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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Conference to Preserve the Breadth of Anglicanism in Wales

"Be joyful and keep the faith!"                                                                                                                                                           Source: Credo Cymru

"Credo Cymru [Forward in Faith Wales] is to host a conference in Cardiff on September 21 and 22 entitled 'That Nothing Be Lost - Fel Na Choller Dim'. This title was chosen in order to stress our hope that we may preserve the theological breadth (and depth!) of Anglicanism in Wales.

"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.

Update [13.09.2016]

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.

Update [23.09.2016]

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!


  1. Dear Ancient Briton, I think you made a significant comment that publishing names of celebrants at the Mass would not go down well with some who erroneously believe that what matters more is some new concept of 'equality'. Having ministered in the Cof E (also the CinW), I once worked in a church where we welcomed the Melkite Community to hold their monthly Mass. I also attended the Syrian Orthodox service in St Albans Abbey. If the CinW really did have a wish to provide a space for traditional/catholic worship, and to keep their buildings open for the local community, why wouldn't they wish to allow such as myself in the Anglican Catholic Church to hold services in CinW buildings too. Given that they are committed to sharing communio sacris with non-apostolic denominations promoted internally (or by gentleperson's agreement) to 'episcopacy', why not invite my own Bishop to provide oversight for Credo Cymru and like minded Anglicans in Wales?

  2. Sometimes the bravest thing to do is to admit the battle is lost, quit the field, and establish a new, defensible encampment elsewhere. Such a move does not mean surrender, or that the war is over. But this particular campaign is over.

    1. Could not agree more Austin. Well said. The Anglican Catholic Church is a clear alternative.

  3. There's no room for even any hint of "breadth of Anglicanism" at the Llandaff LGBT Cathedral.
    The ears in the Song Room walls have reported that glove puppet Gerwhine has disbanded the voluntary Merbecke choir because he considered it to be a hotbed of "subversives".
    For "subversive" read traditionalists in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

  4. I write in some embarrassment as a "spike" of the deepest die almost certain to miss his Sunday obligation tomorrow. I'm in holiday somewhere in Wales, and can't find on the rather rudimentary Credo Cymru web site any indication of churches which are acceptable tofiF members and the like. The place where I'm staying has no RC church, and the nearest places I know have one are Llandudno and Porthmadog. Credo Cymru might usefully produce an onine directory.

  5. Alan.
    Dyserth, Rhyl.
    Vicar: Canon Robert Rowlands.SSC .
    There you will be safe on Sunday.

  6. I am a bit late in commenting....however.....
    Broad Church?
    ++ Barry would say he has created a 'broad church', in terms of being loose,indefinite and furthermore all embracing and especially inclusive ; the ordination of women is what it is largely all about .
    Not forgetting 'The Gathering' which in inclusive of non-apostolic ministers and ministries ,as mentioned above by Father Miles. And, of course, the plan for an ecumenical bishop- what could be broader?
    May I suggest that Forward in Faith-Credo Cymru are wasting their breath and money : there is no common ground !
    For Anglicans wishing to remain as Anglicans ,I can only feel encouraged by Father Miles of the Anglican Catholic Church.