You are here . on the pale blue dot

Blog notes

Anonymous comments for publication must include a pseudonym.

They should be 'on topic' and not involve third parties.
If pseudonyms are linked to commercial sites comments will be removed as spam.
The blog owner is unable to ‘unfollow’ Followers.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Interfaith discussions: the big problem

Archbishop Justin Welby with Dr Waqar Azmi (l) and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones (r) at the
Muslim Council of Wales dinner, Cardiff, Wales, 1 October 2015.    
Photo Credit: Lambeth Palace

In his address to the Muslim Council of Wales (see previous entry), the Archbishop of Canterbury urged faith groups to "go the extra mile" for the common good. Speaking "as a Christian" Archbishop Welby spoke of the values that spring out of the person of Jesus Christ:

"The first of these springs from the fact of incarnation, that in Christian belief we understand that Jesus was at the same time both fully God and fully human, two persons in one nature. Incarnation is summed up in a title of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. Not just God for us, but God with us in all the mess of the life in which we live." Full report here.

The event marked the 10th anniversary for Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK with its "mission to promote scholarly and public understanding of Islam and the life of Muslim communities in the UK". According to its Director, Prof Sophie Gilliat-Ray, we should understand that "poverty, lack of aspiration and Islamophobia are partly to blame for radicalisation of Muslims from Cardiff and elsewhere". Poverty and lack of aspiration are not peculiar to Muslims while Islamophobia is a construction to deflect honest questioning of a system of oppression and often the utmost cruelty when Muslims are in the majority but that does not prevent them from playing the victim.

Prof Gilliat-Ray has been appointed to a UK-wide commission which will be in Cardiff to hear from local Muslims what barriers they face getting involved in the societies in which they live (here). 

When it comes to barriers, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at Edinburgh ­University’s Divinity School gives an account of essential differences between Islam and Christianity in her book 'Christians, Muslims And Jesus'. From a review here "Jesus is revered within Islam as the most significant prophet before Muhammad, and is seen as a key precursor in bringing the message of God’s unity and sovereignty to humanity. He is not, however, worshipped as God; and the ideas of the Incarnation, Resurrection and the Trinity led Muslim scholars to see in Christianity a surreptitious polytheism...The idea of the Crucifixion – that God could voluntarily elect to die – struck Islamic theologians, particularly of the Mu’tazilite school, as a paradox verging on blasphemy."

No meeting of minds there! While the charm offensive continues in this country, Muslims continue to persecute Christians abroad so the real problem remains unaddressed as Islamic influence expands unabated. 

Postscript [03.10.2015]

'Ancient Faith' Interview: Islam through the heart and mind of a convert to Orthodox Christianity - Part 1.
"In this two-part interview Kevin's guest is "George," who became a Sunni Muslim at age 14 and studied to become an Imam at a madrasa, studying Quran, Arabic language, Islamic theology, hadith, and jurisprudence. He left Islam and became an Orthodox Christian 20 years later. Among other things, Kevin and his guest discuss Islamic theology, common misunderstandings of Christianity by Muslims, differences between "orthodox" Islam and the Nation of Islam, the true understanding and practice in Islam of slavery and jihad, and the extraordinary journey that led "George" to Orthodox Christianity". Hat tip to Facing Islam Blog.

Postscript [04.10.2015]

More from the "Religion of peace" to "promote scholarly and public understanding of Islam":

Abroad - Christians fleeing Muslim persecution are finding just as much oppression in the refugee camps and shelters of Germany as they suffered in their home states. As the vast majority of asylum seekers are Muslims, many of whom have imported an adherence to sharia law with them, the few Christian co-travellers find themselves ostracised, abused, and even physically attacked. Full report here.

At home - A family who converted from Islam to Christianity say they are being driven out of their home for the SECOND TIME by neighbours who accuse them of blasphemy. Nissar Hussain, his wife Kubra and their six children claim they have become "prisoners in their own home" as neighbours attack them in the street, smash their car windscreens and throw eggs at their windows. Report here.

Postscript [05.10.2015]

'Ancient Faith' Interview: Islam through the heart and mind of a convert to Orthodox Christianity - Part 2.


  1. What are Carwyn Jones and the Primates of the Christian Church doing?
    I expect the leaders of the Christian Church to be shielding us and promoting Christianity. Priests are for administration of sacramental service to the flock : not for politics. There is no scope in Islam for tolerance of Christianity and Judaism,or indeed any other religion ,(let alone sects within their own religion) .
    In this inter-faith get-together, Islam is simply taking the opportunity to promote a plausible and palatable image . What are the Christians doing in this interface? Let me tell you : being taken for a ride.

  2. Llandaff Pewster4 October 2015 at 18:30

    Interfaith problems are nothing compared to the Internal Faith problems at Llandaff again.

    Today's grumblings on The Green concern Bazza's golf caddy's extended absences and the inability of the "Interim Director of Music" to get in touch with the caddy to discuss important matters like the music scheme for next month. Never one to take criticism lightly, it seems that in response the Capon has given Mr Bielby two weeks notice to quit (up to the Cathedral School half term) due to an alleged failure to deliver "value for money".

    (For that, read Llandaff Cathedral is running out of money again - but The New English Hymnals have "disappeared" and a small fortune is being spent on the leased office photocopier printing out the words to all the hymns for each service.)

    Tearful chorister parents and protests over the lack of notice and such shabby treatment have been ignored.

    The ears in the walls of the Butcher's Arms describe Mrs Bielby also in tears at the treatment dished out to her husband with the prospect of Jonathan having to start up a Monkey Music franchise.
    Meanwhile the scab singers of the faux Cathedral Choir have decided to put Llandaff Cathedral on a singers "blacklist".

    Never a dull moment in Llandaff it seems.

    1. It seems you were correct Llandaff Pewster when you predicted on here some time ago that Llandaff would chew him up and spit him out.

      What did Bielby and his team of scab burger flippers expect?

      Did they truly think they would be treated any better than the real Cathedral Choir lay clerks?

      Can they possibly have been that stupid?

      Bielby et al will now appreciate the need for contracts of employment, especially when dealing with a disreputable and unscrupulous employer such as the Dean & Chapter of Llandaff Cathedral.

      Having agreed to be hired as casual labourers allows bully boy ++Bazza (advised by daughter Lucy) and his glove puppet to treat them as such.

    2. I heard there was an embarrassing major musical cock-up at the secret Evensong last Thursday (October 1st) that His ++Darkness had organised for his Interfaith discussion conference pals.
      Bully boy Bazza was not amused to be humiliated by his scab musicians in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bazza's other high profile surprise guests.

    3. Llandaff Pewster5 October 2015 at 00:07

      The land of the moving curtain on The Green also reports Bielby filling up his car earlier this evening and driving off.
      Since there are reportedly no employment contracts in place, Bielby (and his scabs) will not have to serve any notice period so one would hardly blame him for buggering off back to Wakefield and telling the Capon to stick his two weeks notice to quit where the sun fails to shine!

      The smart money on The Green is on Thursday Evensong turning out to be Evensaid.

      Plus the ears in the walls report that the missing Hymn books have been moved by the wet nosed oily amphibian Mr Toad to the Chapter House where they are held under lock and key.
      The Cathedral "stewards" are permitted to collect some for Evensong but are then obliged to return them to the Chapter House for "safe keeping".

    4. If His ++Irrelevance and his glove puppet think the people of Llandaff are going to placidly accept their hymn books being confiscated and hidden away they had better think again and damn fast!
      Doing away with Hymns Ancient & Modern (Revised) was bad enough.
      But John Rogers (the last REAL Dean of Llandaff) persuaded many people to stick their hands into their pockets to buy copies of the New English Hymnal books as gifts to the Cathedral in memory of their departed loved ones. Loads of the missing hymn books have personal dedications pasted into them to that effect.

      The little twerp preventing names of the deceased being read out during Good Friday was crass, but to remove dedicated hymn books might well be the final straw for many long-suffering pew sitters.

      Wake up people of Llandaff!
      Tell the little sh*t he's overstepped the mark.

    5. @LET : A very good point.
      And the glove puppet wonders why the giving is dropping?

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. According to the ears in the walls of Llandaff Diocesan Board of Finance, Bielby is not the only one departing Bazzaland. One hears of multiple departures from the Bridgend office too.

  5. ++ Barry is an absolutist : the Bench is meaningless,the GB is meaningless,Diocesan conferences are staged, and PCC 's are duped into thinking they have some influence. That is why people are voting with their feet.
    The luxury is that Christians in this country may move along and transfer elsewhere with ease. (If you don't like the hymn books!)

    Spare a thought and a prayer for those Christians who having fled countries such as Syria ,continue to be persecuted with the distastfullness of Islam. And spare a thought for the Muslim families who have left the professed but absolutely unproven "religion of peace " to love Christ ; they too are hated by their former friends and neighbours.

    I should dearly love to know if the the Islamic delegation were invited to think about the persecution, the cruelty, the conduct,morals and inhuman savage practices meted out in the name of Islam.

  6. @Ancient Briton.
    Congratulations on reaching 700,000 viewings. Quite a landmark.
    If there was such a thing as a Purlitzer Prize for blogs, yours should certainly be shortlisted
    Well done and keep up the good work.

    1. Too kind but thank you Episkopos.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Let's hope the imam reads it.

  7. Ancient Briton is a clashing gong, a nosiy cymbol! 700,000 views you may have had, but most people I talk to about your blog deplore your writing and site you as devisive and manipulative. Also interesting to note is that it is the same 6/7 cronies who respond to your blogs. A small group of people caught up in a bizzare and hungry ideology commited to do whatever it takes to try and belittle the CinW. I can only assume that the reason you choose to express yourselves this way, rather than enter into constructive debate is becuase of your own hurts and insecurities. Your statements range from propoganda to political machinations to raw abuse. Shocking! Pray and Repent!

    1. Anonymous comments are not normally published. I have allowed this example of an anonymous contribution because it wrongly refers to commentators as "cronies".
      If anonymous contributors would add pen names they could see their comments in print but it would be helpful if they were specific in their complaints. For example, please give your reasons for believing that I "belittle" the Church in Wales. Add any inoffensive name to reply.

    2. Llandaff Pewster6 October 2015 at 15:51


      I might be able to take you even just a little bit seriously if you could spell correctly.

      Do you mean 'symbol' or 'cymbal'?

      Do you mean 'sight', 'site' or 'cite'?

      Your writing reminds me of the theologically challenged anonymous 'Lawabiding' from the Llandaff DBF. Perhaps the post above from 1662 touched a raw nerve?

    3. Not to mention "nosiy" (noisy) ,"devisive" (divisive), "bizzare" (bizarre), "commited" (committed), "becuase" (because) and "propoganda" (propaganda).

      The same dismal standard of drivel as the Llandaff 'Sneak-a-Peek' run by the Llandaff DBF staff in non-jobs!

    4. @Anonymous
      Everyone to whom I speak would "deplore your writing".
      Your grammar and spelling are two insecurities of yours.
      Are you the product of a Church in Wales school education?
      "I can only assume that the reason you choose to express yourselves this way" is ignorance.

    5. Or maybe just too arrogant to use the desperately required Spellchecker?
      He/she probably believes a Spellchecker is something to do with Harry Potter anyway!

    6. Are we led to believe that anonymous doesn't care what is said on this blog. He/she obviously spends a lot of time talking about it to other people. Could it be that spelling and grammar errors are deliberate to throw us off the scent. A wolf in sheep's clothing maybe????

  8. Anonymous,
    I think you are wrong, although clearly any group that has been excluded and ignored will sound hurt and cross.
    Many of us, love the CiW, and despair that we no longer recognise it, or feel part of it.
    For many of us it is different reasons: perhaps the many problems at Llandaff and Bangor Cathedral for some; the way things are bullied through governing body for many of us. For others waking up to find ourselves in a Church that openly rejects Scripture or twists it beyond recognition. Many of us don’t feel we belong now there is one official left wing political slant to everything. For others it is horror at the CiW having a common voice with the Muslim Council of Wales, while ignoring the plight of many of our fellow Christians. I have yet to meet anyone who agrees with Ministry Areas, yet they are forced upon people often with no discussion.
    Clergy are scared to speak up as it can and does affect their futures. Lay people often have no idea of what is going on. Ancient Briton is one of the few voices speaking, and often, the lone prophetic voice is needed.

  9. Llandaff Pewster9 October 2015 at 20:14

    Just when you thought it was safe to go out, the Llandaff 'Sneak-a-Peak' is back.

    "Diocesan Sneak-a-Peak event on the 17th October. This is an opportunity for the many parishes in the diocese to come to the Cathedral to meet the various diocesan officers and departments. Workshops and tours available. Evening Prayer will be said at 3.30pm."

    Seeing this year's video should be something to which we can all look forward, especially since the organisers have been dull enough to hold on the same day as Rugby World cup Quarter Finals!

    The smart money on The Green is on a smaller turn out to last year's pathetic affair and therefore no video being released to reduce the chances of mickey taking.

    1. Ah yes, that oh so successful DBF fiasco from a year ago.

      I wonder if my favourite of Llandaff ++Bazza bullsh*t will make another appearance, the "Making Music, Changing Lives" banner. Just in time for the departure of Jonathan Bielby on Friday 16th October.

    2. Another exhibition and another unnecessary expense squandering limited financial resources.
      Speaking of which, following on from the recent "Chair Expo" on October 6th (see the ears in the walls report that His ++Darkness is tapping up the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral for a very large sum of money to purchase new seats for the Nave.
      The grumblings on The Green indicate that the whining snivelling lazy Mr Toad has complained to the Capon that he's weary of moving around the perfectly good existing seats.

    3. @1662
      I share your cynicism which I believe is entirely justified.

      The disastrous Cathedral Music department at Llandaff has definitely been "Changing Lives", particularly those of the young boy choristers.

      Just imagine how you might feel as the parent of an 11 or 12 years old whose music scholarship and music education has been blighted, interrupted and disrupted by the shambles over which Darth ++Insidious and his glove puppet have presided over the last 3 years.

      2012 and 2013 were marred by the repeated suspensions and futile attempts by Moorhouse and Captain Peacock to sack one of the Bass Lay Clerks.
      For all of 2013 there was the Employment Tribunal initiated by members of the back row against the Dean & Chapter over the lack of employment contracts.
      In April and May 2013 there was the bad publicity over the scandal of the Songs of Praise television fees, Equity involvement and the unexplained sudden departure of Janet Henderson.
      October, November and December 2013 brought the announcement of possible redundancies, the sham redundancy consultation process then the mass redundancies of the entire back row and assistant Organist four days before Christmas.
      During January to July 2014 there was no back row of any sort with Moorhouse presiding over the limited repertoire of boys only services.
      In September 2014 Moorhouse fails to return from his summer holidays and no explanation is provided for his sudden disappearance.
      In October 2014 the glove puppet announces the imminent arrival of Christopher Gower and his "Organ Scholar" both of whom fail to show up, with various guest choirs and scab singers introduced to keep some sort of music scheme going.
      In November 2014 Jonathan Bielby appears but the number of sung services is reduced and another hotchpotch back row of part time scabs make irregular appearances, lacking any consistency.
      2015 brings the ludicrous Radio 4 World at One interviews, Bielby's departure next week, the Capon announcing he has a cunning plan for the future and chorister mothers sit crying in the Nave.

      If my child was still a chorister who had been exposed to such a negative experience, toxic atmosphere and general mismanagement, I would be very happily telling the Capon precisely where to stick his choral scholarship and his faux Cathedral Choir!

    4. One can't but help noticing the job advertisement for yet another assistant virger.
      A large and regular turnover of staff is a textbook indicator of underlying problems.
      One wonders if an advertisement for another musical director will appear anytime soon.
      It's hard to imagine who might be gullible enough to apply.

    5. If Llandaff Cathedral was a public body - say a school or NHS Trust - it would have been subject to "special measures" years ago.

    6. Another assistant virger?


      How many times is that since the slimy Toad started work in Llandaff?

      The glove puppet should read this and take note.

  10. Episkopos
    Presumably the slimy amphibian needs someone to guard the hymn books from recovery by those who gave them in memory of loved ones while he has his feet up on his desk in the Cathedral Office?

    1. On that basis Lost sheep, presumably the oily Mr Toad will need a second assistant to guard the Capon's 'Janet Henderson' folder to keep the litigation hidden, a third assistant to guard the Cathedral accounts to keep the Organ Appeal scandal hidden, a fourth assistant to guard the latest quinquennial report and estimates for repairs to the clerestory, lady chapel, processional way, prebendal house etc and a fifth assistant to guard the Capon's secret plans to do away with compline and amalgamate the 9am and 11am Sunday eucharists doing away with the Cathedral choir altogether?

    2. Llandaff Pewster16 October 2015 at 18:32

      Mr Toad might have needed yet another assistant to guard the hidden Eleri Jones and Away Day reports but that's no longer a worry!

    3. @ Episkopos.
      Sadly, it appears your prediction has come good.
      The grumblings on The Green tonight confirm that the Llandaff "Cathedral Organist" David Thomas announced to the Parish choir earlier this evening that Compline will indeed be dispensed with from the beginning of Advent.

      It is reported that the glove puppet lacked the courtesy (and, surprise surprise, the balls) to show up and inform the long-serving loyal members of the Parish Choir himself face to face.

  11. All very quiet in Llandaff Cathedral over the weekend.
    No mention of the Capon's cunning plan for the future of the music department.
    No mention of the Quinquennial report (that is already a year overdue) or the cost of outstanding repairs.
    Any sign of a video of this year's DBF "Sneak-a-Peek" day yet?

    1. Llandaff Pewster22 October 2015 at 12:40

      No video yet but a brief mention on bully boy ++Bazza's propaganda machine with a carefully selected group of photos designed to make it look like it was another "success".
      It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

    2. I suppose we should be thankful that the spelling error in the advertised "Sneak-a-Peak" has been corrected. Did someone give the Capon a dictionary and lessons in the use thereof?

    3. I read in the Llandaff Cathedral weekly notes,,
      that the unadvertised post of "Interim Director of Music" has now been replaced with yet another unadvertised post of "Acting Director of the Choristers".
      The ears in the walls report that the Cathedral School are less than happy with the way Bielby was booted out. So it begs the question, why has the Headmaster made Tim Hill available to help the glove puppet out of this latest crisis?