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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"!

28 comments:

  1. As someome who is gay and a member of the Church in Wales, the whole tone of this particular entry is so wrong in many ways. The suggestion that the Archbishop has nothing better to do on a Sunday than be among people outside of the life of the church beggers belief - what did you hope to achieve by that inflammorty and unnecessary opening to your entry? You then follow this with disparaging comments about gay people which no doubt you will justify by saying that "some of your best friends are gay" and then point out that it's marriage you are seeking to protect, not gay people you are out to denigrate. You then have a swipe at people living in sin.

    I don't think you're a very nice man (I doubt you're a woman).

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    1. Just as a point of interest Groovy, what "disparaging comments about gay people" do you refer to?

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    2. "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" - the clear inference is that if you favour marriage between same-sex couples then you would not apply any rigour to preparing couples of marriage. I find that disparaging.

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    3. I'm sorry Groovy but you miss the point.

      This entry is about contradictions. Read again the official Church of Wales teaching on marriage: "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....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."

      In pushing for social change the Archbishop not only contradicts scripture and tradition but has the nerve to suggest that people should be "charitable" when he is not unless it suits him. To uphold the teaching of the Church rather than adapt the faith according to the spirit of the age is not disparaging. Marriage is the lifelong union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others whether you agree or not.

      Any 'rigour' preparing same-sex couples for 'marriage' is absurd in the context of the Church's teaching on the sacrament of marriage.

      You write as someone who is gay and a member of the Church in Wales. Presumably you are accepted for who you are and rightly so but please do not condemn others because they disagree with your view of 'progress'. We are entitled to a point of view too.

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    4. Bishops were once guardians of the repository of faith. Unfortunately Morgan and his Bench Sitters have become the suppository of faith: credal truths and sacramental authenticity are all sluiced away in the name of a secular agenda. Now that the Holy Orders of the sacred ministry have been effectively laicised, the next assault will be on the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

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    5. I don't think I miss the point at all. The subtext of your entry is that the full and equal acceptance of gay persons is somehow sinful and just part of a secular agenda. I understand you perfectly.

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    6. "The subtext of your entry is that the full and equal acceptance of gay persons is somehow sinful and just part of a secular agenda."

      Which is exactly what it is

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    7. I thought I hadn't missed the point - comforting.

      More gays on TV last night if you watched Holby City - episode was crawling with them. Hope 1549 was not watching as they would have needed to switch over. Where will it all end - gays on TV, the next you'll know we will be having gays in the priesthood. At least Rome has lots of those (but sssshhhhh we are not supposed to know).

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    8. Of course the big question to ask groovy / grovvy is this: how many gay people would be willing to 'out' themselves as Christians, given the Archbishops' pro-gay stance? With a CiW congregations being about 1% of the population, but with gays making up 1.6% or 3% of the population (depending on who you believe) (it used to be 20%, according to Gay Soc when I was at university 20+ years ago!), if a large proportion of the gay community start coming to church, we may get a doubling of the size of our congregations!

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    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. Around a decade ago, a work colleague confided in me that, despite being an 'out and proud' gay, he was a secret Christian. I told him that that was great - just think of the ministry he could have, wearing a 'Jesus is Lord' T-shirt to the gay bars in the city. He told me that if he did that, he "would not get out alive".

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  2. If your Archbishop was out and about engaging in evangelism, then good for him. If he was out there explaining that the true cost of a Christian marriage involved even greater sacrifice than £321, then maore power to him. If he was trying to compete on the basis of the beauty of his church buildings, then forget him.

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    1. I suspect he was out there just making regular young people sense a welcome from the church. Lots of young people are under the impression that the church is full of old people who have a problem with gays and don't quite like women either. I doubt they read this blog unless of course they happen upon it by googling "ancient briton" when looking on real ale pubs and then chancing upon this site instead. Good for the Archbishop - out there setting the record straight that the church does love young and in love folk and that they ought to feel welcome in the church. The majority of you lot who agree with what's on this site would prefer they stay away - sinful folk living together before they are married. If I was asked to guess where Jesus might have been I'd have put money on him being at the fayre too.

      Really sad entry this one - sad on so many many levels

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    2. Groovy old chum, this sounds terribly 'Barry' like - ' setting the record straight', 'If I', (ego eimi, the great I am) , 'Where Jesus might have been', 'Out there ......sense of welcome from the church'. What a dab hand you are at impersonating the great 'Gamaliel'. Excellent!

      One point you miss Groovy, over 1/2 million 'chance upon' this blog, when less than 1% of the Welsh population belong to the Church in Wales. I guess someone somewhere is doing something right.

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    3. @Enforcer - I must agree with your that last point. Ancient Briton has an outreach which far exceeds the reach of the CinW. I bet his 'mission effectiveness score' is much higher than any of the Bench sitters. Their evidenced-based ministry is clear to see: empty churches and free falling membership numbers.

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    4. How many of those half a million hits are repeat visits?. Sad to say, but I account for many of them. Can't help coming back and having a look at the audacious entries that land here and add my own equally audacious views in response. I should find something better to do, really.

      As for impersonating the great Gamaliel, I can live with that - he's a good man and I respect his level headed and generous interpretation of the Gospel. I wouldn't want his job - I think Rowan once said that the job of an Archbishop is one of the loneliest he has ever done - he had the good sense to know when to hand it on. I wonder what the cost is to +Barry in terms of continuing day in day out – his faith must be very strong, I would have thrown in the towel years ago.

      Have a good day, everyone – I am not going to pop back on today because I realise am inflating the figures here and giving the impression that this site is representing the view s of the majority.

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    5. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .. .. .. ! Oh this one made me chuckle!
      ++Bary's faith in what? I see very little evidence that it's anything to do with the God I know as my personal saviour.

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    6. Assisting the Archbishop as you do carries no favours Groovy but you raise an interesting point in doing so. Let us look at the figures.

      You are correct in your observation that "many of those half a million hits are repeat visits". However, if you look at the Flag Counter you will see that almost 72,000 unique visitors from around the world are not double counted. They include 51,000 visitors from this country. We can compare this figure with Church in Wales attendance figures using the latest statistics:

      "Participation in Parish Life 2013"
      Average Sunday Attendance - over 18 31,048
      Weekdays only 3,794
      - under 18 6,187
      Maximum 41, 029

      If we take the more favourable Electoral Roll figure of 53,294 (and falling) that is still well short of the 72,000 unique visitors to this site who read about the antics of Barry and his bench sitters as Church in Wales membership continues to decline.

      But there is more:
      Easter Communicants DOWN 10%
      Confirmations DOWN 18%
      Weddings DOWN 13%

      Perhaps the last statistic inspired Barry to man the stall.

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  3. It is strange how so much of the secular and religious agenda is given over to gay politics. According to the national census they only make up 3% of the population, and yet from the disproportionate amount of airtime devoted to LGBT issues one would think that they are a majority cause. Every soap opera, news programme, drama, documentary and gardening programme seems to tap into the gay agenda. There was that Horizon Catwatch programme that week which suggested that two male cats were behaving like a pair of old queens. And as for Gardeners’ World last Friday, it really took the biscuit when old Monty Ding Dong told us he had planted two lesbian ash trees!

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  4. 1549, what do you mean by "gay agenda"? I don't set out each day with a gay agenda no more than you do with a heterosexual one (assuming you are heterosexual).

    I find the phrase "gay agenda" disparaging in itself as it seeks to dismiss and demean the advocacy of basic acceptance for gay people. I can only apologise that we have been given too much air space on TV - perish the thought that we are even appearing on your TV screen at home - I bet it makes you want to switch off every time you see one: a gay, that is.

    And as to whether the population is made of 3% gays or 0.3% isn't that an irrelevance - all people deserve basic respect, to be treated with equity and with a measure of dignity and kindness.

    1549 - your views are medieval.

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    1. "all people deserve basic respect, to be treated with equity and with a measure of dignity and kindness."

      You jest, surely.
      Groovy, you go and tell that to Darth ++Insidious.
      It's hardly a novel idea but when will it start in Llandaff?

      Your stated principle should also hold true for the CinW Anglican traditionalists, for example, those
      who believe in the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church,
      who don't accept women's ordination to the priesthood,
      who don't accept 'gay' marriage,
      who don't accept His ++Darkness' new sh*te rite or creed,
      who don't accept his unilateral dictat on intinction,
      who disagree with him having access to sums of 'discretionary' spending money,
      who don't agree with 'assisted' dying,
      etc.

      To those who don't agree with him , his response is invariably "Tough".

      The reasons his Cathedra in Llandaff being almost empty nowadays are many, but bully boy ++Bazza and his attitude are only two of them.

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  5. Bless you, Groovy. How paranoid can you get?

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  6. No-one really knows how many there are of gay, lesbian and bisexual people: some say the overall figure may be as high as 10%, but certainly 6% is a reasonable estimate. Why don't we accurately know ? Precisely ,it is because of the discriminatory,critical and censorious judgement hurled at fellow human beings .
    We should not dare to define the closeness,love, affection and devotion which encompasses other lives.
    I do not advocate listening with too much fervour to the muddled promulgations of ++Barry, but Pope Francis is worthy of your ear.
    There is often said to be some ambiguity with regard to the orientation at play within the 'Gin and Lace' body of Anglicanism ; thought I would just throw that into the ring!

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  7. No ambiguity at all - the "Gin and Lace" brigade (especially those with lace from the tits down) are as camp as as a row of tents and often as misogynist as a medieval monastery - very unhealthy.

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  8. I suppose what I really want to say is that possibly I sense a little hypocrisy in one to two of the comments concerning gay relationships. We can undoubtedly all recognise homosexuality within the Church, (and not always within the pew ).But we need to remember that those who express themselves in this way are all someone's son or daughter or brother or sister.

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  9. This entry has nothing to do with queers - I use the term advisedly following previous comments - lovable or raging. It is about hypocrisy in the Church in Wales, in this case using the Archbishop's same-sex marriage obsession as one example. Militant gays who twist words to further their agenda do themselves and those they claim to speak for no credit. In fact, they are likely to cause the hostility they allege they are subjected to.

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