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Saturday, 15 November 2014

A Challenge to the Archdeacon of Llandaff

Source: BBC video
Recalling the diocesan meetings, I think it fair to say that members on both sides of the 'traditionalist' divide must have been shocked and saddened by the bishops' response to Credo Cymru's request to look again at the provisions of the Code of Practice (here). 

The elements of Episcopal pique and the vindictive tone did not sit well either with the Christian notion of pastoral care or with the explanatory statement by the Archdeacon of Llandaff that the bishops "fulfilled the trust we placed in them to come up with a Code that will make it possible for everyone to be, and to feel that they are wanted and included and valued." ... "Also there was a requirement on her or any other bishop to make provision for those who in conscience can't accept her sacramental ministry".

Watching the BBC interview here it is difficult to reconcile the Ven. Peggy Jackson's expressed desire for unity with the bishop's 'if you don't like it, leave' response. Up until the time when the Code of Practice was released at Governing Body, there had been no suggestion that provision would be provided on terms unacceptable to those for whom it was intended, especially having referred to the example of the Church of England in the explanatory notes to the Archdeacon's amendment. 

The only doubts expressed were by sceptics who were concerned about the Archbishop's ability to be magnanimous in victory after he said that it was for the bishops to decide what provision should be made. The stated aim could not have been clearer: Any member of the Church in Wales who does not want to be confirmed or ordained by a female bishop on grounds of conscience can ask for an "alternative provision" to be made. If the grounds of conscience are not satisfied by the alternative provision made, there is no provision!

If there are areas of doubt in the legislative process, recourse is usually made to intentions expressed in debates leading up to the passing of the legislation for clarification. Nothing in the bishops' original motion or in the successful Jackson/Wigley amendment hinted that there would be anything other than provision acceptable to those for whom it was intended in line with the views expressed at the diocesan consultative meetings; quite the contrary.

Accepting that the Archdeacon was genuine in her plea, she, as architect of the new legislation, and her supporters must join with traditionalists to demand that the bishops keep the promise that all members of the Church in Wales are made to feel wanted and included and valued. 


  1. "Accepting that the Archdeacon was genuine in her plea,....."
    Forlorn hope number one.

    ".... bishops keep the promise .....".
    Forlorn hope number two.

    Traditionalists made to feel wanted, included and valued?
    Forlorn hope number three and certainly not this side of bully boy Bazza's retirement.

  2. 'Accepting that the Archdeacon was genuine in her plea' - even with the greatest desire to speak charitably about a fellow member of the Body of Christ, there is no evidence for that assumption whatsoever .....

    1. My apologies for the late posting this morning of this comment . For some reason it didn't appear with my email!

      Looking at the reaction, or the lack of it, charity is all that remains, but not where it counts most apparently.

  3. Big breath in, everyone.
    And hold!

    And hold!

    And hold!

    And hold!

    And hold!

    (i.e. don't hold your breath!)

  4. ‘Accepting that the Archdeacon was genuine in her plea…’ FAT CHANCE!!! She is as dishonourable, duplicitous and lacking in integrity as all the other career clerics who have floated their way to top of that cesspit known as the senior management team of the Church in Wales.

  5. I work in a senior management role in my own profession - one of the things that does surprise me, I must say, is the externt to which the modern day bishop in Wales hold enormous power. One of my hopes is that this will in fact change when women are on the Bench. I think there's evidence that women have a different take on authority. I don't think it's healthy for any organisation to have just male leadership and not all of a similar age. We need a young female on the bench - that would get things sorted.

  6. Rubbish! You do talk a lot of nonsense, Groovy.

  7. I know I do talk crap sometimes, but honestly, there is evidence that men and women in leadership is much more productive. Let's try it.

    1. What evidence, Groovy? There is little evidence that Peggy the Pilot with her exclusive, sectarian stance will be any different to Byzantine Barry. Or, may be you think the Dean of Bangor, with a track record in bullying and her scurrilous and defamatory behaviour in the Bangor electoral college of 2008 (aided and abetted by the Byzantine Primate) will provide us with a striking new model of leadership full of integrity and intelligence? Looking further afield, what about the scheming June Osborne in Salisbury (I bet the Byzantine One is scared sh**less of her!)? Or the Dean of York, who's telling everyone she is too new in her present job to consider being a bishop (how long before she's measuring for curtains in the See House in Southwell?). The only woman I can think of who would provide us with a shining example of episcopal leadership, which will signify a break with the shambolic and duplicitous occupant of Llys Esgob, is JANET HENDERSON. She has experience, an earned theological PhD (and it's more substantial than a potted history of the Church Hostel in Bangor), has been a lecturer in Cambridge, an Archdeacon, and is now at the cutting edge of pastoral care in a hospice. Go on, Barry, show us some leadership and make a really bold appointment.

      Somehow, I think he will bottle this one as well.

    2. Janet Henderson soon realised for what type of primate she had agreed to work in Llandaff.
      Once bitten twice shy.

  8. Like you Groovy I live in hope that things may change when there are women on the Bench. However, I have to say that in my experience women do not always have a different take on authority.........I have, in the course of my profession, met some extremely authoritarian ladies. So I am not sure that a 'young female' would necessarily get things 'sorted'. Surely what we need on the Bench are people who can listen to and unite us - if such people happen to be women then so be it - but let's not fall for the idea that women are naturally more conciliatory and less exercised by authority and ambition - anyone remember Margaret Thatcher?

    What I have noticed, is that usually people who get to the top - in any profession - are usually driven by ambition. Now I suppose that we all need a degree of ambition but the down side of ambition is that it is often fulfilled at the expense of others. Far better that the Bench - both male and female, be people appointed from the ranks of those who are not overtly ambitious - and Lord knows its not difficult to spot an ambitious clergy person - they stand out like a smoking thurible at St Mark's, Cardiff.

    Surely what electors need to consider when they lock themselves away in secret to elect a bishop (and what sort of message does that convey?) is to make their choice from a pool of people who have practised a ministry devoted to others rather than a ministry devoted to committees that get one noticed. As Maya Angelou observed “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”

  9. Forlorn hope number four

  10. The bishops of the CinW must be feeling the heat. They have alienated the Traditionalists by their pathetic attempt at constructing a Code of Practice – what they have come up with will not work, and by their devious machinations they have now lost what little credibility they once had. By their prevarication and not appointing a woman bishop they have caused trouble with the Liberals. Having presided over the wilful destruction of the CinW, none of these cowardly bishops is brave enough to resign his position and facilitate the appointment of the first woman bishop in Wales. Perhaps they are all talk, and don’t actually want to serve alongside a woman bishop?

  11. The math is simple. Six male bishops = three worthy women who are not bishops but who ought to be bishops = three male bishops who ought not to be bishops.
    None of the six is going to say "I am not worthy . . . ".
    Of course any woman (or man) who does NOT say "I am not worthy . . . " is not worthy!!!!

    The result is that we are doing the whole 'wreck the church for the sake of three women' thing for three women who do not want (or should not want) the job!

    1. Ed, the Church in Wales currently has 7 unworthy Bishops and not a man among them.

  12. It seems weeks Llandaff PCC meeting was cancelled at short notice to avoid the possibility of awkward questions being raised and the duplicitous Dean being caught out. One also hears that His ++Darkness' glove puppet went "walkabout" for a couple of days and is now rumoured to be off on "compassionate" leave.

    The questions previously posed by Llandaff Pewster have not been answered.

    What has happened to Mrs Philippa Hallinan?
    Did she resign, was she made redundant or was she sacked?
    Has the salary of the Cathedral Office Assistant been funded by the New Organ Appeal?
    When and where was the vacant post of Cathedral Office Assistant advertised?
    By what competitive open interview process was Avril Paxton appointed in place of Philippa Hallinan?
    Why did Christopher Gower fail to show up as the Dean announced from the Lectern?
    What has happened to the new "Organ Scholar" announced to the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral by the Dean?
    Why did the Friends of Cathedral Music pull out?
    Has the post of “Organist & Master of the Choristers” been abolished?
    When and by whom were the job descriptions for “Interim Director of Music” and “The Cathedral Organist” drawn up?
    When and where were the posts of “Interim Director of Music” and “The Cathedral Organist” advertised?
    By what competitive open interview and audition processes were Jonathan Bielby and David Thomas appointed as “Interim Director of Music” and “The Cathedral Organist”?

    There is a Llandaff Chapter meeting scheduled for this week so the challenge of answering them passes to Peggy the Pilot and the Chapter that can't run a bath.

    And while you're there twiddling your thumbs Canons, who authorised the £25 per head payments to bring in scab singers to your Cathedral?
    The smart money on the Green thinks you were not even consulted never mind given an opportunity to vote on or veto such expenditure.
    Since you got rid of your Cathedral Choir how's this years deficit doing?

    Prediction: Not one member of the Cathedral Chapter will have the backbone to raise even a single question!