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Saturday, 30 December 2017

Most viewed posts in 2017




Listed below are the most viewed Ancient Briton posts in 2017.

Top of the list is Not another victim! The sad tale of David Wilbourne (left), the Ass bishop of Llandaff who resigned after speaking of a "sustained campaign forcing him to quit".

One of the Yes persons imported by archbishop Barry Morgan to substitute liberal feminism for faith, Wilbourne quickly became surplus to requirements after the Governing Body of the Church in Wales concluded that they knew better than the wider Church and voted in favour of women bishops, persuaded by the likes of Wilbourne and another import, Peggy (the pilot) Jackson who was responsible for reducing the code of practice to meaningless double speak as evidenced following the appointment of women bishops to St Davids and Llandaff.

Well known for reminding captive listeners that he knew the former Archbishop of York  John Habgood, the Ass bishop featured prominently in 'Spot the Dog' in the popular blog, The Llandaffchester Chronicles, sadly closed down after ruffling too many feathers.

With hindsight Wilbourne may regret his ridiculous claim that the ordination of women would rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, brutalisation of women in all situations including those in war zones but I doubt it. One thing that characterises progressives is their ability to say anything that aids their secular cause regardless of the facts.

'Llandaff' entries attract most attention for commentators. Even when writing on other subjects commentators have become adept at teasing out any nuance that might be used to take another swipe at what they regard as the unsatisfactory situation that has afflicted Llandaff Cathedral for many years, beginning under the stewardship of Dr Barry Morgan.

The Jeffrey John affair raised divisions in Llandaff to desperate levels, dragging the church through the mud with accusation after accusation in what was probably his last hope of preferment. Contrary to scripture, John had already threatened to sue the Church of England if he was blocked from becoming a bishop.

Some claimed that the bench of bishops opposed his appointment because they did not want to be overshadowed. Not a difficult task then or now but in reality the fear was that as an active campaigner, John who is "one of the most contentious figures in the Church", would attract too much unwelcome attention from the media.

Church in Wales bishops                                    Source: BBB/Church in Wales

Possibly as a penance for the truculent stance taken by the gay lobby and sympathisers in Llandaff  in demanding the appointment of Jeffrey John the bench imposed on them instead a female LGBT sympathiser with the self-satisfied smirk of someone who has achieved her goal.

All has blown over. The bench sitters have settled back into complacent mode as the church collapses around them. The new archbishop promises more of the same but quicker, apparently blind to the damage already done by the bench under archbishop Morgan.

The blabbing bishop remains anonymous. The complicit Canon carries on. The pew sitters continue to grin and bear it as they dig deeper to support a system which prefers the chosen few who continue to complain that they are not welcome while the faithful leave in despair.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The 10 most viewed entries in 2017:

 1. Not another victim!

 2. Llandaff stalemate

 3. Consecration of the Bishop of Llandaff

 4. All change at the Cathedral

 5. Time for change

 6. The Victim

 7. New Bishop of Llandaff to be elected

 8. Decision time

 9. The Llandaff problem

10. Bishop of Llandaff: Stage 3

 No doubt the rumblings will continue through 2018.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

That's rich bishop!


Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes         Source: Christian Today


The bishop of Liverpool,  Paul Bayes has criticised American religious leaders who support Donald Trump, saying they cannot justify their Christian faith.

Bishop Bayes told the Guardian: “Some of the things that have been said by religious leaders seem to collude with a system that marginalises the poor, a system which builds walls instead of bridges, a system which says people on the margins of society should be excluded, a system which says we’re not welcoming people any more into our country.

That's rich coming from one of the Church of England's senior bishops who is to chair a new charity aimed at promoting greater acceptance of LGBT people.

Most of the bishops of the Church of England along with the bench of bishops of the Church in Wales have no problem with marginalising faithful Anglicans, building walls to exclude them for remaining faithful to scripture and tradition.

The Bishop of Liverpool is to chair a new charity aimed at promoting greater acceptance of LGBT people by working with religious organisations around the world. He has been named as chair of the Ozanne Foundation, whose director Jayne Ozanne is a high-profile Anglican activist for LGBT inclusivity.

The Ozanne Foundation believes in a world where "all are accepted and equally valued", implying that they are not despite their over representation from bishops' thrones to church pews chairs based on the most recent statistics of just over 1 million (2.0%) of the UK population aged 16 and over identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB).

The charity's trustees and council of reference include the Dean of St Paul's, David Ison, Rev Steve Chalke, Ben Bradshaw MP and the Dean of St Albans, Jeffrey John, someone well known to readers for his personal interpretation of scripture in support of personal preferences.

Bayes said: "The Church of England has committed herself to what our Archbishops have called radical new Christian inclusion, and has publicly stated that we are against all forms of homophobia. If we mean this, and I believe we do, then we need to find appropriate ways of welcoming and affirming LGBTI people who want their love recognised by the Church."

The duplicity is mind blowing. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not excluded from the church. They appear to be in the driving seat. To claim that their 'love' is not recognised by the Church without a shred of supporting evidence is disgraceful when same sex marriage is clearly the objective.

Love has many forms. To imply that love is not recognised by people who are opposed to the redefinition of marriage is not just unworthy of the bishop, it is difficult to understand how people holding such views can justify their Christian faith.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Christianity in Britain to take more knocks


Fatima Salaria has been put in charge of the BBC's religious programming             Source:Express


The atheist Director of religious programming at the BBC, James Purnell, has indicated that Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jewish holy days will be marked on popular programmes including The One Show and Chris Evans on Radio 2.

Earlier this year it was reported that the BBC had replaced one Muslim with another, Fatima Salaria, in charge of religious television shows making her responsible for all the BBC’s religious content including Songs of Praise, now a pale reflection of what it used to be. Ms Salaria has previously commissioned Muslims Like Us, a reality style show and produced Britain’s Jihadi Brides. 

It is right that we all should seek to understand faith in the widest context and the practices of others but it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the portrayal of Islam as the religion of peace is at variance with experience.

Most Muslims believe it is their religious duty to try to convert others to the Islamic faith. According to the Pew Research Center, in every country where the question was asked, a large majority of Muslims say all or most of their close friends share their faith. The survey found that even in countries with substantial non-Muslim populations, a large majority of Muslims say most, if not all, of their close friends share their faith.

Multiculturalism in Great Britain has resulted in the creation of Islamic areas. Some have been described as no-go areas for non-Muslims. Relatively few Muslims find the idea of inter-marriage acceptable but in Egypt, Muslims abduct Egyptian Christians, forcing them into marriages and conversions to Islam – "a fourfold atrocity" that is reaching "epic proportions". In some countries apostasy is met with a death sentence

This dark side is rarely reported. When it is, it is reported as the actions of people who are mentally disturbed or the acts of extremists who do not represent true Islam.  But "Islamists" take their authority from the same Muslim texts that are used to protest that Islam is a religion of peace despite all the evidence to the contrary for 1400 years with Jewish holy sites and Christian churches converted to mosques as witnessed in Jerusalem, Istanbul and elsewhere.

It has been suggested that Parish churches could host multi-faith worship in their battle to stay open, using them as "social hubs for people of all ages, spaces to offer hospitality and vital services to the vulnerable". Churches are already being used to provide accommodation for the homeless over Christmas and many more are involved providing food banks for the needy but using churches to provide Muslims with more space to pray is a serious error of judgement as explained here. Once a place has been used for Muslim worship it is ipso facto a mosque.

Some Christian leaders are so keen to outdo each other in demonstrating brotherly love that they have effectively proclaimed to the world that Mohammed is greater than Jesus. Prince Charles declared his wish many years ago to be Defender of Faith to reflect Britain's multicultural society. It is a one way traffic. As Christian symbols are removed to avoid upsetting Muslims, non-Muslims are expected to observe Muslim customs by removing shoes while women are expected cover their heads in deference implying that only Islam is worthy of respect.

In my previous entry I referred to the Christmas message from the Archbishop of Wales and his use of the word 'love' which has become a password for progressives. In an interview for Christian Today he was asked "You were a key speaker recently at a Muslim Council of Wales event: how important is inter-faith dialogue?"

The Archbishop replied: "Very important. Again if you look at the caricatures, what a lot of people appear to believe about Islam is profoundly misguided. If you look at Islam, Christianity, Judaism, here you have religions and creeds that seek at the most fundamental level human flourishing and the good of mankind. It is very easy to interpret tiny bits of scriptures as wishing harm on others, when that is not representative."

Churchill was not so misguided. He warned of appeasement. He also warned of the perils of the Mahommedan religion:

  "Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men’s passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness."




Postscript [23.12.2017]

Church can remove pews to attract local Muslims, court rules

St Thomas Werneth in Oldham has been allowed to remove its pews in order to cater for local Muslims. It has been given permission to remove the pews to allow it to hold more events with the wider community which is 88 per cent non-white British and "broadly Muslim". St Thomas C of E Primary School in Werneth was earlier this year reported to have only Muslim pupils.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Christmas messages from the bench of bishops




The bishop of Bangor gets quite a lot of stick from commentators on this blog but again, following his Easter message, out of the six diocesan bishops of the Church in Wales I have found his Christmas message most engaging, even if somewhat disconcerting in the way he keeps looking aside as if expecting a visit from the constabulary.

As for the rest, the bishop of Monmouth makes a bold attempt as he concentrates his attention on an Orthodox icon of the nativity but sadly such spirituality is not reflected in the move to non-conformity embraced by the bench.

In her first Christmas message, the bishop of Llandaff says gifts are not just for Christmas so she devotes just one sentence to the Christmas story in an otherwise secular discourse.

The bishop of St Aspah muses about a colander Christmas as he reminisces about his mother's Tupperware, well removed from "a pregnant unmarried teenager, no place to stay, rural folk seeing visions, and strangers seeking attention from the East" which he refers to.

The bishop of St Davids compares the "saccharine nature" of the Christmas bonanza with the "increasingly uncertain world we live in" - the more so for traditional Anglicans.

Last to deliver, the Archbishop of Wales, who is also bishop of Swansea and Brecon, writes of Love: "real, blood-red love – is the most powerful weapon the world has, and Jesus shows how it should be used and must be used for the sake of the world he was born to renew".

Because Jesus said that we should love one another 'love' has become a password for progressives to permit just about any deviancy but Jesus added, "As I have loved you, so you must love one another". In that context the meaning of love is clear. His true message is simply ignored.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Divinity? - Who needs divinity, we've moved on!


The speech therapist, the oil executive and the midwife.    Credit: Christian Today

The former Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church was an oceanographer, the current Archbishop of Wales was a solicitor. The bishop of Llandaff is a social scientist, the bishop of St Davids has aspirations in Quantum Physics while the bishops of Bangor and St Asaph studied law.

The bishop of Monmouth was a civil servant and still appears so as he busily converts his patch to ministry areas with the zeal of a compliant functionary to the despair of all except those committed to self-advancement at the expense of others.

The absurdity of the appointment of an ex-nurse and midwife to be the 133rd Bishop of London, the third most senior post in the Church of England after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is neatly summed up in this tweet


but more seriously in the "box-ticking" account here as the Church of England continues to fall for the mistakes of the US Episcopal Church, slavishly followed by the Church in Wales leading to the destruction of true Anglicanism in England and Wales.



Postscripts

[19.12 2017]
That the Anglican faith, catholic and reformed, should be reduced to this:
So sad.

[20.12.2017]
Of course He does, the 2% of the population which demands 98% attention and increasing.

A more accurate view from Christian Today:

The Archbishop of Canterbury says: The Church of England “is very confident in its faith
What faith?

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Bogus bishops destroy Anglicanism


Parliamentlive.tvStephen Cottrell is a member of the House of Lords in his current role as Bishop of Chelmsford.                       Source@ Christian Today


It is rumoured that the next Bishop of London, the third most senior post in the Church of England after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York is to be the current bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell.

Christian Today reports that if the appointment of Bishop Cottrell goes ahead it could cause major tensions in the diverse diocese with a number of powerful conservative parishes opposed to both women's ordination and gay relationships:

"Cottrell called for thanksgiving services for gay couples earlier this year, warning the church was seen an 'immoral' because of its opposition to gay marriage. Some conservative parishes in his diocese called for him to 'repent' in protest and later declared 'no confidence' in both him and the Archbishop of Canterbury over the issue."

Bishop Cottrell's entry in Wikipedia shows that he is a member of the Society of Catholic Priests (SCP), and a member of Affirming Catholicism. In December 2014, he was selected as president of the movement, taking up the appointment at the start of 2015.

Affirming Catholicism it is not. It is a self affirming organisation "noted for holding that Anglo-Catholic belief and practice is compatible with the ordination of women. It also generally supports ordination into the threefold ministry (bishops, priests, deacons) regardless of gender or sexual orientation".

It had ties with Inclusive Church , "a Christian organisation with the aim of advocating for the full inclusion of all people in the Christian churches (especially the Church of England), including in the threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons, regardless of ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. More broadly, it seeks 'to raise awareness about the ways that people feel excluded by the church'.

"In 2013, Inclusive Church started hosting an annual lecture related to the organisation's goals. The inaugural lecture was given by Martyn Percy, then principal of Ripon College, Cuddesdon, and later Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and was entitled 'Beyond Inclusion: Whose Church is it anyway?'"

Percy is married to the Chair of Women and the Church (WATCH), another self-fulfilling organisation which ranks feminism above faith. In an article headlined Our Mother who art in heaven: Group of Church women want to refer to God as a 'She' to combat sexism in 2015, the Mail Online reported: "One of the supporters of the idea, the Rev Emma Percy, chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford, said the dominance of male language makes women feel that they are less holy. The chaplain, who is also a member of Watch (Women and the Church), the pressure group that helped win the argument for female bishops in the Church of England, said using the word ‘She’ for God would be more inclusive."

Faith matters little today as the Anglican Church in Great Britain treads the same path to ruin  followed by the US Episcopal church. Ideology matters. Feminism, gender issues dressed up as equality with demands for 'equal' marriage. The "mass hysteria" transgenderism banner is the latest to be waved in the name of equality.

Faith built on compromise is not faith it is an ideology as many ex-members of the Church in Wales can testify.

Postscript [18.12.2017]

Wrong again!

After the feting of Mo debacle at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards when the favourite to win came fourth, the Bookies again backed the wrong horse when they declared the bishop of Chelmsford 2/1 favourite to be appointed the next bishop of London.

Instead Downing Street has announced an ex-NHS Chief Nursing Officer, Dame Sarah Mullally, the bishop of Crediton, has been appointed the 133rd bishop of London in a move that "will delight campaigners for gender equality but dismay conservatives in the church" according to a Guardian report.

Another ideological triumph for the feminist movement and trendy progressives in the Church of England in their race to the bottom.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Always welcome gift



If you are still stuck on what to buy for Christmas, how about a gift of water for life instead of an unwanted present?

Many of us take water for granted, often joking about the weather and rain in particular.

It is no joke for the world’s poorest people who have no access to safe water, sanitation or hygiene. This crisis is ruining lives and holding back development.

WaterAid's mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most
marginalised people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

There are 844 million people living without clean water and 2.3 billion people who do not have a decent toilet.

A gift of clean water would make their Christmas happy too.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Over-egged


Australian Labor MP Linda Burney jumps into the arms of Liberal MP Warren Enstch  after 
parliament passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage in Australia. Michael Masters/Getty


This was the scene when Australia overwhelmingly voted to legalise same-sex marriage on Thursday. More pictures here.

There was considerable drama. An emotional Liberal MP fought back tears to propose to his long-term partner in the House of Representatives shortly after the same-sex marriage bill was introduced to the Lower House.

The vote was "greeted with applause from all sides of politics and the public gallery" (here). Spectators in the public gallery began singing “I Am Australian” (here) but such enthusiasm was disproportionate and inappropriate.

The reality has been exposed in Great Britain by the Coalition for Marriage. Quoting a study by academics at the University of York: "There are around 40,000 places of worship in Britain in which a traditional marriage may be solemnised. Only 182 of these are registered to conduct same-sex weddings. Half of those which responded to the researchers had never done so.

The study showed that "the total number of same-sex marriages that have been solemnized in the
places of worship comprising the sample is 83. Over half of the places of worship that have
solemnized a same-sex marriage have done so on only one occasion. 19 places of worship report that they have solemnized one same-sex marriage, eight report that they have solemnized two same-sex marriages, and four report that they have solemnized three same-sex marriages. Only five places of worship have solemnized four or more same-sex marriages, with the highest number of  same-sex marriages solemnized in any place of worship reported as 10".

The gay marriage plebiscite in Australia was estimated to cost Australia $525 million but a poll suggests that the millions of dollars spent on television advertising by the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ sides during the same-sex marriage campaign had little impact on voting intentions.

The population of Great Britain in 2016 was around 66 million compared with 24 million in Australia so in the unlikely event of exceptional demand the number of same sex marriages in Australia compared with the 118,401 marriages registered should be tiny.

The enthusiasm for gay marriage when compared with this reality is baffling. There are so many deserving causes which could benefit from money wasted on providing self-satisfaction for a few people with little or no regard for the sanctity of marriage as generally understood which is the union between one man and one woman for the procreation of children, without whom civilization would cease.

They talk of love and equality with no apparent understanding of either. Civil partnerships granted equality whether couples loved one another or not.

Same sex 'marriage' has over-egged a wrong which was put right at considerable cost with no benefit whatever to society.

It has been egged on by the media, often portraying the church as out of touch yet only a week after his enthronement in Brecon Cathedral the Archbishop of Wales John Davies is referred to in his local newspaper as the 'Archbishop of Brecon'. The Most Rev John Davies is also the diocesan bishop of Swansea and Brecon.

Twitter advises that the Archbishop of Wales will be discussing the role of the church in Welsh life on BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement this Sunday at 8am. Clearly he has much to do. On its own web site, the Church in Wales regularly refers to its clergy as, for example, Rev Smith instead of the Rev John Smith or the Rev Mr Smith.

Given the record of the bench of bishops in the Church in Wales, no doubt 'Right Rev John' as he was referred to in a BBC news article will be thrilled for the people of Australia in another giant leap for secularism.

Postscript [10.12.2017]

Readers who tuned in to listen to the Archbishop of Wales talking about the role of the church in Welsh life will have been disappointed if they expected any hint of the Great Commission. In his first presidential address to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, bishop John Davies urged, "Put evangelism at heart of ministry".

There was little evidence of putting his words into practice. Instead we had the political face of a progressive church which, allegedly, "respects the consciences of people who feel differently" while providing their own answer to the Archbishop's question: "What would Jesus do?"

Ignoring what Jesus actually did when appointing His apostles and using 'love' as justification for departing from scripture and tradition, the Archbishop misleadingly pointed to the Governing Body as being representative of congregations when we all know from experience that it has become a tool to be used or ignored by the bench of bishops as have parish soundings and expensive diocesan consultations.

But the pièce de résistance came with the Archbishop's closing comments when he cited the Church of England's traditionalist bishop Philip North as an example of the church's concern for the poor.

Philip North is the bishop who was denounced by WATCH stooge, Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. He urged Philip North to either renounce his membership of the Society, a C of E organisation that rejects female priests, or decline his nomination as Bishop of Sheffield.

Perhaps we should not be surprised.  The new archbishop "signalled that the Province will continue to develop the vision begun by his predecessor, Dr Barry Morgan" but he hoped to "increase the tempo of change".

Monday, 4 December 2017

Archbishop's high-five


The new Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev John Davies, with the other five diocesan bishops                                                                Source: Church in Wales

Preaching at his enthronement service on Saturday, the new Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, sought to identify himself with a generation that would probably give Job a "high-five or even an affirming hug". 

The archbishop spoke of "a commitment to an overdue drive to rehabilitate and refresh how we explain our Gospel message, helping others really grasp that it’s not simply about going to church". 

The former Archbishop of Wales and the Dean of St Albans have been there before, re-interpreting the Gospel to embrace secularism and accept same sex marriage, a theme continued by the bishop of Bangor in a contribution submitted by a regular commentator, Evangelical Ed: 

"The Bible and Human Sexuality

The church has taught that marriage is the faithful and exclusive union of one man and one woman for life’s duration. It has based this on texts from the OT (eg Gen 2:24) and NT (1 Cor. 7) and the long unbroken tradition of the church. It has also taught that sexual relationships between the same gendered, is prohibited. It has done so on the basis again of OT texts (Leviticus 18:22) and NT texts (1 Cor. 6:9, Romans 1:26f). The case for marriage as the only lifelong union involving sexual contact is the traditional teaching of most of the churches in the East and West.

However, this norm has been challenged in the latter part of the 20th Century and more recently too. Appeal has been made to Scripture, tradition and reason to argue for a development of the classic understanding of faithful, exclusive and permanent unions for couples irrespective of gender.

What is the basis for this development?

1. The church’s task to be faithful to God – what is morality for?
What is the purpose of a moral code? In other words, why does God give law and guidance?


Firstly, to enable faithful belonging to God who makes a relationship possible through Jesus. Habits and practices which are destructive undermine this. In 1 Corinthians 6:12f Paul illustrates how disordered lifestyles and practices are ruinous for a healthy relationship with God. But relationships which are mutual, loving, faithful and life giving do not appear to be the focus for Paul’s thought here.

Secondly to provide a framework for life in which mutual human flourishing can occur. In 1 Cor. 7 Paul unpacks a set of rules concerning marriage. The creation of these unions is clearly to create mutuality and belonging. If that same mutuality and belonging is present among same sex couples how is this obstructive or contrary to God’s will? It creates inconsistency viz God wishing faithful belonging but denying its reality among certain human relationships.

The parable of the Good Samaritan highlights the mandate to love one’s neighbour. This broad moral principle is helpful because it does not specify how such demanding love is expressed but contains within it the conditions which make love possible – it must, in order to be loving, not be selfish, exploitative, insincere.

Thirdly, there are Biblical principles which position fruit as the key criteria for discerning the authenticity of action and faith. Jesus taught that fruitfulness (Matt. 7:15, John 15) was a sign of this authenticity. Can we discern signs of fruitfulness among same sex couples? St Paul listed the evidences of godliness in the epistle to the Galatians (the fruit of the Spirit in 5:22f). When we encounter people living in same sex relationships where there is an increase in grace and clear signs of Christian fruit, how are we to interpret this? To suggest it is other than a work of God is to set the word of the NT against the Spirit of the Living God. Put another way, how can we sustain a view which pits the activity of God against the revealed will of God at a certain time?


2. The church engaging with the world with a willingness to develop appropriate moral codes (eg slavery, head covering and worship) for service and faithfulness

The reality of some moral guidance in Scripture is that it supports principles which are expressions of faithful obedience to God. But when that obedience is not any longer expressed via a social norm it cannot effectively do this.

In the NT, it was the practice of Christian women to wear hats to show they were under the authority of a man. It is likely this practice referred to married women. But mutual belonging in relationships (eg marriage) no longer requires a hat to signify anything. They are now purely decorative. However, the teaching of NT is unambiguous. If we appeal to the NT text to support exclusively male/female relationships, it seems inconsistent not to insist on head covering!!

Likewise, some of the cultural and social norms of the day have now been subject to many centuries of development and scrutiny. Where the Bible is ambivalent about slavery and is adamant on the issue of divorce, the church has developed understandings and approaches which attempt to reflect the essence of Biblical teaching recognizing that morality is complex and nuanced. No-one would argue today a Christian view on slavery which is ambivalent and yet that is the position of the NT (Philemon, Col. 3:22). Few would argue that divorce, if regrettable, is on occasions both necessary and the kindest and fairest response to a failure in relationships.

3. The experience of people
The experience of gay people cannot be ignored even if experience is not the first determining factor. Our sisters and brothers are not spiritual misfits or errant or deviant. They find their greatest purpose and identity as disciples in the context of loving another human being who happens to be the same gender. This reality is self-evident to such couples in much the same way in which it is to opposite gendered couples. It is a Christian virtue to listen with respect to what is being described before attempting to press experience through a particular mould with a pre-determined outcome in mind.

We believe in a God of justice and fairness. It is hard to see how the gospel can be good news and truth if it allows injustices which deprive people of certain permissions in law and society which bring joy and happiness.

+Andrew Bangor"

Or to put it another way from an anonymous commentator, the Gilbert and Sullivan Mass

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Mad mad mad



Mad -

A notice inviting Canadian elementary school teachers to attend 'LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP' inclusiveness training session (here).


Mad -

Not only can boys who identify as female now become Guides but they will also be allowed to share showers, tents, changing rooms and toilets with girls (here).


Mad -

Anglican minister sparks outrage by urging prayers for Prince George to be gay (here)



How much madder can it get?

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Wimmin not listening


ReutersAntje Jackelen, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, at Uppsala Cathedral                                                                                    Source: Christian Today

The Church of Sweden is opting for gender-neutral language when referring to God, with designators like 'he' and 'Lord' being omitted....'Theologically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human,' said Archbishop Antje Jackelén, who leads the Church of Sweden. She said the change had been in conversation for decades, as early as 1986. Full report here.

In response Christer Pahlmblad, associate theology professor at Sweden's Lund University, criticsed the move. He told Denmark's Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper that the change undermined 'the doctrine of the Trinity and the community with the other Christian churches'.

Antje Jackelén is not the first female archbishop to ignore the wider church and please herself. The  heretical mentor of the former Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, liked to put her own spin on the Gospel. Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori used 'violent images' for God. She described the Son of God as a Hell's Angel "Gang Leader" and "Party Animal".

Less extreme but also obsessed by secularist feminism in the church, Australia's first female Anglican archbishop, Kay Goldsworthy, would like to see more women in church leadership roles, a constant theme of women bishops in England and Wales.

More women than men are going forward for training for ordination for the first time in more than 15 years according to a recent report, strengthening the view that church ministry is going the same way as primary school teaching where there are few male role models, and primary medicine with Health Centres often staffed by part-time female GPs, a problem which is also affecting hospital care with many female consultants working part-time.

But still the clamour for more women continues regardless of the consequences. As the Guardian headline put it, Amid fight for equality, new bishop of London unlikely to be a woman. The feminist pressure group Women and the Church puts it succinctly as they move towards their true goal after the Church of England was beaten into submission and accepted the ordination of women priests and bishops: Just getting started - working actively for gender justice, equality and inclusion in the Church of England - as if there were no justice, equality or inclusion. Ironically that is just what these feminists are creating leading some to speculate that the Church of England is about to split over theological liberalism.

After her appointment, the second woman bishop in Wales boasted in a BBC interview that Wales was the province in the Anglican Communion with the highest percentage of female bishops before going on with the familiar feminist theme about gender parity, equating equality with sameness.

As if Wales were an example. Their own theological college has closed. Out of the ashes, St Padarn’s Institute, the 'training arm of the Church in Wales' is inviting  all licensed minsters to share what makes them [my emphasis Ed.] flourish and what they struggle with in a series of ‘listening days’ taking place across Wales.

Recent history shows that wimmin issues, not listening, has become the driving force in the Church in Wales. Consultations that have not worked out as the bench of bishop desired were simply ignored. Traditional Anglicanism has been virtually extinguished.

Those churches that are not on the redundant list should not have long to wait as congregations become increasingly elderly. Similarly in England, "Women clergy become the death of the Church of England" as attendance continues to slide.

All are equal in death!

Postscript [27.11.2017]

"Reforming" Church of Sweden looks to Islam:

"It would be foolish to assume that Jackelén's ecclesiastical revolution will end with this victory. On the contrary, there is every reason to believe that her success at Thursday's synod will inspire her to redouble her efforts to transform the Church of Sweden into a more Islam-friendly institution – one that ultimately, at the very least, puts Muhammed on an equal plane with Jesus Christ. No, we cannot know what is really in this woman's heart; but one thing we can be sure of is that when Islam does eventually take over Sweden, her remarkable history of appeasement will not save either her or her Church from a brutal reckoning." Full report here.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

All change at the Cathedral


#RedWednesday, Epstein's Majestas,  Llandaff Cathedral                                                                                                                    Original Source: Cool Places


It is "all change at the Cathedral" according to a Diocesan press release in which the bishop of St Davids announced more appointments at St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.

The first woman bishop in the Church in Wales followed her own appointment by appointing the first woman Dean of St Davids. She continues her feminizing by appointing another woman to be Canon Treasurer.

Thankfully there will still be a male presence at the holy shrine of the Patron Saint of Wales, Dewi Sant because Bishop Joanna has appointed Canon Leigh Richardson to be the next Canon Residentiary.

From their diocesan website: "The history of the present diocese of St Davids is long and varied. Celtic saints and Welsh princes, mediaeval bishops and Victorian legislators, Reformation scholars and Puritan divines, ascetic monks and Georgian parsons – all have left their mark on an extensive sacred landscape."

But it is all change at the Cathedral. Only now have past 'errors' been realised by the new elite who presumably regard Christ as sexist for not appointing a woman apostle.

Scripture and tradition are being swept away. Just like many faithful Anglicans who have been sacrificed to appease a few vocal feminists and disproportionate numbers of homosexuals who, from the security of the vestry and pews, claim to be excluded from the church. The lights are going out. For many they went out years ago but not in the candle-lit world of their progressive liberal bishops.

Worshippers who attended church twice or three times on a Sunday have shrunk as change has been forced on passive congregations by ambitious clerics led by the likes of Archbishop Barry Morgan and his bench sitters. One wonders what beliefs they hold with no apparent fear of judgement day when they will have to account for their actions which have resulted in losing many as they compromise on sin to satisfy the desires of the few.

Traditionalists are often accused of misogyny but from my own experience more women than men have been driven to the conclusion that their church has left them. Read a Church of England account here.

St Davids is not alone in making changes. I have seen no formal announcement but I understand that the second woman bishop to be appointed in Wales, the bishop of Llandaff, has appointed the former bishop of Monmouth Dominic Walker to be her assistant bishop representing her at confirmation services in parishes which request a male bishop.

Clearly they don't get it. A male bishop whose beliefs resulted in the appointment of women priests and bishops, who stands in, or preferably sits, to confirm dwindling numbers in her place reduces a theological objection to one of sexism.

Similarly in St Davids, the new Canon Residentiary will serve as Sub Dean of the Cathedral, the Dean's assistant with only delegated authority from Dean Sarah. Canon Richardson will be licensed at the Cathedral on 2th February 2018 leaving a considerable gap before the new Dean & Precentor, the Rev'd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones is licensed, collated and installed in the Cathedral on 5th May 2018.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017 is Red Wednesday when we are asked to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and all who suffer for their peacefully held beliefs:

"Red is the Christian colour of martyrdom. Christians are the most persecuted faith group in today’s world and #RedWednesday will honour all Christians who suffer and die for their faithfulness to Christ’s message of peace and love."

The campaign calls for respect and tolerance for people of faith and between different faith traditions.

Anglicans who have been effectively excluded from their own church cannot compare their suffering with those we seek to honour tomorrow but many in their own church have suffered for their faith, tragically at the hands of those who were supposed to be their shepherds. Is it any wonder that Anglicanism is dying in England and Wales.

Monday, 20 November 2017

BEAM: Help a homeless person to train up and get into work


Homelessness has increased by 34 per cent since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, partly due to benefit cuts and welfare changes PA/Independent


From The Independent: "More than 300,000 people – equivalent to a city the size of Newcastle – are now sleeping rough in Britain after the number of people losing their home soared in the last year, a report has revealed. The study, by housing charity Shelter, found that 307,000, or one in every 200, people are now homeless. Although the figure has risen by 13,000 in the last year alone, Shelter said the partial nature of government data means the real number of homeless people is likely to be even higher."

Shelter has estimated that 8 million people are one pay check away from being unable to pay for their home. Professional people in work are not exempt illustrating how precarious life can be in Britain today.

Seeing people begging on the streets makes many of us feel uncomfortable. It is 2017. We have the Welfare State. There are charities for the homeless. So why? Homeless people describe being hit, kicked, urinated on, and sexually assaulted while living on the street, according to the research from homelessness charity Crisis. Who would choose such a life?

Sadly there are abusers who act as a deterrent. Like the illegal street beggar in one British city earning up to £500 a day despite not being homeless. Consequently, donating to organisations which help vulnerable, homeless people to find shelter is often preferred.

As explained in an Express article, an innovative scheme has been started to help homeless people who lack the necessary skills or resources to get into work.

Welcome to the crowdfunding get-back-to-work campaign, We are BEAM.

The best of British.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

View of the lowly from on high


View enjoyed by the Provincial Offices of the Church in Wales                                                                          Source: Twitter


The Provincial Offices of the Church in Wales which 'provide professional assistance to the work of the Governing Body, the Representative Body, the Bench of Bishops and the Bishops’ Advisers' recently moved from their leafy suburban office in Cathedral Road, to a more elevated position in 2 Callaghan Square, Cardiff.

The Archbishop of Wales on high         Twitter
A tweet from D&G Office Interiors has afforded readers the opportunity to enjoy a glimpse of a Church in Wales blue ribbon event at which the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Reverend John D E Davies, took the opportunity to view from on high the more lowly areas of the city where some of the less fortunate in society are accommodated in the Huggard Hostel for the homeless surrounded by those who have become largely indifferent to the church.

But do not be misled. The needy are not forgotten. On the ground, front line workers are taking part in the Cardiff Churches  Nightshelter scheme which provides food and shelter for the homeless over the Christmas season and beyond.

Along with churches from other denominations, the Parish of St German with St Saviour will be providing care for the needy. Details are on the Nightshelter page of their parish website.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A cabbage by any other name...


A rose?                                                                                  Source: Wikipedia

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" wrote William Shakespeare but 'love' as used by progressives in the Church is stinking to high heaven.

No matter how crazy the idea, stamp 'love' on it and anyone disapproving is labeled a bigot.

"Love"                                                             Source: Reuters/Christian Today
The people of Australia are the latest to be persuaded that marriage can be redefined to mean other than joining one man and one women by using 'love' as an umbrella. As their  Prime Minister said "they voted yes for love". Who wouldn't? But that is not the question.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, said he was 'deeply disappointed that the likely result will be legislation to further deconstruct marriage and family in Australia'.

Not so with most of our Anglican bishops in Great Britain who take a more secular view.


Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?"

That will be all Greek to the bishops so they should know that Éros was not what Christ had in mind when he pressed Peter to understand what tending His flock would entail.

In their latest jaunt into secularism the bishops of the Church of England have issued transphobic bullying guidance. In their logic, bullying must be tackled head on, gender difference can give rise to bullying, therefore "Primary schoolchildren should be free to dress up in a tiara or superhero cloak without comment from teachers or pupils". 

No wonder Stonewall, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights group, said the guidance gave "clear advice" to teachers on recognising and combating bullying in Church schools.

 The number of children who underwent transgender treatment in the UK's National Health Service jumped by 1,000 percent in the five years to 2016. One would have thought that would cause the bishops some concern. Instead they use this tragic upsurge to bolster their secular agenda.

A question I often hear asked is What has happened to the church? I suspect many readers will know clergy who changed their minds over the ordination of women when they saw which way the wind was blowing. A convenient career choice which put them in the ascendancy to the detriment of those who fought to keep the faith. The Anglican church has gone downhill ever since. Faith and logic no longer apply.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Welsh bishops relegate unity


The bishops of St Davids, St Asaph, Llandaff, Swansea and Brecon (archbishop), Bangor, and Monmouth having a laugh          Source: Premier Christian Radio


The Church in Wales has placed an advert in the Church Times for a Director of Faith, Order and Unity. 

This looks suspiciously like an empire building re-jig of an advert which resulted in the 2014 appointment of a WCC staff member to the post of Unity, Faith and Order Director for the Anglican Communion while relegating unity to third place.

No surprise there since the Church in Wales slammed the door on any hope of church unity in the conventional sense many years ago when Barry and his bench sitters chose to ignore most of Christendom and apply their own version of faith and order by choosing instead an alliance with Nonconformist churches, thus causing further disunity within the Anglican Communion and beyond.

The Church in Wales already has its own Doctrinal Commission to tell its bishops what they want to hear. They also have their own version of unity - being a 'big' fish in a very small pond. As there is no hope of unity with the much larger Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches there should be little for the successful applicant to do unless the object of the role is to continue re-interpreting the Gospel to promote gender equality and parity in place of suitability, the main thrust of the newly enthroned women bishops.

At the last meeting of Governing Body of the Church in Wales, the new Archbishop John Davies promised ‘more of the same’ — but faster! The Scottish Episcopal Church is following suit with the recently appointed first female bishop indicating that her first priority is to see the election of more women for high-profile roles. Their General Synod has already agreed to permit same-sex marriage.

As for the Church of England, they are still trying to work out what they believe with their 'Shared Conversations on Scripture, Mission and Sexuality' (here) while preaching a message that is contrary to Christian belief based on scripture.

Given the continually shrinking regular attendance figures at Church in Wales Sunday services (28,291 and shrinking) one has to wonder what the bishops  do these days. The latest figures show confirmations fell by 21% between 2015-2016  to 872.

Much of their time has been diverted towards the propagation of feminism and, contrary to scripture, formerly establishing homosexuality in the church as the expression of God's love, a situation neatly summed up on BBC Radio 4 [@18.01] when Ed Stourton speaks with Lorna Ashworth, a highly regarded evangelical, who has resigned her place in General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council over the issue, and Jayne Ozanne who "campaigns for gay equality within the Church of England and the wider evangelical community" using our need to love one another as her passport to acceptance of deviating from the Gospel.

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who jointly oversees both the general synod and the Archbishops' Council alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said he was 'sad' Lorna Ashworth had resigned. He added, "However, I do not share her doubts that the Church of England will be part of God's renewal of the Christian faith in this nation" indicating the problem faced by Lorna Ashworth and those of us who share her concern for the Christian faith in this country.

Empire building in a declining church appears to be high on the list of priorities for the bench of bishops even though the Church in Wales Review recommended a reduction in the number of dioceses and the associated administrative costs.

From Section 15 of the Review:

"...there is a widespread sense across the church that the Church in Wales is top heavy, with too many committees and too much time spent on simply keeping the institution going as it is."

The problem for the Anglican Church is that most of the bishops in Great Britain are so busy trying to satisfy the desires of the flesh that they are blind to the needs of the spirit. As a consequence they are fishing for minorities while many of the faithful feel excluded from an organisation that has lost the Way and the truth and the life. They leave and giving goes down creating the current crisis.


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Remembrance Day 2017




December 19, 1916: A French officer stands near a cemetery filled with recent graves of soldiers
killed on the front lines of World War One, at Saint-Jean-sur-Tourbe on the Champagne front,
eastern France REUTERS/Collection Odette Carrez/IBTimes


A mother plans to be reunited with her only son. Source: GETTY/Express

We will remember them

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Newspeaking of love


George Orwell  statue unveiled outside BBC Broadcasting House                                                                                                                    Source: Telegraph


The First Minister of Scotland sounded utterly convinced that only her views could possibly be correct when offering her "unequivocal" apology to gay men convicted of sexual offences that are no longer illegal.

She said "the simple fact was that parliamentarians in Scotland had, over many decades, supported or at least accepted laws which "we now recognise to have been completely unjust... Hundreds of people in Scotland were liable to be convicted as criminals, simply for loving another adult."

If Ms Sturgeon feels secure enough to condemn previous law makers as in error, why did she twist the facts? She was correct only in that it took law makers in Scotland more than a decade to catch up with reforms to the law in England and Wales in 1976.

My understanding of the legislation to which she objected was that convictions were not for loving another adult but for buggery. The law was changed after the Wolfenden report recommended that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence".

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 granted civil partnerships rights and responsibilities in the United Kingdom very similar to civil marriage. A reform welcomed across the political spectrum but not good enough for activists who demand that marriage be redefined in the name of supposed equality.

The LGBT lobby has had considerable success with newspeak. Constant repetition of the words 'love' and 'equality' in relation to same sex marriage has provided a smokescreen to achieve an objective which undermines the basis of family live, the joining together of a man and a woman for the procreation of children without which civilisation as we know it would end.

But what about infertile couples? they claim, before advocating adoption by gay couples, the use of surrogates and more recently, womb transplants allowing men to have babies. There is little if any thought for the effects in later life on the children resulting from such unions.

Gay couples can live together in circumstances similar to civil marriage without fear of prosecution but acceptance has turned into demands. Now the tail wags the dog. Even Anglican bishops are content to demean the sanctity of marriage by agreeing to legitimise that which is contrary to Christian teaching.

The First Minister's misuse of the word love was a precursor to linking same sex marriage with equality, condemning supporters of traditional marriage as lacking integrity, wisdom, compassion and justice using words such as wrong, homophobia, hate, fear, discrimination, prejudice and bigotry, the implication being that opponents of same sex marriage are bigoted, prejudiced people who lack compassion and a sense of justice.

There is no justice in condemning people simply for having an opposing view. In years to come as the Church crumbles and society further disintegrates, another First Minister could be standing in Ms Sturgeon's place condemning others for supporting or at least accepting laws which "we now recognise" to have been completely stupid.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

The irony of it


Metropolitan Bishoy and Bishop Gregory Cameron sign the Agreed Statement on the Procession and Work of the Holy Spirit during a special evensong
service in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.  Christian Today / Lynn Glanville / Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough 


Taking timeout from the advancement of all matters  LBGTI+ in the Church in Wales, the Bishop of St Asaph has been involved in matters spiritual, a hangover from his years in the Church of England.

Appointed Director of Ecumenical Affairs at the Anglican Communion Office in 2003, he became Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion in 2004. He was elected as the 76th Bishop of St Asaph in 2009.

Unsurprisingly the report 'Anglicans and Oriental Orthodox agree on doctrine of Holy Spirit' appears not on the Church in Wales website but in Christian Today .

The controversy dates back to the 7th century, when Eastern theologians objected to the statement the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father 'and the Son' ('filioque'). Anglicans inherited this reading from the Roman Catholic Church. Agreed Statement here.

 One might have thought that resolving this impediment to Christian unity would have merited at least a mention but the Church in Wales abandoned matters spiritual in favour of politics long ago under their previous archbishop

Many of the faithful who would have appreciated this agreement have also been abandoned by the Church in Wales which may explain why Church in Wales reports are dominated by the advancement of feminism, homosexuality and same sex marriage.

This report shows what might have been before the bench of bishops and, indeed, the house of bishops in the Church of England opted for deviancy over unity.