|"Be joyful and keep the faith!" Source: Credo Cymru|
"Some thirty-five participants will take part; they include clergy and laity from Wales as well as seven members of the Church of England. The conference has been organised as a result of the decision of the Governing Body to authorise the consecration of women as bishops in the Church in Wales. The organising committee, which includes the Director of Forward in Faith, Dr Colin Podmore, has sought to bring together those who rejoice at this decision and those who are perturbed by it. Our aim is to see how much common ground there is between the two groups of Anglican Christians. The participants will consider carefully what is required to ensure a place for people of differing convictions to feel secure and able to flourish within the Church in Wales and to hear how a similar intention is, even now, being worked out in our sister church in England. To this end the bishops of St Asaph and Gloucester, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron and the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, will make important contributions to the discussions." Full details here.
Keeping the faith in Wales is not without obstacles when it comes to worship. To their credit there are male and female clergy who recognise the theological difficulties of members who are unable to accept the sacramental ministry of women. Arrangements are often made to avoid embarrassment to women clergy and laity by naming the celebrant in weekly notice sheets. That did not find favour with the Archbishop of Wales who stopped the practice at Llandaff Cathedral when he found time to take on the role of Dean. - Dr Morgan has since decided that the role of Archbishop is too onerous for one man (or woman) believing that three bishops are needed to run modern dioceses in Wales even though Wales as a Province has double the bishops per attendees than many English dioceses, see Statistics of Omission.
Contrary to the beliefs held by most Anglicans and members of the Orthodox and Catholic churches, the Church in Wales followed the example of the US Episcopal Church and the Church of England, taking their own counsel to conclude that "the Church in Wales is fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender", scripture and tradition being trumped by a misguided view of equality.
While the CofE made effective provision for members who "on grounds of theological conviction and conscience are unable to receive the sacramental ministry of women bishops or priests [but] continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion", the CinW decided in her wisdom to make no similar provision following the mean minded Jackson/Wigley amendment, only obstacles.
In these circumstances Credo Cymru and FiF are to be congratulated for their initiative. If the Welsh bishops remain unwilling to change their stance they will confirm their intention to kill off Anglicanism as a broad church in Wales.
The conference prayer:
Almighty God, Father of us all,
send your Holy Spirit to guide and renew all of us in our pilgrimage of faith.
Open our eyes to see your Spirit at work.
Bring healing where there is division,
bring hope where there is despair,
bring joy where there is sadness.
Help us to see how we can work together,
so that others may embrace Jesus as Lord and Saviour
within the family of your Church.
To Him be all honour and glory, now and until the end of time. Amen.
Provincial press release: Bishops support Credo Cymru conference
"Dr Morgan said, 'When the Church in Wales ordained women priests and made it possible for women to be ordained bishops, it acknowledged that there was still a place in that church for those who, for whatever reason, found that difficult. Credo Cymru members belong to the Church in Wales and since I am the Archbishop of the whole of the Church in Wales, for that reason I accepted its invitation to attend'."
Prayer is requested for the conference – both in advance and while it is meeting. Pray that the needs of the faithful be met by recognising their needs rather than having the wishes of others forced upon them.
The conference is for invited participants only, but all are welcome to the Sung Eucharist which will be celebrated at St Martin’s Church, Roath, Cardiff, on St Matthew’s Day, Wednesday 21 September 2016, at 6.30pm. The preacher will be the Bishop of Burnley, Philip North and the Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, will preside.
The Credo Cymru web site has a brief report on the Sung Eucharist referred to above with a copy of Bishop Philip North's homily.
Update 2 [23.09.2016]
A follow up Media Release has now appeared on the Credo Cymru web site with some of the papers from the Conference. Others will follow.
As the Chairman of Credo Cymru, Canon Jeffrey Gainer, said: ‘This was an opportunity for heart to speak to heart with integrity and charity. We are grateful to those of different views for their courage and generosity in coming to talk with us. I hope that the conversation will continue, drawing in others, and begin to transform our situation in the Church in Wales.’
By joyful and keep the faith!