|(The relevant section of this report is reproduced below)|
"In 2004, after the first year of his archiepiscopate, 41,000 adults attended an Anglican church service on an average Sunday in Wales. The most recent statistics, for 2015, show that figure has dropped to 29,000, a fall of nearly 30 per cent in 11 years."
Dr Morgan's welcome has not been extended to all. He has shunned many in his own church for not embracing his liberal views while welcoming feminists and other campaigners such as LGBT activists who have used the Church as a means of extending their influence.
Mirroring Women and the Church (WATCH) is a Welsh sister organisation, MAE Cymru "to promote gender equality in the Church in Wales". The report (left) of their first AGM on 5 November 2016 appears in the Forward in Faith journal New Directions.
With glasses of Prosecco raised they celebrated the election of a woman to be the 129th bishop of St Davids. Clearly they were in no mood to echo Dr Morgan's claim that the appointment had nothing to do with Canon Penberthy being a woman.
Mrs Briton had picked up New Directions first. I heard an anguished exclamation. "Good God, have you seen this?" She read aloud the last section which referred to a liturgical dance led by Archdeacon Peggy Jackson. Peggy 'the pilot' Jackson is Archdeacon of Llandaff. With little or no prospects of advancement in England, she was one of Dr Morgan's recruits to aid him in his obsession with the ordination of women. Unlike the first female Dean of Llandaff who lasted only a few weeks, Peggy the pilot has made it her business to pilot through legislation to ensure that there can be no equality in the Church in Wales other than on her terms. The following paragraph describes her 'act of worship, a style much favoured by her legislating companion:
"At the end of the afternoon, we held an act of worship - 'Saints and Sparklers'. We stood in a circle around an artificial bonfire of brightly coloured tissue paper, and with gingerbread-scented candles representing the saints we heard readings and prayers which referenced Sarah, Hagar, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Miriam, Jael, Deborah. Judith, Tamar, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Led by Archdeacon Peggy Jackson, we carefully executed a liturgical dance which made the shape of a crown - the crown of the Queen of Heaven. - Once the dance had moved outside, we lit sparklers and spoke aloud the names of the people who had inspired us on our journey. 'Shine as lights in the world, to the glory of God.' After the final blessing, we were free to make our way home, truly encouraged and inspired." - No men allowed.
This is Barry Morgan's 'welcoming' church, just another branch of non-conformity. The Sacraments of the Church becoming devoid of the inward and invisible grace bestowed by the outward and visible sign.
Supported by his bench sitters one of Dr Morgan's final acts was to write a Pastoral Letter 'to all the faithful' concerning admission to Holy Communion of all the baptised "by virtue of their Baptism alone". The pastoral letter may be read here. Some will have been convinced but many have not.
Writing in New Directions the former Archdeacon of Margam, the Venerable Martin Williams, has much to say about the issue. Some of the highlighted text: The Civil Law was all that mattered; Canon Law is swept away; These are existential concerns about our identity; Not once in the documents is "Eucharist" used; and, It is hard to imagine what the bishops have in mind. The Archdeacon concludes, "The Church in Wales is in a very deep crisis indeed."
Here is a response to the Pastoral Letter by a former legal adviser to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, in a letter to the Church Times.
From the Rev'd Professor Thomas Glyn Watkin:
Sir, - The Church in Wales Book of Common Prayer, enacted by various canons, declares that confirmation is a rite, and its rubrics provide that confirmation is generally necessary to receive holy communion. The Church's constitution provides that alterations to rites and discipline may be made only by canon.
The Welsh Bishops wish to allow those who have been baptised to receive the sacrament without need of confirmation. They are attempting to do this by pastoral letter, without any authorisation by canon. The Archbishop has written in this paper (Letters, 25 November) that the change makes confirmation "a service of response and commitment to God's grace given at baptism and at the eucharist for those who want to make such a commitment".
Baptism, as both he and the Bishop of Swansea & Brecon (Letters, 6 January) state, is to be the full rite of Christian initiation. Confirmation is to become an optional extra. Is not this an alteration to the rite and to the existing discipline?
When the Church of England relaxed its rules on admission to holy communion, it did so by Measure and canon. The Welsh Bishops state that they have legal advice assuring them that the "step does not require any change in the present Canon Law or Constitution of the Church in Wales". A polite request to make public that legal advice met with an equally polite refusal. That the alteration is controversial is clear from recent correspondence in these columns (Letters, 14 October and 23/30 December).
The procedure for enacting canons exists precisely to ensure that potentially controversial changes are subjected to scrutiny, deliberation, and debate by all orders within the Church. Regardless of one's views regarding Christian initiation, respect is due to the inclusiveness of such decision-making.
The Bishop of Swansea & Brecon wrote of baptism as "birth into a family wherein all are welcome to be nourished by the sacramental family meal at the family table". The Bishops' actions make it plain that, once at the table, unless they are in episcopal orders, God's children are to be seen but not heard.
Seen but not heard is the preferred status of 'traditionalist' Anglicans. The news that the Rt Rev Philip North, "from the traditionalist Anglo-Catholic wing of the C of E, is being 'promoted' from his position as bishop of Burnley" has been met with shrieks of disapproval from WATCH.
Similarly the aim of MAE Cymru, part of a 'welcoming' organisation which purports to seek 'equality', has been to outlaw the very people who have sustained the Church over the centuries.
Accused of being “swayed by the liberal culture of our age” and ignoring Holy Scripture, Barry and his bench sitters have led the charge for change. Campaigns for so-called equality have bent what Jesus said and did to suit the prevailing secular mood. This has had devastating effects on the Anglican Church in Wales, in England and the United States.
Early in his archiepiscopate Dr Morgan delivered a lecture in memory of Canon Norman Autton. Dr Morgan claimed then that "In the New Testament the teaching of Jesus as a whole is about caring for the outcast as a test of righteousness and in his own ministry he dealt with those on the margins." He has repeated similar sentiments up until his retirement to justify advancing secular causes. In a word, all hell has broken loose.
In Westcott House Theological College recently, student priests organising Evensong talked about Jesus welcoming the outcast to justify an attempt to 'queer evening prayer': “Today we might follow in the footsteps of his daring, boldly and outrageously welcoming the Queer (both human and divine) in a way never before attempted.” A prayer referred to the “Fantabulosa fairy” and ended: “Praise ye the Duchess. The Duchess’s name be praised.” Psalm 19 was reworded to refer to “O Duchess, my butchness”.
WATCH is on record as wanting to change the Lords prayer to "Our Mother who art in heaven". The new Church in Wales is unrecognisable from only a generation ago.
When the bishops' aim of same sex marriage in church is achieved, their task of secularising the Church in Wales will be complete.
As they dance their way into oblivion taking the church with them, MAE Cymru will have to seek another gullible, affirming host to destroy.