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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Two sides of the coin




"During his time as archbishop, Dr Morgan has championed many changes in the Church in Wales, including a change in its law to enable women to be ordained as bishops.
He also apologised "unreservedly" to gay couples for prejudice in the church." BBC Report


Such comments are the highlights of many fulsome reports of the impending retirement in January 2017 of the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, all written from a secular viewpoint including the announcement on the Church in Wales website:

"Dr Morgan, who is the longest serving archbishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion and also one of the longest serving bishops, will retire on his 70th birthday at the end of January. He will also retire as Bishop of Llandaff after more than 17 years service, having previously been Bishop of Bangor for nearly seven years....During his tenure as Archbishop, Dr Morgan has championed many changes in the Church in Wales, including a change in its law to enable women to be ordained as bishops and the implementation of a radical strategy, 2020 Vision, to help the church grow and prosper in the approach to its centenary year.  He has also played a prominent role in public life, campaigning most notably for a fair devolution settlement for the Welsh Government and speaking out on matters of moral concern."

Reading some of the tributes, "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" and "Wales’ senior bishop, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, praised his 'courageous leadership' of the Church in Wales", the casual observer is left in ignorance of the decline to near extinction of the Church in Wales under Dr Morgan's 'leadership'. 

You can read a more balanced view of the Archbishop's secular agenda during his time in office in VirtueOnline Viewpoints from which I quote:

Morgan is among the most revisionist of Western archbishops in the Anglican Communion, whose only legacy was changing a law enabling women to be ordained as bishops and then apologizing "unreservedly" to gay couples for prejudice in the church. Under his tutelage, there was no evangelical revival and churches continue to wilt and die.

In Sept, 2014, I wrote about the The Washed up World of the Anglican Church of Wales and noted that Morgan said that he would resist the founding of another province with every fiber of his body. He was, of course, alluding to the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). He made this statement at the 2009 Virginia Annual Council.

Well, his body might need new fibers because his Church might not be around for very much longer at the present rate of decline.

According to the latest statistics (2013), the Anglican Church in Wales shows Average Sunday Attendance (over 18) of just a little over 31,000 and under 18 of just a few over 6,000. That's a drop of some 1,728 persons (over and under age 18) from 2012. The Church is not attracting Millennials.

The trend for the future will be much the same as the past as there are no green shoots of renewal extant in the province, a source told VOL. Wales is the former ecclesiastical home of the less than notable, Dr. Rowan Williams.

Dr Virtue also writes:

As the Episcopal Church sinks slowly into the sunset, with millions of dollars in Trust Funds, valuable properties worth millions of dollars strategically located in large cities and a healthy Church Pension Fund, the other side of the coin is that its pulpits will lose several thousand priests and close more than 1500 churches over the next six years.

The Episcopal Church will see a drop of more than 2,000 full time parish priests in the next half dozen years, as retirement numbers increase geometrically, with a likely decrease of ordinands going into the ministry, Church statistics reveal.

This translates into the number of full time priests being reduced by 65% - 75% of total congregations in the denomination. These numbers are from 2014, the last year reported in some cases. Indications are that the situation is probably worse now in 2016. The average age of an Episcopal priest is 59 (or the mean - half older, half younger) there is a tsunami of retirements headed their way in the next 5-10 years with no possible way of filling pulpits with new ordinands.

For all its efforts to double the Church by 2020 and TREC, an attempt to reimagine the Church, nothing, it seems, is working. The church continues on its Gadarene slide.

That Dr Morgan should have chosen the oceanographer and Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church (TEC), Katharine Jefferts Schori as his guiding light says it all.

13 comments:

  1. The Church in Wales makes its descisions and alterations to Canon Law on democratic lines(allegedly). How is it possible for the Chairman of the allegedly democratic Governing Body cause so much damage and destruction to a Church!

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  2. Following Lord Ellis Thomas' flop attempts to have the Church in Wales sponsored by the Welsh Government (whatever that was suppose to mean) Dr Morgan now turns to Edwina Hart and Carwyn Jones for another doze of self esteem. Both openly non communicants. So what does that tell us Mr AB?

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  3. The Church is going to have a hard time finding a greater disaster to replace him, but I bet they will come up with someone who is willing to steer the sinking ship towards the next iceberg.

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    Replies
    1. I am really surprised that no one has picked up on Edwina Hart's Ecclesiastical Republic of Wales' (Western Mail August 27th 2016).

      Clifford Williams

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    2. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/edwina-hart-joins-team-looking-11802916

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    3. Professor Gareth Lloyd Jones, the working group’s chair, said, “There is no doubt that the Archbishop of Wales is a prominent figure, not just in the Church in Wales but also in Welsh society."

      Is this a joke?

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    4. Big fish, small pond?
      The average Sunday attendance in the Church in Wales is down 5% (2015-2014) according to the latest Report
      http://cinw.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Ag19-MembershipFinance_en.pdf

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    5. No, not a joke 1662. But the academic appears to be one.

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    6. Big fish, small pond?

      More like a large crouton in a vegetable cup-a-soup!

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    7. @Ancient Briton.

      According to Figure 9 at the foot of page 10, Parish expenditure on buildings is down to 31%.
      The ears in the walls at Llandaff suggest nothing like that is being spent on maintenance and repairs to the Cathedral fabric.

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    8. Let us hope the Archcrouton's successor has sufficient morals to do away with the Archbishop and unaudited 'discretionary' fund.

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    9. You mean, following the Second Coming, when the Emeritus Archbishop and the bench sitters newly appointed auditor of a discretionary fund, agrees with the Ecclesiastical Banana Republic and Trinity Mirror to the sole independent and Constitutional appointment of His successor?

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    10. I think the iceberg we have hit is to put all our eggs into the "ministry area" basket, although no one seems to believe they are going to work. Team leaders are already having breakdowns, and people jumping ship.
      Dioceses are increasing full time office staff and "advisers for everything" while Parishes are busy paying for it.
      Meanwhile Bishop's are busy being unelected politicians.......

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