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Wednesday, 2 November 2016


St Davids Cathedral Pembrokeshire                                                                                                                        Source: BBC

If bishops are still supposed to be the focus of unity, disunity in the Church in Wales (CinW) is complete following the appointment of Canon Joanna Penberthy as the new bishop of St Davids, the first of the six diocese in the Province of Wales to have a woman 'bishop'.

St Davids is the site of the Holy shrine of St David who built his monastery on the Cathedral site c.589/601. Some 1400 years later faith counts for little in church politics which have more in common with congregationalism than the Holy Catholic Church when members believe that they know better than the Church fathers and Jesus Christ who set the Apostolic example for His church 2,000 years ago.

This politically motivated appointment completes Archbishop Barry Morgan's mission to turn the Anglican Church in Wales into another arm of nonconformity with shared 'bishops' and inter-communion. He can retire happy in the knowledge that he has dismantled the parish system in favour of ministry areas, seen the closure of of St Michael's Theological College in Llandaff and watched the relentless decline in Sunday attendance as he has pushed forward his liberal experiments based not on theology but on political correctness.

Those who have persevered with a Church that has done nothing for them other than take their money will be considering their position as no doubt will some Friends of St Davids but it would be a tragedy for St Davids if the Cathedral were to suffer as a consequence of this appointment.

The feelings of numbness and despair experienced when the CinW Governing Body decided to ordain women will have returned for many especially after watching Dr Morgan tell a BBC reporter that in a threefold ministry it would be wrong not to allow women to become bishops. That after assuring doubters that allowing women deacons did not mean that they would become priests and allowing women priests did not mean they would become bishops. The deceit of it all.


Along with similar announcements the Church in Wales website announced, "History was made today as the Church in Wales elected its first woman bishop". Despite Archbishop Morgan's claim that Joanna Penberthy "wasn’t elected because she was a woman but because she was deemed to be the best person to be a bishop", few will believe him. As fellow Welsh person Mandy Rice Davies famously said when Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her, "Well he would [say that], wouldn't he?"

Abp Morgan said that she [Joanna Penberthy] "has considerable gifts – she is an excellent preacher and communicator, can relate to all sections of the community, is a warm, charismatic, caring priest and someone who is full of joy". So she should as a bishop of the church but does "all sections of the community" include 'traditionalists' or exclude them as the Bench has done? Also, as one commentator has put it, what about 1 Timothy 3? Not that the Archbishop bothers with the Bible unless he wishes to misquote it.

Which ever way one looks at it, this is another smack in the face for faithful male clergy to be told that "she is the best person to be a bishop". As suggested when he brought in his Ass Bishop ["the ordination of women will rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, brutalisation of women in all situations including those in war zones"] and the Archdeacon of Llandaff, none of the male clergy in Wales can match Abp Morgan's expectations. No wonder so many can't wait to see the back of him.


  1. That ripping sound you hear is 1 Timothy 3 being torn out of the Bible.

  2. No it is the hearts of the faithful.

  3. What would Jesus say?2 November 2016 at 17:37

    This outcome can hardly be a surprise to anyone.
    The Arch deceiver in Wales has finally got his way but vengeance will be the Lord's in His own good time.
    Like Llandaff, the people of St. Davida's will vote with their feet and cheque books.

  4. I'm told that Canon Pemberthy is a good woman. But I do think that isn't enough to assure people that they are still in Communion with the majority of bishops of the universal church, holding the faith that has been held since the Apostles. Some clergy will hang on to the fallacious idea that they can continue in their presbyterial condition as local representative of the Bishop. But, this would be to mislead congregations about the validity and efficacy of the sacraments that they dispense on Christ's behalf through the Bishop. I hope some clergy and laity will feel that they can now act according to right teaching and conscience, and may consider joining us in the Anglican Catholic Church. They would be able to enjoy the 'Green Book' and the undoubted love of Christ in the services and fellowship of the continuing Church. There are no mechanisms in Wales for 'Flying Bishops', and there cannot be some sort of proximal ministry where canon and oaths are sworn to obey the Diocesan Bishop when people don't think she is a bishop. What happens if the said bishop requires certain services or liturgy to be followed, but their priest disagrees? It just won't work. Our doors are open to those of good will. Bring your friends!

  5. From the BBC report: "An electoral college of 47 people from across Wales spent two days locked in St Davids Cathedral before coming to their decision." Sounds reminiscent of the strong-arm medieval tactics used at certain Papal conclaves. We can probably guess who locked the doors and kept the key in St Davids.

    The only upside really is that this will "of course" allow +Barry and Co to put their money where their mouth is on alternative episcopal oversight for those parishes unable to accept the bishop-elect's ministrations. Should be interesting to watch them wriggle and squirm about that one. Unless of course the requests for alternative oversight get 'lost in the post' ...

  6. Thank you Fr Miles.

    The institution of what was the Church in Wales may be in apostasy, but, "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" 1 Cor 1:9.

    Now let go, and let God. Scrap the old mortgage, "Which one of you which builds a house, does not sit down and counts the cost?". Luke 14:28.

  7. Another nail in the coffin. Heartbreaking.

  8. The appointment of a female Bishop in the Church in Wales must be the last straw. That being the case then those priests and laity who believe in the Apostolic succession, should now be honest with themselves. As Fr.Miles says Mrs Penberthy is a pleasant lady and is well educated. However,I must surmise that she has blocked her mind to the truth of the threefold ministry in that it is (or should be) a matter of faith that Christ chose men as his Apostles. Mrs Pemberthy and the other women have been flattered by the wooing of Bishop Barry who is pursuing his own agenda ,which ,in fact, amounts to demolishing the faith and tradition of the Catholicity of the Church in Wales, which has has now finally -with ' the last straw' - become the Protestant Church in Wales. Everything in in place for the liturgy in terms of the new Holy Communion wording used by 'The Gathering '.
    The Creed you ask? This is it now :
    An Affirmation of Faith
    Let us proclaim our faith:
    We believe and trust in God the Father, who created all that is.
    We believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ, who redeemed the world.
    We believe and trust in his Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God.
    We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

    Please not there is NO wording to include a belief in The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church-just left out and gone.
    Some have commented on this blog previously about lack of knowledge of " The Gathering".
    The Gathering is a plan and intention for the Churches and chapels in Wales to unite and to be called The Uniting Church in Wales, or the Covenanted Churches in Wales.There are radical plans to share Bishops(including a non- conformist creation of Bishop) ministers,priests,buildings. Thus you may ,for example experience a chapel minister presiding at Holy Communion in your church,and to my mind this will be heresy.

    Please take note of the entry by Father Miles above ,and consider seriously if you want to continue to receive the Grace of the Sacraments .

    1. It's worth mentioning Simple Soul, that the gathering is only with liberal chapels, the ones already in massive decline, it is not with the many evangelical growing even more pointless. The URC in Wales , I gather no longer has any full time ministers, so we will inherit more buildings for our over worked clergy to service. And this is hailed as a good idea?????
      Danny Jones

    2. The Gathering is composed : Methodists,United Reform,Presbyterian, Church in Wales and some Baptists. Of those Dr Stephen Wigley (Methodist President in Wales-know the surname!!?) has been rumoured to be the first ecumenical bishop.
      You say 'Uninown' that the union 'is only with liberal chapels'. Well all will be very much at home : who is there more ' liberal' than the Church in Wales?

      Whilst my iPad is out ,may I just agree with 'Enforcer' that Credo Cymru will decide that the new lady bishop is a very nice lady and we can accommodate her ,presented to the laity in convoluted conciliatory wording with equivocation.

  9. It will be interesting to see if the substantial conservative evangelicals in the diocese affirm her?

    1. Of course they will Robert, and so will Credo Cymru eventually. Both have the backbone of a McDonald's chicken wrap.

    2. A very apt analogy....will Archdeacon will Strange accept the headship of a woman? Will St Michael's, Aberystwyth?

    3. I think Fr Miles (below) provides a possible answer to your question Robert, concerning Archdeacon Strange and St Michael's Aberystwyth.

      The issue is not one of 'All those who want coffee put your hands down'. It is to do with the cost of discipleship - Luke 14:28. Sooner, or later, love is accompanied with pain, but Israel had to go in order to grow.

  10. All this is incredible when one considers less than 30 years ago, no divorced and remarried cleric could serve in the Church in Wales....The Church in Wales has turned from a deeply conservative body into a liberal declining (in free fall ) sect. Same in the Episcopalian Scottish church.

    Voila! The conciliatory statement.

  12. I'm not sure how to tell our brothers and sisters in Christ that there is no such thing as 'highest degree of communion'! It is like saying the 'highest degree of pregnancy!' Traditionalists in the diocese are now out of communion with the Church of Wales, not that the fault is theirs. Presbyters and clergy remain in Communion with the 'orthodox' Anglican Communion through their Bishop. If Credo Cymru manage to get oversight (what an apt word) from somebody in the Society of SS Wilfred and Hilda, even that bishop will only be in communion with people who believe and teach the same as the Catholic Church, Roman, Orthodox, Anglican. So, in effect, the Bishops of the SSWH are already excommunicate, but pretend they are not. Do they share the Eucharist with a female priest or bishop? If yes, on what grounds? If not, ...quod erat demonstrandum! Many bishops across the world (e.g. Global South, Gafcon etc, ACNA) are already a de facto communion set apart from the one loosely based on the Archbishop of Canterbury. My own communion is what you might call the St Louis Communion (see the traditionalist explanation and statement on the internet). So, friends, don't think that the Church in Wales' connection with the Lambeth lot brings respectability. There are other bishops, like mine in the Anglican Catholic Church, who can give episcopal care and assurance. The problem is, that some clergy will be wanting to shame the Church in Wales Bench into letting them stay in their CinW buildings, with a CinW stipend. I found to my cost, real cost, that I could not take the shilling with a clear conscience, and left. Without being too sanctimonious, there is something in the bible about the cost of following Christ (at least in the Bible I'm familiar with). If the CinW bench were to make it possible to share facilities in parishes, then, surely that might be a way forward? But, they won't do that unless you are definitively NOT sacramentally licit, valid, AND a member of the St Louis continuing churches; only if you are a covenanter. Please trust the Lord to be with you, and follow him, even if it hurts a lot. Fellowship with Christ comes with suffering as part of the deal. I'd be happy to talk confidentially with anyone about this should they wish to contact me via the Anglican Catholic website entry for the Mission Church of St Deiniol and St Asaph.

  13. PEN NAME: The Observer
    Dear AB,
    if you want to cheer your readers up, provide them with a link to last night's (4 November) edition of 'Have I got new for you.' About 20 minutes in theyshow footage of Archbishop Barry announcing the choice of the new bishop of St David's, from the door of the cathedral. As he opens the door to make the solemn declaration he is greeting by a crowd of 8 people!
    Incidentally: a letter to the 30th October edition of the Church Times about bell ringing at York Minster 'rang bells' for me. Criticising the Dean and Chapter, the letter says that they think:
    • That it is acceptable to mislead people to achieve a desired outcome.

    • That even when your untruth is discovered it is better to try to justify it than apologise.

    • That it is acceptable to punish many innocents for the (so far) unproven misdeeds of one individual.

    • That in the face of overwhelming support for those you have wronged it is acceptable to make no effort to correct the situation you have created.

    • That freedom of speech is unwelcome if it does not support your own position, and should be punished.

    • That it is better to build walls of division than extend the hand of reconciliation.
    How like our own dear Church in Wales!

    1. A crowd of 8 people?
      That's only a few less than the Llandaff Cathedral Sunday morning Eucharist crowds!

      Advance to 22.10

    3. No surprise when he only represents -1% of the people of Wales. I wonder if Labor heavyweights Mr 45% (Carwyn Jones) and Edwina Heart were part of the 8.

  14. The answer to my question came this morning on the Sunay programme ( Radio Four)..the bishop designate..

    She Affirmed gay blessings in the C in W ( so much for Doctor Morgan's subterfuge) and her hope for gay marriage.

    Is there no one of theological stature to object her consecration on those grounds alone? Not some one playing Church by erecting an altar in their old garage.

  15. The Ears in the Walls report much hilarity this morning at Llandaff, where numerous pewsitters were chuckling over the clip from 'Have I Got News For You'.

    They thought it nicely exposed the gulf between ++Bazza's PR puffery and the sad reality of the Church in Wales. People are looking forward to the end of old Morgan's spin.