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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Easter reflections

"One supermarket chain buyer apparently asked the company
 that supplies the eggs what Easter had to do with the Church

The caption under the cross is a quote from an article by Caroline Wyatt, the BBC's new religious affairs correspondent in which she poses the question: "Is Easter still about religion for most?" She writes: "A large, feathery Easter egg stands in the middle of a small street in a shopping area in north London.
Beneath it is an Easter message: 'This egg is to remind people to shop at independent retailers'.
I had thought that it might be to remind people of the other message of Easter - the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, for example, which churches across the country will be marking on Sunday.

... For many years now, leading church figures have bemoaned the fact that in a country that is still officially Christian, with almost 60% of people identifying themselves as such in the 2011 census (although far fewer actually attend church services, or believe in God), the religious message of Easter has been drowned out by the secular festival of chocolate and shopping being celebrated at supermarkets across the country." To which I might add relevance to society.

I was more encouraged by the BBC's headline coverage of Caroline Wyatt's news report: "Easter services to denounce killing of Christians" or, as The Australian put it: Holy Thursday massacre prompts Easter reflections.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter message paid tribute to persecuted Christians while the Pope prayed for "killed Kenyan students [and] decries persecution". All credit then to Metropolitan Hilarion who said it as it is: "There is the genocide of Christians in the Middle East".

Muslims are not exempt if they don't toe the line. Just two of the latest examples here and here. Despite all the carnage and misery it has been reported that "Islam is set to rival Christianity for global adherence by 2050". This is not a time to cast doubt on the Resurrection. We are an Easter people "and if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith".

Anglicans in particular have paid a heavy price for being more 'relevant to society' than to the faith of the Church, few more so than in the Church in Wales where their Archbishop parodied Je suis Charlie when when he claimed "Nous sommes Jesus" in his Chrism Mass sermon. He then delivered his Easter message claiming: "while we may not be able to prove the existence of God or that Christ rose from the dead, Resurrection moments are part of daily life." Given his record that is taken to mean softening up his flock to accept same-sex marriage in the same way that he manipulated the Governing Body to accept women bishops before reneging on promises made to members of his flock who remain faithful to the Apostolic faith. His priorities are wrong.

Humanity is facing a grave crisis in the face of creeping Islamisation but there is a choice. Murder, rape and servitude under Islam or Christian faith, hope and charity. This is not a time to cast doubt on the Resurrection. It is a time for conversion


  1. Well well... What an Archbishop!
    The verb used in the phrase "Je suis Charlie" ,which I imagine ++ Barry had in mind , is 'suivre '- to follow , and not 'etre'- to be. Je suis is the first person conjugation of both verbs. Thus the conjugation of suivre is 'nous suivrons ' and not 'nous sommes'!

    Is not the Archbishop wrong to say we have no proof that Jesus has risen from the dead?
    There were witnesses as we hear in The Gospels.
    Mary Magdalene found the tomb stone to be moved and she fetched Simon Peter and another who went into the tomb : "they saw and believed".

    What case would stand up in a Court of Law if no account was ever taken of witnesses?

  2. This was the best Easter sermon preached this year.

    A traditionalist Bishop expressing the orthodox faith in an engaging and imaginative way - and saying that music is an expression of the resurrection, to boot. You wouldn't hear that from the hiring-and-firing bully boy Archbishop of Wales - either orthodoxy or expressing gratitude for music in his cathedral! What a load of repetitive bilge we had to endure in the Cathedral at Easter from someone who hasn't read any decent theology for decades. The same old lack of confidence in scripture and tradition, the same old semantic circuit around the mulberry bush, the same old socially 'right on' diatribe. If you want God at Easter, don't go to Llandaff Cathedral, because you'll only get a Blairite election manifesto masquerading as Christianity.

  3. Thurifer - If this was 'facebook' then I should happily tick 'like'.

  4. Beleaguered of Bangor13 April 2015 at 09:46

    We're all singing 'Alleluia' at the top of our voices up here in the North. The Bullying Dean of Bangor is moving to the East Midlands! Having lost an industrial tribunal after her latest bullying tactic (against the Cathedral organist) and having been behind the decision of several of our most gifted clergy leaving the Diocese, she is now doing a runner and leaving a trail of devastation in her wake. The so-called sabbatical to write a book was obviously leave to find a new job. Whether the Potty Prof had any hand in getting her a job in the C of E, we don't yet know. But this is most certainly a case of 'The Strife is O'er, the Battle done." And she hardly goes with the integrity of Janet Henderson, either.

    1. @Beleaguered of Bangor
      Please tell us more of the "industrial tribunal! and what it concerned.
      If one is unfortunate enough to work for a disreputable employer, it seems that Tribunals are the only effective means of resolving employment disputes in the bully boy's ++Bazzaland.
      The Governing Body are too busy worrying about women's rights to worry about the rights of employees!

    2. Quite so 1662.
      One imagines that Martin Shipton at the Western Mail would be only too delighted to receive the same information.
      Employment Tribunals? A Dean's resignation?
      It's like Llandaft all over again and Groundhog Day for His ++Irrelevance.

  5. How very interesting. Rumours say that Andy Pandy finally got fed up of her manipulative shenanigans and even the duplicitous Archdeacon of Meirionnydd was beginning to distance himself (depending on who he is speaking to!). There will indeed be a big cheer up here. What a toxic person she is - all aided and abetted by that nutty professor who thinks he's a teddy bear. So... after throwing the episcopal election in 2008, and landing us with a dud bishop, she is certainly abandoning a sinking ship. But let's not forget, she punched the first hole below the waterline!

  6. Alleluia indeed. Known as Ruth Madoc (for her resemblance to Gladys Puw of Hi-di Hi fame - especially the quality of her public discourse). Her role in fixing the election which gave us Andy John was a shameful episode and proved that she is not fit to exercise a public ministry - let alone be promoted to high office. Mind you, the lavatorial archdeacon is not the only duplicitous cleric in Bangor. "Dr" Jones's predecessor as Dean does very nicely when it comes to being two-faced and scheming. He'd been practising for retirement for at least two decades, too!

  7. This news is outrageous. How can a damaged individual like Sue Jones, who has bullied the bishop of Bangor into pouring hundreds of thousands of pounds in to staffing the cathedral with clergy (while shutting down other churches in the town - and cutting clergy elsewhere in the rural heartlands) be allowed to walk away like this without having to account for her control freakery and deluded sense of self-importance? I trust no-one will be stupid enough to suggest a collection for her farewell!

  8. A collection for a one way ticket would surely be worth every penny Delyth M?
    Although Darth ++Insidious continues to spread his darkness here in Llandaff, at least you will see some light this week in Bangor and the Governing Body meeting this week will have a little spice to add to the usual tripe & onions.

  9. @Beleaguered of Bangor
    I am delighted to hear of your good news concerning the departure of psychotic cyanide Sue.

    Your celebrations might be shortlived if Bazza decides to install one of his Llandaff coven to take over.

  10. Llandaff Pelican14 April 2015 at 18:31

    When she was on the staff of St Michael's College, one bright spark (whose first degree was in chemistry) coined the nickname C5H4N2Cl2 - which is the chemical formula for paraquat! She really is a nasty piece of work: angry, vindictive, and so theologically myopic, too. She can bang on about feminism 'till the cows come home; but you ask her about classic doctrines of the atonement, patristic thought, or reformation history, and she'll beating a path to Geoffrey Fairbrother (aka Prof Francis) and I doubt he knows much about either - unless it involves filling in a questionnaire. Good riddance - and lost of novenas for the poor people of Derbyshire.

  11. Now, Andy Pandy has broken his silence and issued a gut-wrenching statement that is so dishonest and selective that it simply cannot be taken seriously. The man is a worse shambles than the bullying Dean he is about wave good-bye to. But doesn't it strike you as odd that the appointment has been announced less than a month before Sour Sue is to be licensed in Derby? Also, what's this sabbatical all about? Nothing, I suppose, related to the fact that the Precentor is allegedly taking her to the cleaners over her obnoxious behaviour? It stinks - and I wonder which brave soul will alert the Derby Diocese to the can of worms they are about to open?

  12. I hear that bully boy Bazza is not a happy teddy bear this weekend due to the minor inconvenience of losing the vote on his flagship motion to strip wedding and funeral fees from his clergy and pay them into a central pot for him to manage.
    Are some of the worms on the Governing Body finally beginning to turn?
    And in the week in which there are now no female Deans in Wales!
    If everyone ignores his little yellow "Mission Fund" envelopes at the next confirmation in Llandaft on the 26th, perhaps he'll get the message - time to go Bazza.

  13. Llandaff Pewster19 April 2015 at 19:06

    Bazza's glove puppet was missing all last week from Llandaft and no-one seems to know where he's been.

    One hears he's not looking forward to the forthcoming Easter vestry and reading the minutes from last year's talkfest one is not surprised.

    From the minutes.
    "There are challenges ahead, and we need to project a sense of confidence so that when people give the Cathedral money, they know it will be dealt with, with integrity."
    Abject Failure 1.
    So why have the Organ Appeal accounts still not been published?

    "The Dean....... acknowledged the difficult times the Cathedral had been through. We were now heading in the right direction and would, if nothing else happens, break even this year."
    Abject Failure 2.
    For the previous financial year Peggy the Pilot forecast a deficit of £81k but the actual losses amounted to £94.5k - margin of error £13.5k
    For this year Bazza's glove puppet forecast a zero deficit, but the losses have amounted to over £29k so the margin of error has more than doubled!
    Did the Capon get a GCSE in Maths?

    "... it remains the Chapter's intention to return to a balanced budget as soon as possible."
    The now not-so-gullible pew sitters have been hearing this for the last 10 years.
    Is there another vacancy in Derbyshire for another Dean?

  14. The ears in the walls also report that very few people have been willing to be nominated for the PCC this year.
    Two years ago there was a very healthy PCC but Bazza decided to do away with them to make the PCC more "manageable".
    This year his golf caddy will be lucky to get half a PCC, never mind a full one!

  15. I hear £40k was used to pay off (read buy the silence of) the two employees who left last year and that the electoral roll is being fiddled too.
    The roll should have been closed and published at least 15 days before the Easter vestry meeting but it is still being massaged.

  16. There are some interesting and revealing differences between the Llandaff Cathedral annual reports for 2013 and 2014.

    Introduced for 2014 is
    "To encourage, support and nurture its employees and ensure their wellbeing, developing their skills and talents......".
    Had this always been the case four members of the Cathedral choir would not have needed to resort to an employment tribunal, the Cathedral might still have a professional choir and a decent standard of music instead of the present mess.
    Can the glove puppet explain how do zero hours contracts fit in with this published 'objective'?

    Present in 2013 but missing for 2014 is
    "Aiming to donate 10% of committed annual giving to support work carried out by other charities including Christian agencies."

    It appears the services of Robertsons Solicitors are no longer required as professional advisors.

    In 2013 it was "Chapter's firm intention that the Cathedral should return to a balanced budget at the earliest possible time." but in 2014 "It remains the Chapter's intention to return to a balanced budget as soon as possible". Readers will be relieved to learn that according to the Risk Review, in both years "the finances are controlled by careful budgeting and periodic appeals to the worshippers".
    Drivel, but consistent drivel.

    Finally, according to the 2014 report, the auditors are satisfied that all was well with the 2012 financial statement and on 24th March Nigel S Williams signed his name to say so.
    Well that's a relief then!

    1. @LP & @LET
      "Changes are under consideration in some aspects of the music department's organisation and key external relationships, in order that the Cathedral may better secure the viable and long term future of the musical tradition at Llandaff".
      "The Chapter had taken the decision at the close of 2013 to make the choir redundant in order to help reduce the significant and widening deficit in the Cathedral's expenditure. The prime objective was to enable the Choir to be developed through an alternative arrangement of recruitment and engagement that would be more cost effective".
      Abject failure 3.

      The prime objectives were to get rid of the embarrassing employment tribunal, the troublesome employees who dared to demand their rights to employment contracts and the individual enjoying free accommodation next door to Moorhouse.

      From the Majestas recording to a group that can't sing F in Darke or even turn up regularly on Sunday mornings.
      Alternative arrangement of recruitment?
      Bielby's notice for 6 singers at the West door that resulted in the current shambles.
      Read zero hours contracts and no employment rights.
      More cost effective?
      From £13 per service for the professionals that were laid off, up to £50+ per service for some, down to £40, then to £30 and now reportedly down to £25 per service.

      But my personal favourites, under the ever so amusing heading "ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE"
      "The new Dean was appointed and arrived in March 2014. He set the following objectives:"
      "2 To respond quickly to the new challenges posed in the aftermath of the choir redundancies. The departure in September 2014 of Mr Richard Moorhouse, the former Organist and Master of the Choristers, led to the interim appointment of Mr Jonathan Bielby MBE....... He was tasked at Llandaff with......"
      "2 (c) to explore and develop ways of recruiting a "back row" that will offer a sustainable and cost effective provision of music to a high standard with a serious repertoire."
      "2 (d) to encourage a spirit of aspiration and enthusiasm in the Cathedral Choir by restoring confidence."

      Respond quickly?
      There was no attempt to form a "back row" for the first ten months of 2014!
      Sir Christopher Gower, his secret new assistant (oops sorry, "Organ Scholar") and the FCM have been forgotten very quickly.
      High standard?
      Serious repertoire?

      No ticks in these boxes.

    2. 1662 et al, you have forgotten "ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE paragraph 3)

      "To restructure the Cathedral Office through the redeployment of duties to existing staff members in other departments and the recruitment of a specialist for the management of the Cathedral's finances. The full extent of the final arrangements for the Cathedral Office will be announced in due course and any changes to recruitment will be made as and when conditions allow".
      So having made a £30k loss last year and without reference to any members of the Chapter, the Capon's answer is to advertise for new staff who he will be interviewing on Monday morning.


      administrator/secretary in Cardiff
      posted: 20 april 2015
      job description
      3 months initially
      Part time - 4 days a week (30 Hours)
      Cardiff - Llandaff
      £8.83 per hour
      I am currently looking for an experienced administrator to work within a small but crucial office support team for my client. The ideal candidate will have solid experience of working as an administrator/Secretary and have excellent interpersonal skills, as well as a good sense of humour! There is a fantastic team atmosphere within the office and due to the nature of the organisation, flexibility is key as well as excellent organisational skills to ensure tasks are completed.
      Key duties within the role;
      * Diary management
      * There is a large amount of printed material, you will be required to type out pre-written notes, and also create written material from templates - IT literacy is key
      * Ordering of office supplies
      * Answering to a large amount of email queries
      * General administration tasks e.g. Photocopying, answering calls
      * Minute taking - experience would be an advantage
      This temporary assignment is for an initial 3 month period. The successful candidate will be required to work on a part time basis of 4 x 7.5 hour days, which will equate to 30 hours. There is slight flexibility around these hours, however to be able to work 4 days is essential.
      The start date for this vacancy will be the week beginning 27th April, interviews will be commencing this week. Please ensure this a timescale that you can fit in with.

    3. Llandaff Pewster24 April 2015 at 19:46

      The advert was placed the day before the Easter Vestry meeting, the Chapter know nothing about it and the Capon fails to mention it to the few who bothered to how up for his AGM.
      He is as duplicitous as His ++Darkness.

    4. There are significant aspects to using an employment agency to find staff.
      Whichever sucker gets the job will not be an "employee" on the Cathedral books and so the "OBJECTIVE" introduced for 2014 "To encourage, support and nurture its employees and ensure their wellbeing, developing their skills and talents......" will not even apply.
      The agency worker will have no employment rights whatsoever but in Llandaft that is par for the course!
      The employment agency will be charging a premium for their services. Whilst the worker might be getting £8.83 an hour for their labour, the agency will probably be charging the Dean & Chapter £15 or £16 an hour, so the PCC can expect an increase in the deficit for the coming year.
      Then there will be the sleight of hand with the Cathedral accounts - the "Salaries" bill will appear to have dropped and the invoices submitted by the employment agency will be hidden away somewhere else, perhaps under the headings "Expenses", "Office Supplies", "Fees", "Sundries" or "Miscellaneous".

      In the real world being £30k overspent would result in job cuts but in ++Bazzaland it's fiddle the books and deceive the pew sitters. And by now Bazza and his glove puppet will have started another witch hunt to discover how their latest secret has been discovered.
      The smart money on The Green suggests Ranstead's will be sacked and tomorrows interviews cancelled.