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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

First woman bishop to celebrate the Eucharist at Llandaff Cathedral

Photo: Islam Times                                                           Bishop Geralyn Wolf

You couldn't dream up a story like this. Before women bishops are legal in the Church in Wales, the near bankrupt Llandaff Cathedral (where, as acting Dean, the Archbishop of Wales tore up the notion of twin integrity) is to host a celebration of the Eucharist where the President will be a converted Jewish, Episcopalian woman bishop who defrocked another female priest in the US Episcopal Church for being a 'Christian Muslim'. While the Archbishop himself is partial to a spot of clergy discipline he is more inclined to matters of the flesh than the spirit where more or less anything goes. Nevertheless he may have some explaining to do with his Muslim friends for welcoming a cleric who in their eyes will be guilty of Islamophobia because Jesus would be regarded as a lesser prophet in Islam.

In another step towards nonconformity the celebration is the culmination of  "Crossing the Threshold!", a "day conference to mark the opening of the Episcopate to women in the Church in Wales". Other participants are the Revd Dr Jenny Hurd, Chair Wales Synod Methodist Church and Jane Williams, "Theological writer and educator" - better known as Mrs Rowan Williams, now Lady Williams of Oystermouth, the sort of honour feminism still has to suffer.

The story appears as the very last item  in the Pentecost 2014 edition of the Monmouth Diocesan Newsletter [bottom of page 12]. Page 8 has a report on the April meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales. Most prominent are Assisted dying [killing] and Same-sex marriage: "the Bench of Bishops asked the Standing Doctrinal Commission to look at the issue of blessing of civil partnerships". The Chairman of the Commission is the Reverend Canon Dr. Peter Sedgwick, Principal of the failed St Michael's College, Llandaff. His wife is the Revd Jan Gould, organiser of "Crossing the Threshold!", who tried to get a previous meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to agree that no candidate could be presented for ordination if they opposed women’s ordained ministry.

Conspicuous for its absence from the Newsletter's GB report is any reference to the discussion on the Code of Practice. From Highlights:

4. In approving this Canon, the Governing 
Body entrusts the Bench of Bishops 
without delay to agree a Code of Practice 
which commits the Bench to making 
provisions such that all members of the 
Church in Wales, including those who in 
conscience dissent from the provisions 
of section 1, may have a sense of 
security in their accepted and valued 
place within the Church in Wales. 

The "Crossing the Threshold!" celebration takes place at St Michael’s College, Cardiff on 4th September 2014 ending with a Eucharist at 7.45pm in Llandaff Cathedral, a week BEFORE the 12 September 2014, the date from which it will be possible for women to be ordained as bishops (details here) and well before the next meeting of the Governing Body which takes place on Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 September 2014 where further dissent is possible if the bishops renege on their pledge.

This is unacceptable in any democratic organisation and another example of how Barry and the Bench have used the Church for political ends.

As for the Governing Body, the Bishop of Monmouth was spot on when he wrote (page 5), "People seem to nod approval (or congregations are just too polite!)".

The message is clear: WAKE UP GB!


  1. So, "Abandon hope all ye who enter" Llandaff Cathedral ...
    On reading this latest post, I felt it could no longer be possible to resist the despair or maintain the hope that there could be any future in the Church in Wales for a cradle Anglican who has no wish to be and for whom there would not be meaning in being anything other.
    Impossible to maintain the delusion that something approximating to "normal service" might be resumed and that His Darkness' third appointment of a Dean might mean that the Cathedral would be allowed to be run by the Dean and Chapter - a stupid thought when he appointed them all.
    (The reality was demonstrated by the recent confirmation service by the Asst Bishop as ever stripping any dignity from something solemn and assisted by the triumphal sisterhood).
    It is a reminder, Ancient Briton, of how grateful we must be that you continue to shine a light where His Darkness would surely prefer you did not as he presses relentlessly on to his goal of severing the Church in Wales from "the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" in which "we" profess to believe in his new Creed. Since reputedly he keeps his baleful eye closely on your blog, thank goodness his Dementors haven't got you yet.

  2. Yes, Lost Sheep, it is all so sad that this man ,who should be striving to 'shepherd' us and guide us towards the Eternal Kingdom, is totally obsessed with creating his own organisation (church) , but not for love of his sheep, whose souls have been entrusted to him,but purely for self-fulfilling reasons.
    He is bound to retire soon( unless he changes the rules! ) ,and then he may joyfully accept the title of Lord Cytun of Llandaff,so that he can then sit in the House of Lords and continue his calamitous and malignant work by contributing to the demise of the Church of England too.

  3. Knight on the Green29 May 2014 at 09:28

    I am not sure that the infamous episcopal discretionary fund would stand up to scrutiny by the House of Lords Appointments Committee.

    1. Dear Knight of the Green, Since 1920 what the hell has the 'House of Lords' got to do with Barry Morgan?

  4. And we must not forget (as was pointed out in a reply to an earlier post, (Lowlights?) that this "Chair", to connive in their (selectively) "inclusive" language, of the Doctrinal Commission, has no problem with being a member of ARCIC. You might think that any "person" with an ounce of integrity might spot a conflict there? But not if you were one of His Darkness' henchpersons eager to further his nefarious purposes wherever you can, eagerly assisted by the likes of Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. Wigley and Ms Gould, and passively by the Capon and the rest of the headless, or should it be spineless, chickens.

  5. And now see this amusing piece: Church of England dioceses go for gold!

  6. Your message at the end of this blog entry is " WAKE UP GB"
    I see from the 'Highlights' of the GB that the Commision of Covenanted Churches had recommended that "all existing ministers agree to the laying on of hands by at least one Anglican Bishop and at least one other bishop representing the other traditions within the Church Uniting in a step forward to full covenanted ministry".
    These discussion papers prepared by the Commision have already been discussed by the GB and a response from the denominations is required by July 2014.
    This matter came up in conversation with a (traditional) Anglican priest,whose opinion is "I shall not kneel before a non- conformist bishop!"
    May I reiterate loud and clear "WAKE UP GB". And also WAKE UP quickly parish clergy and stir up your congregation!

    1. Exactly, Simple Soul, it is high time that the parish clergy woke up, took the lead and rallied their people against this utter rot. If the clergy will not defend us from such an assault against the very creedal truths that define the church then we must really question why do we need ordained clergy? Just give up now, save the weekly cash payments, and have lay celebration. Let’s face it, lay celebration is what we will have if any of those non-conformist ministers start playing around with the three fold orders of ministry.

  7. I was at GB in September last year and spoke out against both the amendment and also the Bill itself. It was a poor standard of debate; I heard little theology there. The Bench started out my not support in the amendment and suddenly changed their mind half way through the debate. The debate was badly chaired and some people were frankly disrespectful of other people's views. As the cheer went up as the result was announced, something that I found distasteful, the Church in Wales was from that moment different. It seems to me at GB meetings that everything goes through on the nod, it is unlike General Synod in England. It seems filled with a variety of people for various reasons, some are co-opted of who there seems to be no particular reason for. It needs to change, there needs to be greater scrutiny of these various commissions and committees that exist and how people end up on the them. Who are they and how do they get there? The challenge to the Church should be to throw its doors open within the inner workings and be more transparent. I sometimes think the Curia in Rome is more open than the inner workings of the Church.

    In addition as I have said here before, Catholic parishes and clergy need to be putting people forward to Governing Body, so that we are heard. The same needs to be said for Credo Cymru, we need to be in these places being heard, so that we cannot be ignored.

  8. From my own conversations with some lay friends ,my impression is that most people in the pew do not know that the Uniting Church in Wales is happening,and what's more some seem to think I have got it wrong!!
    As far as the GB goes ,as I have said previously, it has been pruned and doctored to include co- opted persons who are flattered by this inclusion ,and who are co-opted only because they are strong supporters of ++ Barry's scheme.
    Yes,I imagine that the GB has been so corrupted that everything does now" go through on the nod" , because ++Barry has so groomed the GB that most agree with him and if they do not agree ,then they have learnt it does not pay to disagree.
    It is shameful.

  9. Llandaff Pelican30 May 2014 at 12:38

    Aha! We may have got Byzantine Barry over a barrel on this one. From my reading of the C in W Constitution, he will be breaking the Church's own Canons as they currently stand. I am surprised that, for someone who is so legally tetchy, he failed to spot this one coming. If he goes ahead and permits it without the passing of a Bill - after it has gone through the ALL necessary stages - a complaint against him will result in him being dragged before one of those tribunals he so liberally threatens others with.

    1. In 2010 the Dean of Southwark invited ++ Barry's liberal mentor the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori to celebrate but she was not allowed to wear her mitre because women bishops are not recognised in the Church of England.
      The invitation by Dean Colin Slee to the cathedral was a calculated snub to Rowan Williams according to the report here
      Perhaps the Archbishop is thumbing his nose to those who expect standards to be maintained but if Bp Geralyn Wolf is allowed to wear her hat I think you are correct Llandaff Pelican. There could be trouble ahead.

    2. Knight on the Green30 May 2014 at 18:21

      Women bishops, same-sex marriages and assisted killing. The triad of His Darkness’ agenda – he will have them all at whatever cost. Apparently he is already blessing same-sex unions (so he can tick that one off). He has assisted in killing off the Church in Wales (another tick on the list). Inviting a lady to preside in his cathedral wearing a mitre (half a tick, to be raised to full tick status once he’s stuck a pointy hat on one of the Gould-Wigley-Jackson coven). The Church in Wales really has become a minority church for the minorities.

  10. So should the Dean be onto this one?

    1. I would hope the Dean knows what is going on in his Cathedral Simple soul but is he in control?

      An interesting comment on Virtue Online from Alice C. Linsley: "I knew Geralyn when she was Vicar of St. Mary's, Bainbridge Street, in Philadelphia, an African-American congregation. I interviewed her about her ministry. She is a convert from Judaism, but I'm not sure she was fully converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
      That explains much!

  11. Llandaff Pelican30 May 2014 at 20:28

    It's not just a matter of whether she wears episcopal regalia or not. The fact is that her consecration as a bishop is not cross-transferable to a province that has no legal provision for such ministry. M'Learned Friend in Church House, Westminster, has kindly dug out the relevant documentation (along with the correspondence which led to ++Rowan's intervention at Southwark over the Jefferts Schori incident). The only way round it is to invite her as a presbyter of another church in communion with the Church in Wales to preside at the Eucharist. Any reference to her being a bishop will be in breach of the Canons. So, come on, Barry, I say. This is the opportunity we've all been waiting for. As far as the Dean is concerned, his consent will not only be necessary but essential. And talking of snubs, it is gratifying to discover that The Capon has restored the use of the High Altar in Llandaff Cathedral after Bayzantine Barry decommissioned it in another of his unilateral acts of riding roughshod over anyone who disagrees with him. Can we hope The Capon will display some more of the tenacity that his Lord and Master attributed to him upon his appointment?

    1. Llandaff Pewster31 May 2014 at 23:06

      Don't hold your breath Llandaff Pelican.
      The golf caddy got the job in the first place precisely because he won't put up any resistance to bully boy ++Bazza.

      From his letter in the latest edition of The Bell:

      "3) Financial support for choral music. Without substantial commitment to this area of our worship, the funding of music from general income streams and weekly giving is no longer possible."

      There has been no "funding of music" since the Cathedral choir were made redundant last December. I read "is no longer possible" to mean that following his letter, in a few weeks time another letter or press release will follow to say no additional giving has been forthcoming and the Chapter have no choice but to initiate another "consultation process" leading to Moorhouse being made redundant (which is long overdue because he does bugger-all anyway).

      "1) Making ends meet.
      If the Cathedral is unable be open or properly resourced, it will fail in its obligation to God’s people as a place worship and encounter - it must promote an atmosphere of faith that is tangible.
      That why our weekly giving vital."
      Seems to me the post of head verger is also likely to be for the chop.

      By September there will be too few boy choristers to keep even the current pathetic level of music going so the choral tradition at Llandaff is on its very last legs.

      Anyone interested in having a souvenir of the Cathedral Choir should snap up the last few available copies of the Majestas CD.
      When they're gone, they're gone.

    2. See

      Obviously Simon Thurley of English Heritage hasn't been paying attention to the attendance figures at Llandaff (although in fairness he is referring to 'English' Cathedrals).
      “With superb music and creative liturgy, cathedrals are full at Christmas and Easter, and are bucking the general decline in churchgoing.”
      Again, not in the fiefdom of His ++Darkness.

    3. See also December 21, 2013 entry: "Llandaff Cathedral bucking a trend"

  12. At least they will have a lovely £1.5 million organ to look at.

  13. I have an idea to make some money !
    SELL the organ on ebay,
    BUY the Majestas CD and a CD player with big speakers - and abracadabra perfect singing every time!
    And no more worries on the golf course about finance.

  14. PS. After all our leader is good at selling - at least he knows how to "sell down the river".

  15. Llandaff Pelican3 June 2014 at 10:36

    Yes, the worship in Llandaff Cathedral is, frankly, depressing. To be fair to the The Capon, he recognises it (but lacks any background experience or skills in addressing it effectively). If you want beautifully ordered liturgy in the Church of England, you go to a cathedral (which is why they have experienced 35% growth over the past decade). If you want beautifully ordered liturgy with inspiring music in Cardiff, you do NOT go to Llandaff Cathedral. You go to St Martin's, Roath. The last time I was there on an 'ordinary' Sunday, the place was packed. Lots of young people (i.e. late teens, 20s, 30s etc). We had a Mozart Mass and stunning organ music. I was told it is like this most weeks. Strangely, they seem to get little affirmation from Byzantine Barry. Perhaps this is because he cannot face the fact that a traditional catholic parish is bucking the trend of the C in W's self-annihilation.

    1. Why should we be fair to the Capon?
      Why should we believe he thinks the worship at Llandaff is depressing? In view of his comments in The Bell, should we believe he cares, or is he already too comfortably settled in his nest?
      Your correspondents say it would be illegal for this ex?-Jewish pseudo woman bishop to preside at a celebration of the Eucharist, but there's no sign of the slightest bleat of objection from the Capon even though he is nominally the boss at the Cathedral. His Darkness just rode roughshod over him. Probably not even a pretence of consulting him, but then would His Darkness have given him the job if he thought he wouldn't have been compliant?
      And while Llandaff Pelican is working himself up to such enthusiasm about St Martin's, don't they use the wretched new rite there?
      He must have a short memory if he's forgotten that brief period of light which broke through the dark clouds that have enveloped Llandaff when Dean Napoleon was indisposed and for too short a time we were permitted to savour a reminder of Llandaff at its historical best. His Darkness didn't make the mistake of allowing his flock that again.
      No one can doubt that Ms Geralyn Wolf will have been positively encouraged to "put her hat on" when she purports to celebrate? And who cares about the legality - the Ass Bishop never misses the chance to say the Constitution of the Church in Wales is a work of fiction. As for anyone who wants to object, isn't His Darkness' favourite response "tough"?

    2. I have never been to St Martin's and it may well have its faults, but there are interesting and objective comparisons available elsewhere.
      Llandaff Cathedral scores 2/10.
      I am surprised by the comments concerning the choir since there is no longer a real Cathedral choir and the reporter seems to have failed to spot those huge gaps in the back rows of the choir stalls. Perhaps he/she was treated to the staple diet of Duo Seraphim or Brother James' Air.
      The mystery worshipper also reports being there at the 11am on 15th March which was a Saturday, so I suspect the incorrect date is a typo as the Golf caddy was down to preach on 16th March..

      The last review of St Martins was in 2003 but then it scored 9/10
      Maybe a new visit by a mystery worshipper is due?

    3. Lux Et Veritas5 June 2014 at 23:46

      Be fair to the Capon?
      Rumours around the Green in Llandaff suggest that he is intent on spending large amounts of money he and the Cathedral don't have on recruiting and employing a Personal Assistant for him.
      No doubt the next post on the list is for him to recruit a personal Chaplain too!

  16. No-one said anything to my knowledge that there was a women bishop participating in the consecration of +Monmouth recently