due to increased midweek attendance rising from 8,900 in 2002 to 16,800 in 2012". Nevertheless there is a glimmer of hope amidst the gloom; analysis here.
Not so in Wales where Llandaff Cathedral has bucked the trend but in the opposite direction. As predicted, seven professional members of Llandaff Cathedral choir have lost their jobs in a bid to save £45,000 as part of the cost-cutting measures to reduce the £81,000 deficit. Having a mathematician in the Deanery and a chartered accountant in the Archdeaconry may have aided the cathedral's acquisition of a magnificent £1.5 million organ but has resulted in a severely depleted choir which it accompanies. Story here with comments from 'Let nothing you dismay' here.
Much has been made in news items about the timing of the sackings but should anyone be surprised? After all the Archbishop believes that the church should reflect society where sackings in time for Christmas are not uncommon. But why the choir? Take a look at the diocesan information page which lists personnel including an Archbishop, an Ass Bishop, three Archdeacons and 28 others in support excluding a Dean. - Apparently nobody wants the job and who could blame them.
Last Sunday the Archbishop preached, somewhat nervously I thought, at a service in Swansea which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4' Sunday Worship. His subject, The Coming of Christ as Judge which may explain his delivery. As usual he managed to insert 'gender' into his Address: "And Jesus’ whole life was spent ministering to those on the margins of His society because of their gender, occupation, race or illness." If only Jesus had completed His work by appointing women Apostles and handing the keys of heaven to one of them the Archbishop would not have such an onerous task convincing people that the Church has been wrong for 2,000 years.
Instead Dr Morgan and others like him have been able to carve out careers for themselves doing what Christ did not do. The consequences are plain for all to see.