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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Mission Llandaff

Source: Twitter #speakingthegospelintoourcontext

Many of the comments received following my blog entries are centred on the diocese of Llandaff, its Cathedral and its personnel from clerical top to lowly bottom. 

The situation in Llandaff is dire. In the Cathedral church there are complaints about poor accounting practices, a lack of openness and bullying tactics being used to counter honestly held opinions expressed for the good of the Cathedral church. Whatever the financial situation it has not prevented the clergy from enjoying four days in Oxford at the expense of Llandaff's pewsters.

Had the discussions in Oxford been about the parlous state of the Church in Wales, especially Llandaff Cathedral, or of the mission of the Church in general, the jolly in Oxford may have been understandable but Mission Llandaff has more to do with the missionary position than mission itself with topics such as "faith gender sex".

After a session on "Every age should look to its own context for our expression of faith" Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch posed the question: "Is there a theology of sex and marriage?" A popular broadcaster, Prof. MacCulloch was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England but declined ordination to the priesthood because of the church's attitude to his homosexuality, unlike many clergy today, including bishops, who brazenly flout the rules, putting their own desires before the well-being of the Church.

Following on from the bishops' failed bid to persuade the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to adopt their strategy of permitting same sex marriage in church, Mission Llandaff looks nothing more than a blatant attempt to ensure that the Bench's carefully crafted 'not blessing' prayers are used in Llandaff diocese churches, contrary to the decision of worshippers while they are pressed to give more money to support policies they don't agree with.


  1. It is rumoured and believed that His ++Darkness paid for the Oxford jolly out of his unaudited "discretionary" slush funds that he tops up by dipping his hands into the collection plate at confirmation and ordination services.

  2. Mission Llandaff?
    Mission Impossible!

  3. I agree that 4 days training away (out of the discretionary fund) is now outdated, as most businesses have changed to local training or on-line training, but let's not forget it is compulsory for all serving Llandaff Clergy, and there is no proof of them enjoying themselves. Many of them would agree with you on the ridiculous theme and be angered by it too, but are forced to sit through it. Many work hard to pay their parish share and would not be happy at this use of money. Monmouth are taking all their clergy to Rome soon!! But again, that is not the fault of the Clergy.
    I spoke to someone in one of Monmouth's new "super duper ministry areas" last week who was saying that they have gone from 4 full time paid clergy to 1, with lots of local ordained ministers, yet the Parish share has stayed the same. I also hear that team leaders are already having break downs/stress issues, which comes as no surprise.
    Perhaps those of us who keep funding this madness need to start asking serious questions, or stop funding it.
    The review said that the CiW was top heavy, yet this has been ignored, and more and more diocesan officers appointed.

  4. The answer is simple Danny.
    Stop your giving immediately.
    Money is the only thing the Byzantine bully boy cares about so hit him where it hurts him most.
    Less than two weeks to go to the Llandaff Easter Vestry meeting and still no sign of any accounts.

  5. A worrying snippet heard on Tuesday. Mr Capon in the running for Bishop of St David's!!!!!!!

    1. Which Capon? Senior or junior?

    2. @ Fred

      Llandaff would not be that lucky.
      But if Gerwhine is moved to St David's it can only mean that His ++Darkness is being forced to get him out of the Llandaff Deanery before he is lynched by his own parishioners.

    3. Unfortunately for the few remaining long-suffering pewsters in Llandaff Cathedral, (but fortunately for St. David's diocese) the ears in the walls have reported that the aforementioned move West for the Capon is delicious satire.

      Apparently, some of the more "mischievous" Llandaff clergy became so sick of the sight of Gerwhine walking around Oxford with a face like a wet grey dish cloth, they made up this rumour.

      To "cheer him up" you understand.

      It seems he took the bait, hook, line and sinker (or should that be stinker?).

  6. Llandaff Pewster15 April 2016 at 09:29

    Let Gerwhine explain how "Speaking the Gospel into our Context" tallies with writing nasty letters to his Parishioners.

    Eglwys Gadeiriol Llandaf
    Llandaff Cathedral

    9th April 2016
    Dear Mrs X

    Thank you for your letter of today's date.
    I spoke to you today because I am simply fed up about hearing of your constant maligning of the Archbishop, me and the Cathedral. After 50 years of association here, you should actually be setting an example.
    Through this continuing negative attitude about the organ (something that has now been entirely consigned to history with the blessing of the Charity Commission) you and your husband subvert the wellbeing of the Cathedral and my leadership of it by constantly making claims that are simply untrue. I know you are unhappy and speak of your reasons for it because most of the shop volunteers have told me about this. You should tackle them about it and I hope perhaps that they will be honest with you as I am.
    If you wish simply to ignore these facts, that in the end is up to you. But, on reflection I have decided that it does not entitle you to behave as you do and remain here as a welcomer and guide, nor indeed as a shop volunteer.
    I would be overjoyed and delighted to see you return to these duties once I see some measure of repentance and an apology from you and your husband.

    Yours sincerely,

    Gerwyn Capon

    Several of others in Llandaff have been on the receiving end of this sort of correspondence or similar remarks from the glove puppet in the last few weeks.

    All of Llandaff is looking forward to reading his explanation, which will no doubt be as forthcoming as the Cathedral accounts and Quinquennial report.

    1. Is this letter a spoof?
      If genuine then The Reverend Capon lacks management qualities and skill : God help St Davids diocese (if that's true too!)

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

    3. Sadly it is quite genuine.
      I too have a copy.

    4. Cheering for Mrs X15 April 2016 at 18:12

      Oh, the irony!

      Weekly Notes - 17th April 2016
      Page 10
      Volunteers Urgently Needed
      "We need at least 6 new volunteers to become Welcomers at the Cathedral".

      As any Army Careers Officer would tell you, it's a matter of Retention AND Recruitment.
      It's much harder to find new recruits than it is to treat people properly and retain the volunteers you already have.
      Or to put it simply enough that the Llandaff dunce might just be able to understand, a bird in the hand.....!

      Here's hoping not a single new volunteer is forthcoming.
      After all, anyone thinking of volunteering can now see how they will be treated after 50 years loyal service.

    5. Cheering For Janet15 April 2016 at 19:43

      @ Ancient Briton
      Would you be willing to publish other poison pen letters that have been sent out by Gerwhine?

    6. I think readers already get the message without using this blog as a further conduit thank you CFJ.

    7. I accept your point Ancient Briton but I feel obliged to point out that I am filled with admiration for Mrs X's courage, determination not to be bullied and applaud her decision to go public about Dean Capon's conduct.

      Such a brave little man to pick on elderly ladies in their 70s. He writes about Mr X but seems to lack the backbone to write to Mr X.

      May all recipients of such correspondence be brave enough to go public. I hope you will feel able to play your part Ancient Briton in shaming the nasty little Dean. After all, you have written the purpose of your blog includes "a hint of irony, special reference to politics, society and religion, particularly if oddities or injustices are apparent.".
      Long may it continue to be so.

    8. Point well made Esther and thank you for your kind remarks, a welcome change from the insults I receive from some readers as they further their particular agenda.

      My reply sought to avoid a repetition of earlier threads in which the Cathedral's battles were being fought in these pages with the most tenuous of links to the subject posted.

      That is not so in this instance but more of the same is unlikely to help. From a previous, unpublished, comment: "It is widely hoped that the other recipients of his letters do the same at the first possible opportunity and anticipated that the letters will appear on this blog (anonymised if you wish)".

      A better solution might be to pin them to the Cathedral Notice Board and follow Alan's advice below.

      I am content to publish further helpful comments based on trust but would again ask commentators to avoid personal remarks and not involve third parties.

    9. With the greatest of respect Ancient Briton I disagree for several simple reasons.
      First, many many more people (thousands more) read your blog than bother even looking at the Cathedral Notice Board.
      Second, Capon could easily arrange for his sycophants like the slimy amphibian Mr Toad and the Head Server to remove "embarrassing" correspondence pinned to the notice board. As much as Morgan & Capon would like to do so they cannot control what you permit to be posted on your blog.
      Third, only people going to Llandaff Cathedral might see such horrible letters on the notice board but your blog ensures Capon's rotten regime receives maximum exposure across the Diocese, Province, the UK and the wider Anglican communion.
      Four, the several elderly ladies on the receiving end of Capon's nastiness (one of whom I understand is also a widow) need and deserve all the help and support they can possibly get.
      We all have a duty to stand up to a bully like Capon and I believe your blog is a force for good.

      Would "more of the same" be "unlikely to help"?
      It could hardly make matters worse for anyone except Morgan and Capon which couldn't happen to a nice pair.

    10. I have to agree Ruth.
      I thought it a stupid suggestion after I posted it for the reasons you so clearly state about removal of the letters. If using this blog helps them then, subject to the usual guidelines, I am happy to receive further comments for publication from anyone who feels that they need support.

    11. Gerwyn Must Go!16 April 2016 at 19:21

      The more I read Gerwhine's nasty note to Mrs X the more I smell "L'eau de Bazza".

      Gerwhine doesn't pass wind without first checking it's OK with His ++Darkness and he lacks the wit to pen such a hierarchical letter.

      "I would be overjoyed and delighted to see you return to these duties once I see some measure of repentance and an apology from you and your husband."
      Isn't he the cocky one!
      Mrs X is far too ladylike to tell him what to do with his shop and Welcomer's sash.
      I on the other have no such inhibitions.
      But of course he won't face up to men, just little old ladies.

    12. Interesting developments in Bangor,AB. One fears you may be mistaken as to the identity of the 'Bangor Queen'. He is neither female or an ordained individual. Yet, he is referred to as the 'senior diocesan lay person'. Watch this space.

    13. Evidently Gollum's ring easily accommodates Sauron's fist. It makes me nauseous to think they walk where men like +Glyn once ministered with such humility & love. Having made a small donation in memory of my father who was a lay-clerk from 1962 to 83 and distressed at the desecration of the choir by the Chuckle Brothers I have several times asked about where the audited organ account may be seen but have never received the courtesy of a reply received a reply though there seems an immense army of people on the payroll with all sorts of incredibly (I use the word deliberately)impressive job titles. Does anyone know Dean Henderson's maiden name she was apparently born in 1957 and at Howell's in my year but I cannot recall her - Miss Lewis' girls not known for giving in at the first hurdle. I retired to Pembrokeshire and for many years suffered an albeit less toxic version of BB who whilst constantly lecturing his flock Call-me-Carl was knobbing his personal chaplain, the lovely Revd Mandy Tapioca-Thomas during working hours. He didn't even have the sense of honour to resign until he bagged himself another job. Thankfully we had +Wyn to hold things together but now he is gone, the Dark Lord will turn his eye westwards.

  7. I am shocked but unfortunately not surprised by what is going on as per the comments of Llandaff Pewster, CfJ & Lux et Veritas. Having had very unpleasant run-ins with an over-bearing clergyman myself in the past, my advice to you would be to take the Dean at his word. He has made clear he does not welcome you or your contributions (including financial), but there will be plenty of other churches in the diocese who will no doubt be delighted to welcome you. It is perhaps time to withdraw at least temporarily and concentrate on healing what has become a personal wound to your own spiritual and mental well-being. I can well imagine the hurt you are feeling after a long and generally happy association with the Cathedral, but that is why it is best to turn the page now, at least temporarily. I was heavily criticised at the time for standing up to the clergyman in question, but when he left and his régime went into melt-down, it was my contrite critics who sought me out to ask for my advice on how to resolve the mess that I had warned of. I sincerely hope that you will have a similar opportunity to do be part of a constructive solution for the Cathedral soon. In the meantime, you can concentrate on contributing to the life of the church in a new context and congregation, and maybe take back new ideas from them to the Cathedral when the time hopefully comes for a return to order.

    Given the long-running saga and what you have reported on this thread the idea that the current Dean is being considered for episcopal office seems to me mind-boggling. He has neither the skills nor the experience to justify such an appointment.

    1. Llandaff's problem is that Gerwhine has neither the skills nor the experience for appointment as Dean!

    2. @Alan
      There is considerable merit in much of what you have written.
      However, why should any loyal church family have to leave THEIR Parish church (and Cathedral) after over 50 years because of an incompetent and rather nasty little cleric?
      Prevention is better than cure, so why should lay people with far more insight, intelligence and experience be simply ignored and then castigated for merely trying to have their church and Parish run legally and prudently?
      Assuming it ever existed to begin with, it is painfully obvious that the relationship between the present Dean of Llandaff and the vast majority of the congregation has irretrievably broken down and any whiff of trust evaporated.
      One hears that formal complaints have been made to Archdeacon Peggy the Pilate but since she is another useless fixture in the Chapter that couldn't run a bath no one is holding their breath.

    3. @Episkopos; You are of course absolutely correct that nobody should be driven from their church. But unfortunately it is obvious from the many threads and comments here that the siutation is at present irretrievable. As you yourself note the Archdeacon is likely to do nothing, and in hierarchical terms the Dean is second only to the Bishop who appointed him. It is a no-brainer: knocking your head against a brick wall only leads to pain ... Irretrievable break-down has led to incumbents leaving elsewhere, but for the moment the cards are stacked too heavily on one side. Continuing to mentally torture yourself by a distracted and irate rather than prayerful and attentive mood when worshipping is counter-productive. It took me a while to adjust to my temporary exile, but personally I had an enormous sense of relief to no longer be confronted with a vexing problem each time I went to the altar.

      It appears now to be a question of power politics and calling bluffs. The Dean is banking precisely on the fact that 'you need the Cathedral' like some sort of drug and will keep coming back for more, and also keep putting your hand in your pocket to boot. Don't. Nothing wakes up ambitious clerics like a fall in numbers and a fall in giving, including to wider-based support groups. He has put the ball in the court of several of you now; hit it back to him, and do yourselves and another church (or churches) a favour in the process by offering your time and talents to them. No matter what the Dean wrote and made you feel, you are a blessing to the church, and he is the bane.

    4. @Alan, @Episkopos you both make very sound points. There's much to be said for a change of church, especially to see how things are done elsewhere.

      But things have reached the present situation because too few people have stood their ground and said boo to the Capon. The letter shows how uncomfortable he is about questions being asked. For some reason he is especially sore about the organ fund and feels the need to refer to the Charity Commission. This is all very strange.

      @Alan, I agree that the situation is likely irretrievable but the question is how long it will persist. How long can the Cathedral stagger along under the present regime?

      One thing's for certain: the regime has little care for the worshippers and members of the Parish. The Dean's lack of visibility in the wider community is only matched by his general absence from the weekly life of the Cathedral.

      If you look up the page about "Pastoral Care" on the new Llandaff website, you get barely four lines. Apparently pastoral care is only about arranging baptisms, marriages and funerals, and for these you have to go through the Cathedral Office. No mention of Christian consolation or support from the clergy. It speaks volumes about the place.

    5. Cymru'r Groes17 April 2016 at 09:11


      "Llandaff Cathedral is a Christian gathering of the Church in Wales, which is a province of the worldwide Anglican Communion; it is the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff, who is currently the Archbishop of Wales. The Cathedral is a focus of pilgrimage and spirituality in the Diocese of Llandaff and for the City of Cardiff. Our purpose is therefore to: Worship God and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. In so doing, we welcome all who come here, irrespective of gender, race, creed or sexuality, in order that we might share and pass on our rich Christian heritage and the joy of Christian Faith."

      Unless one asks difficult and awkward questions, like
      "What happens to our money?"
      "How is our money spent?"
      "Why are there no accounts for the Organ Appeal?"
      "Why has the fabric of the building been neglected for the last decade or so?"
      "Where is the Quinquennial Report?"
      "Why isn't the Quinquennial Report a public document?"
      "Where is the Cathedral Chaplain?"..............

      One is then labelled "Subversive" or having a "negative attitude" and "irrespective of gender, race, creed or sexuality", loyalty and past service you are expected to stop making waves, to shut up or to push off.

      Pastoral "care" in Llandaff?
      Don't make me laugh.

    6. What is listed above by 'Cymru'r Groes' isn't unique to Llandaf Ancient Briton - far from it.

      What of the diocese which is being run by the diocesan secretary? Or is there a gag in place already?

  8. Can we be reassured that Reverend Capon will read these entries?
    Only if he does so,may we be able to gauge the thickness of his skin.

    1. Rest assured Simple Soul that bully boy ++Bazza, the Capon and MrToad spend more time reading this blog than they do the Bible. It is all they talk about in the Cathedral office too.
      It is not the thickness of skin that is in question so much as thickness full stop!

    2. The 'Bible' did you say, Simple Simon? 'Evans Above man', do you expect jam on it as well?

  9. I hear the Capon was crowing this morning that the Annual Report was finally available and the accounts were balanced. He followed this by saying the reserves were low and the congregation needs to turn out its pockets to help give him a nest egg.

    Merely balancing the books just means that the Cathedral can meet its current expenditure. Low reserves naturally lead to the question of what happened to the Cathedral's reserves in the first place.

    A copy of the Accounts made its way to The Bursary and I have cast an eye over it. The Cathedral is all of £4250 in surplus - happy days! However there are several questions that should be raised at the Easter Vestry:

    1) Page 6 makes interesting reading. Though the Unrestricted funds are indeed in surplus, the restricted funds are £15,425 in deficit. This is not explained.

    Also, it is said that "the investment properties have been revalued at the year end [...] In the period the Charity suffered a loss on revaluation on unrestricted funds amounting to £225,000".

    Looking at p21, under General funds and Designated funds, we can see that the balance of the Memorial Hall money, £199,127, is included in the final total of £5,155,363. Therefore, what exactly is this "revaluation" of £225K? This needs further explanation!

    The result of this is that the unrestricted funds at the end of 2015 are £220,750 less than they were in 2014! (£5,155,363 total in 2015 vs £5,376,113 last year).

    2) Page 5 boldly states: "The Cathedral has noted an increase in visitor numbers and attendances for Sunday services."
    Numbers are no longer published in The Bell but there is a way of checking: look at the figure for the Parish Share. Remember this is calculated on average attendance numbers. In 2014 this was £168,049. In 2015, £153,980: a drop of £14,069!
    Draw from this what conclusions you will.

    3) Salaries, p20. These have risen by £9629 since 2014!

    Frankly it's extraordinary that the Cathedral is paying out £165,551 on salaries when it once managed with two virgers and a half-time secretary. Of course the salaries formerly included the Master of the Choristers, the Lay Clerks and Assistant Organist but with Bielby's departure we can assume that Tim Hill is not as costly. And the Lay Clerks are no longer with us. Everyone else is on short term contracts. Therefore the salaries should be cheaper but they're not.

    Are you getting value for money from the Cathedral Office, Llandaff? If not, time to boot them out and replace them with volunteers and retirees.

    4) Other costs on page 19 that jumped out at me:

    * Office supplies is up £6K to £18,734. What are these profligate virgers and secretaries spending their money on? Gold-plated stationery? The Cathedral's wasteful printing of all service sheets is running up a huge bill.

    * Repairs and maintenance is nearly £40K less in 2015 than 2014. This in a year that saw the stones falling out of the clerestory. There's scant reference to the Quinquennial Report but with these idiots spending barely double on the building what they waste on office paper, it's not surprising it's falling down.

    * Professional fees shot up by nearly £4K compared to 2014. Doubtless the new architect and other consultants aren't cheap!

    * What are the Sundry costs? At nearly £15K you should ask what they are.

    5) On p18, showing income, there has indeed been a rise of £8500 in Donations and Legacies on last year. But if you take away the £25000 provided by Legacies, then the Unrestricted Funds total would be considerably less than 2014. And Legacies are a one-off gift…

    6) On p6, we are told that "Mr Hudson produced the Quinquenniel [sic] Report on the fabric in October which was seen and accepted by the Chapter at its November meeting." I think someone has been re-writing history here… No mention whatsoever of the £800K cost of fully replacing the heating, and other liabilities which a decade's worth of ineffectual maintenance have landed the Cathedral with.

    Questions must be asked!

    1. Thank you once again Bursar, most helpful.

      The reports various "Professional Advisors" on page 3 including
      Property Advisors
      Crofts Davies & Co, 259 Heathwood Road, Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 4HS
      and specifically
      Jonathan Crofts Davies.

      So why on page 20 does this information appear?
      "The basis of valuation was fair value. The residential properties and the Parish Hall were revalued in February 2016 by Graham Griffiths Estate Agents & Chartered Surveyors. Llandaff Cathedral School and grounds was valued by Alex Glanville BSc FRICS."
      What's the point of appointing a professional property advisor and then use someone else?
      Is Jonathan Crofts Davies being paid a retainer? If so, for what?

      Since the latest accounts are for the financial year ending 31st december 2015, why are valuations done in the current financial year (Feb 2016) being applied to last years accounts?
      Shouldn't the revaluations appear in the 2016 accounts?

      Then there's the property values.
      On page 17 of the annual accounts for the year ending December 2013,
      this appears.

      The basis of valuation was open market value and the trustees are of the opinion that there has been no significant movement in the valuations in 2013. The valuations were as follows:
      11 The Green, Llandaff £ 680,000
      Llandaff Cathedral School £ 725,000
      Playing field £ 10,000
      1 The White House, The Green, Llandaff £ 660,000
      2 The White House, The Green, Llandaff £ 630,000
      White House Cottage, The Green, Llandaff £ 785,000
      Parish Hall £ 80,000
      Memorial Hall, Llandaff £ 200,000

      On page 19 of last years accounts for the year ending December 2014, this appears.
      The basis of valuation was open market value and the trustees are of the opinion that there has been no significant movement in the valuations in 2014. The valuations were as follows:
      11 The Green, Llandaff £ 680,000
      Llandaff Cathedral School £ 725,000
      Playing field £ 10,000
      1 The White House, The Green, Llandaff £ 660,000
      2 The White House, The Green, Llandaff £ 630,000
      White House Cottage, The Green, Llandaff £ 785,000
      Parish Hall £ 80,000
      The Memorial Hall was sold off and the £200,000 disappears but there is absolutely no movement whatsoever in the value of ANY of the other properties.

      This year, all that appears (on page 20) is
      Residential Properties £2,500,000
      Llandaff Cathedral School and grounds £ 810,000
      Parish Hall £ 35,000
      Why are the "Residential" properties now lumped together?
      How can the four residential properties have gone down in value from £2,755,000 to £2,500,000 (a loss of £255,000) since the last accounts where previously there was no movement in value whatsoever?

      How has the Parish Hall gone down in value from £80,000 to £35,000 (a drop of over 50%) in the same period?

    2. 5. Questions from the floor

      Miss Jean Wines asked how long Jonathan Bielby will be with us - he will be here until at least the end of the calendar year, and there is the possibility to extend if necessary.

      What happened to "at least the end of the year" and why did Bielby walk out before half-term in October?

    3. If, as is claimed by one of Gerwhine's sycophants below, The Bursar & Simple Simon are "creating problems where there are none" s/he won't object to a little digging around.

      When it comes to accounts in Llandaff I prefer the advice given by Rev Carol Wardman (Bishop John Davies’ Adviser for Church and Society) at

      "Follow the money".

      I think you're on to something Simple Simon!

      How is it possible for the residential properties to LOSE 9.25% (from £2,755,000 to £2,500,000) and the Parish Hall to lose 62.5% (from £80,000 to £35,000) of their respective values whilst in the same short period of time that the Memorial Hall increased in value by 30.5% (from £200,000 to £261,009)?

      These are HUGE inconsistencies on properties that are only a few hundred yards apart.

    4. What is going on with all these revaluations all of a sudden.

      As far as I know there are only two reasons to obtain a revaluation of any property, one is rebanding for Council tax purposes and the other is to take out a mortgage.

      Was the Memorial Hall mortgaged before it was sold off and has one or more of the remaining properties owned by the Cathedral been mortgaged?

      Were the smart "suits" with briefcases seen wandering around in February surveyors/estate agents?

    5. Why would the Dean need to take out any mortgages and in any case, wouldn't he need the agreement and or the permission of the PCC or the Chapter?

    6. I think the answer to your question Ruth might be the so called Devil hiddenin the detail.

      One hears the Capon has been crowing that he has achieved in 2 years what Bonaparte failed to do in 12 years.

      Assuming the glove puppet is not boasting about losing a Curate in under 5 months, then perhaps the remaining few not-so-gullible pew sitters might like to set aside the propaganda for a while and ponder these few simple facts.

      ALL figures quoted below are taken from previously published annual reports and accounts, with page numbers indicated (please feel free to verify this information for yourself Ruth).

      2011 : £5,528,828 (page 13 of the 2012 Annual Report & Accounts)
      2012 : £5,521,285 (page 11 of the 2013 Annual Report & Accounts)
      2013 : £5,507,346 (page 13 of the 2014 Annual Report & Accounts)
      2014 : £5,557,145 (page 14 of the 2015 Annual Report & Accounts)
      2015 : £5,320,422 (page 14 of the 2015 Annual Report & Accounts)

      Variation between 2014 and 2015 = £-236,723

      But on page 6 of this years (2015) Annual Report & Accounts the glove puppet claims there is an annual surplus (of unrestricted funds) of £4,250.

      Perhaps the third question for Wednesday evening's EVM (after "Where's Ceirion?" and "Do you deny writing nasty letters to various elderly members of your flock?") should be
      "How does £+4,250 = £-236,723?".

      Staples dictaphones at the ready for the glove puppets answer.

    7. @Episkopos & Simple Simon
      Thank you both. Your numbers, comments about re-valuations and mortgages make sense to me.

      Has anyone else noticed these peculiarities?

      According to the 2014 accounts (page 13) under the 2013 heading an amount of (29,838) is described as "Revaluation of investment properties".

      My husband insists that numbers in brackets mean minus or a loss, in other words £-29,838, so if I have understood this,it means one or more properties went down in value by £29,838.

      But on page 15 of the 2015 accounts I see
      "Cash flows from financing activities"
      "Repayment of borrowing - (29,838)
      "Cash used in financing activities - (29,838)

      My husband is unable to explain how a Revaluation of investment properties in 2014 became a Repayment of borrowing in 2015.

      How can a drop in value in 2014 mean money had to be repaid in 2015?
      Could the Bursar or anyone else explain this to me please?

    8. @Simple Simon
      Following on from your post of April 17, I am intrigued to know why the previous accounts for 2012, 2013 and 2014 state
      "The basis of valuation was open market value"
      but for 2015 this has been altered to
      "The basis of valuation was fair value".

      What reasons could there be for changing the valuation method?

    9. If you Google "Fair Value Accounting" it won't take you long to find this link:

      Why are the fair value accounting rules controversial?
      By Investopedia

      "A: The fair value of an asset is the amount for which it can be bought or sold between two agreeing parties. An important factor in understanding fair value accounting is knowing the history of the subject. Fair value accounting is based in historical costs, such as standard prices for things such as books, films or equipment that are unique and do not advance with time, and more dynamic materials such as televisions and clothing, which may be relevant one moment but out of date the next.

      The controversy with this is often linked to whether things depreciate by being outdated or become more valuable by their limited availability. Statement 157 outlines the difficulties in defining how each one is labeled, and what its fair value is. The controversy in fair value accounting for assets is that it heavily affects investments and management-based decisions in terms of accounting. This is part of the reason why fair value accounting was blamed for the Wall Street crash in 1929, and more recently the financial crisis in 2008.

      Another factor in determining the fair value of something is knowing the cost of production and a valid amount to value an asset at while remaining profitable. Again, the major controversy here is determining a fair profit and fair expense for said asset.

      An additional conflict is in knowing the futures value of an asset, specifically in investments and stock trading. An asset's fair value can be indicative of opportunity one moment, and then lead to major financial losses in the next. While fair value accounting has remained controversial for its historical concerns, it remains today's dominant format for the market and is supported by various institutions, including the American Institute of CPAs."

      As the signatory to the accounts, Gerwhine has authorised the adoption of the accountancy methodology blamed for two global financial collapses.
      Even Peggy the chartered accountant Pilate wasn't that thick.

    10. @1662

      I don't know of any legitimate reason for doing so.
      Maybe The Bursar could assist?

    11. We all know the Memorial Hall was sold.
      In this years accounts on page 15 I see
      "Sale of fixed assets - 261,009"
      Just beneath that I also see
      "Repayment of borrowing - (29,838)"
      On page 21 I see
      "Designated funds - 199,127" which the Bursar says is the balance of the Memorial Hall money.
      But 261,009 minus 29,838 minus 199,127 leaves 32,044.
      So what has happened to the £32,044?

    12. Gerwyn Must Go!26 April 2016 at 09:50

      You raise a good point which suggests a rather large elephant galloping around Llandaff City school hall tomorrow evening.

      If a £-29,838 "Revaluation of investment properties" in 2014 became a "Repayment of borrowing" of £29,838 in 2015, does that mean that a £-255,548 "Loss on revaluation" in 2015 will become a "Repayment of borrowing" in 2016?

      If the answer is Yes then the financial situation if significantly worse than Darth ++insidious and his glove puppet would have us believe.
      It's bad enough that thousands upon thousands of £s have been squandered on office stationery (is it REALLY necessary to print the gospel readings, the psalm and the words to the hymns EVERY week in the weekly notes? What's wrong with using the hymn books and green prayer books in the usual way?) and unidentified "Sundry" items (even though Gerwhine's favourite Mr Toad is head verger, office manager, fabric committee member, senior hymn selector, major domo, chief factotum, Gerwhine's Social life chairman, Cathedral kitchen Chef du jour, chief bottle washer, chair arrangement manager and arch a*se kisser, how many desks does he really need?) and paying Agency rates of commission for secretarial services.
      But if they think Llandaff people will just keep dipping into their own pockets to repay loans taken out to cover up the holes in the accounts (plus interest no doubt) they can think again.

      New dictaphone, new batteries, new extra large memory card all at the ready.

    13. No-one has yet replied to my questions so having consulted my financial Guru, here are a few pointers he has kindly provided for discussion and questions at tomorrow evening’s Easter Vestry Meeting.

      The claimed pathetic surplus of £4,250 (unrestricted funds) is negligible when compared with the losses of £15,425 (restricted funds) and £225,548 (on property values).
      £225,548 + £15,425 – £4,250 means a REAL loss of £236,723.

      Without the £199,127 "designated fund" (from the sale of the Memorial Hall) the accounts would actually indicate a REAL loss of £435,850
      (£236,723 + £199,127).

      Direct questions need to be asked about the revaluations with evidence and valuations provided for the individual properties.
      This is the single most important issue and one that could be used to hide other losses.
      It is referred to on several occasions in the accounts as 'investment revaluation' but in reality the accounts are opaque.

      The elephant in the room is the amount needed to repair the Cathedral fabric.
      The cost of rectifying the stone pillars in the clerestory and the heating system are both mentioned in the report but neither is given a financial value (cost).
      These will inevitably be huge liabilities!
      The costs MUST be stated because repairs have to be carried out.
      The liability would of course outweigh the income and with no reserves (and properties downgraded) trustees have no contingency plans.
      Due to the duplicitous Dean we also don't know what other surprises are concealed within the concealed Quinquennial report!

      The Cathedral trustees are allowing profligate spending on salaries, office materials and sundries.

      The Cathedral trustees are not fulfilling their stated aims of investing in the music or keeping the fabric in good order as revealed by the figures for maintenance and music.

      The overriding problem is that Llandaff Cathedral is not audited to the standards of a company or properly regulated body.
      They use SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice) in accordance with charity rules, instead of GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) or IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards).
      This permits them to be less detailed about their income and outgoings.
      If the Dean and Chapter tell the accountants that the properties have been re-valued then the accountants will believe them as long as the Dean & Chapter sign a statement (known in the trade as CYOA), significantly different to a company or other regulated body.

      Now where did I leave my extra heavy handbag with the sharp metal corners?

    14. Ladies and gentlemen.
      I appreciate all the valid concerns over the accounts, but I believe there is still a yet more important concern.
      There seems to be a complete vacuum surrounding the fate and welfare of Ceirion Gilbert and I see no evidence of pastoral care for his health and well-being.
      Where is he?
      How is he?
      Is he alive and well?
      Regardless of everything else he is a human being and there seems to be little if any consideration for him.
      Shame on us all especially Capon and the chapter.

    15. Looking back at David Jones' letter published at pages 21 & 22 in the December 2013 edition of The Bell (one used to be able to locate it at but it seems to have very conveniently disappeared - bully boy Bazza and Gerwhine air-brushing out the Organ Appeal controversy?)
      I am reminded of these comments:

      "By the end of 2011, the appeal for the first phase of the organ had raised £1,022,000 as published in the Cathedral’s annual accounts although the management records state a figure of £1,041,398. The shortfall of £362,890 (£1,384,890 – £1,022,000) was funded by the loan from the Representative
      Body which was redeemed from the proceeds of the sale of the property No9, The Green, which was sold for £635,000 in 2010. The balance of £272,110 (£635,000-£362,890) was credited to the Cathedral’s general purposes account."

      What was the basis for that valuation of £635,000?
      Why was it sold privately to the RB?
      Why wasn't the property offered for sale on the Open Market?
      Why was it sold privately to the RB?

      Is the latest "revaluation" of £-225,548 in reality another "loan" from the RB?

    16. Subversive Canon30 April 2016 at 23:03


      I believe the missing "£32,044" might have been the money used to pay off the lady who held a tenancy at the Memorial Hall for running her "Jazzy Jungle".

      I heard the Cathedral School were not prepared to purchase the Memorial Hall with a sitting tenant in place so the Cathedral had to first buy her out.

    17. That's a very interesting suggestion "Subversive Canon".

      But even if you're correct about a large payment to a former tenant (perhaps the £29,838), today's grumblings on The Green are that the Memorial Hall was really sold for £315k.

      If correct that's another "valuation" by so called "experts" with a margin of error greater than 50%.

      Re-visiting Gabriel's figures a few entries above, then
      Sale of Memorial Hall £315,000 - £29,838 - £199,127 = £86,035.

      So where is the missing £86,035 Gerwhine?

    18. Lux Et Veritas1 May 2016 at 20:12

      You must have been at the 8am this morning 1662.

      I assume you have not heard of the announcements at the 9am and 11am Eucharists?

      At the 9am Gerwhine read out an announcement from bully boy ++Bazza that a complaint had been made about Ceirion's behviour and that as a consequence he has been banned from Llandaff Cathedral and the entire Church in Wales plus nobody is allowed to discuss the matter with each other or outside the walls of the Cathedral and under no circumstances is anyone to try and contact Ceirion Gilbert or speak to him.

      At the 11am, all reference to the complaint was omitted but the rest of the above statement repeated by Gerwhine.

      It looks like His ++Darkness has excommunicated and defrocked his little Catholic curate.

    19. At present I have no idea how Ceirion Gilbert is alleged to have misbehaved but if he's managed to get a long way up Morgan's and Capon's noses perhaps he might not be all bad.

      On the basis of innocent until proven guilty I am willing to give Ceirion the benefit of the doubt.
      Certainly until I hear he's been convicted beyond all reasonable doubt in a properly and legally constituted Court of law, not a Barry Morgan kangaroo stitch up behind the closed doors of the Llandaff Chapter House, Llys Esgob, the DBF or the RB!

      Meanwhile, just who the devil does Barry Morgan think he is getting the Dean to read out a list of Do's and Don'ts?

      Does he think he is still in Bangor or that he runs Llandaff as an Orwellian totalitarian state behind an iron curtain where he heads the STASI mind police and that people are terrified of him?

      This lady is not for turning.

      I shall think what I like, say what I like, speak to whomsoever I like, discuss whatever I like and meet wherever I like.
      Including Ceirion Gilbert.

      Let Morgan do his worst.
      After all, what could he possibly do?
      Order Capon to write me a nasty little letter?

    20. Hear hear Ruth. Well said.

    21. I quite agree ladies.
      It's a sad situation when the women of the Parish have to take a stand when the men are afraid to do so in case they are accused of being homophobic or some other such PC nonsense.

    22. Thank you Ruth, straight talking and sensible as always.
      Whatever Ceirion Gilbert is alleged to have done (or perhaps not done) the arch hypocrite seems to have acted as the police, prosecutor, jury, judge and executioner.
      Was Ceirion provided with the equivalent of a defence lawyer, allowed to speak in his defence, shown whatever evidence supported the allegations or informed what the allegations are?
      Was he threatened, coerced, frightened and forced to resign before any due process even started?
      So much for Christianity in Llandaff.
      I see and hear no hint of forgiving seventy times seven, turn the other cheek, your sins are forgiven - go and sin no more, or "forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us".
      Despite the shame, humiliation and disrepute brought upon Llandaff by Eryl Thomas, he was not defrocked or instructed never to darken the doors of the Church in Wales ever again, neither was a dictat issued against speaking to him.
      In fact bully boy Morgan had Eryl to be one of the bishops laying hands on him at his enthronement as archbishop.
      But there is only banishment with no hope of rehabilitation, repentance, forgiveness or redemption for Ceirion?
      What could he possibly have done to deserve the sentence passed on him by Morgan the Merciless?

    23. In Llandaff there's only one possible sin that would merit such a punishment.
      Mr Toad must have accused Ceirion of being a contributor to Ancient Briton's blog!

    24. Subversive Canon4 May 2016 at 08:48

      @The Bursar (April 17), @Gabriel (April 25) & @1662 (May 1)

      The ears in the walls of Llys Esgob confirm you are getting very close and various clerical backsides are becoming twitchy.
      Very twitchy indeed.

      The Memorial Hall was indeed sold for £315,000.
      Llandaff DBF held on to the money for a while and the amount that subsequently reached the Cathedral coffers was only £231,171.

      Follow the money.

    25. Let your light so shine before men.

      Peggy the Pilate school of accountancy at work again.

      Memorial Hall Sale Price : £315,000
      Sale of fixed assets : £261,009
      £315,000 - £261,009 = £53,991

      So £53,991 went missing between the DBF and the Cathedral?

      Proceeds that actually reached the Cathedral : £231,171
      £261,009 - £231,171 = £29,838 (the number recorded variously as "Revaluation of investment properties", "Repayment of borrowing" and "Cash used in financing activities" depending on which set of accounts you're looking at!)

      Designated Funds : £199,127
      £231,171 - £199,127 = £32,044 of missing money

      What has the DBF done with £53,991?
      When the Cathedral is so short of cash why would the duplicitous Dean let the DBF keep £53,991?
      On what was £29,838 spent?
      Where is the other missing £32,044?

    26. Subversive Canon4 May 2016 at 22:55

      I can't answer your first, second or fourth questions Gabriel so you will have to refer them to Gerwhine and/or Rowena but honesty is the last thing you should expect.
      I've checked my notes and as for the £29,838, I seem to recall it had something to do with the recent re-roofing of 1 and 2 the White House and the DBF demanding compensation due to revaluations.

      Follow the money.

    27. There's two large sums of money that appear to unaccounted for (£53,991 and £32,044) totalling £86,035 yet there's not even a squeek from the sycophant GoForitGerwyn about his "pink pounds"?

    28. Llandaff Pewster6 May 2016 at 11:11

      A souvenir for Bjorn Again - some of the Capon's Easter Vestry speech.

      "Item 5 which is to receive the Financial Report for the year ending to 31st December 2015.
      You will all have received the fully audited financial position or report of the Cathedral so please can we accept those accounts at this meeting?
      Ccould I have someone to propose this please?
      Myra Jenkins and Michael Turk.
      Item 5B - The Dean's Report.
      Well as ever this is probably the most interesting part of the meeting where I can explore with you some of the things that have been part of Cathedral life over the last year or so.
      I mean one of the most heartening things, it seems to me' that we've been able to achieve is a strengthening of our financial position and, although you'll have noticed in the actual financial statements it looks as if we've got a deficit, the actual situation is that because we have to now, according to the new SORP, each year we have to revise the valuations for our properties.
      The Dean and Chapter has agreed some years ago that we would revalue the properties every five years, so we came to this year to have a revaluation of the properties, and the valuation certainly wasn't as robust as it had been in times gone by.
      There are a number of reasons probably for that: it could be the strength of the housing market, but also of course the fact that these properties are fairly primitive.
      Actually they are not... the external envelope of the properties is in pretty good condition but they're pretty basic by today's standards, so you know, you wouldn't expect clergy to live in the lap of luxury although we're very lucky to live on the Cathedral Green.
      Nevertheless 1 & 2 The White House and White House Cottage, they're fairly primitive by today's standards really and the feedback that we've had in terms of the valuation certainly hasn't been quite as robust as we thought.
      Also of course in that is the valuation of the Cathedral School, which actually is due to be re-valued next year.
      So clearly what we had was, in a sense, a paper exercise; there's no way that we're going to sell the properties: we either let them or use them for clergy or for other purposes, so in a sense it's a little bit of a paper exercise, but that is why there is a negative figure in the Accounts.
      In terms of our running costs we actually brought in a surplus of around £5500 last year.
      When you think that this place has been running at a tremendous deficit for a number of years, that is amazingly good news.
      That is absolutely tremendous.
      How have we done it?
      Well we've certainly tried to keep our running costs as low as we can, and one of the reasons or ways we can do that is to divide up the work that continues in the Cathedral in a different way.
      So for example the Virgers Department now takes responsibility for a little bit more of the estate management kind of responsibility than used to take place.
      Where we had an Office with an Administrator and with two or three part-time secretaries, we've adopted a different model there where we have one full-time secretary and then a part-time Financial Administrator.

      [More to follow]

    29. Llandaff Pewster6 May 2016 at 11:22

      [Part 2]

      "So clearly what we've tried to do is make sure that our expenditure didn't go up, but re-deploy and re-divide up the responsibilities for the delivery of all the things that are still necessary for the Cathedral.
      Things also like the hiring of the Cathedral, we've rationalised the costs there so that we're actually making some money out of the way that people come here and use the Cathedral.
      It's always an extremely difficult task to try and cost the running costs of the Cathedral so that when X, Y or Z want to come here for a concert it's always difficult to analyse what we should be charging in terms of covering our costs.
      We've been able to do that and make sure that we're not actually out of pocket.
      That actually happened a lot over Christmas time, as Michael will tell you in the old days, it was actually quite difficult to make sure that the Cathedral was used by people but then managed to have some kind of income as a result.
      We've been able little by little to rationalise all that as well so that's been a huge bonus to us.
      We've also of course chosen to let one of the clergy houses because we don't actually have a Priest-Vicar in the same way as we used to, so we've been able to let the Priest-Vicar's house and we've increased rents there, and we've increased rents on things like the rugby field and the rugby club, for example, where they were set, we noticed that they were using their grounds for car parking, so again it was one thing we managed to note and we've had a little bit of a share of the good fortune they've had.
      So little by little we've been trying to claw back a little bit in terms of rent, rationalising the charges of the Cathedral and making sure that our running costs are kept in trim.
      The other major contribution to this really is that we have been, and always are the Diocesan milk cow because we are a successful parish and it's a great blessing that we've got a responsibility to pay for those ministerial costs and other costs too for the Diocese, as any parish would do.
      In some ways that is a privilege and it is also a burden, because when you look at the list of parishes and the list of Parish Share in the diocese, we are the top.
      They use all kinds of statistics to determine that including social demographics, income, number of communicants in the Cathedral and so on, but we're in many ways a very successful operation.
      And so clearly our Parish Share reflects that.
      A number of years ago, as part of that Parish Share went out, the diocese also paid the Cathedral back a small block grant in order to help us, actually, live up to our vocation as a Cathedral.
      There are things that we have to do that a normal parish wouldn't have to do.
      We have to stage ordinations, confirmations, diocesan services, provincial services, a lot to do, which is an additional opportunity but a financial burden upon us, and so all those costs were reckoned to be in the region of £30-£40,000 a year.
      So the Diocese would pay us back £40,000 into our pot so we have, if you like, a rebate.
      Because we always pay our Parish Share on time we also used to have a bonus at the end of the year to give us a little bit of encouragement.
      After some negotiation with the Diocesan Board of Finance, we've been able to increase the level of that grant from £40,000 to £60,000.
      So that's enormously good news for us I think, because it means that eventually that yes, we're keeping our costs within limit.
      We're also looking at all these different ways of hiring, letting and increasing the rents, but also this rebate on the Parish Share which is a tremendous bonus for us."

      [More to follow]

    30. Llandaff Pewster6 May 2016 at 11:32

      [Last part]

      "Having said all that, does it mean that our giving has gone up substantially?
      And it doesn't. Not substantially.
      And although we have seen a little bit of a move away from people giving on the plate towards maybe gift aid and gift direct, it's not really been as substantial as we had hoped, and I think that's one of the big agendas that we need to catch hold of in this present year.
      For the new PCC to catch hold of.
      Just how do we encourage people to consider giving by direct giving?
      And it's a hugely tax efficient way of doing it if you are a taxpayer, of course.
      It means the Cathedral and the Church in Wales can claim that tax back for nothing.
      So it's really a no brainer.
      It's peculiar - a lot of priests will tell you the same thing - there's a real reluctance at times to encourage people to give by direct gift and for it to be gift aided, but it's enormously useful for the Cathedral to be able to do that.
      And if you are giving directly it means that cash flow is much easier and whether you come here or not, you still are contributing to the ministry.
      I think that one of the things that is always difficult in a place like this - look at it - is that it speaks of the eternal.
      It's been here for centuries and thank God the restoration of the 1950s and 60s is that it's given us a building that is in pretty good condition.
      And I suppose it would be very easy to think, well it doesn't really depend on me, [And] that's one of the things that we need to address this year, and in the years to come, that we all have the responsibility to maintain it and to support the ministry.
      And however you think that ministry is being conducted we can always do better.
      I can do better, Graham can do better, we can do better.
      When you think that at the 9 o'clock we have an enormous number of people, it is wonderful to see younger people putting themselves forward for election at PCC.
      [How] do we reach families, what is our ministry to children like?
      They are huge questions that can only be liberated and developed if we have the financial resources to do so.
      And doesn't depend on believing on me, or Graham, but having a hope, and that's what giving is all about - it's about having a hope that we can do something different with our money, and that the money that is donated towards the ministry here will help to unlock the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead of us.
      So there's no doubt at all in my view that the overall financial picture has been really encouraging and I thank you for all that you continue to do to support that venture and that enterprise.
      And I'm preaching in a sense to the converted, in many ways, that you all believe enough in the situation to come here tonight to make your voices heard and show your support for the Cathedral. [You'e] not just giving to the roof, or the pillars, or to the whitewashing of the walls, you're actually giving to the ministry."

      [Here endeth the drivel]

    31. The Dean's Report "probably the most interesting part of the meeting"?
      He wishes.

      "... because we are a successful parish ..."?
      Is that his explanation for the communicant numbers no longer being published in The Bell?

      "... a building that is in pretty good condition."?
      Is that why he's kept the Quinquennial report has been kept under wraps?

      What a berk.

    32. Commiserations to whoever recorded and transcribed Capon's insipid mumblings.
      It was bad enough having to listen to it once.

      "the fact that these properties are fairly primitive. Actually they are not... the external envelope of the properties is in pretty good condition but they're pretty basic by today's standards, so you know, you wouldn't expect clergy to live in the lap of luxury although we're very lucky to live on the Cathedral Green. Nevertheless 1 & 2 The White House and White House Cottage, they're fairly primitive by today's standards really"

      Pompous little ass.
      Tell it to the homeless in St. Mary Street.
      That's "primitive" by any standards.

      A detached house with large gardens on the Cathedral Green that had tens of thousands of £s spent on it fitting a new bathroom and kitchen shortly before he moved in.
      Entertaining his special chosen friends with Canapes soirees prepared by professional caterers.

      The hypocrite does live in the lap of luxury!

  10. GoForitGerwyn - sorry don't know how to put in a name under Anon

    Oh dear, what trouble is this site trying to brew up now - creating problems where there are none and reading into things in attempt to find error, or worse. As they say, 'if you're looking for it you will find it'. So the accounts have been published. Many of you have been going on about this for months and now that they are published here is Simple Simon and The Bursar trying to find fault from the word go. Amateur accountants and busy bodies.

    As for Gerwyn's letter to the welcomer, what a well written and direct response. I for one in Llandaff am not looking for an explanation. I have been on the receiving end of some pretty shambolic 'welcoming' but also some amazingly warm welcoming. It's a mixed bag and I am pleased that the Dean is sorting out the wheat from the chaff. For example, I once witnessed a welcomer shout at a middle aged man for entering the cathedral wearing a hat!!! The guy didn't know what on earth she was on about, turned around and left. I heard her say 'he should know this is the house of God and how disrespectful of the Cathedral'. There are a few more examples I could give of really unrepresentative welcoming, equally, as I say, some great welcoming also goes on. I don't know if the person who received the letter is the same as the elderly female welcomer who shouted at this young man, but from the tone of the Dean's letter, I suspect it is. Good on him for pulling her up on her seemingly less than christian attitude but also leaving the door open for her to mend her ways, repent and return. I’d say that was him doing his job effectively. You can't ask for more than that. I don’t know the detail but such a letter to be sent I suspect It needed dealing. There are far too many stories around of people who have shouted at, talked down to, patronised visitors on entering the Cathedral. There are also some great stories of those who have felt truly welcomed.

    Welcomers are the face of the cathedral. It's an important ministry and if there are those who have genuinely lost sight of their vocation to this role then good on the Dean for reminding them of this. I might volunteer for the role myself and, if it’s cold, wear a beanie.

    Go for it Gerwyn - get that house in order.

    1. In reply to 'anonymous ' above ,the letter is so badly written that I needed to enquire if it was a 'spoof', having estimated in my mind that the age and educational level of the writer to be about 15 years of age.
      The letter is tactless and, whatever the perceived faults of the person to whom it was addressed , it is completely lacking in pastoral skill. The way in which the Dean should have dealt with this matter is to organise a seminar for these good people who give up their spare time to volunteer. There would then be an opportunity to discuss how is the best way to deal with awkward situations ,such as the the man who did not respectfully remove his hat in Church. It needs to be appreciated that the ladies of the 'more nature generation' have ingrained standard of behaviour in any church,and very naturally fell wounded when a visitor displays no understanding about how to conduct themselves in the House of God.

  11. Today's grumblings on The Green concern the glove puppet's missing Catholic curate who has not been seen in Llandaff for some weeks but who is reported to be continuing his ministry elsewhere. Allegedly the schism between him, the oily Mr Toad and Gerwhine is such that a family Christening had to take place in Llandaff North instead of the Cathedral.
    On the plus side it seems Gerwhine has not penned any more nasty letters for fear of a damn good handbagging from the elderly ladies and widows at next weeks Easter Vestry meeting.

  12. Subversive Canon23 April 2016 at 17:19

    Another intersting development is that the Church Times is advertising for a Director of Music at Llandaff Cathedral on behalf of the Dean & Chapter.
    The funny thing is that it's the first the Chapter have heard of it.

  13. Gerwhine must think he's got away with his Ponzi scheme on the accounts to have had permission from His ++Darkness to advertise such a post.

    Who in their right mind would consider coming to Llandaf?
    All they'd have to do is ask Bielby about the place and how he was treated.
    They would be better off setting up a Monkey Music franchise immediately and spend fourteen years of their life doing something constructive.

  14. The post is described as an "exciting opportunity". It says "Contract: Permanent" which likely means "until Christmas 2017 / when we run out of cash / you fall out with Mr Toad"!
    Director of Music
    Contract: Permanent
    Location: Wales


    The Dean and Chapter wish to appoint a new Director of Music
    to commence no later than January 2017

    Details of this exciting opportunity and application pack are available from:
    Nicola Abbott at the Cathedral Office
    029 2056 4554 •

    Closing date for applications: Noon 16th May

    Interviews 8th and 9th June 2016

    1. As the Chapter seem to be in ignorance of this "exciting opportunity", His ++Darkness and his glove puppet are fooling only themselves.
      What is there to attract anyone to Llandaff?
      A group of boys who, through no fault of theirs, can barely read music, are inexperienced with a very limited repertoire and who perform only three services a week. Add to that an inconsistent back row of amateur scabs for whom Plainsong has a high potential for disaster.
      Then there's the primitive rehearsal facilities (compare St. David's for example), no Llandaff festival, no outreach program, no Three Choirs Concerts, no funding for recordings and no funding for concert tours.

      There was a time when the position of Cathedral Director of Music and Master of the Cathedral Choristers was the plum music appointment in the County.

      In Llandaff nowadays it's not even the plum music appointment in Llandaff.

    2. Herbert Howells24 April 2016 at 20:39

      Hello Harold Darke. May I inquire what your obvious musical credentials are? And why the current adult singers at Llandaff are 'scabs'? Surely they are working to preserve a musical tradition at the cathedral that otherwise would have long been extinguished?

  15. Message from the Manager of Staples on Western Avenue.

    Due to a recent surge in demand for Dictaphones our current stock has been exhausted. To avoid disappointment, anyone requiring portable digital recording equipment by the afternoon of Wednesday 27th April please ensure your order is placed with our online store no later than 18:00 on Monday 25th April.
    Thank you for your continued custom. Happy Easter vestry Meeting.

  16. The ears in the walls have reported that last Saturday's thanksgiving service for girl choristets was constantly being interupted by strange hissing type noises, so the handyman was called in to check for leaks.
    Upon completion of his investigation the mystery was solved when it was realised Bazza and his glove puppet were the source of the problem.
    As they were chatting to each other in hushed tones about their little Ponzi scheme to balance the accounts, every time one of them looked over their shoulders and saw an elderly lady approaching a "Shshshshshsh" sound was escaping from one or both.

  17. Easter Vestry? What a riveting evening that was... not. Listening to Gerwhine rabbit on about breaking even, I wanted to break wind instead but decided I couldn't compete with the amount of hot air being vented by our beloved Dean.

    His very short list of achievements in 2015 - "a year of consolidation" as he put it - was inflated with grandiose promises of things to come. E.g. a new Director of Music who could magically "generate income" for the Cathedral Choir. Better toilets. And a cafe in the Prebendal House...

    We've heard it all before of course, which is why the turnout was the lowest I've seen at an Easter Vestry in the past decade. Maybe about 50? Having it in the main part of the Cathedral made the number look very threadbare indeed. I was surprised at the lack of certain familiar faces who hadn't made an effort to come along. But they missed nothing because it was a bad case of same old, same old. I was hoping for a plan and a bit of vision. Sadly none of that was in evidence.

    1. I admit I am quite surprised not to see more comments here about the boring EVM especially about all the great and good regulars missing this years non-event.

      In the meantime the ears in the walls report the office staff are crowing that some 50 enquiries have been received about the new vacancy of Director of Music.

      The ears also report Gerwhine crowing that he has lined up Her Majesty's current director of music at the Chapel Royal and intends to shoe-horn him into the job

      So the rest of the world needn't bother applying because as usual in Llandaff the whole recruitment process is a sham, courtesy of the Lucy Morgan school of HR.

    2. Llandaff Pewster30 April 2016 at 16:52

      I thought Ancient Briton readers might like to see the application pack, job description etc.
      [First Part]

      The Cathedral stands on an ancient site, tracing its foundation to the middle of the sixth century. Today the Cathedral complex is a wonderful and eclectic ensemble of styles resulting from the various restorations that have characterised its development over the centuries.
      Llandaff Cathedral's multifaceted role is understood in various ways. As the Mother Church, it is the focus for the corporate life of the Diocese of Llandaff, which is part of the Anglican Province of The Church in Wales. It is therefore the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff who is currently the Archbishop of Wales. The Cathedral is an intricate community in its own right and behaves very much as the 'big church' in the city. By virtue of its place in Wales' capital, it plays host to many national services.
      The Cathedral also serves a parish and as such, there is a Parish Organist who directs a voluntary choir and plays the organ for the 9.00am Sunday Parish Eucharist, weddings and funerals. Since 2014 he accompanies most of the other Cathedral services until new arrangements can be made for the overall direction of the Cathedral's music.
      We have principal relationships with four schools in the parish; the Cathedral School (from which our choristers are drawn), a Voluntary Aided Church Primary and Secondary School, and to a lesser extent, Howells, an independent day school for girls with a coeducational upper school.
      The Cathedral therefore has an important role in the life of the diocese, parish, city and the Province - but it comes together principally as a place of ordered tradition and encounter through worship and liturgy that stands firmly in the catholic tradition.
      Staff and Governance
      The Cathedral Chapter is made up of sixteen canons; the Dean is the seventeenth member and chairs the Chapter. Apart from the Dean and one Residentiary Canon, all members of Chapter are parish priests elsewhere in the Diocese, including the Archdeacons. The aim is to appoint a Minor Canon as Succentor who will be resident and full time.
      The lay staff include:
      Head Virger and two Assistant Virgers
      Maintenance Officer/Clerk of Works
      Finance Officer
      Office Manager
      Director of Music to be appointed
      Parish Organist There are two church wardens.

      Historic arrangements
      1. The Cathedral Choir
      Llandaff Cathedral at one time ran its own choir school. By the late 1950's it had become unsustainable and eventually was taken over as a Woodard School. Since then it has gained in strength and size. The Cathedral School is now an entirely separate and independent foundation but remains the Cathedral's sole provider of choristers under an arrangement set out formally in a lease that requires the School to provide up to 20 choristers by means of scholarships. Historically these have been boys with a back row made up of lay clerks and singing men. The Cathedral therefore has essential control over the recruitment and training of the Cathedral Choristers, in full consultation and agreement with the School.
      2. The Girls Choir
      The School under its initiative and reflecting its coeducational status operates a girls choir with its own back row. It has a choral director who has a teaching commitment there. The Head of Music at the School is a highly competent organist and usually accompanies the choir which is styled as The Cathedral School Choral Scholars. It has become increasingly well trained, and successful. Although the Cathedral has never been contractually bound to accept girl choristers, it is naturally pleased to do so. The girls therefore sing Choral Evensong on Mondays and Wednesdays during term time and during the past year the Dean has invited this choir to sing at other special diocesan services.

    3. Llandaff Pewster30 April 2016 at 16:55

      [Second Part]

      The present interim arrangements.
      In December 2013 the Chapter was forced to address a deficit in the Cathedral's finances by making several of the established lay clerks and singing men redundant, in an effort to restructure the delivery of a 'back row.' The Cathedral gained some adverse publicity as a result.
      When the new Dean took up his appointment in February 2014, he deliberately put in place a scheme for the delivery of the Cathedral's music with a series of interim arrangements. These included the appointment of a temporary director of music who helped stabilise the choir until November 2015. Since then, the Director of the Girls Choir from the Cathedral School has built on these successes by acting as temporary director for the Cathedral Choir.
      The "back row" is currently made up of casual singers drawn principally, but not exclusively, from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Cardiff University. The aim in the future is to re-establish a more secure and committed provision.

      Over the past two years the Cathedral has reached a much stronger position; finances have been turned around and we now operate a surplus budget. The Cathedral's ongoing commitment to music has involved considerable investment and fundraising. An entirely new Cathedral organ was built and completed in 2010 by Nicolson of Malvern. It is a large and versatile instrument consisting of four manuals and 80 stops. The investment demonstrates the high aspiration of the Cathedral community to support music at Llandaff, one that is high on our agenda for the future.
      1. THE VISION
      The Dean and Chapter is now anxious to see the redevelopment of the Cathedral Music Department with the appointment of an imaginative and resourceful Director of Music. In order to maintain and develop this vital aspect of the Cathedral's ministry both now and in the future, we believe that a new vision for the delivery of music must:
      create a model that is financially and operationally sustainable;
      acknowledge and affirm the historic relationship between the Cathedral and the Cathedral School;
      seek ways to reach other schools and colleges by extending possibilities for a wider cross section of children to be developed and nurtured within the traditions of church music.

    4. Llandaff Pewster30 April 2016 at 16:57

      [Third Part]

      a) Cathedral Boys and Men's Choir
      We intend to support the existing arrangement with boy choristers provided by the Cathedral School and, upon the successful appointment of a new Director of Music, to further develop stable and committed arrangements to provide a permanent back row. We are open to the future possibility of fostering opportunities in neighbouring institutions to produce a first class boys choir drawn from a wider recruitment base.
      b) Girls Choir
      The School will continue to supply, with the encouragement and support of the Cathedral, a Girls choir under the School's directorship. We wish to strengthen further the creative spirit of friendship and collaboration between the music departments of the Cathedral and School.
      c) Choral Scholarships
      The Dean and Chapter wish to develop strong relationships with new stakeholders in the city of Cardiff, in particular, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Cardiff University, through the provision of maintained choral scholarships. We would also hope that these relations would lead to greater collaboration in terms of concert programmes and public performances.
      d) Mixed Adult Choir:
      We are keen to establish a consort of adult singers capable of augmenting the choral output especially outside school terms.
      e) Organ Scholar:
      It is our intention to encourage the appointment of an Organ Scholar.
      f) Assistant Organists
      The Parish Organist and Organ Scholar will act as the accompanists for the Cathedral Choir.
      g) Concerts:
      The Dean and Chapter aim to develop new ways of enriching the choral output for the liturgy and for concert performance including recitals for organ.
      h) Financial Sustainability:
      The Dean and Chapter wish to see a music department that has a financially sensible approach towards its resourcing and development and the new Director of Music will be expected to establish, manage and promote this enterprise.

    5. Llandaff Pewster30 April 2016 at 17:00

      [Fourth Part]

      JOB DESCRIPTION (Draft for purposes of recruitment)
      Post Title: Director of Music.
      Time commitment: Full Time. The post holder will be expected to work the hours necessary to carry out the duties of the position.
      Date of commencement: 1 January 2017 or earlier if possible.
      To whom responsible: The Dean.
      Employer: The Dean and Chapter of Llandaff Cathedral.
      Probationary Period: Twelve months.
      Remuneration: The starting salary will be £28,000 with annual performance related incremental rises up to £33,000. Mileage allowance is paid for business purposes. A contributory pension scheme is available and the employer will contribute up to 8% to an approved pension plan.
      Annual Leave: 35 days comprising one week after Christmas, one week after Easter and five weeks after the end of the school summer term.
      In service training: Encouraged, offered and arranged as appropriate.
      Faith commitment: Sensitive to the Christian ethos and worship of the Church. Applications are welcome from all Christian denominations.
      Conditions: This post is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service. It is essential that the successful candidate has a full driving license and their own transport.
      Key Responsibilities:
      To deliver the Strategic Plan for the music department.
      To recruit and act as line manager for the Choral Scholars, adult singers, the Parish Organist, any assistant organists and the Organ Scholar.
      To maintain excellent relations and the full confidence of choir parents.
      To develop the Cathedral Choir and raise its standards through a varied liturgical repertoire for the Choral Eucharist and Evensong.
      To maximise the potential of the choir school for chorister recruitment and to develop recruitment pathways for those attending other local schools.
      To forge partnerships for recruitment of a back row of singers with the music department of Cardiff University and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
      To seek new ways to generate income for the music department through fundraising and support from Trusts and Foundations.
      To accompany services on the organ as required.
      To offer organ recitals and provide for the musical life of the Cathedral through imaginative outreach and positive relationships within the city and nationally.
      To maintain and develop the current pattern of services namely, during term times, on Sundays, the 11.00am Choral Eucharist and Choral Evensong, with Choral Evensong on Thursdays, Fridays and (although in temporary abeyance) Saturdays. Outside school terms the Director of Music will be expected to ensure that choral music is provided of a high quality. This may be done by arranging visiting choirs.
      To ensure the proper care and maintenance of the Cathedral's organs and pianos.
      To produce the Cathedral's weekly and monthly music lists.

    6. Llandaff Pewster30 April 2016 at 17:02

      [Fifth Part]

      Educated to degree level or equivalent in any subject.
      Understanding of best practice in safeguarding children.
      Good computer skills essential.
      Knowledge of the value of social media in publicity and promotion.
      Knowledge of data protection issues.
      As Director of Music:
      Possess a proven track record in the successful recruitment, motivation and training of young singers, adult/professional singers and organists.
      Some experience of managing a music programme including financial aspects would be beneficial.
      As Organist:
      A skilled choral accompanist, liturgical improviser and solo player.
      RCO qualifications are useful but not essential.
      A sound and detailed knowledge of the role of liturgical music and its organ and choral repertoire.
      Personal Qualities:
      Ambition and energy to achieve the highest possible standards of performance.
      Ability to prioritise and manage time efficiently.
      Ability to develop mature and harmonious working relationships with colleagues and volunteers. The Cathedral is committed to maintaining goodwill among staff and volunteers. We are a small, busy and dedicated team which functions only through mutual respect and cooperation.
      An excellent communicator, skilled in consultation.
      Willingness to take initiative and think strategically.
      Commitment to the Christian values and ethos of the organisation.


    7. @Evans Above

      You were right.
      "Contract : Permanent"
      There's the first grounds for another employment tribunal on grounds of misrepresentation.
      No mention of having made the previous Assistant Organist redundant, only £28k, no accommodation, with twelve months probation, unlimited hours, no half term holidays, no bank holidays or days off in lieu, no lay clerks and responsibility for raising the funds to pay your own salary, which (apart from the comments earlier on this thread about the annual accounts) puts the lie to the claim "we now operate a surplus budget".

      Educated to degree level or equivalent in any subject.
      Sounds like Social Sciences or Film & Media Studies should do nicely.

    8. "The aim is to appoint a Minor Canon as Succentor who will be resident and full time."

      What of the missing catholic curate ceirion Gilbert?

      Llandaff. The Bermuda Triangle of the Anglican Communion.

    9. Here's the announcement of his arrival.
      New cleric for Llandaff Cathedral
      Llandaff Cathedral has welcomed a new cleric onto its staff.
      Father Ceirion James Gilbert was received into the Church in Wales during Evensong at Llandaff Cathedral, where he will serve as assistant curate.
      Father Gilbert joins the Llandaff Diocese from the Diocese of Menevia – where he was the Roman Catholic parish priest of Our Lady of the Assumption in Briton Ferry.
      During a special service last week he was licensed as assistant curate to the cathedral by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan – a post he will take up from December 20.
      The Assistant Bishop of Llandaff, David Wilbourne who received Father Gilbert into the Church in Wales said, “Traffic between the Roman Catholic and Anglican church is two-way, and whenever I receive Roman Catholics into the Church in Wales, I make it quite clear that they are not leaving one church to join another, but are simply widening the circle.”
      Father Gilbert will begin his curacy after a period of study at St Michael’s College, Llandaff, to bring him up to speed with Anglican practice, liturgy, theology and history. He joins Llandaff after serving for a decade as a Roman Catholic priest, firstly in Italy and then in Wales. In addition to serving as a parish priest in Neath he was also director of youth services, chaplain to two secondary schools, secretary to the bishop’s council and in charge of the Diocese of Menevia’s online and social media presence. He is a fluent Welsh speaker and also speaks French and Italian.
      Originally from Llantrisant, Father Gilbert moved to West Wales at a young age where he was brought up going to chapel. After A’levels, he spent a gap year in France before reading Law at university.
      After being received into the Roman Catholic church, he went to Italy on a three-month vocational training programme and ended up staying in Italy for twelve years – during which time he trained and worked as a priest.
      “I worked as a curate in a parish close to Venice for a number of years and then decided that it was time that I gave something back to my home country of Wales,” said Father Gilbert, who returned to Wales in 2008.
      “Gradually over time a feeling grew that I might be more at home within the Church in Wales. There were aspects of the Roman Catholic Church that I was uncomfortable with and more importantly the fundamental difference of approach and attitude of the Anglican Communion towards diversity on many levels including liturgical, ethical and sacramental and recognition of human dignity.”
      He added that he was delighted to be joining the team at the cathedral and also currently enjoying his time studying at St Michael’s and getting to know the community at the college.
      “It’s quite daunting to be joining the cathedral team as it is quite different to what I am used to but it is very exciting and a great challenge.”
      In his spare time Father Gilbert, who has a pet Italian greyhound, enjoys reading, playing music, writing poetry and is an art enthusiast.

      The ears in the walls report details of his departure to follow shortly.

    10. Cymru'r Groes1 May 2016 at 20:38

      I hear the Catholic Curate has managed to upset Darth ++Insidious in a big way.

      What has he done?
      Did he decide the LGBT Llandaff Cathedral Clergy and staff are not his cup of tea after all and convert back to the Roman Catholic Church?

      And after all those fanfares, rolling out of red carpet, soundbites from the Ass Wilbourne and the PR spin on the RB website.

    11. Barry Morgan's judgement must be questioned.
      Janet Henderson lasted 9 weeks.
      Ceirion Gilbert manages 13 weeks (excluding his tuition at St. Michelle's school of social work).
      Llandaff goes from strength to strength.
      The ears in the walls suggest events in Pentyrch are at the bottom of this latest scandal.

  18. Lux Et Veritas6 May 2016 at 20:47

    @Subversive Canon
    The ears in the walls report that His ++Darkness is positively glowing a bright episcopal puce at your revelations.
    Those of us who actually give a damn about Llandaff are wondering if you could provide us with any more help?

    1. Subversive Canon6 May 2016 at 23:47

      Matthew 7:7-11
      Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

      Matthew 21:22
      And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

      Mark 11:24
      Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].

      Luke 11:13
      If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

      Have faith.
      Ask away.
      I shall do what I can do.

    2. Is there any truth behind the rumours that the office assistant's salary was being taken from the Organ appeal money?

    3. Subversive Canon9 May 2016 at 20:53

      Yes it is true 1662.

      The Organ Appeal Committee were specifically asked to fund the Cathedral Office assistant's post. They refused the request on the grounds that donations were being made specifically to pay for a new instrument, not the overheads of an office admin assistant that had nothing to do with the Organ appeal.

      After referring to my notes I confirm in March 2011 the Archdeacon of Llandaff raised the issue in Chapter, asking for clarification of the Cathedral office assistant's "role".
      Bonaparte was obliged to admit that the costs of the Office admin assistant were indeed being met "out of the Organ appeal".

      Follow the money.

    4. Follow the money indeed.
      If memory serves the new Organ Appeal lasted 6 years or so.

      When did the scam of paying the Cathedral office admin assistant from the Appeal funds begin and what precisely were the "costs" involved?

      If the scam was going on from the outset at a cost of say £18k a year (salary, Employers NI contributions etc) this would have amounted to £108,000.

      Which coincidentally was as near as damn it the amount used as an excuse to delay the construction of the Solo Organ.

      Which in turn led to the "need" for the separate Solo Organ appeal and the eventual cost of the Solo Organ rising from £109,000 to £190,000!

    5. Subversive Friend11 May 2016 at 17:51

      Stories continue about bully boy ++Bazza's complexion continuing to match the colour of his shirt and I can't say I'm sorry to hear it.

      In fact he's only got himself to blame.

      It's almost a year ago that he opened his big mouth at the Friends' AGM and uttered the words

      "The money in the Cathedral, a great deal of it - three-quarters of a million pounds in fact - has gone from the Cathedral's coffers on the new organ, in terms of the sale of the house and in terms of the trust money that it had."

      Of course readers, you will remember that the arch gobshite attempted to deny ever making such a statement but was caught out by the transcript of the tape recording of his immortal speech.

      So the question is this. From what facts did Darth ++Insidious arrive at the grand figure of £3/4 million?
      What actually happened to this money from proceeds of selling 9 The Green?
      What Trust money?
      Was it all used towards the cost of paying for the new Organ?
      Was any of it used to pay for the Organ?
      If any portion of it was not used for the stated purpose, where is it now?

      Any ideas Subversive Canon?

    6. Precisely Subversive Friend, but that was just one occasion His ++Darkness tried to con the Friend's of the Cathedral into handing over Diana Davies' £400k legacy.

    7. Subversive Canon12 May 2016 at 20:07

      @Subversive Friend.
      I shall check my notes and get back to you presently.

    8. Subversive Canon13 May 2016 at 19:03

      9 The Cathedral Green
      According to my notes the Cathedral properties and School were valued at £3.2million as at February 2007.
      At the end of June 2008 the Chapter were already discussing selling property to cover a gap in the fund raising to pay for the new Organ.
      By September 2008 Chapter had already got Nicholson’s to agree to delaying the 4th Manual, the Solo Organ and 5 other stops, the RB was willing to arrange a short term loan of £250k (agreed unanimously by Chapter) and Crofts Davies valued nos 9 and 11 The Cathedral Green at £475,000 each so either 9 or 11 The Cathedral Green could have been sold.
      By February 2009 no decision had been made but the RB had agreed to lend the Dean & Chapter £400k secured on both 9 and 11, interest free for 12 months, the loan could be extended for up to 5 more years at an interest 2% above base rate.
      This was agreed and arranged.
      By September 2009 the Chapter was in a panic over the Organ appeal and agreed in principle to sell 9 The Cathedral Green to the RB.
      In November 2009 Bonaparte met with the RB to discuss the sale but a new valuation was needed to satisfy charity laws that the Cathedral was raising the maximum it could from a sale on the “Open Market”.
      In March 2010 Chapter Bonaparte reported that the RB valued number 9 at £600k but Crofts Davies had put it at £675k.
      They compromised on £635k and (somewhat appropriately) the sale was completed on April 1st 2010.
      The Cathedral’s debts to the RB were repaid and the balance was supposed to have been deposited in to COIF.
      At no time was the property put on the “Open Market” nor did the Dean & Chapter ever try to raise the £675k they had been advised it was worth.

      Keep following the money Subversive Friend.

    9. I wonder when the "Ethical Investment" will take a look into the Organ Appeal accounts at Llandaff Cathedral?

      Oh, silly me.
      Of course, how could I forget?
      They can't, can they?
      No Organ Appeal accounts were kept or produced.
      Not even the Solo Organ Appeal accounts promised in December 2012!

    10. Lux Et Veritas14 May 2016 at 19:46

      @Subversive Canon

      You are a gold mine of helpful information and truth.

      I salute your bravery in risking the ire of bully boy ++Morgan.

      Would you also happen to have accurate figures for the cost of the Organ and the amounts raised by the Organ appeal please?

    11. Subversive Canon15 May 2016 at 13:52

      New Organ Costs

      7 November 2006
      Nicholson’s estimated a cost of £989,500, £50,000 for a new Organ case, removing the old Organ and board & lodge for their workers £66,000 with total cost of £1.2 million.
      A deposit of 5% required and as soon as construction work had begun, progress payments of 5% of the project cost were to be paid monthly.
      [As £989,500 + £50,000 + £66,000 = £1,105,500 I don’t know how the amount of £1.2 million was calculated.]

      EASTER 2008
      Progress report published by the Organ Appeal Committee
      "£92,000 of this fund has been spent to date - £61,611 of which was the deposit paid to the Organ builders"
      If £61,611 represented a deposit of 5%, 20 installments of 5% infers a total cost of £1,232,220.

      9 September 2008
      Organ appeal Treasurer Alan Williams reported to Chapter a total of £1,350,000 would be required to pay for the new Organ.

      December 2013
      The Bell
      "The cost for the whole instrument totalled £1,574,890 (£1,384,890 for the first phase + £190,000 for the solo organ and five pedal stops).
      The first phase of the organ project was completed in 2010.
      In the absence of a separate itemised account for the first phase of the organ, overall figures supplied to the Cathedral’s auditors put the cost at £1,384,890."
      David Jones, Organ Appeal Secretary

      The price of the Organ went from £1,105,500 to £1,384,890 in three years and then up to £1,574,890 is still a mystery to me.

      Follow the money.

    12. Who supplied the "overall figures" to the Cathedral's auditors?

      Is this simply another example of CYOA by the auditors?

    13. Subversive Canon16 May 2016 at 19:24

      That would have been the Cathedral Treasurer, Dean and "Chapter", ie, those included in the inner cabal.


    14. The figures provided as "Costs" for the new organ are fascinating Subversive Canon.
      This is probably a stupid question but I'll ask anyway.
      Did ANYONE in Llandaff Cathedral have a definitive price for the new Organ at any time?
      The more I learn the more this sounds like one of those government IT or MOD procurement projects that were completely out of control!

    15. Subversive Canon17 May 2016 at 19:19

      New Organ Appeal Fund Raising

      June 2007
      EIG (Ecclesiastical Insurance Group) had paid the Cathedral a total of £160,975 that included £50,000 for the Organ and £9,500 for the hire of the temporary electronic Organ as settlement of the insurance claim arising from the lightning strike that February.

      13 July 2007 the Organ Appeal was launched.

      By 30 November £300k had been raised.

      Easter 2008
      Progress report published by the Organ Appeal Committee
      (see )
      We have raised £410,000 made up as follows:-
      Anonymous gift for deposit £50,000, Insurance claim £64,000, Weston Corporation £50,000, Friends of the Cathedral £50,000, Gibson Trust £5,000,
      “One off” donations £138,910, Phased donations by monthly DD/GWADD £28,671,
      Investment interest £8,995, Fund raising activities £14,463.
      Total £410,039

      30 June 2008
      Chapter told £500k had been raised.

      19 November 2008
      Chapter told £580k had been raised.

      24 February 2009
      Chapter told £600k had been raised.

      29 June 2009
      Chapter told £600k had been raised.

      9 March 2010
      Chapter told £875k had been raised.

      23 November 2010
      Chapter told the Organ Appeal had exceeded £1 million thanks to the latest Flower Festival.

      20 November 2012
      David Jones presented the Solo Organ Appeal business plan.
      Funds raised £117,929, Expected Cost £184,040.
      Shortfall of £66,111 would be exceeded by :
      Committed Giving of £3,850 ; 3 private donations £15k ; Gift Aid Recovery £3,750 ; Llandaff Festival £14k minimum (guaranteed by the Friends) ; 5 other guarantees (Friends £6k, 4 others totalling £30k) £36k.

      18 June 2013
      With £25k from the Colwinston Trust, gifts and the proceeds of the Llandaff Festival, all needed money had been raised.
      The appeal would close.
      Solo Organ installation work would start on 1st July
      Final accounts for the Solo Organ Appeal will be published.

      10 September 2013
      Organ Appeal Committee requested detailed information about the Organ Appeal income and expenditure on building the Organ. Failing that, for a detailed analysis of the full Cathedral accounts to be done from the start of the Organ Appeal in 2007 to it’s end in 2010.
      Chapter refused, choosing instead to repeat previously published figures and remind the Committee of the need to sell 9 The Green paying almost £400k towards the Appeal.
      Chapter decided that all the money received for the Main Organ Appeal had been spent constructing the Main Organ and “all material costs incurred were supported by appropriate documentation”.

      In other words, we've had your money so now you can eff off.

      Follow the money.

    16. Excellent information, thank you.
      The ears in the walls at Llys Esgob report that His ++Darkness has turned a brighter shade of volcanic.
      Keep up the good work.

    17. When any appeal is launched for a stated specific purpose the contributors expect to see accounts showing how the money was spent.
      The only means of clarification about the Organ Appeal is for the Cathedral administration to publish an audited account of the organ costs and appeal income.
      Why hasn't this been done?

    18. The original price for the new Organ was £1.1 million, the Cathedral received an insurance payout of £161k and by November 2010 the Organ appeal had raised over £1 million.
      Why then was 9 The Green really sold?
      It couldn't have been to pay for the Organ as that was already paid for!
      What was the need for a second appeal for the Solo organ and another £184k?
      And how can Darth ++Insidious possibly claim in July 2015 that the Organ Appeal had cost the Cathedral £¾ million?

  19. I hear Gerwhine is away on his travels and taking yet more time off.
    He contributed nothing over the weekend.
    He does so little so rarely.
    Does anyone notice any difference when he is in residence?

    Some commentators are puzzled why their comments are not published. Naming names with accusations of fraud, etc are not helpful, particularly when third parties who may not wish to see themselves referred to are mentioned. AB has no way of blanking such information so the comments remain unpublished.

  21. "Let him/her who is without sin cast the first stone". I was appalled to read of the libellous remarks above about Dean Capon. He is the best thing since sliced bread for the Cathedral and a new broom sweeps clean. He has my vote and my loyalty. Long may he reign.

    1. Gerwyn Must Go!22 June 2016 at 19:22

      Except "sweeping clean" has not included publishing the Organ Appeal accounts, the Quinquennial Report or the Communicant numbers since December 2015.
      Only three of the many reasons for the Nave being so empty on Sunday mornings.
      You're welcome to the prat.

    2. Precisely what remarks do you claim to be libellous Fair Maiden?
      Bully boy ++Bazza is no stranger to the Courts so I doubt he would hesitate to sue if there was a case to answer.
      Mindyou, Mrs X would have a case against the glove puppet.
      See you in Court.

  22. The Church is a hostel for sinners not a museum for saints. First take out the log in your own eye and then you will see to take out the speck in your brother's eye. Jealousy will get you nowhere. Love thy neighbour ...... Here endeth the first lesson.

  23. Whether you are clerics or laity the Dean deserves respect. It is not an easy job and he can manage the Cathedral as he thinks fit. Stand up and be counted all of you. There is too much malicious gossip circulating these days. Let us try and make this world a better place. Life is too short to bitch. I'm for Gerwyn.☺

    1. Codswallop.

      Respect is earned.
      Gerwhine deserves only contempt.

      He will earn my respect and support only after he throws open the Cathedral archive, accounts, Organ appeal and latest Quinquennial report to public scrutiny.

      "Long may he reign"?
      You reveal your mindset - medieval.
      Do you really believe we still live in an age in which illiterate peasants fill the nave, forced to meekly hand over their tithes as they listen to clergy claims of a "divine" right or "divine" appointment to their exalted positions in the church hierarchy?

    2. Dear Fair Maiden,
      I am laity. My name is Sian Dickens. Alas my spondylolisthesis makes standing up problematic, but I am sure you will take my word that I number only one.
      You are quite wrong Madam, it is the office of Dean that must be respected irrespective of the personal qualities of the incumbent.
      It is certainly an onerous job which requires capabilities that few possess. First among which is humility in acknowledging their own weaknesses and second the common sense to seek out and accept impartial professional advice to help them fulfil their job.
      The Cathedral is not a personal fiefdom to be managed as he 'thinks fit' in particular the rules for accountability for monies given as charitable donations for specific purposes require very strict auditing to ensure that they have not, mistakenly perhaps, been used for other purposes. My father served the Cathedral and congregation proudly for more than 20 years as a lay-clerk. In his day job as an NHS External Auditor he would never permit accounts to be signed-off on the basis of unverified self-certified valuation documents, un-itemized invoices & interim invoices, even from clergymen, - except perhaps if it were +Glyn Simon.
      Publication of properly audited accounts is undoubtedly in the Dean's and the Cathedral's interest.

  24. Oooh sour grapes. When handed a plate of lemons one can only make lemonade!

  25. Lux Et Veritas25 June 2016 at 17:24

    You won't find a bigger pair of lemons than bully boy ++Bazza and his glove puppet Gerwhine and we still await your reply to the question.

  26. Romans Chapter 14 v.10-20

  27. You refer to the organ appeal. This was completed before Dean Capon came to us so you cannot blame him for that. The person in charge of the organ fund at the time has gone back to his own parish church. Why is he afraid to show his face in Llandaff you might ask? Stand up and be counted you hypocrites. Call yourselves Christians???? Sticks and stones will break our bones but words cannot hurt us. The Dean knows that he has my loyalty, friendship and support. Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war... If that is what you want let battle commence. Amen.

    1. No-one is blaming Gerwhine for what happened during the Organ Appeal.
      As you correctly say, he was not present at the time (unless you count the time he was bully boy Morgan's chaplain) but he is now in a position to come clean by opening up the Cathedral accounts to public scrutiny, not to mention the Quinquennial report he is also hiding away.
      The failure to so so doesn't merely suggest a negative inference but on-going support for the original deceit and cover up.
      As Prof Eleri Jones reported, transparency and accountability were desired by the congregations 4 years ago but Capon prefers to close ranks with the Dark ++Lord and Peggy the Pilate, presumably to help conceal their involvement in the scam.
      Sticks and stones may not hurt you but publication of the accounts might well.

      Why does the question remain unanswered?

      "Precisely what remarks do you claim to be libellous Fair Maiden?"

  28. Simon Stylites7 July 2016 at 00:30

    Hey Fair Maiden, let me raise you a verse from the Good Book:

    "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20)

    There are too many bitter fruits around Llandaff for my liking.

    Hypocrisy you say? Show me a greater hypocrite than this barely-qualified cleric who prates about "repentance" when he needs a dose of it himself.

    What has he achieved in his 2+ years at Llandaff except writing spiteful letters and wiping £200,000 off the value of the Cathedral's property? Even David Cameron managed to hold the Referendum! And knew when to resign.

    ++His Darkness was scraping the barrel when he appointed the Capon to a role he manifestly cannot do. Barry could not find anyone else fool enough to take on the Dean's job at Llandaff. What will happen when he retires next year and Gerwyn loses his chum in Llys Esgob?

  29. The Dean wrote the letters to try and nip the so called malicious gossip in the bud and, rightly so, sticking up for himself. The lady concerned is still coming to the Cathedral services and her son is still singing in the parish choir so obviously the matter has now improved. If she had wanted to worship elsewhere she would have done it by now. As regards the value of the Cathedral's property have you considered depreciation? If you are a cleric Simon Stylites could you have done a better job as Dean? I think not.

    1. The only way to prove the "gossip" is "malicious" is to publish the Organ appeal accounts and open the Cathedral accounts to full public scrutiny.

      All the evidence and documents leaked on this blog suggest that what you describe as "malicious gossip" is in fact the truth.
      Every member of the Chapter knew all along the price of the new Organ was only £1.1 million but were complicit in the scam to get the Organ appeal committee to raise £1.5 million.

      Rather than nip it in the bud, the failure to publish accounts by the intellectually challenged glove puppet has convinced many others in Llandaff that neither he nor the Chapter are to be trusted. Even the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral have finally woken up to the reality.

      Only a fool like Gerwhine could possibly think he's kidding anyone by stopping the publication of Communicant numbers in The Bell. The numbers continue to drop, the giving is less and he's still having to advertise for 3 more volunteers.

      A carrot would have done a better job than the present Dean.

      And why does the question still remain unanswered?
      "Precisely what remarks do you claim to be libellous Fair Maiden?"

  30. If you disagree that much with the way things are done at the Cathedral you know what you can do - go somewhere else!!!

    1. You have it all wrong unfair maiden.
      The good people of Llandaff will still be around years after bully boy ++Bazza and his glove puppet are a distant memory of an unpleasant farmyard odour.

    2. A typical response might be A for effort Fair Maiden but in this case A for Ass is appropriate.
      Gerwhine and his dark lord Morgan are the worst Dean and Bishop of Llandaff in living memory with all the numbers heading towards imminent terminal decline.
      Your attitude of 'you know what you can do if you don't like it' is a fine example of the main problem.
      Far too many have left the Cathedral but they took their cheque books with them.

      Remind us all if you would, when will the "urgent" work, identified in the concealed Quinquennial report as needing doing within 12 months, begin?

  31. An interesting document crossed the threshold of the Bursary yesterday: a copy of The Bell from September 2010, back in the halcyon days of Dean John Lewis.

    It gives the communicant figures for the Sunday services at Llandaff Cathedral in the months of June and July 2010. Here are the averages for each month:

    June 2010
    8 o'clock eucharist = 49
    9 o'clock = 178
    11 o'clock = 153
    12:30 = 33

    Average Sunday total for June = 413

    July 2010
    8 o'clock = 50
    9 o'clock = 151
    11 o'clock = 147
    12:30 = 34

    Average Sunday total for July = 382

    Obviously there is some fluctuation across the four Sundays each month and things tail off towards the end of July due to school holidays.

    It is nevertheless striking that only 6 years ago the numbers were significantly higher than now. Though communicant figures are no longer published, informed observers have told me that the 11 o'clock service is markedly less than 100 every Sunday and the 9 o'clock struggles to get much above 100.

    Compared with the previous figures for both services, it seems that around 1/3rd of the people from 2010 no longer attend Llandaff Cathedral.

    Some stalwart parishioners have passed away and others moved location, but the rapid collapse in numbers can't merely be put down to natural wastage. At a time when cathedrals in the Church of England are attracting larger congregations, I find it extraordinary that Llandaff is declining so rapidly.

    I leave it to you, dear readers, to divine the cause of this.

  32. Interesting to see that the new DOM hails from St Matt's, Northampton as did Harry Joyce our organist who for some many years manage to coax magic out of the old bag of bones likening her to Jayne Mansfield "all t*ts and a*se but no substance" - sounds like that still applies to certain things in Llandaff.


      Mr Moore's details and accomplishments are to be found here.

      One most sincerely hopes that he has a suitably trusted friend who will warn him of the dangers of coming to Llandaff whilst the current regime is in place and persuade him to do a Christopher Gower (no show).

      On paper he is more qualified than Monkey Music Moorhouse but in reality there will be nothing of quality he can work with in Llandaff.

      I was at the Cathedral last Saturday to hear a poorly attended but excellent concert given by "Cantemus".

      Not only was there a fabulous repertoire on show directed by Her Majesty's Director of Music of the Chapel Royal and high C's from a fantastic Soprano section, but also a Tenor soloist who (guess what) was a former Lay Clerk made redundant by the dimwits Peggy the Pilot & Masson the Moron.

      Was there a Cathedral cleric to be seen?
      Was there any interest from any member of the Chapter in how to sing liturgical music?
      NOT ONE single member of Chapter was present including the academically challenged and musically illiterate Dean!

      I doubt Fair Maiden was present to hear how it's meant to be done.

      If ignorance is bliss, Gerwhine and Fair Maiden must be leading idyllic existences!!

  33. I would imagine the reason for the Dean not being present at the concert was that he was enjoying some time off from his difficult job. It was Saturday evening after all!!! What about the Canon Residentiary? Are you criticising him for not attending also? I take it Harold Darke that you attend all of the musical events otherwise you should not be criticising others for enjoying some well earned time off.

  34. With regard to the so called falling numbers at the Cathedral this, unfortunately, is happening all over the UK. However it is pleasing to know that at the Easter services this year the Cathedral had the most communicants than it has done for the past 17 years!!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

    1. Put it in The Bell and publish it.
      If it was true, Gerwhine and his sycophants would have been crowing about it from Easter Monday onwards.

    2. Reports reaching the Bursary suggest that the giving at Llandaff Cathedral has declined by a significant percentage in recent months. This tallies with previous observations about falling congregations. With respect to Fair Maiden, one cannot run a church on the strength of its Easter attendance.

      One wonders why there is no effort being made at outreach. Nor is there any sign of the long-promised stewardship campaign. There is so little effort made to promote the Cathedral that a cynic might think the strategy is to make it fail.

      Woe betide the Cathedral staff who think their jobs are secure. With diminishing income, the Cathedral's ability to meet its day to day costs is in jeopardy. An organisation that reports a £225,000 "revaluation" of its properties is not financially sound.

      It is not merely a matter of the regular finances either. The Cathedral faces significant liabilities from its decade-long avoidance of structural maintenance. The administration thinks that hiding the Quinquennial Report equates to doing something about it. At a conservative estimate there is at least £1.25 million of work to do on the building.

      To put it bluntly, the Cathedral is unsustainable and the administration is doing nothing, because they created the mess in the first place and have nary an idea about rectifying it. They regard anyone who draws attention to this fact as a "subversive". At the end of the day, however, the responsibility for the Cathedral's financial collapse lies squarely with the Dean and his staff.

  35. Simon Stylites30 July 2016 at 23:30

    Like a thief in the night, an advert slipped into this week's Church Times:


    Minor Canon Succentor
    Contract: Permanent
    Location: Wales


    Minor Canon Succentor

    An exciting opportunity is being offered for a talented and liturgically imaginative priest to minister in Wales' Capital City.

    An application pack is available from Nicola Abbott at the Cathedral Office
    Tel: 029 2056 4554

    An informal discussion with the Dean would be welcome.

    Closing date for applications: Noon Friday 12th August 2016


    It's good to see such an exacting list of requirements. What precisely does "liturgically imaginative" mean? It sounds like a phrase from Private Eye's "Alternative Rocky Horror Service Book". Maybe it's a double entendre, like "a bit festive" or "prefers nice arrangements of pansies"?

    1. "Prefers nice arrangements of pansies"?
      Llandaff's almost empty LGBT Cathedral is just the place for anyone so inclined.
      But any possible applicants would be wise to first have a chat with the former Catholic Curate Cerion Gilbert!

  36. Today's reading - Colossians Chapter 3 refers to getting rid of anger, wrath, malice, slander (although in this case libel) and abusive language from your mouth made interesting listening and I couldn't help thinking about this blog. It is a good thing that Dean Gerwyn has the sense not to read it and therefore take any of it to heart.

    1. Today's 9am, only 70 in the congregation, Gerwhine should take note of that.

      Of course he reads this blog, it's all he and Mr Toad talk about you foolish virgin.

    2. I ask once again.
      "Precisely what remarks do you claim to be libellous Fair Maiden?"
      Can you answer the question or are you, as my great Grandmother used to say about my great Grandfather's racing pigeons, all chirp and sh*t?

      I saw only 20 people at the 8am this morning.
      All the numbers are not merely down, but significantly down on only a year ago.
      No choir? No Sunday school? Not many parents? On holiday elsewhere?
      That would be the same as last summer, the summer before that and the 100 summers before that!
      The decline is obvious but if your explanation is correct why don't you challenge your Dean to publish the figures in The Bell so we can all carry out an simple accurate and empirical comparison to the figures for previous years?
      Are you really that dense or that blind?

      How dare you question the motivation of others for being in church on a Sunday?
      If you "couldn't help" thinking of this blog whilst in church you will soon find yourself on the sharp end of Gerwhine's poison tongue or poison pen.

    3. Simon Stylites31 July 2016 at 23:31

      What platitudinous piffle Fair Maiden! The Dean is a truculent little man who is more concerned about his reputation than the survival of the Cathedral itself. He takes a perverse delight in reducing elderly ladies to tears and lives up to his sobriquet of "the Glove Puppet".

      The narcissistic clique around him - birds of a feather and all that - are clearly rattled by this blog and even if Gerwhine himself doesn't read it, he delegates that responsibility to one of his minions.

      If there was ever a person who should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Colossians Chapter 3, it's your beloved Dean. Some anger management classes and a course in personal etiquette would not go amiss either. As for libel, Gerwhine should tread very carefully indeed.

  37. The reason for the small congregation at this time of year is simply that there is no choir or Sunday School and hence not many parents. Also many of the congregation are on holiday elsewhere. I expect other churches in the diocese have the same problem. As there are six other services on a Sunday and two, sometimes three on a weekday this could also account for the low numbers. As you were able to count the people there you obviously were not paying much attention to the service. Should you have therefore been there yourself Simple Simon?

    1. Simon Stylites31 July 2016 at 23:39

      Excuses excuses. The decline in attendance is reflected in the accounts. The 8am Sunday eucharist has been dropping away of late and the 11am is not looking very healthy either.

      It is possible, of course, that the general strategy is to reduce the numbers until they can all be fitted into a single 10am Sunday service designed by the "liturgically innovative" minor canon.

      This will please Mr Toad no end, as he will have only one morning service and one evensong to fit around his busy schedule of coffee, lunch and canapes at the Deanery. Doubtless this is far more important than spreading the Gospel in Cardiff!

    2. There's no proper Cathedral Choir EVERY Sunday.
      So what's new?
      And I hear that the salary of the new "Director of Music" will be paid for the first year by the Friends of Cathedral Music.

  38. If you cannot see the libellous remarks Episkopos then I suggest a visit to an optician and a white stick. This blog is full of defamatory remarks about the Dean and between us we have our ideas as to who is creating them. He has his supporters that he needs right now. I, for one, would not be afraid to stand up for him. This cyber bullying has to stop. Amen.

  39. Can we now draw a line under these tit for tat comments please.

  40. Llandaff Pewster16 August 2016 at 09:17

    My apologies but I have been away on holiday and my source documents were at home.

    Sunday Communicants at Llandaff Cathedral

    Date 8am 9am 11am 12:30 Daily Total Monthly Total

    04/07/10 43 207 143 28 421
    11/07/10 56 194 160 31 441
    18/07/10 40 116 113 37 306
    25/07/10 57 87 171 39 354 1522 Monthly Average = 380.50

    07/07/13 53 140 119 35 347
    14/07/13 52 150 111 28 341
    21/07/13 48 118 112 43 321
    28/07/13 52 88 146 33 319 1328 Monthly Average = 332.00

    06/07/14 50 167 102 24 343
    13/07/14 52 158 83 29 322
    20/07/14 41 143 112 24 320
    27/07/14 46 108 127 35 316 1301 Monthly Average = 325.25

    05/07/15 42 144 128 30 344
    12/07/15 30 139 123 25 317
    19/07/15 40 98 121 41 300
    26/07/15 38 88 109 32 267 1228 Monthly Average = 307.00

    All the service figures above are those previously published by the Cathedral in The Bell.
    The following figures are an average of those observed.

    July 2016 30 95 75 25 225 900 Monthly Average = 225.00

    If the observed figures and reported to me are incorrect then it is open to the glove puppet Gerwhine to challenge them by publishing the actual figures.

    Which he won’t do because the actual figures would confirm the obvious trend.

  41. Precisely 1 year ago to the day, the Western Mail printed an article about the suppressed Eleri Jones Report on the future of Llandaff Cathedral. The report, from Dec 2012, warned of the imminent prospect of bankruptcy for the Cathedral.

    "Church in Wales authorities were warned in 2012 that Llandaff Cathedral was facing bankruptcy unless a professional fundraiser was hired to put its finances right."

    Gerwhine predictably declared that: "It is totally irresponsible to suggest that the Cathedral is on the verge of bankruptcy and the suggestion is factually untrue – it has assets that are valued in the millions which could be liquidated if necessary."

    How interesting then that last week, a Cathedral representative made a very bold assertion at a gathering of several external organisations. When asked about the possibility of contributing towards a joint project in Llandaff, the response was:

    "We can't afford anything because the Cathedral's almost bankrupt!"

    The group of people who heard this were very surprised, needless to say.

    The discussions on this very website provide several clues that the Cathedral might well be on its uppers financially, to wit:

    1. The redirection of funds raised for the organ to other ends
    2. Using the organ campaign as a reason to sell off No.9 the Green, and what happened to the surplus £235K
    3. The proceeds from the sale of the Memorial Hall
    4. The liquidation of the Cathedral's investments before or during the Organ appeal
    5. The drastic fall in attendance over the past 2 years
    6. Concealing a £200K loss as a "revaluation" of property in this year's Easter Vestry accounts.

    The signs are all there and reports suggest increasingly urgent discussions about the Cathedral's finances are taking place in locations where it is hoped the average pewsitter will not venture.

    What does it mean for a charity to go bankrupt, or at least insolvent? The long answer is here on the Charity Commission website:

    The short answer is basically:
    "[Does] a charity [have] sufficient easily accessible resources available to meet all of its liabilities as they fall due and to continue to meet them in the short term. Simply, can the charity pay its debts when they fall due for repayment?" Also does "the charity [have] enough assets (fixed and current) to meet all of its actual and anticipated liabilities?"

    Now, the Cathedral might well have "assets valued in the millions" as the Capon said, but can it realise these assets quickly enough to pay off significant debts? And is its income sufficient for the foreseeable future?

    The cost of repairs under the Quinquennial Report count as liabilities, so let's add at least £1.5 million to any debts the Cathedral has. Combine this with its falling cash-flow and lack of any attempts at outreach or fundraising, and the likelihood of bankruptcy is very real indeed.

    The Friends of Llandaff Cathedral should also take note of the Charity Commission's advice:
    "The funds belonging to separate charities are only able to be used to settle the debts of the specific charity that they belong to."
    Do NOT hand over any more monies to the Cathedral until its financial position has been clarified. This is why the Archbishop wanted to force the Friends to give him their cash as a stop-gap for the Cathedral's finances. Hence the statement at last year's AGM when he blamed the Organ Appeal for the parlous state of the Cathedral's funds.

    The chickens are coming home to roost from over a decade of financial incompetence at Llandaff Cathedral. Any half-decent organisation would be trying to cut costs and attract more funding right now. I see no sign of this happening.

    1. One small piece of good news, however late it might be, is the announcement of Darth ++Insidious' retirement in January.
      Deo Gratias.


      "Paying tribute to his ministry, the Archbishop of Canterbury described Dr Morgan as an “extraordinary servant” who would be “deeply missed” while the First Minister of Wales praised his “vast contribution” to Welsh life. Wales’ senior bishop, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, praised his “courageous leadership” of the Church in Wales."

      Somebody pass me the sick bucket.

      Barry's true legacy is the churches and cathedrals of Wales are emptier than ever!
      How many churches have been closed and sold off during his tenure?
      His time is up and thank God indeed.

    3. I am deeply saddened to have heard about this from a friend and also see it confirmed on their own website (at but it appears the Peterborough Cathedral is also in financial difficulties.

      The differences are firstly that Peterborough are being open and honest about it and secondly - if the high quality of their website (in contrast to the paucity of that provided by LLandaff) is any means of judging - Peterborough should have little difficulty in resolving their problems.

      Llandaff is a basket case.

    4. Reading the latest figures published in the RBs 2015 membership and finances report, the Church in Wales is a basket case.

  42. Can we not stop this stupid bickering. It is only causing distress amongst the clergy and the congregation. For heaven's sake grow up. You are like a lot of school kids snubbing each other in the playground. Pathetic.

    1. The RBs published figures speak for themselves.
      I see no bickering above other than your own.
      The vast majority of contributors to this blog are (usually) very largely in agreement with each other.
      Without exception, the Llandaff clergy with whom I speak are rubbing their hands with impatient delight at the imminent departure of Darth ++Insidious and hope that his inept golf caddy will be right behind him.

    2. On the contrary, the members of the congregation who are sick of the Organ appeal cover up, the failure to act on the Eleri Jones Report recommendations (after spending £5000 commissioning it), the Quinquennial Report cover up, the Health & Safety report cover up, the failure to repair the Cathedral fabric, the stones falling from the Clerestory are anything but distressed by the content of this blog.
      It is the only reliable source of truth about how the LGBT cabal are mismanaging Llandaff Cathedral.

    3. Methinks Fair Maiden is wearing rose tinted spectacles. Well said Ruth.

  43. The Ears in the Walls tell me that Gerwhine preached on the Gospel reading from Luke 14 today:

    "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'"

    Gerwhine really should listen to his own advice (after all he doesn't listen to anyone else apart from the Toadies). Nothing he has set out to do has come to fruition and the decline in giving speaks for itself.

    Tomorrow's PCC and Tuesday's Chapter should make for interesting listening. I encourage those who attend to record the Capon's drivel for any useful tidbits or contentious claims that we can chew over at Mission Llandaff.

    Then Gerwhine will be off for 3 weeks to visit Bantry Bay. Perhaps he prefers being in Ireland, in which case he really should think about staying there permanently.

    One wag today observed that whereas other people fit their holidays around their work, Gerwhine fits his work into the brief gaps between his holidays!

  44. If you are dissatisfied with the way the Cathedral is managed then go somewhere else either as a member of the congregation or clergy. The Dean knows what he is doing and can manage it accordingly. I, for one, together with many others will continue worshipping there, at least while the Dean is there. I have seen many Deans come and go in Llandaff and find Dean Capon to be a pillar of society, approachable and one of the nicest people I have met for a long time. He certainly has my vote. He knows that he has my support and I will defend him to the end. I am not afraid of standing up and being counted. Love thy neighbour....... This sounds familiar - I am sure I have written this before...

    1. Ex 9 o'clocker5 September 2016 at 17:39

      Far too much is pathetic in Llandaff nowadays, but certainly THE most pathetic of all must be the brown-nosing sycophants attempting to defend the indefensible whilst being so self-righteous when doing so.
      The "if you don't like it go elsewhere" philosophy is precisely that which has already caused the silent majority to vote with their feet.
      You quote "love thy neighbour".
      I prefer Psalm 101 verse 4.
      "The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil."

  45. Commentators who are wondering why their comments have not been published should remember that I attempted to draw a line under tit for tat comments (1 August).

    While factual comments are helpful to inform readers, personal abuse is not. I have no means of blanking references to the perceived qualities of individuals so the comments are not published. Commentators should keep to the facts if they wish to see their comments published.