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Tuesday 28 October 2014

2020 Vision but still myopic!

The Church in Wales has chosen an interesting logo for their 2020 Vision Sunday campaign. Any similarity with the logo used by the South Orlando Baptist Church, here, will be coincidental but surely theirs could have been better utilised by the Archbishop. In the Baptist Church, His mission means what it says but in the Church in Wales it would be Dr Morgan's mission.

From the Church in Wales web site:

Churches across Wales will be re-adjusting their focus to 2020 Vision on one Sunday in November.

They are being asked to mark November 16 as 2020 Vision Sunday by supporting and praying for the Church in Wales’ strategy for growth.

Major changes are well underway in the Church in Wales as it responds to the challenge of making the best use of its resources to serve Wales today. These include expanding traditional parish boundaries into create larger “Ministry Areas” and encouraging lay people to take up leadership roles. The strategy is called 2020 Vision as it looks ahead to the Church in Wales’ centenary in 2020.

Prayers, readings and a sermon themed around 2020 Vision are being sent out to all churches in time for the special Sunday and are also available online.

Vision Sunday is a precursor to The Time Is Now Conference when "about 200 people from churches across Wales to share their stories of how their churches are responding to changes.They will be joined by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, and the six other Welsh bishops. There will also be conference theologian who will reflect on the issues under discussion. Dr Christina Baxter CBE, is a former Chair of the Church of England’s General Synod’s House of Laity, former Principal of St John’s Theological College, Nottingham, and a lay canon of Southwell."

Call me an old cynic but one has to question the validity of any consultation organised by the bishops after they ignored the consultation designed to inform the Bench about the Code of Practice and meekly did just as Barry wanted them to do to the detriment of the Church in Wales.

Any strategy for growth should be encouraged, including those where churches are thriving.  As the Second Church Estates Commissioner Sir Tony Baldry said when speaking in the Commons about the Church of England, previously cited as an example of good practice: "the Church of England is deeply committed to the flourishing of all those who are part of its life in the grace of God...Indeed, I think we would all hope that every part of the Church of England can now flourish and thrive." So why not the Church in Wales?

Barry's strategy has become a familiar pattern. The Governing Body were presented with a procedure designed to secure the desired result on the admission of women to the Episcopacy. Then they were handed for consideration a loaded question about homosexual people being made to feel unwelcome with a similar rouse being used to gain acceptance of same-sex marriage in Church. Members are also being encouraged to consider their approach to assisted dying. All part of Dr Morgan's  mission rather than His mission.

If the Church in Wales genuinely wants a strategy for growth it should truly be His mission is our future, not Barry's. The fate of the Church in Wales under Dr Morgan's rule is painfully clear. I hope at least one of the 200 or so people from churches across Wales will pluck up the courage to ask if the outcome of the conference is predetermined as were the 'consultations' on the Code of Practice, or will they be hand-picked to avoid any opposition?

This is a suggested Collect for used for 2020 Sunday, including the unsaid thoughts of the Bench:

Generous God, thank you, that you bless us with so much love. Help us to recognise and celebrate all the good things that you have given. Lead us to be wise and just stewards of all your gifts so that, inspired by your grace, the Church in Wales may grow in love and service of others and be living signs of your reconciliation and hope in our communities and for all creation - so long as they are not faithful Anglicans remaining true to the Catholic faith! Amen.

Monday 20 October 2014

Archbishop sets out his stall

With seemingly nothing better to do on a Sunday, the Archbishop of Wales helped to man a stall at a Bridgend wedding fayre yesterday (now in the third year of pulpits being swopped for wedding stands) in his latest bid to drag in anyone to prop up the dwindling numbers attending Church in Wales services under his leadership headship influence.

Defending his absence from the pulpit he said: "These days couples have a huge choice of where and how they can marry. The Church has been in the business of marriage longer than anyone and we want to show couples that a church wedding is particularly special. So we're encouraging them to come and see what we can offer and how we can help them. A wedding fayre is a great place in which to do this and I'm looking forward to meeting people this weekend."

The Reverend Mike Komor of Coity, Nolton and Brackla with Coychurch added: "The idea first came about a few years ago because we had been talking about how many young people seem to be under the misperception that unless they attend a church they can't get married in one. We hit upon the idea of attending a wedding fayre to raise awareness of this issue." - The cost of a church wedding ceremony is £321, plus £200 if a Common Licence is needed or an extra fee of around £250 for a Special Licence.

There is no suggestion that couples have to believe in the Christian faith when touting for business so does that mean that the service will be 'Doctored' for civil use or will the church simply carry on as they have with the ordination/consecration services as if nothing has happened? This is the official teaching of the Church in Wales:

 "The introduction to the Church in Wales Marriage Service describes marriage as a gift from God. The Bible teaches that marriage is a life-long, faithful union between a man and a woman, and compares married love with the love Jesus has for his people – a love expressed in his willing sacrifice of himself on the cross."

"Jesus therefore sets the greatest example of unconditional, self-sacrificial love – a model that husband and wife can seek to follow in the way they love one another, each putting the other’s needs first.  At the heart of the marriage ceremony is the exchange of vows, in which a couple make a public declaration of lifelong commitment to love each other, whatever the future may bring."

"Christians believe that in marriage we find the proper expression of our sexuality, a secure environment for bringing up our children, and an important element of stability for the wider community."

But the Archbishop is not one for keeping to the Christian faith if it suits his secular agenda so competing for business with the 114 wedding venues in Glamorgan must seem perfectly natural.

Happy couples may be assured that the cost of the sacrament of marriage is cheap when compared with other wedding costs. However, couples living in sin in the Parish of Dan yr Epynt in the wilds of Brecknockshire should be advised that they will need to undergo marriage preparation classes. Yet to catch up with the Archbishop's new found enlightenment, that must be anathema to someone who favours marriage between same-sex couples, thereby offering further opportunities for swelling numbers and raking-in even more cash.

On the last point the Archbishop has warned of the dangers of the church being seen as homophobic and, somewhat laughingly for regular worshippers familiar with Dr Morgan's modus operandi, called for discussions to be "charitable"!

Saturday 18 October 2014


This video (subtitles) was published on Aug 27, 2014. In June 2014 Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) had reported that 'The epidemic is out of control' in West Africa. The world failed to act. MSF will welcome your support.

Monday 13 October 2014

The worm has turned

Judge and jury: the bunch of Bishops of the Church in Wales

It does not say much for the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales that their Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan made his bench sitters complicit in his decision to ostracise any Church members who, in conscience, are unable to accept the ministry of women as bishops on theological grounds. 

Before agreeing to that disgraceful decision they had had an easy ride in the belief that justice would be allowed to prevail. Credo Cymru (FiF Wales) maintained a dignified hope that if the Archbishop had a shred of decency left in his bones he would not oppose what the wider membership of the Church in Wales asked for in the diocesan consultations and what other bishops were believed to be sympathetic to, a chance for all to prosper according to conscience. But just as David Cameron binned the evidence against same-sex marriage with disastrous results, so the Archbishop binned the results of the consultations. He then added insult to injury by allowing two imported heretical women bishops of the US Episcopal Church to conduct illegal Eucharistic celebrations in Llandaff and St Asaph Cathedrals.

Now, at long last, the worm has turned. Here is Credo Cymru's response to the decision.

Response from Credo Cymru to the Bishops' Code of Practice of September 2014

1. The Code enunciates principles, several of which are welcome to us and reflect some things we said in our submission. These state that the Bench wishes every member of the Church in Wales to feel valued and included in the life of the church, and for all legitimate varieties of churchmanship to flourish. Those who cannot accept that the ordination of women as bishops and priests are explicitly recognised as adhering to an acceptable interpretation of the Anglican heritage. However, the meagre nature of the concrete provision made comes then as an entire non sequitur; it simply does not achieve the apparently avowed end of enabling Traditionalists to flourish. There is a clear discontinuity between the initial principles and the actual provision.

2. We cannot accept that the Code as it stands is the last word on the matter. Fortunately the Code itself does not claim to be such. If it were, we would be unable to recommend that the members of Credo Cymru should continue their Christian life within the fellowship and structures of the Church in Wales. We would have sadly to express the conclusion that fully orthodox and catholic life could no longer be lived out under these circumstances, and that our members might well be advised to seek an alternative spiritual home within which to continue their Christian pilgrimage.

3. The Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales should realise one fact, however unwelcome. If we are correct in believing that in the purpose of God the orders of bishop and priest ought not to be conferred on women (and, of course, we for our part recognise that that is a big 'if viewed from the bishops' perspective), then there is no bishop currently on the bench who is acting as an orthodox and catholic bishop should act. That is a large part of our problem. To offer any male bishop as a grudging sacramental stand-in for a female diocesan hardly meets our need to relate to a bishop whom we can recognise as being in the Great Tradition of the Church. It is not true to state, as the Presidential Address did, that we accept only bishops who happen to agree with our own views when, of course, it is the relationship to historic orthodoxy in which bishops stand, and not their 'views', which gives rise to the request for alternative episcopal oversight and care. It is quite improper to impute to a minority views which they do not hold and then to decline a request on the basis that those views are 'uncatholic'.

4. As presented, the Code of Practice is seriously inadequate for Traditionalists who, in conscience, are unable to accept the ministry of women as bishops. We can only conclude from this that the Bench of Bishops have a fundamental difficulty in understanding our theological position.

5. At the least, Traditionalist members of the Church in Wales are going to have to look to bishops outside the current bench as the true pastors of their souls and as their link with continuing apostolicity. 

6. In view of the declining membership of the Church in Wales, perhaps we should all consider the real possibility that our Church currently stands under divine judgement, and that the unrelenting trend towards secular modernity in recent years has simply not benefitted us in any obvious way. These appear to us to have been years in which little serious attention has been given to the divine Word and the Tradition. To plunge on in the same unchecked direction might quite simply be disastrous.

8 October 2014

The 'trend to secular modernity' follows the same downward spiral as the Episcopal Church of the United States where their Presiding Bishop has been busy spending other people's money defending the indefensible with the same disastrous results to the faith. 

The bench sitters appear blind to what is happening under Barry Morgan's headship. Presumably they are waiting for Godot!

Thursday 9 October 2014

Church wrecker involved in social injustice

The Archbishop of Wales the Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan. Photo: WalesOnline

"Community leaders invited people to join together for the 'common good'" 
- WalesOnline (here). 

This initiative is being taken under the umbrella of the Citizens UK organization, "a powerful alliance of local Community Organising groups" with the aim of holding politicians and other decision makers to account [my emphasis - Ed.]. All the more surprising then to see the Archbishop of Wales featured since he is one of the few decision makers not to be held to account in his own organisation despite presiding over a 25% fall in membership under his leadership.

Dr Morgan arrogantly claims: "The Church in Wales has a presence in every community, but we cannot do this on our own. If you are part of civil society - a church, a union, a mosque, a school, a synagogue, a residents’ association, a temple, a student organisation or any other community group, and you want to tackle the social injustices in your community, come and join your local citizens alliance."

Historically the Church has a presence in every community but only around 1% of the population of Wales with 31,048 worshipers now attend church regularly even though over half the population claim to be Christian. By contrast the Muslim community which accounts for 1.5% of the population according to 2011 census figures has 45,950 regular worshippers! Barry's Muslim chum Saleem Kidwai said: "There is more that unites than divides us. Cardiff’s Muslims are committed to working together with others to work out the destiny of our own communities" which doesn't say much for integration. Dr Morgan knows a lot about that.

In the following video the question is asked by one of the Archbishop's clergy, "What is putting pressure on them and their family?" For worshippers marginalised in his own organisation it is Barry's brutal decision to exclude Anglicans who keep the faith. Who will hold him to account for that injustice and for his wrecking of the Church in Wales?

Saturday 4 October 2014

Church in Wales: The Llandaff dimension

The Archbishop, the Deanery, the  Archdeacon of Llandaff and a can of worms.

Following the shock resignation in May 2013 of Landaff's first female Dean, the Very Rev Janet Henderson, the Bishop of Llandaff, Archbishop Barry Morgan decided to run Llandaff Cathedral as acting Dean in addition to his other duties before turning to the Archdeacon of Llandaff, Peggy 'the pilot' Jackson for help by keeping an eye on things for him. Llandaff Cathedral has been in sad decline ever since leaving the new Dean with a can of worms. With its splendid new £1.5 million Nicholson organ to accompany a severely depleted Cathedral choir (when there is one), a shrinking congregation who are constantly pressed to give more for less and a take it or leave it attitude to members with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry (see below) things just go from bad to worse. Janet must breath a huge sigh of relief if she keeps an eye on things from afar.

Jackson plays a key role in aiding the Archbishop's mission to fragment the Church in Wales and rupture it from its historical roots by making it unrecognisable as part of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church other than reciting her creeds. Singing from the same sheet as Dr Morgan, Peggy Jackson's views on introducing women priests and bishops contrary to the teaching of the Apostolic church were well known to him. In a GRAS Newsletter written while still a member of the Church of England the then Canon Jackson set out her vision for her church:

 "New individuals with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry will simply have to make personal decisions and individual choices, to find accommodation as best they can – just as many already have to do over a host of other current issues, some very uncomfortable, where people find themselves representative of a view which is not that sanctioned by the ‘church’ as a whole, and upheld through Synod and Parliament."  

Note the distinct lack of Christian charity in that statement. However, the 'church as a whole' Jackson referred to was not the Body of Christ but the tiny minority she represented, not just in the whole of Christendom but in the Anglican Communion itself. No wonder she appealed to Dr Morgan who believes that Church doctrine evolves to meet the demands of culture - report here.

Contrast his view with the view of Pope Francis who said We cannot use Church doctrine as we please - report here.

According Wikipedia, Pope Francis speaks for Catholicism's 1.2 billion members. The average adult attendance in the Church in Wales for whom Dr Morgan claims to speak is just 31,048.

Of Anglicanism's 85 million members the Church of England accounts for just one million regular worshiping members but that did not stop Canon Jackson from ignoring the views of the majority of Anglicans and of the wider Catholic and Orthodox Churches when writing of the views 'sanctioned by the church'. The Church, East and West, has severely criticised errant Anglicans for their unilateral actions but all pleas have been ignored along with Christ's prayer for unity.

The published figures demonstrate that it is utter deception to represent individuals with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry as the minority. But that deception is a characteristic of the Morgan-Jackson/Wigley partnership as they guide the Church in Wales along their chosen path with no regard for the souls of the faithful. This is what Jackson wrote in 2009 when involved in the ordination of women campaign in the Church of England:

"What, then, should a Code of Practice do, which does follow the mandate of General Synod last July? 

It should:-
- honour and reassure loyal Anglicans that they will not be required either to leave, or to act
individually outside the dictates of personal conscience
- offer special and specific care to those people and parishes, around whom the mind of the Church on this issue has changed. The intention of this care is that they would not be lightly brought to a position of feeling that there is no continuing place for them in the Church. It could not, however, be allowed structurally to undermine the very decision itself.

The sting is in the tail. To appear charitable to one's opponents while deliberately setting out unacceptable conditions is a clear act of deception in my book. Dr Morgan used the same tactics while suggesting that he had looked at other Provinces for guidance in drawing up a Code of Practice for the Church in Wales. He didn't spend much time looking at the arrangements being made in the Church of England to 'honour and reassure loyal Anglicans'. The Church of England is following an honourable path to reach an acceptable settlement. Not so the Church in Wales where 'winner' takes all in Barry's book.

The other half of the Jackson/Wigley partnership is the Area Dean of Llandaff, Canon Wigley. This introduces the Methodist dimension in Dr Morgan's plan to turn the Church in Wales into a nonconformist organisation while still claiming to belong to the Apostolic Church. 

The Archbishop of Wales and Canon Wigley, Peggy Jackson's GB accomplice

Canon Wigley's husband is the Rev Dr Stephen Wigley, Chair of the Wales Synod of the Methodist Church which is involved in the Church Uniting in Wales (CUW) scheme, a set up which, along with the Church in Wales Review, appears designed to ensure the future of the bishops of the Church in Wales in a new nonconformist  organisation. Dr Wigley is well placed to become the first Methodist 'bishop' of CUW so he could be interchangeable with the CinW diocesan bishops and offered to loyal Anglicans with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry! But for now, to the Deanery -

Announcing his former Chaplain's surprise elevation, Dr Morgan said "he has been a great help to me and I know he will bring those gifts of tact, strength and commitment to what will be a demanding new role for him" giving rise to suspicions that the new Dean would not be his own man. Compared with other Deans he was not an obvious candidate but many wished him well for taking on the challenge when others steered well clear of the post after Janet Henderson's resignation two months into the job. Dean Capon has not had an easy time and has come in for some criticism. One commentator on this blog suggested that the Dean reads what is written here and has been upset by some comments. I regret that but people in public life are accountable for their actions because of the effect they have on others. I can assure him that no personal criticism is intended and that only those comments which have a genuine bearing on the topic in hand are published here. I am sorry if some comments appear to be insensitive and would therefore urge commentators to be careful to avoid causing unnecessary offence while making salient points.

That being said, what matters most to the author of this blog is Mother Church and the faith of loyal Anglicans who have been cheated out of their inheritance for a feminist ideology which fought under the banner of equality only to bin it in Wales as soon as Barry and his pitiless bunch achieved their goal. For many Anglicans their faith is all. I have witnessed many sad cases where women have felt ostracized for 'keeping the faith'. To deny them the opportunity to worship as they wish is far crueler than any perceived offence to anyone who would seek to deny them what was promised when the ordination of women became a cause. The source of this distress points to Dr Morgan and his appointees.

Not to be ignored in that regard is Barry's propaganda tool the Ass Bishop of Llandaff who believes that women's ordination is "a much needed countersign to a world where women are brutalised in war zones, where gays fear for their very lives in Uganda. Otherwise a homophobic theology encourages homophobic violence; misogynistic theology encourages misogynistic violence". From what is happening in the world, the reverse could be said to be true.

As Christianity is influenced more and more by secular trends a religious vacuum is being exploited by Islam which according to some estimates will, in a generation, become the dominant religion in what is supposed to be a Christian country. Christian values of fairness, justice and charity are ignored by Church leaders at their peril. The ordination of women has not prevented women from being brutalised in war zones. In fact we now constantly read about women being buried alive or raped and sold into slavery.

Meanwhile the Church in Wales continues on its downward spiral mirroring the fate of the Episcopal Church of the United States which the Archbishop tries to emulate and members of the Llandaff diocesan conference play snakes and ladders. A sad end to true Anglicanism in Wales.

Photo: Church in Wales