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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Who cares?


From the BBC video 'Do you remember that, mum?'


A recent BBC report 'Do you remember that, mum?' explained how the condition of dementia sufferer Andriani, who was last seen in 2014, had deteriorated rapidly while the costs to care for her rise.

The report explains why the son fears for his mother's future care. He explained that he would like to be able to say that the system is broken so potentially it could be fixed but having seen it from the inside he said "I don't think we have a system at all". Sadly that is the experience of most people who have had the misfortune to be involved. They are desperate to see a fully funded, workable system.

Care should not be a lottery but it is. If you have cancer much if not all of your treatment will be paid for. If you have dementia, hard luck. You are often on your own. The effects can be devastating but who cares?

On the face of it, raising the assets limit to £100,000 from £23,250 in England may appear "reasonable" but it is not. Read why here and here. The fate of someone who has lovingly cared for his/her parent at home when the parent dies and the family home has to be sold to settle the care account is an added burden. "As soon as my mum dies, will the council come for its money? Will I be homeless?" asked one carer.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that the "complex new system" outlined in the Conservative party’s manifesto, which would force more elderly people to pay for their own care, “makes no attempt to deal with the fundamental challenge of social care funding”. This warning is backed up by the economist Sir Andrew Dilnot who reviewed social care for the coalition government in 2011.

Accusations that the Tories were imposing a 'dementia' tax and a 'death' tax prompted a swift clarification that there would be a limit on the costs carers would be expected to pay but that would have to wait for a green paper consultation. The Prime Minister said “I want to make a further point clear. This manifesto says that we will come forward with a consultation paper, a government green paper. And that consultation will include an absolute limit on the amount people have to pay for their care costs.”

Under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government we were told that "people will see health and social care fully joined-up by 2018...Co-ordination would see better care and support, fewer people falling through the cracks and a drop in patients needlessly stuck in hospitals." Some hope!

Getting bed-blocking patients out of hospitals into domiciliary care was seen as a priority but with the UK home care industry on the brink of collapse there is a grave danger that any action will be too little too late. As one care provider said in a BBC interview, he doesn't have to advertise for customers but he has to advertise for staff. There is a recruitment crisis due to competition from hospitals and supermarkets.

Carers are severely undervalued. They should be properly rewarded but funding has been squeezed to such an extent that many existing carers are leaving for less demanding work. This is an extra burden for providers who have to train their staff at considerable expense only to find that they leave for a hospital job on regular hours. The Labour party has made much of zero-hours contracts, now the subject of Government review, but it is the flexibility of not having fixed hours that enables carers to meet the needs of those they care for.

The situation gets worse by the day. It could be you next, it could be me but who cares? That is the question. The right answer is needed urgently before the system collapses completely.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Forward to the past


Jeremy Corbyn with Len McCluskey at the bi-annual Unite policy conference in July.
Photograph: Rob Stothard/Getty Images/Guardian

 "FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW" !


There is an odd irony in the Labour Party's election manifesto slogan 'For the many not the few'.

The intended meaning is continually backed up in speeches by the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, but the slogan is more aspirational than realistic.

In voting terms 'the many' voters have little time for 'the few' party members who are driving the agenda with no apparent understanding that without power they can achieve nothing, thus leaving 'the many' as they were.

The fact that dyed in the wool party supporters who would never have dreamed of voting Tory are regularly telling reporters that they would rather vote for Theresa May than for Jeremy Corbyn appears to be a total irrelevance to them giving the impression of trade union conference where sectional interests are all.

The man pulling the strings is Len McClusky, General Secretary of Unite and a former Militant sympathiser. Wind forward from 1985 to 2017 and Momentum now holds sway so forward to the past.

Time for another Kinnock?

Monday, 15 May 2017

"A noble task"


The bishops of the Church in Wales, Llandudno 2012


 ‘The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he  desires a noble task.’  I  Timothy 3


In his Theology Wales paper 'A Noble Task' Bishop David Thomas reflected on his experience of ministry as Provincial Assistant Bishop and how this might change if the episcopate in Wales were opened to women.

Bishop David died suddenly last week in the knowledge that the first woman bishop had been enthroned in St Davids and the imported bishop-designate of Llandaff is to be consecrated in Brecon Cathedral next month. Neither of the women bishops is a Welsh speaker, a language dear to +David's heart.

One can imagine the pain and the hurt felt by this faithful priest, bishop and pastor as his noble task was pushed aside to make the Church more relevant to society, principally by prioritising sexual minorities and gender issues. 

Bishop David's paper makes interesting reading in retrospect. Listed alongside it on the Church in Wales site are back papers including one by the Rev’d Joanna Penberthy, now bishop of St Davids, 'Learn from the past and build for the future', illustrating just how much theology has been replaced by politics in the Church in Wales.

It remains to be seen if loyal Anglicans who have been encouraged against the odds to 'Be joyful and keep the faith' can any longer survive in the Church in Wales. There has been a deathly silence since the Credo Cymru 'Conference to Preserve the Breadth of Anglicanism in Wales'. The divisive 'Code of Practice in relation to the Ministry of Bishops following the Canon to enable the Ordination of Women as Bishops' has yet to be tested. 

This will be the ultimate test of sincerity by a bench of bishops who "unanimously committed to securing a continuing place in the life of the  Church for those who cannot in conscience accept the new situation created by  the ordination of women to the priesthood." For others it is already over.




"People sometimes ask me how I imagine my ministry as PAB might change in the event of women being admitted to the episcopate in the Church in Wales. The only honest answer I can give is that it would not change; it would be over."  - 'A Noble Task'.

+David Thomas RIP


Friday, 12 May 2017

Bishop David Thomas RIP


Bishop David Thomas with Pope Benedict XVI                         Source: Twitter

Many people in Wales and far beyond will be saddened to learn of the sudden death of Bishop David Thomas, former Provincial Assistant Bishop in the Church in Wales. There is a tribute from Credo Cymru here.

Updated Church in Wales tribute here [17.05.2017].

Bishop David’s funeral arrangements here.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Take it or leave it!


Churches coming together (CNS)                                                                                                         Church moving apart (Church in Wales)
     

As the Catholic and Orthodox Churches continue to come closer together the Anglican Church in the UK drifts further away from the unity of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church with every ill-advised congregationalist move it makes.

During his visit to the Coptic Church in Egypt, Pope Francis joined with the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual head of the Eastern Orthodox churches, in placing flowers, lighting a candle and praying at the site where dozens of Coptic Orthodox Christians were killed by an Islamic State militant last year. Video here.

Christian Today reported: "As Christians face an increase in violence around the world and especially in the Middle East, there are significant signs that the major Churches are coming together, with the blood of martyrs acting as the 'seed of unity'." - But not the inward looking Anglican Church.

The contrast could not be greater. Coptic Christians are regularly attacked and killed in Egypt. Christians throughout the Middle and far East are constantly targeted by Muslims but in Great Britain Islam is affirmed as a religion on a par with Christianity while the Anglican Church pursues its fixation with secular matters.

As Scottish Anglicans move towards same sex marriage their leader has warned that GAFCON should "stay out of our territory" while the Church of Ireland is split over whether it should liberalise its stance on same sex marriage. Meanwhile the Church of England continues its shared discussions before its expected capitulation to the LGBT lobby in opting for secularism.

The bishops of the Church in Wales will still be smarting over their failure to lead the charge towards same sex marriage but they lost the plot years ago. Many congregations are elderly with little sign of younger people joining them. Indeed, for many youngsters in Wales religion has become a no go area. Some are even petitioning for an end to compulsory prayers in Wales' schools. They gained more than 870 signatures of support in less than two weeks. Without new blood collapse is inevitable.

Perhaps the experience of readers is different to mine but from what I hear, any faith visits to children in their formative primary schools are often carried out by female Methodist ministers, sometimes by an evangelical nonconformist but never by a traditional male Anglican priest.

I had hoped to be more positive in my outlook after Barry Morgan's retirement but I fear I was too hasty in my April entry, A promising start, when I reported that the bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the senior bishop on the bench of bishops, told the Governing Body to "put evangelism at heart of ministry".

My positive outlook crashed with the appointment of the bishop designate of Llandaff who has made it clear that her priority is to appoint more women to senior roles until parity is achieved. That is feminism, not evangelism. An appointment which, incidentally, has been met with a stunned silence in Llandaff after the clamour created by claims of homophobia, subsequently disproved, because the Dean of St Albans failed to secure the votes he needed.

So no new broom to address the disillusionment created by Barry Morgan as he bent the church to accord with his own views. Just more of the same. Take it or leave it. Many have decided to leave it, doubtless with more to follow. As Church of England rejects have been appointed in Wales the best of Welsh talent has left for England while the laity have opted simply to leave altogether.

One wonders how all those clergy who abandoned their former colleagues and faithful parishioners for a career in the Church now feel as they look at the state of the Church in Wales and see that they have no prospects in Wales.

Many more clergy and laity will be examining their consciences after the appointment of two female bishops. Doubtless many red lines will become distinctly pink but for others it will be the end of the road. A sorry, unnecessary predicament. In that, Morgan and his bench sitters have been cruelly successful. Opposition has been virtually wiped out in some areas, but at great cost, ignoring the expressed wish of the majority in consultations for alternative provision, leaving the fate of the Church to the Jackson/Wigley/MAE Cymru cohort.

Does anything matter anymore in the do-as-you-please Church in Wales? What of those who broke their Llandaff Electoral College oath of silence and the shameless campaigners including the unnamed bishop who put LGBT issues before the Church? No doubt that will be swept under the carpet by the bench along with everything else.

While some will find reasons to stay put, others will continue to leave. Evangelism is fine but for what? A church in which faith managers have shattered the parish system, interpreted the Bible to justify their own secular desires and ignored the wishes of its members when asked for their views while still claiming to be members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

How many more must leave before the bishops get the message? Without acceptable alternative provision, leaving is the only option for anyone who wants to keep the faith.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Your new home?


Christ Church, Rhosybol, on sale for £45,000                                                       Source: Daily Post


This is just one of twelve redundant churches currently offered for sale by the Representative Body of the Church in Wales following closure for worship which could be your new home. How many more to follow?

Worship often took place twice and more in bigger churches on Sundays, many with a daily Eucharist during the week. That was before they became the means of spreading political correctness, misapplying notions of gender equality to the priesthood, substituting equality for theology.

With few exceptions Church attendance continues to fall year by year. Ironically, in one of the largest ever surveys of peoples' attitudes towards the role and influence of churches in local communities published in Christian Today, more than a third of UK adults surveyed said that they would "campaign to keep their nearest church from closing because it provides 'vital' services to its local community." Without supporting members, who would maintain them?

MAE Cymru supporters. Source Church in Wales
 In former years five of the bishops of the Church in Wales held Oxford Firsts in Theology. The bishop designate of Llandaff studied social sciences. When interviewed by BBC TV News she was very much into gender parity so regardless of merit no doubt there will be an explosion of female appointments in Llandaff along with St Davids where the first woman bishop was appointed. Bishop Penberthy is a strong supporter of MAE Cymru, an organisation spreading feminism in the Church Wales under the guise of equality but only as they see it.

In response to my previous entry some commentators became exercised over a suitable spiritual home for disillusioned Anglicans. Sadly, as the declining numbers indicate in all but a few churches, most Christians do not look for an alternative. They give up in despair and stay home. Robbed of its mystery and otherness, church-going has for many become another weekly social occasion while others turn up at Easter and/or Christmas expecting their church to be there for them.

The obsession with gender politics has been a disaster. It has spread from the acceptance of the ordination of women to demands for acceptance of just about every sexual permutation including same sex marriage, the red line for many Anglicans.

Woe betide anyone who dares to hold a contrary opinion or to question the basis of different beliefs. Witness the Tory MP forced to stand down after a sixteen year old student and LGBT rights campaigner did not like the answer to her question after she asked him if he was planning on attending the Isle of Wight's first ever pride event.

Shades of Germaine Greer who was pilloried for expressing her personal opinion that she did not think post-operative transgender men are women, an opinion shared by experts.

Devout Christian Tim Farron the leader of the Liberal Democrat party was hounded until he gave a politically correct answer when asked if he thought that homosexuality was a sin. He had no support from the Church of England.

The first Church of England vicar to marry his same-sex partner has announced his resignation as a parish priest complaining that the CofE is 'institutionally homophobic'. He claimed that he and other gay and lesbian clergy were 'barely tolerated'.

That is an odd claim given the experience of remaining churchgoers, a claim which also contradicts the experience of the Rev Sally Hitchiner who told viewers of the BBC Breakfast programme on 30 April while discussing the marriage of Pippa Middleton that she was to "marry" her same sex partner next month.

Many, particularly younger, people today simply shrug their shoulders and say, So what? It doesn't affect me. But it does. As churches close some are converted into mosques while new Islamic centres are being built to accommodate the growing number of Muslims resulting from immigration and higher birth rates. Mohammed already tops the list of most popular baby boy names in England and Wales.

Islam is not tolerant of homosexuality. Woman count for less than men. It is ironic, then, that the politics which have split the Church will be unacceptable to the predominant faith group when Islam becomes the largest religion in the world by 2070.

If church leaders spent as much time exposing the ideology that is stamping out Christianity in its birthplace as they do on gender politics and affirming Islam there would be less need for GAFCON to send a missionary bishop to our shores to speak for traditional marriage.

Meanwhile in New Zealand a transgender weightlifter is causing controversy. Olympic Weightlifting NZ high performance manager Simon Kent described Hubbard's performance as 'magnificent'. "This is such a new issue for society to have a conversation about," said Kent, of the transgender question. "It really challenges how people respond to it - it's not something that is openly discussed and talked about." [My emphasis - ED.]

Transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard  Source: NZ Herald Photo: Doug Sherring

Friday, 28 April 2017

Liberal drift to engulf Wales?


The Dean of Salisbury addresses Gay Pride marchers.       Source: Facebook

The above still from a gay pride video on Facebook last Summer shows the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Rev June Osborne, encouraging participants to be strong in difference, standing against "prejudice and hatred" and to march with pride in Salisbury after she gives the parade her blessing.

Lobbyists interpret 'dislike' as 'hatred' and 'disagreement' as 'prejudice'. Allegations which stick whether or not they are based on factual evidence. Charges of homophobia are used as a matter of course to stymie any discussion on the legitimacy of accusations that LGBT+ people are treated unfairly. Say it often enough and people will believe it without checking the facts. Introduce something and people will get used to it. That is the strategy and it has worked, hence the liberal drift of the Church.

When a senior church person speaks, people are expected to take note. The fact that senior church persons increasingly speak not for the Gospel but for the advancement of liberal values in the Church makes the problem all the more serious.

Even though the implication is false, 'spread love not hatred' is a mantra that has become fully in tune with Anglicanism in the UK today as it drifts away from Christianity towards paganism. Love is all but the meaning of love has been twisted to mean acceptance of just about every desire. If you are not 'for' you are regarded as 'against'.

The image of the Dean of Salisbury at the gay pride march is considerably different from the image projected on the Church in Wales website where she is presented as a thoroughly competent woman who will take the Church forward. But forward to what? The irony of the 'homophobia' charges after Jeffrey John's rejection by the Electoral College will not be lost when the reality of another LGBT promoting appointment dawns on unsuspecting Anglicans in Wales. June Osborne previously lent her name to the suppressed Osborne Report on homosexuality which should have been published in 1989 and was finally published in 2012. Some think the Report damaged her chances of preferment in England.

The die has been firmly cast in Wales. Interviewed in Llandaff Cathedral on BBC TV News yesterday evening bishop John Davies candidly explained  that: "There is no truth whatsoever in the allegation that the bench of bishops or indeed the Electoral College of the Church in Wales is homophobic. I have said on countless occasions that homosexuality, participation in civil partnerships is no bar whatsoever to ordination in the Church in Wales whether that be to the order of deacons, priests or bishops."

The charge of homophobia was clearly absurd given the grovelling apology by the bench of bishops to the LGBT+ community for perceived errors. There followed the Changing Attitude, Iris in the Community propaganda film alleging homophobia while promoting the LGBT+ cause despite the  gay friendly stance of the bishop of St Asaph who not only has appointed a LGBT chaplain but has a transgender ordinand waiting in the wings. So at some stage there will be a 'she' at the Altar though she is he, preferring to be thought of as she.

All minorities are regarded as acceptable in the Church in Wales with the exception of orthodox Christians. After the stitch-up which saw the first woman bishop in Wales involved in MAE Cymru's 'Saints and Sparklers' event it appeared that things could not get much worse.

What has become known as the liberal drift in England is overwhelming the Church in Wales with seemingly no-one able to repel it. When the bishop designate said "I do want to be a bishop for absolutely everybody, [including] those who might have wished for another candidate", did she really mean everybody, including loyal, conscientious Anglicans who have found that their Church has left them without provision.

Para 346 of the Osborne Report will be of particular interest for traditionalists:
We believe that the bishops, as the focus of unity of the Church, need to affirm the catholicity of the inclusiveness of the Church. The bishops have an important role in helping the Church live with unresolved issues. The way to resolve the conflict and tensions between groups is not by exclusion of one or more minority groups.

Exclusion has been used as a weapon in the Church in Wales since the retirement in 2008 of the  Provincial Assistant Bishop. Every minority has been deemed worthy of inclusion except orthodox Anglicans. Are they not worthy of love?

This problem has become all the more pressing with the appointment of a second women bishop to the most Anglo Catholic and populous diocese in the Province. Many more Anglo Catholic clergy who have kept the faith find themselves with nowhere to turn. They deserve better.

I hope the new bishop of Llandaff along with the rest of bench will now consider the dire position of the orthodox minority in the Church in Wales. Many of these loyal Anglicans are now elderly, often lonely with little to sustain them other than their faith but after years of service they find that their church has left them.

The bishop designate claims that women can make a difference. To date that has been wholly negative resulting in a code of practice designed for exclusion. If women want to make a difference they can start by making arrangements to include all, not just all those caught up in the liberal drift.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The 72nd bishop of Llandaff


June Osborne, Dean at Salisbury Cathedral (getty) Source: Telegraph

Already displaying a taste for purple, the bishop designate of Llandaff is the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Rev June Osborne. Announced on Twitter on the heels of a tweet by the Rev Peter Ould there will no doubt be considerable shock in Llandaff, still the most Anglo Catholic diocese in the Province despite the former Archbishop's attempts to eradicate it in favour of nonconformity.

Dean Osborne was tipped to become the first woman bishop in the Church of England. Instead she is the second woman bishop in the Church in Wales with possibly a third next year if +John Davies retires.

Ironically June Osborne is only three months younger than +John. She was involved in an 'unholy row' with a plan to move Salisbury Cathedral School from its home in the Bishop's Palace which created "divisions between parents and the church hierarchy" so Llandaff should feel like home from home. No doubt we shall be hearing more about the Osborne Report too, some solace for the gay community which was known to be desperate to avoid a woman bishop.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

#UnitedAgainstDementia




"Forget about everything that keeps us apart because dementia doesn’t care. It’s set to be the UK’s biggest killer and too many are facing the disease alone. But together, we can improve care, offer help and understanding and urgently find a cure, if we stand united against dementia." 
Time to forget - Alzheimer's Society TV advert.  Published on Apr 24, 2017.


Saturday, 22 April 2017

A promising start


Senior bishop, the Rt Rev'd John Davies, Bishop of Swansea & Brecon.  CinW

A welcome change from many previous Presidential Addresses used to further the former Archbishop's political agenda, the Governing Body of the Church in Wales has been told to "put evangelism at heart of ministry".

Rather than 'take note' of the ever decreasing number of regular attenders at Sunday services, the bench of bishops now appear ready to confront the problem head on. Bishop John Davies echoed the feelings expressed on this blog when he said "Some GB members felt strongly and, I believe correctly, that the time was right for us to stop agreeing to simply ‘take note of’ the report.

"By means of an amended motion, GB was invited to take note but to do so ‘with a heavy heart’. Furthermore, GB was invited to ask the Standing Committee to take a careful look at the minority of parishes which were actually growing, and to identify good practice from which others might learn something, do something and, hopefully, begin to arrest the cycle of decline."

Amen to that.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A step too far


Laverne Cox, Jeffrey Tambor, Ellen DeGeneres, Asia Kate Dillon and Ben Whishaw.
The great LGBT TV revolution   Photograph: Guardian design


LGBT+  promotion is back in the news, this time with an attempt to indoctrinate school children .

On this blog I previously commented on the extraordinary LGBT campaign to get Jeffrey John made bishop of Llandaff. In response there have been unsubstantiated claims that this blogger peddles lies. No doubt I shall again be branded as homophobic for this entry. So be it. The issue is far too important to ignore.

From Saturday's Guardian applauding the high visibility of LGBT characters, ‘You didn’t win, we won’: the great LGBT TV revolution. If  viewers do not like what they see they can switch off.

The book by Andrew Brown and Linda Woodhead That was the Church That Was: How the Church of England Lost the English People seeks to explain the disappearance of the Church of England from the centre of public life having lost half of its members and much of its influence since the Thatcher years. In a church in which you no longer appear to matter unless you are gay or a feminist you can  leave.

Toddlers and older school children do not have that choice. The National Union of Teachers have gone far too far in calling for the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) issues to children, starting at nursery.

From Voice for Justice UKWe call on the National Union of Teachers to withdraw its motion promoting LGBT+ issues to toddlers

You can sign their petition here.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Mary Berry's Happy Easter


Mary Berry explores the wonderful foods that bring each different community together on Easter Sunday
- the most symbolic and meaningful feast in the Christian calendar. BBC


I am inclined towards gardening rather than to cooking which may explain why I missed Mary Berry's Easter Feast when it was first shown last year on 22 Mar 2016. This year, more by accident than by design, on Good Friday I watched the most overtly Christian programme I have seen for some considerable time. BBC schedules have become somewhat short of Christian content of late which made the theme all the more remarkable. Given the BBC's preference for promoting Islam since appointing Muslims to head up religious content, perhaps it slipped through because the main them was cookery.

From the BBC's Media Centre description - As well as sharing her own family favourites like mouth-watering roast lamb, she discovers how the Greek Orthodox community break the Lenten fast with Tsoureki bread; spends a day with the Archbishop of York John Sentamu, cooking up a storm in his kitchen; and discovers Filipino and Italian Easter specialities.

The first episode explored the origin of the Hot Cross Bun, claimed originally to be the Alban Bun. Apparently legend has it that it originated in St Albans Abbey where 14th century monk, Brother Thomas Rocliffe, developed it using an original - and still closely guarded - recipe and distributed it to the local poor on Good Friday from 1361.

So far I have resisted the temptation to eat Hot Cross Buns before Good Friday. I think Mary Berry's advice to eat them throughout Lent is excellent. I shall find it difficult advice to avoid in future.

Alban buns                            Credit: The Herts Advertizer

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Easter 2017


The Resurrection by Andrea Mantegna  1457-1459

Wishing you a Happy and Blessed Easter

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Good Friday


The Crucifixion by Andrea Mantegna 1457–1459

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Luke 23:34

Islam denies it, many ignore it but for Christians this is why.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Spot the difference?


Sheikh Mohammad al Hilli, Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby, Chief Rabbi
Ephriam  Mirvis,  Sheikh Ezzat Khalifa, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols Archbishop of Westminster
(Photo: PA)

The above picture was published in the Mirror in the aftermath of the London terror attack on Westminster Bridge and at the Carriage Gates entrance to the House of Commons, killing and maiming innocent victims. Predictably faith leaders came together to express their horror. As is their custom, Muslim leaders washed their hands of the events as having nothing to do with Islam.

The hand wringing is different in Muslim majority countries such as Egypt where Muslims attacked Coptic Christians on Palm Sunday. That was because there are still some Christians left in 'their' Muslim country. In Muslim majority countries, non-Muslims are faced with the choice of convert, pay the jizya or die.

Security personnel investigate the scene of a bomb explosion inside Mar Girgis church in Tanta EPA

According to a Pew Research Centre report The Changing Global Religious Landscape, babies born to Muslims will begin to outnumber Christian births by 2035; people with no religion face a birth dearth. Perhaps by then Christians in Egypt will be no more. While Christians invite Muslims into their churches, Christians and other non-Musims in Islamic states are being systematically purged.

It is not as if we have not been warned but the way things are going the Church of England along with the Church in Wales will be as dead as Christians in the Middle East. There is no escape unless people recognise the threat posed by Islam. 

Those with no religion will not be exempt from choice of convert, pay the tax or die. The religion of peace will have reached its goal. Affirming Islam merely advances the day when Sharia rules. The only sensible solution is to challenge Islamic ideology but too many Christians are too busy challenging their own faith to be aware of the danger.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

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Friday, 7 April 2017

Second best


The Dean of Liverpool Pete Wilcox to be Bishop of Sheffield   Source: Cranmer

As Wales awaits the name of the bishop-elect of Llandaff, news that the Dean of Liverpool is to be the next Bishop of Sheffield after Bishop Philip North withdrew following pressure from Women and the Church. In his blog Cranmer announced Sheffield gets its second best bishop – Pete Wilcox, Dean of Liverpool.

It was unfortunate that the former Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan chose to complement the new bishop of St Davids by referring to her as the best person to be a bishop. Llandaff therefore can also expect the second best, or worse, unless there is a translation.

Ironically the Guardian is carrying a exclusive article claiming that Jeffrey John has been "passed over seven times for promotion to bishop". Had St Davids not been a stitch-up presumably his name would have come up there. But it seems he was expected to get Llandaff.

What the powers to be fail to realise is that many people in the pews are fed up with cries of homophobia when the real issue is that it is same sex marriage in church that is not wanted.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

NT Egg Hunt


Cadbury's new Egg Hunt logo, which does not mention Easter  CREDIT: CADBURY


The Church of England has accused the National Trust of "airbrushing faith" after it dropped the word "Easter" from its annual Easter egg hunt. - The Telegraph.

It is unlikely that the Church of England would understand today but I would have thought it only fitting since Cadbury dropped Easter when they went halal - see entry Will it be a Halal Easter?

Cadbury is reported as saying that it wanted to appeal to non-Christians: "We invite people from all faiths and none to enjoy our seasonal treats." 

The fact that Islam denies that Jesus died on the Cross so there could be no Resurrection so no "Easter" egg  for Muslims is neither here nor there where a fast buck is to be made.

Postscript

In response to accusations of “Muslim appeasement” Cadbury commented “None of our UK products are [sic] halal certified and we have never made any changes to our chocolate to specifically make them halal.”

In their UK Nutrition Definitions, under 'Halal' appears  "To ensure that you receive the most accurate possible information to determine whether our products are suitable for your dietary requirements, we recommend you visit www.foodguide.org.uk for the latest material regarding Halal suitability.

Following the links provided, under 'The Following are Halaal', readers will find Cadbury's list of halal chocolate products.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Time for a change


A rainbow of hoops under the Majestas in Llandaff Cathedral     Original source: Church in Wales

Is it just a coincidence that children are making a rainbow of coloured hoops in Llandaff Cathedral? 

Artist Gilbert Baker who created the LGBT rainbow flag died in New York on Thursday. There was nothing Christian in its design. Baker's original flag had eight colours, each representing a different aspect of humanity:
  • Pink - sexuality
  • Red - life
  • Orange - healing
  • Yellow- sunlight
  • Green - nature
  • Turquoise - art
  • Indigo - harmony
  • Violet - human spirit
California State Senator Scott Weiner said Baker's work had "helped define the modern LGBT movement". Eager not to be left behind in the secular stakes, the Church in Wales quickly became gay friendly which makes the recent challenge by the Dean of St Albans to his rejection on grounds of homophobia all the more ridiculous.

The orchestrated campaign in favour of Jeffrey John's mission to be made bishop of Llandaff has been extraordinary in its breadth. From Commons to Senedd, from Cathedral Chapters to Area Deans. The written complaints displayed a similarity in their conclusion suggesting an organised attack. 

Some members of the Electoral College decided that their oath of confidentiality was optional. Harry Farley of Christian Today was being briefed to present a one-sided case in favour of John. Why? The implication is that there is a group within the Church working to further their own aims similar to methods employed by feminists in Women and the Church. The results are plain for all to see.

The bench needs to heed the average pew-sitter who has had little to say but has supported a church which has become increasingly alien to them. Feminism and gay rights are not the primary mission of the Church. 

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Jeffrey John's gay chorus augmented by quartet


"Gay dean is in the running to become Bishop of Durham" The Times 6 May 2013 Photo: Chris Harris

Harry Farley has reported in Christian Today that a second complaint has been lodged as "pressure builds" over alleged homophobia by the Church in Wales after a senior gay cleric was blocked from being appointed a bishop.

Where one wonders does Farley obtain his information? The hymn sheet is always the same. One sided, all singing in unison ♫homophobia, homophobia, homophobia ♫. Who is the conductor?

In his Kiwianglo's Blog, an Anglican priest and LGBT advocate wrote a resume of the position of the Church in Wales as seen by the recently retired Archbishop Dr Barry Morgan. He emphasised "the Church in Wales has apologized unreservedly for its mistreatment of gay and lesbian people and strongly indicated it could allow or bless same-sex marriages in the future".

The Church in Wales is not homophobic, it is very gay friendly with LGBT chaplains. An over emphasis which is becoming all too obvious as the LGBT lobby tries to call the tune. There have been complaints from MPs, Cathedral Chapters and Electors with the list growing. Given the absence of any contrary view one suspects that the complainers are either gay themselves or sympathetic lobbyists. Much has been made of the weight of requests for John to be made bishop which merely suggests an orchestrated campaign. Others think it would be  a disaster but they were not asked for their opinion.

This is what one unpublished (anonymous) commentator had to say "I am assured by someone who was present that no homophobic remarks were made in the electoral college. (Already in the public domain so he felt he could concur.) Also that there are a lot of lies being told about what happened."

Jeffrey John has been rejected many times. Originally he had my sympathy but no more. Others dioceses have come to the conclusion that Jeffrey John would be more of a distraction than an asset. He claims that the Church does not speak with authority, advocates same sex marriage claiming that God does too and controversially interprets the Bible to suit his circumstances. Previously he threatened to take the Church of England to court after he was blocked from becoming a bishop contrary to 1 Corinthians 6:7 "The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?"

Why not rather be wronged, indeed? Nothing good can come out of this. The diocese, the province and the Church are suffering for one man's ambition. If he were to succeed in his outrageous campaign everyone else would be the loser.

Postscript

From ECCLESIASTICALLAW

Electing the Bishop of Llandaff: Propriety and Privacy

"The Thinking Anglicans website relates that the objection ‘has now been referred to the Legal Sub-Committee, which is a body in the Church in Wales assembled to consider legal and governance matters’.

However, it is difficult to see what this Sub-Committee can achieve, however legally learned its members.  Absent proper authority from the Governing Body, it has no power under the Constitution to investigate the deliberations of the Electoral College.  And to be effective in practice, any investigation of the objection is bound to contravene the constitutional rule of privacy concerning the Electoral College meeting.  One procedural impropriety is remedied by committing another."

In full here.

Postscript [31.03.2017]

Two interesting letters have appeared in the Church Times.

The first from the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales, The Welsh Bishops on the Dean of St Albans and the see of Llandaff, responding to an "ill-informed, unbalanced" leader comment,

the second from the Rt Revd Dr Barry Morgan objecting to false allegations by the Dean of St Albans that Dr Morgan  blocked his nomination to the sees of Bangor and St Asaph in 2008 and 2009.

LATEST

Church's legal subcommittee advises that complaints are without merit and bishops can proceed with appointment. Details here.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Not another victim!


Bishop steps down after speaking of campaign forcing him to quit - Christian Today

The Ass Bishop of Llandaff is resigning after speaking of a "sustained campaign forcing him to quit". David Wilbourne, a strong supporter of gay cleric Jeffrey John, will step down on Easter Sunday after 'considerable and increasing pressure to relinquish' his post for the past 18 months.

The Ass bishop of Llandaff knows all about victims. Back in 2011 when he was justifying his appointment by the Archimporter of PC persons, Barry Morgan, he claimed that the ordination of women would rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, brutalisation of women in all situations including those in war zones.

The Church in Wales has since ordained sufficient women to illustrate the nonsense of his comment. With so many women now in place, accusations by Jeffrey John of homophobia must be absurd.

After his appointment vicars in Landaff  received a letter from Wilbourne instructing clergy how he was to be received. Suitable parking was to be provided and a bag carrier was to conduct him into church. Perhaps unsurprisingly his symbols of office were to be displayed on the Altar to emphasis his authority. It proved never to be obvious otherwise. In an unwise move the Ass bishop also let it be known that he would be honoured to made the diocesan.

Wilbourne mentioned nothing in his statement about a sustained campaign forcing him to quit, or of the alleged considerable and increasing pressure to relinquish his post for the past 18 months. He was brought in by someone with no scruples and supported a candidate with no scruples. He has been part of the say anything, do anything campaign to advance the liberal cause that has so damaged the Church.

Pray that the bench has the imagination to recognise the errors of the past. No more of the same please.

Going, gone, gone. Ass bishop Wilbourne and the briefly Dean Janet Henderson
with their appointer Archbishop Barry Morgan.      Picture credit; Church Times

Friday, 24 March 2017

Exactly!




In a brief interview with Christian Concern the Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden explains why he left the Church of England. He could be speaking for many.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Westminster - a plea


The suspected Westminster attacker being tended by medics                                     Source: Sky News

The Westminster attack has already triggered the response on BBC Breakfast programme, "This has nothing to do with Muslims".

Perhaps not but it has everything to do with their Islamic ideology. Some progress has been made since world leaders such as Barak Obama, Tony Blair and David Cameron claimed "Islam is a religion of peace" - see  my earlier entry Spitting in the wind - but people are mistaken when they accord Islam the same standards as Christianity.

"Muslims believe that, unlike Moses and prophets who heard from God directly, Muhammad heard through an intermediary, Gabriel. In these revelations Allah changes his mind many times leaving followers with the problem of abrogation which results in taking the more recent (violent) verses in preference to earlier (peaceful) verses. Consequently the religion of peace in the Quran gives way to the sword:  "The later verses, known as the “Sword Verses” (9:5 and 9:29), were considered by Muslim scholars to have cancelled the previous verses mandating kindness and persuasion. Expansionist jihad became the explicit norm."

By contrast with uncorroborated revelations received by Muhammad, Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of eight Old Testament prophesies. The probability of fulfilling all eight prophesies has been calculated as 1 x 1028 or 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000."

The Sky News picture shows the suspected attacker receiving the same medical assistance as his victim would have received. That is because we live in a Christian country. In an Islamic state he would be more likely be tied to the back of a truck and dragged through the streets.

There are regular reports form Pakistan, Egypt and the like about Muslim mobs attacking Christians for no other reason than they are not Muslims. If not attacking Christians they are attacking each other for being the wrong sort of Muslim.

Islam is a supremacist ideology. We must stop making excuses. Instead of saying it has nothing to do with Muslims we should be saying that it has everything to do with Islam and explain why. There is only one way to the Father. If we not believe that, how can we convince others?



Postscript [27.03.2017]

Taken for a Ride? Islam and Religious Liberty

President Erdogan, who is rapidly turning Turkey into a Caliphate, once said that “Democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination.” Is religious liberty also a train that Islamists ride until they reach their stop?....Full article here.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

World Water Day 22 March 2017




Today, 22 March 2017, is World Water Day.

WaterAid is asking people in the UK to spring into action and email their MP to help raise awareness for the 1 in 10 people still living without safe water? Link here.


Monday, 20 March 2017

The Victim




Women in the Church were victims, allegedly. Gays, lesbians and transgenders in the Church are victims, allegedly. 

The true Victim was left hanging on the Cross. His words have been twisted to justify sectional interests to the detriment of the Church. The latest episode is witnessed by the LGBT campaign to have the high profile gay cleric Jeffrey John elected bishop of Llandaff.

Dr John says the bench of bishops is guilty of homophobia. This is the bench which wrote:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We recognise that you have often been persecuted and ostracized by the Church for your sexuality, that you have been mistreated by the Church, and forced into secrecy and dissimulation by the attitudes of prejudice which you have faced.  We deplore such hostility, and welcome and affirm the words of the Primates that condemn homophobic prejudice and violence.  We too commit ourselves to offering you the same loving service and pastoral care to which all humanity is entitled, and we commit ourselves to acting to provide a safe space within the Church and within our communities in which you can be honest and open, respected and affirmed."

Jeffrey John claims in an open letter to the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon that his situation is exactly similar to that of the Bishop of Grantham who is also in a same sex relationship. It may be insofar as civil partnerships are concerned but I have found no record of Bishop Chamberlain supporting the Out4Marriage campaign, twisting the Bible to support his stance.

Dr John also suggests that same sex couples are no different to infertile couples, or couples who are beyond the age of childbearing. He is badly mistaken. Addressing gay people directly in his Out4Marriage video Dr John claims that "the official church doesn't speak with integrity... so frankly doesn't deserve to be listened to". That does not bode well for the mission of the Church or for bench collegiality. It is a  pick and mix form of Christianity which leads John to claim that "God is Out4Marriage too"!

In his letter to the bishop of Swansea and Brecon who is the Church in Wales' most senior bishop, Dr John said he had been told by "a bishop present at the meeting of the electoral college" that “a number of homophobic remarks were made and were left unchecked and unreprimanded by the chair”. [My emphasis - Ed.]

For members of the Electoral College to leak information is a serious breach of confidence but for a bishop? He or she should seriously consider his/her position.

Regular churchgoers are dying out, literally and metaphorically. Those who have not been pressured into leaving and battle-on are fed up with gays and feminists claiming to be badly treated when the Church clearly has so many women clergy and gay people in their midst.

In England Archbishop Justin Welby appears to have sold out to Women and the Church (WATCH) despite their shameless campaign against Bishop Philip North because he is an orthodox Anglican. Read the history of this sorry saga here.

In Wales Archbishop Barry Morgan led the bishops into battle against Church members promoting same sex marriage. At the same time he was desperately engineering the election of the first woman bishop in Wales before he retired. His candidate also complained of discrimination. On investigation it proved to be nothing of the sort. One stitch-up is one too many.

I hope that the Bench has at last come to its senses. People need to hear about Christ crucified not false claims of victimhood.

Postscript [21.03.2017]

Unsurprisingly given the gay men's chorus which is singing ever louder to Jeffrey John's tune, the LGB pressure group OneBodyOneFaith this morning published an open letter (here) expressing their "concerns" about the way the process to appoint a bishop for the See of Llandaff has been handled. One of the signatories is the Rev Jeremy Pemberton, Chair for the Board of Trustee. It was he who thumbed his nose to the Church of England over the gay marriage issue.

OBOF have only Jeffrey John's word for what took place. That is second hand. There is no context, merely accusation. "The reported unanimity of the Llandaff electors is a strong indication of what they wish to happen" they write. There are two points here. It was common knowledge that many in Llandaff were desperate to avoid a woman bishop. Their best hope of avoiding that eventuality was to support Jeffrey John. Also, given the strong gay presence in Llandaff, the impression given is that many if not all form part of the chorus demanding that Jeffery John should be the bishop-elect.

As we approach Passiontide  the baying crowd becomes louder. There are echoes of "Give us Barabbas". The crowd had it wrong. So does OBOF and the media. Pray that the Bench withstands the media onslaught.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Bishop of Llandaff: Stage 3


 Epstein's Majestas,  Llandaff Cathedral                                                                                                                                                            Source: Cool Places


The tense wait for an announcement from the Bench of Bishops is over, for now. The Bishop-elect of Llandaff is to be appointed after meeting the short-listed candidates.

Following three days of deliberations by the Church in Wales (CinW) Electoral College from 21st to 23rd February, no nominated candidate received the necessary two-thirds of the votes cast to be declared Bishop-elect. Under the CinW Constitution the task falls to the Bench of Bishops. Their meeting this week is a step in that direction.

This is an anxious time. Many Anglicans will be hoping that their preferred choice will be successful to extend sectional interests. It is gratifying to note that, on the face of it, extensive lobbying has not pushed the Bench into a hasty decision.

After the tragic episode which saw Bishop Philip North withdraw from Sheffield, a period of prayerful reflection is needed.

Many people in Wales know the hurt being felt in England. After Bishop David Thomas was not replaced following his retirement in 2008 relations have continued to sour and Church attendance has declined.

Pray that the Bench will have the imagination to appoint a bishop who is conscious of the need for the two integrities to flourish if Anglicanism as we have known it is to survive.

Postscript [17.03.2017]

"Leading gay cleric Jeffrey John left off shortlist to be bishop"

It has been reported on the 'Christian Today' web site that the Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, is not on the new shortlist to be next Bishop of Llandaff. While it will disappoint some of his supporters the news comes as a welcome relief to many more.

Also, the sad news that "Former Queen's Chaplain Gavin Ashenden quits 'liberal' Church of England" here.

Postscript [19.03.2017]

'Christian Today' reports

 Gay cleric Jeffrey John speaks out: My homosexuality was the only reason I was blocked as Bishop of Llandaff

Not only is it too convenient to blame his rejection on his homosexuality, it is absurd. The weight of homosexuals in the Church lobbying for Dr John's appointment is testament to that. He mentions another reason, "namely that my appointment would bring unwelcome and unsettling publicity to the diocese". I am sure he has heard that before. Self promotion is no recommendation for the Episcopacy.

Postscript [20.03.2017]

The latest headline from 'Christian today':

Jeffrey John: Pressure mounts on Church in Wales after allegations of homophobia

Allegations are not facts. It is noticeable that pressure groups such as One Body One Faith accuse the Church of 'unjust and discriminatory behaviour' but they completely overlook the criticism of Dr John's unorthodox interpretation of the Bible. Now why could that be?

Postscript [21.03.2017]

Today's headline from 'Christian Today'.

More calls for Welsh church to make Jeffrey John a bishop

After the Chapter of St Albans Cathedral branded the treatment of their Dean, Dr Jeffrey John, 'wholly wrong' the clergy of another Anglican cathedral have "thrown their weight behind calls for a senior gay cleric to be made a bishop in Wales". The Chapter of Ely Cathedral has now added its 'unanimous support' to the growing calls for the Welsh bishops to reconsider Dr John.

I can understand the media taking Dr John's charges of homophobia at face value but for Cathedral Chapters to do the same suggests a parallel with will no-one rid the Church of England of this troublesome priest?

Critics should pause for thought. If Dr John felt aggrieved he should first have written privately to express his concerns after confidential information was scandalously leaked to him. Instead he chose to go public setting the mob loose crying "Homophobia!" when it is nothing of the sort. The pit is getting deeper. These people need to stop digging before the Church falls in.