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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Self inflicted pain

The UK’s first LGBTQIA+ chaplaincy has been officially launched by the Bishop of St Asaph.                                                      Source: Church in Wales

Almost one third of the Church of England's General Synod members has signed a letter urging the Church to make an "unequivocal declaration" in support of congregation members who identify as LGBT:

"We are keen that the College of Bishops is unequivocal in its acknowledgement that all, including those who identify as LGBTI, are essential to the health and future of our church and mission to the wider world." Synod member and LGBT activist Jayne Ozanne said: "I think our bishops are aware of the strength of feeling on the need to be seen as a church for all. I do believe they know they can't fudge this any longer. It's time for them to give a clear and unequivocal embrace to a community that is hurting [my emphasis - Ed.]." - From Christian Concern. Text of the letter and signatories here.

One of the signatories is the Revd Dr Rowan Williams, not the Rt Rev and Rt Hon the Lord Williams of Oystermouth but one of the Chaplains in the Diocese of York. While the Church in Wales has become accustomed to chaplains waving the rainbow flag, refreshingly there is no reference on the York Chaplaincy page to the LGBT community, presumably taking the line that if we are all the same there is no need for positive discrimination.

The position is reversed in Wales. The Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, a former Chaplain to Archbishop Rowan Williams, has officially launched the UK’s first LGBTQIA+ chaplaincy which is to be led by the Revd Sarah Hildreth-Osborn.

According to the St Asaph web site, the Chaplaincy exists because "the Christian faith has something to offer everyone including LGBTQIA+ people". True but it goes on to allege that because the Church has "caused such hurt" [my emphasis - Ed.] to the LGBTQIA+ Community over many years "we now need to create safe, sacred space, welcome them among us and allow LGBTQIA+people to be who they are, wonderfully created in the image of God and loved just as much as anyone else!"

The promotional material states the objectives of the LGBTQIA+ chaplaincy which are to:

  • Create safe, sacred space where LGBTQIA+ people can worship and share their stories
  • Engender a sense of welcome and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people across the Diocese
  • Offer support to parishes who want to explore the creation of ministry specifically to the LGBTQIA+ Community
  • Provide support to Clergy and a listening ear in matters which involve LGBTQIA+ people
  • Initiate retreats and quiet days for members of the LGBTQIA+ Community and allies
  • Raise awareness among secular groups and organisations e.g Young Peoples LGBTQIA+ Groups and Social Services of the existence of the Chaplaincy
  • Work with existing Chaplaincies e.g. Coleg Cambrian Chaplaincy
  • Liaise with Changing Attitude Cymru
  • Become a continued presence within the Diocese and to be supportive in all that the Diocese is seeking to do in bringing the Gospel to all of God’s people
  • The Chaplain to undertake training and networking with others involved in this ministry

Against such a list one wonders how Ms Hildreth-Osborn landed the job (I use the word advisedly) of Vicar of Llanrwst but the truth is that there is no impediment.

We are led to believe that gays and lesbians in the Church in Wales are an oppressed minority despite their representation in the clergy from bottom to top. The LGBT community are not only very well represented, some would say disproportionately, but they are becoming increasingly vocal in their demands. Any pain they feel is self inflicted. Many of us campaigned for civil partnerships only to see ourselves branded as bigots and homophobes simply because we defend the sanctity of marriage.

Compare the Church in Wales bishops' promotion of the LGBT agenda and their support for 'women in the church' with their oppression of traditional Christians who simply want to worship God according to scripture and tradition following the example of Jesus Christ.

MAECymru – supporting women in the Church in Wales - is also promoted on the St Asaph web site. The application form requires applicants to assert "I support diversity and equality in the Church in Wales". Pray that the bishops of the Church in Wales also support diversity and equality as the Archbishop and Bishop Gregory prepare to attend the Conference to preserve the breadth of Anglicanism in Wales.

Postscript [14.09.2016]

Archbishop of Wales uses final Governing Body address to focus on same-sex relationships.

Archbishop Barry Morgan has used his final address to the Church in Wales’ governing body to argue that Christians can change their stance on homosexuality without abandoning their commitment to the Bible. See reports here and here, and here  and here for a more critical appraisals. He forcefully denied that the Church’s bishops had "ignored the Bible and were swayed by the liberal culture of our age".

As the Archdeacon of Cardigan William Strange put it, "I am sorry that the Archbishop has chosen as the subject of his final address a topic he has spoken on many times before, and on which his views are already well known. I would have welcomed something new on a less well-worn theme".

Women priests, women bishops, homosexuals and same sex marriage in a collapsing church. And ++Barry believes we have been waiting 2,000 years to have the Bible clarified by him. A sad end to a sad episcopacy.

Postscript [15.09.2016]

@PeterOuld - Looks like Barry Morgan made an excellent argument yesterday for the @ChurchinWales to bless polygamy and incest.

There's more on Twitter:
Christians who have supported slavery did so *against* the clear teaching in the NT against it. Barry Morgan's speech today bad theology.

Postscript [16.09.2016]

A Response to the Archbishop of Wales’ Defense of Same-Sex Relationships from 'Bible and Mission' (H/T Anglican Mainstream):

"The Archbishop’s logic might suggest that, because Scripture offers different perspectives on certain other issues, it therefore must have different perspectives on adultery, or bestiality, or incest.  As it happens, Scripture uniformly condemns all these as well as homosexual acts." In full here.

Postscript [17.09.2016]

"We ‘have evolved’ from the Bible’s teaching on divorce, why not gay ‘marriage’?" - Archbishop of Wales speaking at the Governing Body in April 2014:

"Holy Scripture itself is far more nuanced, subtle and complex than we often realize...We cannot just quote Biblical texts on different subject matters and think that that settles an issue [my emphasis - Ed.]. It is easy to opt for prohibitions in Scripture and regard them as the word of the Lord and forget that the Bible contains stories which also convey God’s word to us. Jesus, he added, 'had nothing to say about gay marriage' as the archbishop counseled homosexuals to be patient with regard to the Anglican Church’s attitude towards homosexuality".

The speech was taken as 'encouragement' by homosexual activists. Average weekly attendance dropped 5% between 2014 and 2015.

Postscript [04.10.2016]

CAIRO: Egyptian Anglican Archbishop Says Anglican Communion must stay Faithful despite False Teachings
Same-Sex Marriage repudiated as fundamental departure from the faith.
We are not homophobic when we reject unbiblical views on human sexuality, says Archbishop

Full text here (H/T Anglican mainstream)

Postscript [08.10.2016]



  1. So, when do we get a Chaplain for 'normal' folk?

  2. Replies
    1. Drove an Aston Martin and is married to her 'wife'.

    2. If the car has a stick shift, she is doubly qualified.

  3. LBGTQIA ! Why is 'QIA' now added, which a new one on me ? However I have googled my profound ignorance.
    It seems to me that the letter 'Q' is already covered in LGBT.
    'I' means intersexual or hermaphrodite - shouldn't think there are many of those about ; the ISNA of America estimates 1 in 1500 or 2000 births and some need highly specialist determination? The ISNA says that there is not a consensus of opinion in what amounts to 'I'. These persons would probably prefer not to be lumped with the other letters especially 'Q'.
    'A' means asexual, so I should not think this section would appreciate being included with the 'Q's'?
    The 'T's' are a group who are not happy how they have been born.
    Do you think the new Chaplain might add 'N' and minister to these people too.

  4. If LBGTQIA Christians need and can have a "safe, sacred space" and their own chaplain, why is the same rule not applied to traditionalist Anglicans so that they also will have a "safe, sacred space [within the Church] where ... people can worship ", with their own bishop [chaplain / provincial episcopal visitor]?

    That would be an interesting question to put to the panel at the forthcoming conference on the breadth of Anglicanism in Wales.

    1. Good point Alan. If there is neither 'male nor female' (Pauline theology), how can there be 'gay or straight' (homo or hetrosexual) which requires a separate ministry? Particularly when there is no need for a straight traditional bishop? What a right liberal cock up.

      I reckon the next Arch-manipulator is already decided upon. Nudge,nudge! Its going to require a bicycle in order to go round and view him. Hot flushes anyone?

  5. If you read the bullet points above and replace 'LGBTQIA+' by 'Traditionalist', then all but one point (No 5) would fit for what Traditionalist Anglicans have been asking for, with SSWSH or FiF replacing Changing Attitude in point 8.

    It really would be worth somebody formally asking the Bench of Bishops to explain why they consider these worthy objectives for one group of Anglican Christians but not for another, even if we strongly suspect we know what their answer will be. The phrase, 'Physician, heal thyself' springs to mind ....

  6. It seems that the CiW wants to be inclusive to liberals and no one else. Traditionalists have been forced to leave their Church, now it is the turn of Evangelicals to be kicked out. Already any Clergy who can't in conscience perform the legal blessing (called not a blessing of gay marriage) can be prosecuted in law.
    As usual The Archbishop twists and turns Scripture for his own use, and is inaccurate in much of what he says.
    Jesus did not come only for the marginalised. He reached out for everyone regardless of status etc But he taught firmly about sin, and tells the lady in adultery...."go and sin no more".
    Thank God for the fearless Will Strange, yet again prepared to put his faith before career, unlike so many, when he said...........

    It would be good to be able to debate the points the Archbishop makes in this address. On slavery, for instance, it is not correct to say that the church accepted it for 19 centuries. Through Christian history, attitudes varied between acceptance and opposition.

    “So slavery is a poor parallel to teaching on same-sex relationships, because on the subject of same-sex relationships the church has been entirely consistent until very recently indeed. I agree with what the Archbishop says about treating the Bible as a whole, but it is precisely doing that which convinces me and most other Christians in the world that the Bible from start to finish tells a story in which sexual relationships are only rightly expressed between a man and a woman within marriage.

    “Nothing Jesus said changed any of this. I hope the Archbishop’s time in office will be remembered for more than this one issue.”

  7. What would Jesus say?15 September 2016 at 16:07

    Self inflicted wounds?

    While the Church in Wales is withering on the vine, the Arch Hypocrite drones on.

    "Christians who support same-sex marriage are not “abandoning the Bible” the Archbishop of Wales has insisted, as he told leading Anglicans that sex in a committed gay or lesbian relationship is perfectly “proper”."
    "Dr Morgan pointedly rejected the celibacy requirement, quoting a passage from a recent book of essays on the subject, entitled Amazing Love, which argues: “Christians have discovered that most people flourish best when this living for others finds its focus in a commitment to one other person: when a couple make a lifelong commitment within which sex properly belongs.”"

    So there's room in Barry's ever decreasing little church for everyone EXCEPT traditionalists who are against anything he says!

  8. It looks like Credo Cymru are selling out.

    1. I hope not Cymru'r Groes. See also

  9. The good Dr Strange continues his jabbing at the Morgan wound. Still, in the event of a 'Second Coming', those familiar Basset-hound eyes could be a chilly reminder that the Archdeacon may yet wished he'd been more polite to him.

  10. It is cool to be pro-gay now. Archbishop contenders hypnotised by that quiet voice, sincerely believe that the Church in Wales furrow must go the gay way. Sad that their faith in Jesus cannot enable them to think for themselves. Like the Blairite elitists who forgot the marginalised because they could be ignored, so too the bishops are miles away from the people in the pew. They neither love nor do they care for their flock. Cameron of Llanrwst does not care a jot if he divides his diocese. The clergy will have no time to oppose the wilful worship of false gods with its particular need to worship the body whilst pretending that what really counts is covenants in the spirit; shsh the body is too complicated: LGBHTSHI....LMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. OH Yes a chaplain for every one of you. As long as the spirit is committed, don't ever contextualize gender fluidity, how dare you!
    Cynically canonical obedience is used as a weapon to control by those who believe that they are the untouchable elite. Ministry areas will keep the clergy so busy that they will have little time to reflect upon this big picture. With fewer clergy more money for h.q.; look at the diocesan balance sheets. More money for new ways of doing church; more money for pretending. More ecclesiastical activity and no action born of scripture or the Spirit. The Church in Wales threw away her ecclesiastical bra a long time ago. Soon the whore will have the guts to take off her clothes. And then we will ask, Is this really the Resurrected Body of Christ in our midst?

    1. Commentators please note that anonymous comments are not normally published. This heartfelt comment has been included to illustrate that some interesting comments, for and against, are lost because of a failure to end with a pen name, e.g. Jude.

    2. AB, the Tractarian revival grew from issues far less serious. I repeat, 'Israel had to go in order to grow'. The Anglican Catholic Church, and its bishop, awaits you my brothers and sisters.

    3. Why are these people so obsessed with sexual practices? Are we to be asked our personal preferences as the hymn books are doled out and then directed to a specific place - presumably if we give the wrong answer we shall be despised and held in abasement and in a basement.
      I am not interested in anyone else's sex-life, provided it involves only consenting adults it is their business. No church service I have ever attended requires any sexual activity so why do they imagine anyone cares what they indulge in - it is up to them to reconcile their practices with their consciences and God. God will always love you whatever you choose to do in bed - talk to him and cease whining. No-one is 'judging' you just because we're just not interested in your sex -life.

    4. Bravo.... and I think it is hardly coincidental that Sauron is checking out before the accounts are properly audited. Up wind of the steaming pile of ordure that he leaves behind for others to deal with at least there may be a little relief as begging-bowl Gollum tries to survive without his protector.

    5. Does this mean that a certain individual will out himself as Gay at long last? As if we didn't know already.

    6. What would Jesus say?20 September 2016 at 14:22

      Not in Llandaff.
      At --Bazza's LGBTQIA+ Cathedral it's the "straights" that out themselves nowadays.

  11. Just spotted this too...........

    EFCW committee response to Governing Body meeting September 2016
    The Governing Body of the Church in Wales met in Lampeter 14th -15th September, 2016. Following the press coverage of the Archbishop's address, the executive committee of EFCW responds as follows:

    We want to wish the Archbishop well in his retirement. We note the Archbishop's final presidential address at Governing Body, and still struggle to understand how his approach to scripture is not just licence to disregard its authority. We believe that the inclusivity of Jesus, to which the Archbishop referred, was one not only of loving everyone, but also of calling everyone to a degree of repentance which would result in following him exclusively as Lord. We note Jesus gave an invitation to everyone, but warned repeatedly and frequently of consequences for those who rejected him. We are therefore delighted that one of the closing discussions at Governing Body got people talking about the need to engage in mission and evangelism. We hope and pray that these are the issues that occupy the time and energy of the Church in Wales in the years to come

  12. The latest nail in the coffin lid.
    The sacrament of confirmation is no longer a requirement to receive Holy Communion.
    The way things are going the Church in Wales will be lucky to make it to the year 2020 and even if it does, would be unrecognisable to those who saw its beginning in 1920.
    How long before Baptism and Marriage are done away with too?

  13. I am concerned that this ministry may be extended to the joint Anglican catholic school in Wrexham. I am going to publicly challenge the Catholic Bishop that this chaplaincy should not be allowed in the school. Is the Lesbian vicar from Llanwrst partnered?

  14. Speaking of self inflicted pain, this weekend the ears in the walls of the Llandaff chapter house report had two items of interest to report.

    Firstly, glove puppet Gerwhine is now after £300k from the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral but is once more being vague over the purposes for which such a large sum is requested. Unseemly as it is, the Friends will only be provided with any details (scant as they will be) upon entry to their next council meeting. The good news item on the agenda is that it will be His ++Darkness' final opportunity to attend (do please remember fellow Friends, despite what he might claim, the Archbishop does NOT have a vote, so if he tries to raise either of his hands to be counted, they must be ignored).

    Secondly, the glove puppet Gerwhine is in a bit of a pickle over a recent job advertisement he placed in the Church Times without the knowledge of the Chapter.
    Apparently there was not one single applicant.
    Not one.

  15. Anyone considering a response to the advertisement for a Minor Canon Succentor in Llandaff would have been wise to speak first to former Dean Janet Henderson and the recently disappeared Catholic curate Ceirion Gilbert.