You are here . on the pale blue dot

Blog notes

Anonymous comments for publication must include a pseudonym.

They should be 'on topic' and not involve third parties.
If pseudonyms are linked to commercial sites comments will be removed as spam.
The blog owner is unable to ‘unfollow’ Followers.

Monday, 7 November 2016

The Welsh language, same-sex and the Church in Wales

Outside St Davids Cathedral "Another First for Canon Joanna, Bishop-elect."  Source: Church in Wales

"From the beginning, the Welsh language was given equality with English in the constitution and liturgy of the Church in Wales, and throughout the twentieth century some of its priests were prominent in Welsh literature." - The Church in Wales, Facing Difficulties

One hundred years after disestablishment, the Church in Wales' 2020 Vision is to "re-imagine itself in order to serve its communities more effectively... We need a cultural change in the kind of church we are". That is what the Archbishop of Wales told the The Time Is Now conference in 2014.

For the bishop elect of St Davids the kind of church she wants is based on what has been rejected by the Church in Wales, most strongly by the good people of St Davids. Her stated priority is "To encourage us that we are not simply trying to keep the show on the road but we are trying to live out our gospel of the risen Christ and the reality of God’s Holy Spirit and to live that out in our real communities, encouraging people to live out their faith in surprising and different ways, not feeling guilty that the future may look different from the past but feeling encouraged that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and is as relevant to Wales in the 21st century as he has been through the centuries until now. But how that plays out may look very different".

Listening to Canon Penberthy on Radio 4 [@12.30] "our gospel" is the gospel according to Dr Barry Morgan. Women clergy, gay blessings and working towards same sex marriage in church. When interviewed Ed Stourton asked what sort of discrimination she had suffered. She replied it was "blank incomprehension" that she would want to exercise her own ministry rather than help her husband. Not the sort of aggravation implied by her earlier "prejudice and discrimination" claim. The implication is that lay ministry was not good enough which hardly fits with the ideas of '2020 Vision'.

So the bishop elect of St Davids, the most conservative diocese in the Province, is a liberal minded woman who on her own admission is not a fluent Welsh speaker either:

"Improving my Welsh is a priority for me now. I was in Welsh-speaking parishes in north Carmarthenshire before and people were very generous and I did learn to take services in Welsh which were received well. But I was always a bit cowardly about the conversations and I think I’ll be looking for money to go on a Welsh immersion course where I will have to take the bull by the horns and have the courage to speak the language. I really want to do it  – we are a bilingual nation and the Welsh language is one of our jewels, if not our life blood."

To quote further from 'Facing Difficulties': "The Church, as ever, wishes to see the Welsh language survive and flourish, but it can do nothing without the support of its members. The Welsh language is a gift from God to all who live in Wales. It is our privilege and responsibility to use and promote it in our future mission and ministry". Surely that should have been uppermost in the mind of the facilitator for the diocese of St Davids.

'Facing difficulties' ends with the question: "How can you promote the use of the Welsh language in the Church in your area?" For a start the facilitator should have ensured that the bishop elect was a fluent Welsh speaker familiar with the diocese which is the spiritual home of the Church in Wales and a place of pilgrimage drawing people from around the world.

Disestablishment was born out of dissatisfaction with English-speaking landowners and "anti-Welsh" attitudes within the Church. Based on the appointment of the bishop elect of St Davids, heritage clearly counts for nothing. Moving forward, or "re-imagine itself", is based not on scripture and tradition but on sexual licence and equality of opportunity in the workplace where secular attitudes to 'equality' count more than theology.

The Electoral College meets behind closed doors so that everything can be done in secret leaving regular churchgoers unaware of how the President stage manages the proceedings in a situation where many members hold their positions under his patronage especially the bishops.

If this candidate matched the diocesan profile either profile was way off the mark or it was prepared to fulfil the requirements of the President who is on record as claiming that "she was deemed to be the best person to be a bishop". If the sacred synod had any spunk they would not confirm this election.

Postscript [08.11.2016]

From Western Mail letters: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Not quite the successors of St David

When the new woman bishop-designate of St David’s was on Radio Four on Sunday morning being interviewed she had at least the decency to admit that the Church in Wales blesses gay marriages.

When the male bishops deviously introduced such prayers, they claimed they were not blessings!

She also unequivocally stated that she is in favour of full same-sex marriage. Well, she is entitled to her beliefs, but if she seriously thinks she (and her male colleagues) are the legitimate actual successors of St David, they deceive themselves.

They may have the medieval cathedrals, the episcopal props and the endowments but they are self-evidently not bishops in the Church of God, pledged under sacred vow to banish away strange doctrines.

Robert Ian Williams


  1. Sheer arrogance for a non welsh speaker, of whatever gender, to accept the See of St.David. Also, no experience as an Archdeacon or Dean. The lady will not find an easy ride particularly with her views.Pob lwc!!

  2. Rumour has it that there was an excellent candidate for Bishop who fitted exactly the description above, Welsh speaking, St David's born and bred, excellent with people, a wonderful preacher and many other things. The only thing against him, he's a man.

    1. It was written on the wall many months ago that Canon Penberthy was to be the next Bishop of St Davids. Draw your own conclusions.

  3. It would appear that she has been placed there in order to convert people to the new gospel of sexual libertinism. Lord have mercy on the pewsitters.

  4. The lady Canon says that "Jesus Christ as relevant to Wales in the 21st Century as He has been throughout the centuries". Don't you think that the boot is on the other foot ? Jesus desires that the Church in Wales remains relevant to Him!
    It is totally deliberate on the part of Abp. Barry to place a liberal female in a conservative diocese.
    Please be assured that the Electoral College has no independent decision making mind : enough of the members are totally brainwashed by the Abp. for him to get his own way. It was forever thus.
    As far as Services in Welsh are concerned,++Barry feels satisfied that ordinands leave St.Michaels College with the ability to recite the liturgy in Welsh. He has had to settle for this arrangement because there are few Welsh speakers offering themselves for ordination.

  5. Perhaps His Irrelevance probably bored the Electorate College into submission, as he does the rest of us with His sermons.

    There has never been a greater need to find a Christian leader of dignity and unquestioned impartiality. Not one who succumbs to violent seizures of temper and personal grudges when he doesn't get his own way. If only he would give his heart to Christ.

    1. He only had to meditate on + Glyn Simon's words to understand what a truly liberal and loving Christian heart and mind are and can achieve when dealing with people and difficult issues. Watch out - Gloucester Old Spot overhead!

  6. Everything Sauron had laid his hand on has crumbled to dust. Every publicity seeking epiphany has resulted in dross. After wreaking havoc over Llandaff and his gay-marriage fiasco, his last chance to get people to forget the desolation he has wrought the CinW (plus get his snout in the after-dinner speech trough & keep his mug out there "....musings of an ex-Archbishop..." to supplement the pension) was to turn his eye westward and try and make sure his legacy would be ensuring the appointment of the first female bishop in Wales. We shall see whether the tales of prejudice and discrimination she says she suffered will inspire her to fight for the rights of ALL her diverse flock to be including those excluded by the profoundly illiberal bullying bigotry of the followers of Sauron.

  7. Forget Welsh. She is going to teach you the new language of radical inclusion.

  8. My Father could speak Welsh, but My Mother was English, and we never spoke it in the home. So I have learnt Welsh and it has opened up a whole new world to the fact could you imagine a French person having credibility if they said they couldn't speak French!

  9. It is time to be wise; to look ahead, to take stock, to remember Gildas and his sincere warnings. The apathy is rampant and the remnant is in disarray; little attempt is made to use the election processes of the Church In Wales from the side of true tradition while the enemies of the Cross do not hesitate to enter the process, persuading quietly with breath-taking deception - and see how they win. They know we are idiots. Joanna's election went as smooth as butter. Look at the columns of AB.. Mea culpa. Si episcopus requiris..
    The election to the seat of David was provincial, no doubt, no doubt. You tell me that Joanna and Barry have not talked about the future together before the election. Of course they have. And they are talking about the future as well - now -beyond January. Bosom pals. "In America Joanna,there was ... archbishop.." Isn't it boring, birls and goys? It will be business as usual. To dream of February as a new dawn is a lazy, stupid and obscene fantasy! STOP IT NOW. Just as we must repent of our sins one by one, we must root Barry's work out, bit by bit.
    Those who belong to Jesus must dig in and fight and fight again for the Catholic Church that they love - whilst Joanna and Barry can hold hands as members of the Labour Party, the PLP side of course, Bryant et al.. They have a narrative and it is not ours but they want you under it-subsumed. That nasty photograph of Credo and him! makes me sick. What kind of dog eats his own vomit?
    This is what we are failing to do. Recognising the political class in pontifical clothes. When you belong to that class, ermine does suit you. ("Oh Carwyn, I enjoyed your plaudits. \So sweet of you.")
    Credo Cymru don't be fooled. Stand your ground. Why on earth are you in the same photograph as the imposter? The perverse smile on his face tells it all. "Fooled you! Fooled you!". Learn and do not betray your flock; Judas' betrayal was more than enough. He that endures to the end shall be saved.
    The upper eschelons of the province are in the hands of the liberal elite who in private smear, slur and smirk at those who want to follow Him. How they look down on ordinary people. If only the pew-sitters could unite as the Body of Christ, the episcopal micro-managers would retreat in their inept insecurity. If the land around the Teifi and the Towy could be our Ohio! Up North they say, a bishop can pass a faithful congregation in lycra best cycling away as the congregation come out of church; no strong desire to preach the Gospel on the Lord's Day there then; how on earth have we come to this? by their cycling shall you know them. . In the west a bishop will be up in the Phd. stars contemplating a NSM episcopate, with the 'S' still intact. No wonder they feel free to abolish confirmation. All that is necessary for good to triumph over evil........ you know the rest.
    Barry wants the glass ceiling to be broken. The puppet on a string theme will continue. Watch this space. Let us be careful, children of David and remember what has happened before... Let me give you a story. A parish had a priest who did not believe in women priests. He left. A woman priest was appointed in his place deliberately at his behest. The parish broke its heart and lost its will. The church was closed the other day.... Cambrian news headline 2023: "Due to lack of interest St David's Diocese has been cancelled."
    In our context as children of David we do remember the meaning of the word 'Welsh' from the other side. It means, I am told, someone who stands by your side in battle. Come on , come on lets fight. Get on your knees for the glory of God and fight with Michael in prayer.
    P.S. Ensure that others read this blog. We must broaden our base. Catholic, stupid!