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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A call to repentance

Jacob tears his clothes, puts on sackcloth, and wails deeply.  He is beside himself in grief
and no-one can comfort him.    Source: Free Bible images

1st March 2017 is Ash Wednesday. Many Christians will receive the sign of the cross made from the ash of palm crosses blessed and distributed on Palm Sunday in 2016. Many will not. Not because they do not believe but because their Church has left them.   

Jacob was beside himself in grief at the loss of his son Joseph. No-one could comfort him. There are many former members of the Church in Wales (CinW), and, indeed, of the Church of England (CofE) who feel like that. Their Church has been their life with everything revolving around worship and friendships. Suddenly their lives are changed. Sustained quietly by their faith, they have not had the shrill voice of vocal campaigners. They simply kept their heads down praying that God would understand. Then snap. They feel alone as their Church loses its mystery for secular mores. In desperation they leave, finding themselves, like Joseph, alone in the desert pit.

Some may decide to join other churches but many will not because of their conscientious beliefs. These are the people bishops need to be concerned about as shepherds. They are not expected physically to tear their clothes but they should be wailing deeply for those cast into the pit by their brothers and sisters.

In addition to errant bishops there are many clergy who should be wailing in grief at their actions. Barry Morgan's social experiments have resulted in too many 'do as you please' vicars manipulating their malleable, 'vicar knows best' congregations. Sexual licence has been used to engineer personal preference leading congregations into error, accepting minority standards which are contrary to the teaching and tradition of the Church. In fact there are some clergy in my experience who really do need to tear their clothes and return to Christ.

The current shambles in the diocese of Llandaff inherited from Barry Morgan well illustrates the mess his experimentation has bequeathed the bench. Rumours suggest that the candidate with the most votes for Bishop of Llandaff was the Very Rev Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans but he was short of the two thirds majority needed. We cannot be sure of what took place in secrecy behind locked doors but I understand that his strong showing was a desperate ploy by the gay wing to avoid the election of a woman bishop.

Having their cake        Source; Inclusive Church
It was the withdrawal of Dr John's nomination as Bishop of Reading in 2003 after it became publicly known that he was in a long-term same-sex relationship which inspired the initiation of Inclusive Church. Fourteen years later the headlines continue causing further distractions.

One would have thought that anyone with half a brain would have considered the experience of Anglicans in the US after the appointment of the openly gay bishop Gene Robinson to be followed by the appointment of the openly lesbian bishop Mary Glasspool before doing the same. They did not so the decline of the CinW and the CofE has matched the fate the US Episcopal Church.

It is no coincidence that LGBT+ issues go hand in hand with the feminist inspired movement for the ordination of women. Not content with having achieved their original goal Women and the Church (WATCH) are busy trying to feminise the liturgy and undo the agreement reached which resulted in women bishops in England, often aided by clergy spouses.

In Wales, practices more akin to pagan rituals are in vogue with the WATCH sister organisation, MAE Cymru boasting the 'history making' bishop of St Davids among their members, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. 

The true mission of the Church is obscured when modern-day missionaries such as the founder of Diverse Church and "future bishop", the Rev Sally Hitchiner, is seen as the face of the Anglican Church.  Co-ordinating Anglican Chaplain and Inter Faith Advisor at Brunel University she is not alone in providing a strong LGBTQ influence in many universities.

Non-investigative journalism is driven by perception and press releases so it is not surprising that worship and theology are secondary to secular 'equality' issues of  women's rights, gay rights, transgender rights, etc. Nor is it a surprise that press releases from the CinW appear under 'Politics' in its main mouth piece, Wales Online, because under Barry Morgan, the CinW has been turned into a political machine. Given all that is wrong in the CinW one has to wonder why sycophantic praise tops investigative journalism when it should be clear to all that the Church in Wales is in crisis. 

Unity has been the hope for the Church for generations but it was tossed out of the window with the liberal 'enlightenment'. This Lent provides time to follow the rule of St Benedict, "Always we begin again" in genuine repentance.

The problems facing the Diocese of Llandaff are mirrored throughout the CinW. The absence of unity is obvious,  largely created by factions insisting on candidates for higher office of their own choosing to boost their own cause. The bench of bishops has been corrupted into accepting secular ideas instead of remaining faithful to the Gospel.

Repentance must start as Lent begins. The bench must make amends, rejecting secularism with the appointment to Llandaff of a deeply spiritual man capable of reviving the mysteries of the church. The 'otherness' that society lacks.

Dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.


  1. Maybe the time has come to give up on the establishment, and on the quasi established Church in Wales. We all have the opportunity of Anglicanorum Coetibus. It is not easy to admit that what we have believed and fought for has gone - but once the decision is made, we wonder why we waited so long. God bless. It is not easy , but there really is no alternative.

    1. If only it were that easy Father but thanks anyway.

  2. Very true but very sad. May I once again through the medium of this blog draw people's attention to the existence of the Anglican Catholic Church now in Wales as well as in England. There is already a parish and congregation in South West Wales. Now I have been given the commission by Bishop Damien Mead, the Bishop of the Diocese of the United Kingdom, to start a mission in North Wales. The mission is to be called The Good Shepherd and St Tudwal. We have tradition liturgy and prayer books and a prayerful and pastoral Bishop. My task is to continue spreading the Faith delivered once to the saints. In my humble opinion, the Church in Wales is part of the apostate church because she has turned away from the biblical and catholic faith to which she was supposed to witness. There are many out there despairing of their bishops, priests and parishes. My message to them is, "Get out and find a fulfilling life in a believing church." The CinW is like the Titanic; it's hit the iceberg and it's not going to get to New York. Get off on one of the lifeboats now before it breaks in half and sinks to the bottom of the sea. I can speak authoritatively about this as I have grown up in the CinW and have spent years in it as a layman, a licensed Reader and a Priest. It was very painful to leave the Church I grew up in but I'm not going back. Believe me, there is life after the Church in Wales and I challenge you to find it and live it abundantly in Jesus Christ.

    1. When do you start work in Llandaff?

  3. The Church in Wales is now self serving : it does not serve God or the people.
    It has become a platform for alleged social equality causes ,that is, to disguise the error of LBGT,and the gross error of marriage in church for homosexuals.
    It has built confusion in the minds of those who have never attended church and the CiW contributes towards the normalisation of obscure sex education of children.
    The secular world is now confused about the basic truths of Christianity ; the Priest is simply the person who takes the service,and there is no understanding of the Apostolic succession,and hence women's ordination.
    The CiW has lost the plot, but God has not.
    God has provided as Bishop Edwin and Father J Gareth Parry have written.
    So many contributors to this blog are clearly so aware that the CiW is in error in advocating a pic 'n' mix establishment.
    I uncritically ask a genuine question : Why is it hard for us to turn to Christ when in our hearts we know the path is wrong?

  4. "They feel alone as their Church loses its mystery for secular mores. In desperation they leave, finding themselves, like Joseph, alone in the desert pit.

    Some may decide to join other churches but many will not because of their conscientious beliefs. These are the people bishops need to be concerned about as shepherds."

    Thank you for recognising our pain, AB, which I know you share. I live in hopes that we've reached the tipping point, and the tide will turn, if you'll forgive the mixed metaphors.

  5. My visits in the US over the past year with non-TEc Anglican worship and fellowship have been very positive, but there is always the pain of the loss of your historic denomination. It hurts to leave otherwise good pewsitters who fail to see the implications of the departure from apostolic Christianity that organizations like TEc and the CinW have taken. One can no longer advise friends or strangers to come to a church where the Gospel is being so revised that it would no longer be recognized by the majority of the world's Christians. I have been trying to convince others of this for a long time, and have learned that Christ's instructions to shake the dust from one's feet at some point has to be the Christian thing to do.

  6. Bereavement is painful. We all know that this is a circumstance in life which we must face and we must deal with it,otherwise it controls our life and soul.
    Each of the Bishops has indicated and some have catergorically stated that there will be no alternative oversight. Considering the ambition of the Bench , then the new appointment is most unlikely to be other than someone in line with current ecclesiology. The former Provincial Assistant Bishop worked in an unwelcome atmosphere : he was excluded as much as possible and not treated as a colleague and an equal.

  7. What gets me is this liberal agenda will not lead to one fraction of a percentage point of growth. It is a form of institutional suicide and the SJWs who have infiltrated will not shed one tear when the doors close one final time.

    Time to wake up, shake up and stand up for the GOSPEL (i.e. The faith once delivered for all to the Saints not some modern re-imagining of it). Ichabod could just be a hair's breath away...

  8. .....and so many missed opportunities in a society eager to turn to any religion as the Church fails them. Have you seen how many shops now sell Buddha's?
    I note sadly that the new Bishop of St David's is already preaching a left wing agenda......condemning the governments of the world for lack of dialogue while praising the Sennedd and Welsh media for it? Seriously has she seen the one sided press in Wales over Brexit and similarly with the Sennedd? But of course Bishops must defend the left wing press and government of Wales...........
    But a missed opportunity to preach holiness and mission which St David did............

  9. The bejewelled cope and mitre in the link look somewhat incongruous when set against a Left wing agenda Danny but plenty of potential if the Rev Sally Hitchiner is appointed bishop as some have predicted -

  10. just saw this - Earlier today, a question was asked in the House of Commons about this election:

    Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab)

    But discretion is not always good in the Church, is it? Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans, has been barred from becoming a bishop in the Church in Wales, which I know is separate from the Church of England, because the other bishops have refused to do what they have done in every other case—accept what the members of the local diocese have wanted.

    Dame Caroline Spelman

    I am not responsible for the Church of Wales—[Interruption]—because I am responsible for the Church of England. However, I appreciate the point the hon. Gentleman is trying to make. This is a really serious matter, and we should heed what the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the head of the Anglican communion, said about the need to have radical Christian inclusivity. The Church of England is working within the current legal and doctrinal context towards a culture change that is inclusive.

    Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 2 March 2017 at 5:56pm GMT | TrackBack

    1. Hmm, Chris Bryant you say? Why exactly is he agitating on behalf of Jeffrey John?

      His informative Wikipedia page gives some answers:

      "After completing his first degree, Bryant began his training to be a priest in the Church of England at Ripon College Cuddesdon in Oxfordshire. There, he obtained a further degree in theology. Although initially a member of the Conservative Party, and an elected office-holder in the Oxford University Conservative Association, he joined the Labour Party in 1986 after leaving Oxford.

      "He was ordained deacon in 1986 and priest in 1987. He served as a Curate at the Church of All Saints, High Wycombe from 1986 to 1989 and then as a Youth Chaplain in Peterborough, as well as travelling in Latin America.[2]

      "In 1991 Bryant left the ordained ministry, after deciding that being gay and being a priest were incompatible."

      "His selection for the very safe Labour seat of Rhondda in South Wales in 2000 surprised many people given Bryant's background – gay, a former Anglican vicar, and someone who had been a Conservative as a student."

      "In September 2015, following Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour Party leader, Bryant was appointed Shadow Leader of the House of Commons. He resigned from this position on 26 June 2016,[14] along with dozens of other shadow ministers after the Brexit vote."

      Now, Bryant's constituents certainly voted in favour of Brexit, so that means he doesn't represent the will of his own electors, does he?

      --Stan Smith

    2. What would Jesus say?2 March 2017 at 21:33

      From a mere 1.7% of the population who 'identify' as gay there seems to be a gross over representation of gays and lesbians in the houses of Parliament, the Church of England and the Church in Wales.
      Birds of a feather.....

    3. See also earlier 'Sour grapes' post

    4. What would Jesus say?2 March 2017 at 22:36

      Excerpts taken from

      Expenses claims scandal
      Main article: United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal
      Bryant claimed over £92,000 in expenses over the five years leading up to the 2009 scandal over MPs' expenses.
      During that time he flipped his second-home expenses twice, claimed mortgage interest expenses that started at £7,800 per year before rising (after flipping) to £12,000 per year. He also claimed £6,400 in stamp duty and other fees on his most recent purchase, and £6,000 per year in service charges.

      He was ridiculed by the press in 2003 when he was discovered to have sought anonymous sexual encounters and posted a picture of himself posed wearing only underpants on a gay dating site, Gaydar, whilst an MP.

      On 12 January 2017, Bryant caused bemusement from his fellow MPs, and from Speaker of the House John Bercow, when he wished Bercow happy "kiss a ginger day", during business questions.

      Just the sort of upright pillar of the community Jeffrey John would want in his corner.

    5. So does Gareth ap Iorweth's entry above mean that Barry asked Chris Bryant to ask a question in the House?!? (Doesn't seem that there was much interest from MP's)
      Don't like the spin in Chris Bryant's question : "other Bishops have refused to do what they have done in every other case......accept what the members of the local diocese have wanted".
      Well, that's not true. Who told Chris Bryant that!
      Principally,the diocesan members who favour JJ are the gay lobby - small but vociferous percentage. It seems that Chris Bryant failed to understand the Electoral College vote.
      Perhaps someone will point Chris Bryant in the direction of this blog.


  12. The Devil chuckles to himself as he sees some of God's senior representatives in the Church in Wales doing his work on earth for him, whilst God, her heart heavy with grief, forgives them them their homophobia and hypocrisy.

  13. Y'know @Phyllis, sometimes I feel like Homer Simpson in that steel mill...

  14. As a church warden of a ministry area church in the Rhondda valley, I , like so many that I talk to, feel that we the ordinary parishioners of the Church in Wales, have been forgotten and discarded.
    All we seem to have heard about in the last twenty years is women priest,women bishops, gay priests, gay marriages, and virtually nothing about the ministry of Christ .
    It is not true to say that the Church has to change to grow.I am sure that congregations would increase dramatically if society changed an attitude towards Christianity that through the press, and the Church's own deliberations, associate it with anything but the true message of Christ.
    In Tonypandy the local elementary school will shortly attend our Church for an Easter experience for a second year in succession.They have also attended for a Christmas experience and a harvest experience. The children and accompanying teachers have shown great interest in these visits, and reciprocate by performing small concerts at our Church for our funds.
    With such success it may surprise you to know that not one of our three ministry area priests (one non stipendiary) appear to show the slightest bit of interest, but with seven Churches to cover,which has recently become nine,they are probably too busy. A number in our congregation has said that you have more chance of a visit from a priest when you are dead than when you are alive.
    Oh for some real Christianity to return to the Church in Wales, and the best way of starting the process is to appoint a Bishop who is not appointed because they are gay or female but because they believe in Christ crucified and the true message that we as Christians want to hear and pray for.

    1. So well said Paul. I really do hope you will send this response to Bishop John Davies as part of the consultation.
      Danny Jones

  15. This is interesting Paul, in the advert for new Bishop. I understood Ministry Areas were forced on parishes with no conversation. Did your average Church people have any say?

    We have recognised that one size will not fit all and have put in place a process of Ministry Area Conversations (MACs) beginning very much on the local level. MACs take place in every proposed MA so that the dynamics of community, geography and the local church are fully understood and that the process itself is owned by the local congregations involved.