|Mesdames Gould, Wigley, Wolf, Jackson and Ford in Llandaff Cathedral Photo: Church in Wales|
In the photograph the three Llandaff hopefuls were helping to 'make history' in an expensive stunt which saw bishop Geralyn Wolf flown in from the US to be the first woman Anglican bishop to lead a service in Llandaff Cathedral.
Of the three eligible wimmin, the cleric in trousers must have the edge. The Jackson/Wigley duo are well past their sell by date having already caused enough damage to the Church with their scheming to outlaw faithful Anglicans. Added to which, whenever the name of Peggy 'the pilot' has been mentioned as being in line for a mitre there have been gasps of horror at the thought. And rightly so. If disunity were the criterion she should be home and dry.
Tambourine cleric Canon Wigley has done herself no favours either. Celebrating 20yrs of women in the priesthood she danced down the main aisle of Llandaff Cathedral with Peggy the pilot before telling a BBC interviewer that she "looked forward to the day when there were no more minds to be changed about the acceptance of women priests" revealing a complete lack of understanding of the theological position, not only of members in her own Church but in the Anglican Communion and beyond.
All three were part of Archbishop Barry Morgan's inner circle. The Rev Jan Gould BEM has been in evidence working in the more deprived areas of the diocese while the Jackson/Wigley duo have been politicking from more affluent areas. Married to the Rev Dr Peter Sedgwick, a former Head of St Michael's Theological College (now defunct) and Chairman of the Church in Wales Doctrinal Commission, Jan Gould appears to be better placed than many.
Apart from this trio, a former diplomat, the Revd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones LVO OBE OStJ, Vicar of St John's in central Cardiff has been hotly tipped. She hosted the recent 'Light for Our Darkness' Sunday Worship service for BBC Radio 4 at which the former Archbishop preached. His address was to be shot down yet again for using his own interpretation of the Bible.
Any male candidate, including those poor souls who eagerly helped their former Archbishop to realise his political ambitions, can dream on. Reports suggest that many in Llandaff Cathedral are dreading the thought of a woman bishop. Others regard it as a well deserved penance. After the travesty of the St Davids stitch-up anything is possible bar rationalising the bloated bureaucracy that the bench has become.
So, there are five diocesan bishops covering about half the population of Wales while one bishop covered the other half in addition to his duties as Archbishop. He also found time to to act as Dean of Llandaff for a spell when his appointee quit after nine weeks in post. Perhaps realising he had made a serious error of judgement Dr Morgan asked Archdeacon Peggy to pilot things for him. Llandaff Cathedral has gone down hill ever since with financial problems and factional fighting leading to disunity.
The Church in Wales was assessed as 'cumbersome and top-heavy' five years ago in the Church in Wales Review. The parish system has gone, replaced by ministry areas with lay leaders while most of the worshippers have gone. Only the bishops carry on regardless. They and their comfortable livings appear immune.
The recommendations XXII, XXIII and XXIV should be reviewed
after three years and a judgement made about whether the
Church in Wales is best served by six dioceses with three
administrative centres or whether it would be more effective to
reduce to three dioceses, together with four area bishops.
Of course Llandaff already has an Ass bishop who was appointed to help out because the Archbishop was busy with his political ambitions. My understanding of his possible elevation is once bitten, twice shy. Unless a male candidate who is the next "best person to be a bishop" emerges, a second female bishop is set to be appointed. Swansea and Brecon will provide parity on the bench
MAE Cymru will continue to demand parity at all levels until they achieve dominance. It is no longer be jobs for the boys but jobs for the girls. That is while there are enough worshippers left in the Church in Wales to care for.
|MAECymru Source: Church in Wales|
Church in Wales Statement here