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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Llandaff Cathedral - Sneak

From the Church in Wales web site: "Link to video of Sneak a Peek at Llandaff Cathedral – where the work of  the Llandaff Diocesan officers and committees was exhibited. Day hailed as a great success." - See above.

At last some success to report from Llandaff Cathedral, but only self satisfaction. Their real purpose is to serve God and man. What are they doing about that?- [Feminists please note that is mankind, human beings considered collectively; the human race.]

Perhaps this is a fitting entry for today 'celebrating', if that is the correct word, over 400,000 page views. When I started this blog I didn't have a specific aim in mind other than to have a bit of fun using a free facility to get things which irritated me off my chest (see 'Welcome' here). The Church wasn't one of them but the mean spirited antics of Women and the Church (WATCH) advancing the feminist cause at the expense of the faithful in the Church of England and the even worse fate of traditional worshippers in the Church in Wales has tended to take over, especially when urged on by readers who simply wish to be treated with the respect they are due and to worship God according to their own tradition rather than to a formula imported from the Archbishop's heretical mentor, the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church.

Entries about the goings on in the Church in Wales are, save one, the most popular read and commented on with interest around the world as indicated by the Flag Counter. But there are far more questions than answers. Most concern the fate of the Church in Wales and its archiepiscopal Llandaff Cathedral. 

Now if the worshipping life of the Cathedral as an exemplar for the Diocese and the Province could be "hailed as a great success" that really would be something to cheer about! 

Over to you Archbishop.


  1. Congratulations, Ancient Briton, on reaching the milestone of 400,000 views.
    His ++Irrelevance wishes that he could attract such a keen level of interest. The word on the Cathedral Green is that your blog enjoys a much greater readership than the RB website or The Bell since the long suffering pew sitters can find out far more here concerning the truth of Bazza and his cronies are really up to.
    Long may it continue and here's raising a rum pansy to you and your blog.

    The Sneak Peek "hailed as a great success"?
    By whom?
    If face of the cleric in the blue shirt with hands in his pockets masticating on chewing gum in the North West corner next to the Bazza's Ass (filmed at 59 seconds onwards in the clip) is any means of judging, it must have been truly riveting stuff indeed.

    1. Chewing gum in the cathedral? Whatever next?

  2. I see that the Llandaff Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) needs help. He is so overwhelmed with applications from those who wish to test their vocation that he needs an assistant DDO. Strange? If there are so many candidates for ordination why has St Michael’s College gone bust? The reality of course is that there have been more DDOs in the Diocese of Llandaff in the past five years than there have been ordinands. That means that either inappropriate DDOs have been appointed (yet another failure in discerning leadership on the part of His Darkness) or the chosen DDOs have rapidly come to the conclusion that His Darkness is an absolute shocker to work under.
    I reckon the Diocesan Welsh Language Officer has got the right idea. A dab hand at keeping his head down and doing advanced stuff-all. He was nowhere to be seen at the Cathedral during the ‘Sneak a Peek’ day. His parish vision is to be a church ‘With the aim of extending the kingdom of God’; they wish ‘to grow as a missionary church at the heart of the City of Cardiff’. All that is to achieved by the building being safely locked, bolted and closed six days a week – that’s a really novel approach to outreach! The question is, what exactly does the Diocesan Welsh Language Officer actually do all week? Perhaps he needs an assistant to help him lighten the load of doing bugger all? To save money the diocese could appoint a combined Assistant-DDO and Assistant-Welsh Language Officer? The Ass-bishop would then have his own little domain looking after all the Ass-es in the diocese.

    1. If the "blogger" actually spent more time checking the accuracy of his/her blog then they would not print inaccurate information. Read the noticeboard at Eglwys Dewi Sant and you will see that the church is not "closed 6 days a week". The church is not just open to the public on Sundays! The public are invited to visit the church every Wednesday between 11am and 5pm! In addition the church is widely used for community activities - Cardiff Blues Choir, Cardiff Philharmonic Choir, Cor y Waunddyfal, Cordydd, Cymrodorion Caerdydd and many more.... Felly mae Eglwys Dewi Sant yn fyw iawn yng nghanol calon y Ddinas.

    2. I am not in a position to check the accuracy of everything that commentators write Anonymous but I would expect the same standard of honesty and integrity as used by the author. You should note that when critics have been challenged none has been able to substantiate their criticism save one which I took on trust.

      I have published your anonymous comment because you seek to make a clarification but please note that normally anonymous comments will not be published - see Blog Introduction.

    3. So Dewi Sant is still closed Monday, Tuesday, part of Wednesday (except 1100-1700), Thursday, Friday and Saturday! I rest my point!! As a city centre prime site it is closed most of the time.

    4. So instead of being closed for the claimed 6 days a week, St. David's church is merely closed for 5 1/4 days a week?
      So, Anonymous, exactly what does the Diocesan Welsh Language Officer do for the rest of the week?

  3. I say it was a success. Is that a problem to you? But then I was there doing the real work of talking to the large number of people who came, helping them with their parish support needs, as opposed to sitting on my backside writing hurtful, destructive, and school boy humour I would actually know the real value of such events and the huge amount of work that goes into them. If you'd like to know more contact us at the diocese and we'd be thrilled to be able to speak to you. ...but of course that would mean having the backbone to say who you are! Unlikely! Anyway back to the real work with God's people in this diocese.

    1. For the benefit of readers I assume this must be one of the "Diocesan Personnel" (Tel No: 01656 868860 if you wish to contact him) engaged in "Coaching, Lay Training and Mission Officer. Diocesan Advocate for the Church in Wales Review, Diocese of Llandaff".
      One of the many 'supporting' the few.

    2. Just to point out you have the wrong Richard; the comment is from Richard Jones, the parish Resources Adviser - who works incredibly hard in supporting the people and Parishes of the Diocese - as do all of the staff in the Diocesan office. And yes I am biased - I'm the Diocesan Secretary who is just fed up at the half truths, snide comments and downright lies which are posted - not on the original blog but in the nasty comments made thereafter. Peter Atkins

    3. Thank you Peter. My apologies for any error on my part but there appears to be some confusion here. The Church in Wales web site lists "The Parish Resources Advisor for the Diocese" as Richard Jones but with the same telephone number (01656 868860) and photograph as Richard Jones, "Coaching, Lay Training and Mission Officer. Diocesan Advocate for the Church in Wales Review, Diocese of Llandaff". Perhaps you can clarify and let me have details of any "downright lies" you are aware of. Thanks.

    4. The Llandaff Diocese website lists over 120 Parishes.
      How many of those Parishes were represented at your event Richard?

    5. Llandaff Pewster27 June 2014 at 21:24

      Would Mr Atkins be willing to clear up one small niggle for us?

      On precisely what has ++Bazza spent the sum of £243,511 since 2005 from his 'discretionary' funds?

    6. The "real value of such events" seems to be to justify the existence of those in non-jobs with grandiose but meaningless job titles.

      "Talking"? Probably true Richard.
      "Large number of people"? Demonstrably untrue.
      Helping them with their "Parish support needs"? Rubbish. Parishes need hard working Vicars and Curates. The Diocese, St Michael's and the Church In Wales has been failing to provide them for years if not decades. The demographic time bomb of large numbers of clergy coming up for retirement will mean most Churches will be unmanned within another decade.
      Glib posters on expensive frames on display in a largely empty building meeting "Parish support needs" is risible.
      I bet you would be "thrilled" to speak to me, it would probably double the interest you receive in the twaddle being peddled as 21st Century Welsh Anglican Christianity. I don't need to know more thank you, I've seen and heard enough of such bullsh*t already.
      To know about "real work" you'd need to get a real job!

    7. Richard Jones and Peter Atkins can't be that busy with their official duties if they have the time to be surfing the internet, reading this blog and posting replies on a normal working day during normal office hours (10.19am Richard and 2.18pm Peter). Most, if not all, corporations have strict rules about the use of social media and the like during company time and making personal statements on behalf of the corporation quoting their official job titles too.

      Presumably the Church in Wales has a social media section within its disciplinary policy?
      Or did Richard and Peter have permission from His ++Darkness to post their responses?

    8. I would guess they were encouraged to respond Episkopos.

      And we must not forget the upset caused to 'Anonymous' who asked @ 11.10am: "Where is the love for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Where is the humility, the grace and the faith?"

      I wonder if he/she served the former Bishop of Llandaff who was reduced tears at GB following the filth and verbal abuse he received for upholding the Christian faith, daring to question "Women, Bishops, Assistant Bishops, those who try and drag the church into the 21st Century"?

    9. Llandaff Pewster28 June 2014 at 15:51

      When was the last time the Bishop of Llandaff High School provided any ordinands for the Diocese?
      The most recent that I know of were from the class of '81.

    10. Since he has been kind enough to voluntarily enter the fray on this blog, I invite the Diocesan Secretary (before his impending retirement) to clarify the position on Easter Offerings in the Diocese of Llandaff.

      According to The Western Mail, published on April 24th at, 'A spokeswoman for the Archbishop said: “The Easter offering was common practice in the Church in the days before clergy could claim expenses. It was abolished in the Diocese of Llandaff in 2012 so the former Dean, John Lewis, was the last Dean to receive it.”'

      I am merely an individual (without a grand Diocesan job title) who "is just fed up at the half truths, snide comments and downright lies which are posted" in press statements by the "spokeswoman" Anna Morrell for and on behalf of His ++Darkness.
      It is common knowledge that clergy in the Diocese received Easter offerings in 2013 and did so this year too, including some members of the Llandaff Cathedral Chapter.

      Another contributor to this blog (Advocatus Sacerdotus) previously laid out the legal position very concisely for us.

      So, Mr Atkins, what action do you take in your official role as Diocesan Secretary when "half truths, snide comments and downright lies" from your boss and his mouthpiece are identified?
      What is the position over Easter 'Offerings' on your watch in this Diocese?
      Before you retire please arrange for all Llandaff Diocesan Parish accounts to be published on your Diocesan website so they can be open to public scrutiny as per the constitution of the Church in Wales.
      It sounds as though your Diocesan Welsh Language Officer might have some spare time available.

    11. How depressing to read Peter Atkins' reply. That a senior officer of the diocese should resort to hurling a hand-grenade over the wall in such an unfocussed way tells me exactly why this blog is at bursting point with mistrust and discontent. It begs huge questions of an organisation where even one person feels diminished and marginalised by the majority 'orthodoxy.'

      I have no doubt that Mr Atkins wants to affirm his colleagues who had worked so hard to make the event at the Cathedral a success. That is a sign of positive and competent leadership. So why completely undo all that at one stroke by hurling such blunt accusations around? It does nothing to inspire confidence in the leadership and betrays an unhealthy culture of blame.

      Clearly, Mr Atkins is not the person to challenge your archbishop. The more I read of this blog, the more I wonder who can. As I think I have said previously, this blog is being cited by several C of E bishops as an example of what happens when episcopal authority and synodical authority are so seriously out of kilter that trust in the person who is supposed to be the focus of unity is being questioned even by a small minority. 'Be afraid' said one of them, 'be very afraid.'

  4. What is all this decadent video about ,showing children dressed up and arriving in expensive limousines ? By all means have an end of term celebration,but before the next one is planned and boasted about it might be good to sit them all down and listen to Ralph McTell's penetrating song. Let us try and teach children about those in need and demonstrate to the school leavers portrayed that they have a privileged upbringing. Are we teaching our children and young people that a acceptable philosophy in life is "I'm alright Jack"?

  5. I'm not an avid reader of the blog, nor am I an avid fan of all the bitter diatribe that is spouted on here.

    Whether it's moaning about Women, Bishops, Assistant Bishops, those who try and drag the church into the 21st Century, Ancient Briton and its followers always have some kind of axe to grind.
    Where is the love for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Where is the humility, the grace and the faith?

    For those of us that worked so hard at Sneak A Peak, it was a success. You may not take any comfort in the small milestones we make but if we can help just one parish, or even just bring one person closer to Christ then isn't that a success?

    I can't claim to be a great Theologian, or a brilliant academic but aren't we taught "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". What makes people so perfect to sit in judgement, and cast scorn on the hard work of those around the diocese?
    Why become so consumed with fighting the "evils" of the Diocese? Whilst the Archbishop may not always make the best decisions, isn't it between him, his conscience and God?

    Maybe if those who criticise put more time and effort into being nice, and releasing themselves from the politics, anger, hurt/hatred that's felt, it might help Llandaff be a better place.

    1. Llandaff Pelican27 June 2014 at 12:11

      'The Archbishop may not always make the best decisions, isn't it between him, his conscience and God?' Er... well, actually, no. It is more than that. There is a breath-taking lack of accountability by Byzantine Barry towards those who pay his stipend, house him and contribute towards his pension. He bangs on endlessly about the importance of lay ministry (while also lowering the morale of the ordained in the same breath) but shows nothing but contempt for those who faithfully worship week by week and do their best to keep the coffers healthy. His papal style is thoroughly un-Anglican. He has squandered the Church in Wales's limited resources on his pet projects, protecting his partner-in-crime Carl Cooper (before the media exposed it), taking legal action against his critics, and being thoroughly manipulative towards the Church's democratic structures.

      I was interested and very grateful (surprisingly so because he can be such a idiot at times) to the Bishop of Willesden for a contribution to another blog, which was questioning an archbishop's authority to intervene in the affairs of a diocese other than his own. Pete Broadbent writes:

      "Just to correct another misapprehension. The Archbishops have no locus in a diocese other than their own. The CofE simply isn't a papal construct. It is the Diocesan Bishop (or Area Bishop in a devolved diocese) who has to make decisions... I would never allow an Archbishop to attempt to tell me what to do..."

      Other Bench-Sitters please take note and act. We might begin to take you more seriously.

      By the way, 'Anonymous', I popped in to Sneak A Peak. It was a good event, with quite a good representation of church people, I thought. But, how can you describe an event which manifestly failed to reach out in to the wider community beyond the church "successful"? All those dog collars! Another example of 'The Church Speaking to the Church' I would say.

    2. Thank you for your interesting comment Anonymous.

      By "try and drag the church into the 21st Century" I take it you mean "same-sex relationships, assisted dying and episcopal ministry in a united Church". If I am wrong perhaps you would be good enough to clarify what you mean.

      I do not see any evidence that your work is bringing people "closer to Christ". In fact, neither does the Church in Wales. From an earlier edition of Highlights:
      + There is a continuing decline of between 2 and 4% in attendance on Sundays and the major festivals.
      + Total income and expenditure have fallen on 2010 levels, and the Long-term Trends 1990 to 2011.
      + Easter communicants and average Sunday attendance has fallen by close to 50% in the last twenty years. In fact the Easter communicant figure for 2011 was lower than the average Sunday attendance figure in 1990.
      + There is also a steep decline in the number of baptisms and confirmations over the twenty year period.

      If you comment again I would be grateful if you would use a suitable pseudonym if you want to see your contribution published. Thanks.

    3. Yes, 'Anonymous' there is an alarming degree of vitriol and what I can only describe as disregard for the diversity of the human race as a reflection the glory of God, as I discovered when I attempted to contribute to the debate about Islam on another thread.

      However, in answer to the question 'Why become so consumed with fighting the "evils" of the Diocese?' you seem not to realise that your Archbishop, so far as I can tell, is as much a part of the culture of intolerance as anyone contributing to this blog. His single-minded determination to get his own way; his disregard for those who differ from, or challenge, his view of things; his highly selective concern for minorities in his own church; his perceived lack of candour in his public statements and dealings with the media; and his apparent unwillingness to make himself accountable, is fuelling the culture of bitterness you so dislike.

      Attenuating a toxic culture, whether in the church or any other institution, is the responsibility of the leadership, and begins with the recognition that inflicting more wounds on hurting minorities and adopting an imperious attitude is not leadership: it is dictatorship.

      I have only recently begun following this blog, but if I were being asked how I would address such a dysfunctional situation, I think I would say a process of mediation is an urgent need. But its success would depend largely on the willingness of the leadership to engage with it. I gather this was one of the former Archbishop of Canterbury's triumphs at the last deeply divided Lambeth Conference - using the African Indaba model. The question remains, though, who has the generosity of spirit to engage fully with it, coupled to an openness to change the culture from within? One thing is sure, burying heads in the sand, and pretending all is well on the surface is a deeply destructive strategy for the long term.

    4. Mediation!?!
      It's a pious hope but the Archbishop will never accept that he might be wrong, and as I have commented before if one should say anything to ++ Barry that he does not like or not agree with, then he will turn on his heels.

    5. Plus, as His ++Darkness turns on his heels he will mutter his usual response of "Tough".

      It's all very well Richard Jones (whichever one) writing "I say it was a success" but as one involved in it, he would say that wouldn't he. Hardly an objective opinion.
      The "large number of people who came"?
      I count 58 people on the video (who were not wearing clerical collars) and I may well have counted some twice but include them anyway in case I missed others hiding behind pillars.
      From the entire Diocese! You sure know how to pack them in Richard.

      As for the "Seven Sacred Spaces", what a load of tosh. Was that a Sunday School project for 9 year-olds? Or was that the output of management consultants and graphic designers?

      And my personal favourite. The "Making Music, Changing Lives" banner.
      In a Cathedral without a Choir! Priceless.

      And I thought we are all God's people in this Diocese.

    6. >>And my personal favourite. The "Making Music, Changing Lives" banner. In a Cathedral without a Choir! Priceless.<<

      My personal favourite is at 1.01 into the video where the Ass Bishop is standing next to the Mediation Service banner, perhaps recalling his defence of his master's reasons for not replacing the Provincial Assistant Bishop. I shall not use the terminology of the Diocesan Secretary; readers can draw their own conclusions from the entry "No deceit was found in his mouth" -

      The banner highlights the Mediation Service leaflet quote from Romans 12:18 - "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" suggesting that Barry and his bench sitters should be among the first to use the new service.

      My intention in posting this entry was not to demean the hard work of diocesan staff but to question its effectiveness and, dare I say, honesty!

    7. "...aren't we taught "let he who is without sin...?"
      No, it is "let him".

    8. Richard, Peter and Anonymous colleague.
      You appear to be either completely unaware of or completely indifferent to the crass insensitivity of including the stand "Making Music, Changing Lives" at your little event in Llandaff Cathedral of all places.

      The only Cathedral in the UK to have dismissed its professional choir destroying a 130 tradition
      a Cathedral that imported a guest choir of University students to sing on the RSCM designated "Music Sunday"
      a Cathedral that will play host to an RSCM choral festival Eucharist on July 19 with the celebrant being the Arch hypocrite that oversaw and supervised the demise of the only professional choir in Wales
      (see also,
      and where the promised "new arrangements" for the Llandaff Cathedral Choir have simply not materialised despite the published claims of the Cathedral Chapter spokesperson that
      “The Cathedral values its choral tradition very highly" and “Over the past six weeks we have considered in full all proposals put forward by those affected, but have come to the conclusion that the new funding arrangement for the choir is the best and most responsible way to secure both its long-term future, and the future of the cathedral community as a whole."
      (see also,

      What new funding arrangement?
      Long term future?
      Cathedral community?

      And while ++Bazza is blowing a whopping £35k a year on unaccounted for discretionary spending what did any of the Diocesan staff do to try and save our choir?

      Tell us please Peter, what "half truths" can you identify here?

    9. I should like to hear more about the £35k discretionary fund expenditure, more aptly described as 'secret expenditure'!
      Is it 'plane fares to America ? One sure thing is it spent on something that ++ Barry would prefer to hide.
      It is clearly not wise to leave anything to the discretion of ++ Barry.

  6. No more 'Anonymous' comments on this thread please - see Introduction in the right hand column.

  7. Possibly the same reply will do for you 'Anonymous',that is meditate on Ralph McTell's words in his song "the streets of London".
    The Sneak A Peak strikes me as a self-fulfilling exercise, and a pat on the back exercise, if we are honest , for those in 'non - jobs' in the diocese.

    And how can the members in the diocese "release themselves from the politics......".
    Almost every action taken by the Archbishop is political!

    Furthermore the decisions taken by the Archbishop are not just" between him,his conscience and God".The Church in Wales is supposed to be organised by democratic work of the Governing Body,and the truth is the GB has no power ,but is totally manipulated by our leader.
    If I choose to comment upon the unfortunate decisions taken by ++Barry, then that too must be permitted to be between myself,my conscience and God.

  8. Please can someone, possibly AB himself, tell me that it is not true that ++Barry takes his inspiration from The PB of TEC? Words fail me when I try to articulate just what she hs done to the Anglican Church in the US; no wonder I'm considering going to Rome!

    1. Sorry Sister Julian I cannot confirm that ++Barry does not take his inspiration from the Presiding Bishop of TEC. All the evidence is to the contrary. But before you consider going to Rome, help us fight for the Church we love!

  9. I seek not to proselytise ,but submit this following announcement from the Ordinariate merely in the interest of " freedom of information".
    I understand your comment to Sister Julian ,Ancient Briton , but I can also see that some may find the continuing fight too painful and distracting from one's personal spiritual growth.

    " Ordination in Wales
    The Revd Bernard Sixtus, a deacon of the Ordinariate with the Wales (South East) Group, will be ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop George Stack on Wednesday 2 July in the Metropolitan Cathedral of St.David, Cardiff. The Cathedral dean, Canon Peter Collins, has spoken of the "great contribution" being made by the Ordinariate to the life of the Catholic Church in Wales. All are welcome to Deacon Sixtus' ordination at 6.30pm on 2 July at St David's, Charles Street, Cardiff. "

  10. AB, I feel a further congratulation is in order.
    Your blog has received more views in just over 48 hours than Llandaff Cathedral attracts communicants for a whole month.

  11. The time has come for the pew sitters to demand some transparency and accountability. The CinW Review (commissioned by His Darkness, influenced by His Darkness and used by His Darkness to promote his own agenda) recommended that fees for officiating at wedding and funerals should be directed towards a central fund. The implication was that local parish clergy could not be trusted with these monies and that they were taking back handers for duties that should be regarded as the work of a parish priest, for which they already draw a stipend.
    The same financial scrutiny should be applied to His Darkness’ secret discretionary/slush fund. If, as reported on this blog, the source of the slush fund is monies taken from the offertory plate at confirmations and ordinations, some of that money will have been gifted aided with a contribution coming from public funds via HMRC. In these days of public accountability and transparency, it is wholly unacceptable that a slush fund can exist in such a cavalier fashion and is administered in apparent secrecy. There are five questions that require immediate answers. 1) Where does the money come from? 2) Where are the published audited accounts? 3) Who administers the fund? 4) Who has access to the fund’s monies? 5) What has the fund been used for?
    I would urge all members of the CinW who read this blog immediately to suspend their direct giving to the CinW until answers are given to those questions. Clergy who are asked by their parishioners about His Darkness’ secret slush fund may wish to direct these enquiries to the Llandaff Diocesan Board of Finance. And who is the Secretary of the Board of Finance? And on whose watch has His Darkness’ secret slush fund been allowed to function?

    1. 1549, don't forget that the confiscation of collections taken at confirmation and ordination services is unlikely to be limited to His ++Irrelevance in the Llandaff Diocese.
      I would like to see your challenge of the above five questions directed to and answered by all six Welsh dioceses. I feel certain there will be more than one snout feeding from this particular trough.

    2. Good point Teilo! I issue the same challenge to all the Bench Sitters, aka Senior Faith Managers, aka bishops of the CinW: are you running secret, unaudited, slush funds? If so, the same five questions apply: 1) Where does the money come from? 2) Where are the published audited accounts? 3) Who administers the fund? 4) Who has access to the fund’s monies? 5) What has the fund been used for?

    3. Llandaff Pelican29 June 2014 at 21:33

      When I was inducted in to my present parish and inherited a discretionary fund with several thousand pounds in it, I immediately insisted that I was not to be a sole signatory, that the account be subject to the annual audit like all the other parish accounts, and that it be presented at the Easter Vestry. If I can do it, why is Byzantine Barry (and the other Bench sitters) seemingly incapable of doing likewise?

    4. The Chairman of the Provincial Finance Board in 1997 was His Honour Michael Evans QC. In one week alone they spent £250,000 to help rid the vicar of Benllech in the diocese of Bangor by means of an archaic and shameful Provincial Court. The costs later rose to over £305,000.

      Michael Evans also sat as judge on these unlawful proceedings which were an impersonation of a court of law. In front of a packed County Court building in Caernarfon and an orchestrated media and national press he uttered the immortal Church in Wales philosophy : 'This court will be what we want it to be'. Has anything really changed then? (Scandal and Offence Google)

    5. Vicar in the Vale29 June 2014 at 23:57

      Llandaff Pelican – I did exactly the same thing when I was inducted into a parish in this diocese. I came from across the border where such anachronistic practices as private discretionary funds were phased out years ago. I couldn’t believe it when the former incumbent of my new parish handed over an old-fashioned cash book with a balance of thousands of pounds for the Vicar’s own use. I closed the account and directed all of the funds into the parish account. I am shocked, offended, annoyed and disturbed to learn from this blog that our bishops in Wales may be running such private funds for their own use. This is an abuse of trust, and I am sorry to say only goes to show the total last of respect that the bishops show towards their people. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    6. From page 18 of the 2013 Llandaff Diocesan Board of Finance Accounts

      "f) Bishop's Mission Fund
      Donations are made to this fund primarily from collections taken at induction and confirmation services, and Gift Aid is claimed where appropriate. All monies received are paid over to the Bishop to be used at his discretion."

      From page 21
      Clergy expenses:
      Area deans expenses £3,968
      Archdeacons' expenses £19,042
      Removal costs £53,459
      Bishop's discretionary fund £19,095
      Miscellaneous £36,834
      TOTAL £132,398

      As a temporary measure PCCs should resolve not to hand over collections taken at induction and confirmation services until it is properly accounted for. In the long run Governing Body must resolve this issue with motions coming from parishes and deaneries if necessary. See Recommendation 1 in the Church in Wales Review (Page 5)

      This is the 2020 Vision:
      "Serving community, inspiring people, transforming church...exciting changes are underway in the Church in Wales as it approaches its centenary in 2020."

    7. “All monies received are paid over to the Bishop to be used at his discretion.” This is the unacceptable part. His Darkness’ (mis)management style is such that he has lost the trust of many within his own diocese and across the province. This account must be opened up for public scrutiny; we pay into it, so let’s see how it is spent. Three trustees should be appointed (NOT by His Darkness – we’ve plenty of experience at the way his patronage works) to run this fund. If His Darkness requires funding for a special project (e.g. helping out a colleague in genuine distress, kick starting a church scheme, some mission work, a couple of flights to visit his sister in Christ in the USA, fighting an employment tribunal action brought by one of his many less than happy employees) then he should present a case to his trustees for funding and let them assess the merits of the application.

    8. What a relief to discover that there are at least two clergy in Llandaff Diocese behaving appropriately in dealing with other people's money. If all diocesan clergy did the same and insisted on Peter Atkins publishing their Parish accounts on the Diocesan website, it should be possible to shame His ++Darkness into doing the same.

      I suspect that the answer to the question " If I can do it, why is Byzantine Barry (and the other Bench sitters) seemingly incapable of doing likewise?" posed by Llandaff Pelican is that he/she and Vicar in the Vale had nothing to conceal and nothing to fear from such transparency.
      It appears that common sense and best practice are anything but common in ++Bazza's realm and as the old adage says (when dealing with possible fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and so on)
      Follow The Money!

    9. From the St Asaph Diocesan Board of Finance Accounts for 2012 found at

      On page 13
      Note 2012
      Episcopal Expenses
      Bishops funds 6,500
      Bishops staff meeting expenses 2,196
      Bishops Chaplain expenses 1,051
      Bishops Discretionary Fund 16,135

      A total of £25,882 for 2012 and the first year in which a "Bishop's Discretionary Fund" appears .
      For 2011 the total was £21,549
      For 2010 the total was £ 6,279
      For 2009 the total was £ 13,277 (of which £6,499 was spent on +Gregory's enthronement).
      For 2008 the total was £ 10,538 (of which £4,205 was +John's farewell service).

      The source of +Gregory's "Discretionary" slush fund does not appear to be identified.

    10. So that’s two out of the six Bench Sitters positively identified as operating a ‘Bishop’s Discretionary Fund’ (i.e. a secret, unaudited, slush fund). Can anyone dig up anything on the remaining four Bench Sitters?

    11. I can find no mention of "discretionary" funds in Swansea & Brecon, but there are some interesting amounts recorded.
      Bishop's Bishop's
      Expenses Fund
      2007 0 11,000
      2008 10,548 11,330
      2009 1,488 11,785
      2010 1,181 12,000
      2011 979 12,000
      2012 0 12,000
      Totals 14,196 70,115

      Grand Total £ 84,311

      I do hope readers and contributors to this blog will double check my arithmetic.
      All the accounts can be found on the Charity Commissioners website. Just search for the respective Diocesan Boards of Finance or quote their registered charity numbers.
      Bangor = 1075931
      Llandaff = 242452
      Monmouth = 1067653
      St David's =231239
      St Asaph's = 233140
      Swansea & Brecon = 249810

      What is also interesting to me is that none of the Welsh Cathedrals have their own charity numbers yet. That must still be an RB work in progress.

  12. Llandaff Pewster29 June 2014 at 20:24

    If only the Llandaff Cathedral Organ Appeal accounts and bully boy ++Bazza's discretionary slush fund accounts were as transparent as the new doors of St. Johns.

    1. Quite so Llandaff Pewster but looking through the doors everything seems to be 'For Let' or 'For Sale'. Is there a message there?

      To restore any semblance of confidence, if details of the discretionary funds are not published at least an independent auditor should be appointed to satisfy givers that their giving has been properly spent.

    2. Glass doors to go on ++Bazza's glass house?

    3. Do you really think His ++Darkness will have kept receipts AB?

  13. I am the original "anonymous" that first commented on Friday.
    After reading and becoming upset by the snide, bit*hy comments I was going to respond, but then decided I actually have a life that doesn't revolve around belittling and berating anyone who doesn't hold the same churchmanship as I. So I very much enjoyed my weekend and gave it the thought it deserved.

    You are all so brave, keyboard warriors!! At least Peter Atkins and Richard Jones have the courage of their convictions, and dont hide behind a faceless blog that stirs up hatred.

    I'd like to clear up a few things.
    1) The Archbishop's Discretionary fund. If you are all so concerned about exactly where the money has gone, why not contact Llys Esgob and ask for information? That would probably involve saying who you are, so I would imagine it won't be a popular choice.

    Failing that, if you think he is so dishonest why not ask the Charity Commission to scrutinise the accounts that have been signed off by Independent Auditors?
    Im not entirely sure what you think he spends it on?
    Fast cars and expensive lunches it is not. It's for people in need. Ask around- there are many instances of the Archbishop donating money to clerics, charities, people who are in dire need. Aren't we asked by God to care for those in need?

    Social Media Policy. Yes. The Diocese does have a policy. It's a shame certain clergy aren't aware/haven't bothered to adhere to it. As for responding during working hours, well I would expect the Diocesan Secretary to respond to such nastiness that upset his staff. Why should he give you clowns any of his time outside of work?!

    The people who choose to do nothing but criticise the clergy, the Senior Staff, the Assistant Bishop, the Archbishop or the Diocesan Office Staff really just don't understand what it's all about.
    If you are so damn marvellous then how come YOU aren't the Archbishop of Wales?! Climb down from that high horse and take the speck out of your own eye.
    As I said before he may not always make the right decision, but until you've walked a mile in a man's shoes- you have no right to say you could do a better job.

    No wonder people don't come to church. If you can't even work together without stabbing people in the back, what hope is there in evangelising to non church going folk?

    I wonder if the words of St John will strike a chord with any of you?
    "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen".

    1. Read the Gospels30 June 2014 at 16:32

      You're correct, you certainly "can't claim to be a great Theologian, or a brilliant academic".
      If you did your research first and checked Matthew 7 Vs 5 you'll find it reads
      "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

    2. Llandaff Pelican30 June 2014 at 16:53

      Oh come on, Lawabiding, what do you take us for? Should it take a blog like this to point out some fundamental problems with Byzantine Barry's lack of candour and transparency? We should not need to ask - nor tip off the Charity Commissioners. All we are asking for is for the kind of accountability which would be taken for granted in any other organisation in the charitable, public or private sectors. As my brother-in-law (the CEO of a national childrens' charity) pointed out to me the other day, if he was behaving like this, it would be a serious disciplinary matter.

      As for the reasons why no one is coming church any more... Did you attend the ordination in Llandaff Cathedral on Saturday?

    3. Re: "Im [sic] not entirely sure what you think he spends it on?" Well, that's rather what this is all about isn't it? The Bishop's Discretionary Fund is so lacking in transparency that we don't know what he is spending the money on.

    4. If there is a regular need for monies for hard-up clerics then pay scales should be reviewed appropriately.
      If there is an occasional need for monies for hard-up clerics then there should be a hardship fund for clerics, clearly identified, funded appropriately, available by application and not subject to the whims and 'discretion' of His ++Darkness.
      If there is a need for charitable giving to people in dire need, let it be open and accounted for rather than hidden away.

      And yes, we are "asked by God to care for those in need".
      Most people I know support a number of charities and give as often as they can.
      If ++Bazza wants to give money to charity and people in dire need then let him do so out of his own pocket in his own name.

    5. @ Lawabiding – what complete and utter sanctimonious twaddle! Some of us have tried walking many a mile with His Darkness. It’s with his direction finding skills that I have a problem, he always ends up in a bunker!

    6. Llandaff Pewster30 June 2014 at 17:32

      What a sanctimonious and poorly argued response.

      "Churchmanship"? Surely you mean Churchpersonship?
      Tut tut, you'll get a slapped wrist from His ++Darkness for that one!

      And you've obviously missed the point.
      There should be no need to contact Llys Esgob, the figures should be clearly identified and in the public domain in the first instance.

      "Social Media Policy. Yes. The Diocese does have a policy. It's a shame certain clergy aren't aware/haven't bothered to adhere to it."
      Muddled once more. You should know that the clergy are employed and paid by the Church in Wales and not the Diocese. On the other hand, Richard Jones, Peter Atkins and your good self are subject to that Diocesan policy you mention.

    7. In answer to Llandaff Pelican's question above, I did not attend the ordination service on Saturday. I would therefore be most grateful to read your report on the event Llandaff Pelican.

      His ++Darkness' press machine reports it at
      accompanied with the claim of "a packed service at Llandaff Cathedral on Saturday."
      However, the photograph displayed at the foot of the article shows a Cathedral which is anything but packed. Was this even the same event?

  14. Sanctimonious? I'd have to be a bitter cleric for that.
    This blog is like a Ecclesiastical version of Jeremy Kyle.
    Bless you all.

    1. Sorry Lawabiding, I am not familiar with Jeremy Kyle and having Googled him have no wish to be so. My readers have been accused of "snide, bit*hy comments ... belittling and berating anyone who doesn't hold the same churchmanship as you - which I take to be a slavish adherence to the feminist agenda and whatever ++Barry decides with his LGBT policies, assisted dying and false notions of ecumenism so far as the Holy Catholic Church is concerned.
      Your Diocesan Secretary wrote that he was "fed up at the half truths, snide comments and downright lies which are posted" but these charges have not been substantiated despite requests for him to do so.

      Name calling gets us nowhere. Neither does an inability to question the direction in which Church in Wales is being taken by nodding through business that deserves scrutiny. That is what the Governing Body should be doing rather rubber-stamping the decisions of ++Barry and the Bench.

      From my perspective the Anglican Church in this Country (England and Wales) is following the path adopted by Islam, that is to cry foul (eg Islamophobia - see )
      at any hint of perceived criticism. That is not healthy for any organisation least of all for Mother Church.

    2. Lawabiding's rant ignores His ++Darkness.

      "Quoting Bible texts does not settle moral disputes" – Archbishop