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Friday, 1 August 2014

Church in Wales Code of Practice. FiF Update

From Credo Cymru (FiF Wales):

 Saturday 20th September 
All Saints, Shrewsbury 

Preacher: The Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, SSC
 Bishop of Ebbsfleet 
A sung Eucharist for the Holy Cross
 Bring a picnic, tea & coffee provided

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I had hoped to write to you around this time with considered reaction to the Code of Practice which the Bench of Bishops has been instructed to produce to accompany the Bill which allows women to become bishops. But the code has not yet been published so we are still in the limbo of waiting.

The likely scenario for the Code now is that it will be published immediately after the presidential address at the September meeting of the Governing Body and that address itself will be in part about the Code.

It is tempting at this time of not knowing to do one of two things:

1 To say with Elijah 'It is enough' and just to
give up the hope and give up the struggle.

2 To become totally negative and to reject
everything that is going on around us; pulling
up the drawbridge and ignoring our brothers
and sisters in the church.

Neither of these approaches will do. After all these years of struggling to maintain Catholic Faith and Apostolic Order we cannot give in to despair or defeat. We owe it to those who have gone before us in the fight: and even more to those who will follow us. There has to be a future for our children and our children's children and such a future will not be there if we give up, or give in to negativity and despair.

It is possible for a church to go forward with a 'mixed economy' of belief and practice. We have done it already with women priests and the Church of England has shown us how it can be done with women bishops.

So keep praying. Praying that what comes from the Bench will be offered in a spirit of generosity and love: praying that it will be received by the whole of the Church in Wales as a way of living with one another in love and respect and diverting the time and energy that has been used in these discussions and debates to proclaiming the Gospel to the people of Wales and offering them the gift of Life that Jesus alone can give.

As the Archbishop of Canterbury said in the recent debates in York:
"You don't chuck out family. You make them
feel at home even when you disagree."
We will have the opportunity to meet in prayer and worship following the GB meeting when we go to Shrewsbury for our annual Festival of Faith. As you see, Bishop Jonathan of Ebbsfleet will preside and preach - and after hearing him at the Chrism Mass and at Glastonbury we know we will be well fed with the authentic word of God. The Bishop has juggled with his diary in order to be able to come that day and I hope you will all respond with an equal enthusiasm both out of respect for him and as a sign of your continuing commitment to our cause.

With my continuing prayers for you all I am yours in the love of Christ

Alan Rabjohns

The above information has been circulated by Credo Cymru, the Welsh arm of Forward in Faith. From paragraph 2 it appears that the Code of Practice required under the Bill to allow women to be bishops in the Church in Wales will be presented to those for whom it is intended as a fait accompli.

Also, I see from the Church in Wales web site (here) that the Church in Wales has joined the 'Keep me Posted' campaign emphasising the importance of choice. As the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan rightly says, "Whatever the reason, far too many people are being penalised or disadvantaged". Pray that his own Church members are not penalised or disadvantaged by the Bench when the Code of Practice is published. - Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love - hopefully!

1 comment:

  1. Any discussion about the Code of Practice has already taken place during the last few months. Archbishop Barry has publicly clearly stated that the final decision rests with the Bench; so yes the 'code' will certainly be presented as a fait accompli. There will be nothing written into Canon Law, and ++ Barry has drawn the line in the sand folks.