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Monday, 10 July 2017

The Llandaff problem

Llandaff Cathedral and the soon to be vacant again Deanery?

Many of the comments received in response to entries in this blog have been about the problems besetting Llandaff Cathedral, latterly as the result of Archbishop Barry Morgan's appointment of his former Chaplain as Dean.

Dean Capon has his admirers as well as his critics. My view is largely one of sympathy for someone who lacked the necessary experience and seniority to be catapulted into a role for which he was  not qualified. To his credit he stepped in when asked, inheriting problems not of his creation when others declined.

How long the Dean will survive after the enthronement of bishop June Osborne is a question many have been asking. One commentator suggested that the Dean would be promoted to Assistant Bishop in the Autumn. This was later withdrawn as a joke; however, it tied in with other rumours that the new bishop had plans to resolve the difficulties in which traditionalists find themselves because they are unable in conscience to accept the sacramental and pastoral oversight of women. In short, the bishop would promote Dean Capon to Assistant Bishop to care for traditionalists in her diocese.

Firstly, if true, to promote someone out of trouble is unacceptable but more importantly, an assistant to a female bishop would be representing a bishop who, in conscience, is regarded as unacceptable on theological grounds so that would not be a solution.

I also have a problem with the Dean's judgement, most recently in disclosing, in general terms, people's giving, and suggesting that the depth of someone's pocket along with a willingness to dig deep was an essential qualification for appointment as the Treasurer of the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral.

This was commented on by Lux Et Veritas under a previous entry, in response to a communication from the Dean following the death of  Sir Donald Walters. Dissatisfaction continues to rumble on with further comments coming in from both sides.

Another potential problem for Llandaff Cathedral was identified in the Church Times disclosure that, using the Freedom of Information Act, Dr Jeffrey John had obtained partially redacted emails sent be­­tween the Welsh bishops in the run-up to the electoral college.

The emails reveal anxieties over the potential appointment of Dr John:
 "An email dated 8 February, which appears to be from Bishop Davies, states: 'My instinct is that JJ’s stance on the matter of same-gender relationships and his own situation might be un­­welcome to many in the Diocese who would suspect that Barry’s [the former Bishop of Llandaff and Welsh Primate, Dr Barry Morgan] evident liberal agenda was being perpetuated by his election. It would probably do the perception of the Bench, at home and elsewhere, no particular good either'. Personally, I also think that his elec­­tion would be an immense distraction in the Province at the wrong time."

He also writes: "I am still of the view that JJ’s election could set off a media circus.” Returning to the state of the Llandaff diocese he wrote: “Whilst neither sexuality nor age are con­clusive factors here, I think that the depth of problems in Llandaff has yet to fully emerge. . . Getting to grips with all this, becoming known and trusted and turning things around will take a deal of time, possibly more than JJ has given his age.”

The bishop of St Asaph appears to be more sanguine in his response adding weight to the suggestion from some quarters that it was he who had spoken with Dr John in the row about Electoral College confidentiality, something Dr John chose to ignore in the interests advancing his own candidature.

Regardless of one's views on the matter, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon simply mirrored the conclusion reached previously when Dr John was a candidate, latterly for Monmouth.


  1. Avid blog reader10 July 2017 at 11:37

    The upcoming vacancy is becoming certain. Barry's Caddie is a dead man walking.

    He used an email (published on this blog) to "out" confidential giving as a way of putting pressure and cast doubt on the integrity of a respected and popular former churchwarden - who was prepared to give his time and talents to take over as treasurer of the (independent) Friends charity.

    The glove puppet's choice? The ex-treasurer of the organ appeal, who actually resigned from that position at exactly the time when uncomfortable questions were put to him about any role he had in the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of pounds raised in good faith for the organ fund but actually used for purposes unknown.


    1. And now....over to Bangor. If "Barry's Caddie is a dead man walking", then Andy Crap of Bangor meanwhile, appears to have all the hallmarks of His Darkness' backing as the next annointed Archbishop and not the Tree Eater of St Asaph as speculated, when Barry the fixer, demonstrated his personal approval by being present at the ordination service of the estranged bishops wife into the Anglican priesthood. Never was such bravery witnessed since Thomas Becket. Strange,come to think of it, not a mention about Rev Mrs Crap or Barry in any of the local rag or news. Must have been one of those days to bury good news of hysterical joy, peace, goodwill, hugs and kisses among gays.


    2. Subversive Canon11 July 2017 at 08:29

      May I respectfully remind Avid blog reader that we know some of the missing Organ appeal money was spent paying the salary of a Cathedral office assistant for many years.

  2. Silent Majority10 July 2017 at 12:01

    Thank you Avid Blog Reader.

    The Dean acted with unseemly haste in gathering up Sir Donald's documents and summoning Alan Williams back from West Wales to go through them.

    It would have been entirely appropriate to call an extraordinary meeting of the Friends to discuss further actions properly, but instead he kept the matter within his closed circle.

    It seems the Dean's original intention was to anoint Williams as Sir Donald's successor at such a meeting (scheduled to follow the AGM on Saturday but cancelled at the last moment). Instead he backed off as soon as he heard about the plan to nominate David Collins as Treasurer.

    With almost £900K in the Friends' coffers, this is no small sum. Alan Williams' role in the Organ Appeal is highly questionable.

    The way the Dean favours a tiny circle of cronies is blatant gerrymandering.

    1. No Silent Majority, it is not 'gerrymandering'. Rather, it is refined 'barrymandering'. The 'Small is beautiful' technique, followed by 'divide and rule'.

    2. An urgent EGM should be called by Linda Quinn et al with three items on the agenda.

      1) The formal appointment of a properly elected Treasurer.

      2) To update the Friends' consitution to prevent any conflict of interest by making it impossible for any Dean of Llandaff to be Chairman and cheque book signatory.

      3) To replace Norman Lloyd-Edwards as President.

      As per the Friends' of Salisbury Cathedral.

  3. Llandaff Pewster10 July 2017 at 12:37

    With Ancient Briton's permission, I wish to present a transcript of the Friends' Council AGM on Saturday 9th July 2017.

    Page 1 of 6

    ======= Start of AGM ===========

    Minutes of previous meeting - accepted

    No matters arising

    2 mins 12 secs:

    Sir Norman Lloyd Edwards:
    In the absence of Sir Donald, I'm very pleased to say that Alan Williams, a member of the Friends for many years, has kindly agreed to act pro tem as the Treasurer and he's now going to present the accounts over which he's had absolutely no control whatsoever [laughter]. So I hope you won't have any awkward questions for him.

    Alan Williams:
    Mr President, I'm here in temporary standing until such time as you see fit and get around to appointing your new Treasurer. I've been there and done that so many times that I'm certainly not looking for a permanent job myself. The accounts that you are looking at are on pages 13 and 14. I can tell you that the full accounts run to 18 pages and those of you who find sleeping difficult could read them [laughter]. They are available on the Charity Commission website.

    [See for accounts up to Dec 2015]

    The two pages here are a summary. The accounts have been audited in the usual way by our auditors and were approved at the last Council Meeting of the Friends. A quick run through on p13; you'll notice that the income was £28,106 and we spent £41,522. Now details of the main items in that expenditure are on p11. The biggest figure is always the £25,000 that is paid to the Cathedral for music and the rest is itemised there. The balance sheet that is summarised on p14 shows a very healthy position with a total of £895,779, an increase over last year of just about £40,000.

    The main reason for that, despite the fact we spent more than we received, is the fact that the investments have gone up in value to the extent of £54,279. Overall the accounts are in a healthy state but bear in mind there is a commitment now to aid the Cathedral and cover the major cost of the repairs to the stonework, some of which has already started to be paid out earlier this year, about £29,000 from memory. Those, ladies and gentlemen, are the accounts and if you've got any queries I'll try and answer them.

    5 mins 17 secs
    Sir NLE:
    Yes Linda?

    Linda Quinn:
    I'm not sure if you'll have the answer to this Alan but the Friends' Council has asked for the accounts to contain a list of the projects that the Council had agreed to fund but hadn't yet paid for. These were commitments that we haven't yet paid over the money to the Cathedral. Now I'm wondering if there is a list of those projects somewhere in the accounts.

    There probably is - there are lots of papers there - I can have a dig if you like and have a look through, see what I can find.

    Thank you.

    Sir NLE:
    Any other points? Then I ask for your approval on the accounts that are presented. All agree [generally yes]. Thank you. So we come to the Annual Report and I shall call the Chairman, the Dean please, to present it.

    6 mins 03 secs
    Gerwyn Capon, The Dean:
    Sir Norman thank you very much indeed and thank you all for your attendance at this Festival weekend. Actually I'd like to first of all pay tribute to the Friends' Council, actually, because one of the things that we've been trying perhaps to look at over the last few years is really how we begin to consider, if you like, the vocation of the Friends' Council and what we believe we're there to do. The members of the Council have been trying to develop these parallels, for example, at St David's Cathedral where there is a very strong representation there by their Friends. They've become very much a fundraising body as well as a fund keeping body. That's something that I like to see develop here in the Friends because there's certainly no shortage of goodwill for that to happen.

  4. Llandaff Pewster10 July 2017 at 12:39

    Transcript of the Friends' Meeting Llandaff Cathedral, 8th July 2017

    Page 2 of 6

    Gerwyn Capon (continued):
    So as part of that ongoing narrative, David Collins in particular has taken on the role of being honorary Membership Secretary because one of the things we found difficult was that a lot of the applications for membership went to the Treasurer and we became more and more aware that the list wasn't a completely updated list.

    One of the things that we've been working at, and I'd like to pay tribute to David for this, is that he's marshalled that list extremely efficiently and now I think we have an up to date and current list of all the Friends. It sounds like a tiny issue, doesn't it, but actually it's hugely important now that we're writing to the Friends to bring them into the overall narrative of things that are going on in the Cathedral. One of the things that we've probably not been so good at in the past is being able to celebrate successes and be able to communicate properly with people who are supporting us as Friends. So I think we've got that up to date list and as I say we're very grateful indeed to David Collins for taking on that huge responsibility.

    Of course we are all saddened and I'd like to add my wish to Sir Norman in paying tribute to Sir Donald. We obviously are expecting his funeral on Tuesday and I had the privilege of being with Donald when he died. The fact is that I think it is only in the next few weeks and months that we will come to understand how valuable he was as a member of this congregation, and I too would like to pay tribute to him. His funeral will be on Tuesday at half past eleven. I hope that you would like to come and support the rest of the Cathedral community in giving thanks for his life on that particular day.

    You won't need me to tell you that obviously his sudden death meant that we were in a difficult situation in terms of all the documentation that he held as Treasurer. Alan I'd just like to thank you - it was a phone call in your caravan in West Wales - 'Alan can you possibly help here with all this documentation?' I have in fact three large carrier bags with all the documentation that Philip Walters was able to glean from Donald's study. All that information has now come into our custody. Alan, thank you so much for just stepping into the breach like this and we're all very very grateful to you for doing that. Thank you very much indeed.

    Obviously Alan doesn't want to be the Treasurer and so we want to revisit how we want to cope with the election of a new Treasurer in the forthcoming months.

    10 mins 57 secs
    The work being undertaken in the Cathedral won't have escaped you and we are now well into the stonework project on the clerestory and what that work entails. I guess that because the Cathedral nave was opened after 1941 - I suppose that most of you might know the answer to this - but probably for a decade most of that stonework was being saturated and the iron cramps that were there to hold the stonework in position have had corrosion happening. Hence of course that shard of stone that fell during a funeral a couple of years ago and while there was that work to stabilise and make all those bits of stonework safe and to check them. Thanks to a very very generous gift from the Friends that has been possible, as well as of course a grant from CADW. It couldn't have been done without the Friends' support and their commitment to that project. Thank you for your patience. Those of you who are members of the congregation, Sunday by Sunday, will see it take shape.

  5. Llandaff Pewster10 July 2017 at 12:45

    Transcript of the Friends' Meeting Llandaff Cathedral, 8th July 2017

    Page 3 of 6

    13 mins 04 secs

    Gerwyn Capon (continued):
    Obviously the whole question of grant aid to the Cathedral is of fundamental importance, in the sense that we haven't had to fundraise and that what's so valuable. It means now that we can look at the beginnings of the development project. the list is colossal: our toilet accommodation is really very very poor, the facilities for less able-bodied people, the seating in the Cathedral. The Cathedral is becoming a much much more busy place in terms of being a venue for concerts and so on and so forth. It's actually how we're making our income, it's how we're making our way in the world actually and balancing the books. So it's an important aspect of the activity in the Cathedral but with that goes the need for facilities and I wouldn't be the only person here to know that we really struggle with disabled access, toilets, and seating is one critical thing for us, I think.

    14 mins 21 secs
    So what the Chapter are looking at now over the next few months with the Architect is how we can begin the process of putting a development project in place in order for us to be able to raise that money, raise the awareness and indeed to get that process of development and improvement. And I'm sure that the Friends will want to take a very active role not only in the fundraising but also in terms of giving grant aid as well. So again thank you for all of what you do, thank you for all your support, but particular thanks as well, really, to those of who participate as stewards and guides. Listening to Arthur's tour just this afternoon, it always brings me into that place of knowing that we have some tremendous experts in our midst, and people whose commitment to the Cathedral is colossal. Arthur and your team thank you so much for all that you do as guides and welcomers.

    16:00 mins
    I'm happy to take any questions that anybody might have right now before I allow the meeting to progress?

    Robert Render:
    Mr President, the present Dean may not be aware of the fact that there has been criticism over the years of his position and that of his predecessors in that they have a conflict of interest. One, they preside over our discussions as to monies to be paid to the Cathedral, and secondly the raising of those funds. That is a clear conflict and it is one that does not exist in the Friends of other cathedrals in the British Isles. I don't wish to pitch this at the Dean without prior notice, but could I give him here prior notice that I will invite him to consider the matter during the coming year, and he may do a service to the Friends by not standing as the Chairman of the Friends.

    17 mins 19 secs

    Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards:
    Well as the Secretary says, as far the Constitution says, the Chairman shall be the Dean, and when it comes to conflict of interest, everybody knows that the Dean is wearing two hats. May I add that all decisions of Council as far as fundraising is concerned are taken by the majority of those present, and the Dean can be, and in fact on occasions in the past has been, overruled by the Council who didn't fully agree with what he said. So I don't think it's something we need worry about. But by all means bring it up at a future meeting, but I for one can see no conflict of interest. Added to which, the rule as I understand is that if you have a particular interest in a matter it is your duty to declare that interest to the meeting so everybody knows of that interest. And having declared that interest, you then continue to be at the meeting but you don't vote. I think on that basis if the Dean does have an interest, and he refrains from voting on a particular interest and leaves it to the members of the Council present, then I can't see any difficulty arising. But thank you for that.

  6. Llandaff Pewster10 July 2017 at 12:46

    Transcript of the Friends' Meeting Llandaff Cathedral, 8th July 2017

    Page 4 of 6
    18 mins 36 secs

    Robert Render:
    Mr President, the implication of what you've said is that Friends of other cathedrals in the British Isles really don't know what they are about. That has been raised at a meeting of representatives of Friends' Councils of other cathedrals [i.e. the issue of having the Dean as Chair]. Notably, as one or two present will recall, representatives at Exeter Cathedral find it very wrong indeed. It's a matter of principle and one is not saying that the present Dean is incapable of recognising conflicts of interest, perhaps vacating the Chair [when necessary], although during my time here of over fifty years, I've never known a Dean vacate the Chair, but the Constitution as you said does have certain requirements. Might I respectfully remind you that constitutions can be changed and I had occasion some years ago to examine the Constitution which I think dates to the early 1930s.

    Arthur Impey:
    1943 I think

    Well there was something before that. Anyone that's interested you can find a complete record in the Cardiff Central Library where they have a complete record and I think they're the only ones who have it apart from Nevil James, who does have a complete record. Again, it is not a happy position where one sees the Dean able to say "I'm a man of stature" and all the rest of us say a man of stature, therefore there can be a conflict. It shouldn't be a conflict.

    20 secs 32 mins
    Gerwyn Capon:
    If I may, what I would say is how can there be a conflict of interest between two parties who have the same objective? In other words the wellbeing of the Cathedral. If for example I was a person who had, say a member of my family employed, or there was some kind of issue like that, I could imagine that there would perhaps be some kind of conflict of interest, if I was gaining in some kind of way. But actually as a Dean and Chapter we have the same interest: it is the wellbeing of the Cathedral. So I don't think I have any difficulty with that. The other thing is I'm not sure whether you're right about the constitutions of other Friends societies because at St Davids for example, members of Chapter are in a majority on the Friends Council, who actually take the vote. So I don't see the issue but I think in fairness we're always aware of the fact that if there are conflicts of interest we are certainly alive to them.

    21 mins 56 secs
    John Prior:
    On a point of order, this is not a thing that should be put forward with a seconder and formal resolution to change the Constitution, and if there wasn't a seconder it would fall, and if it didn't get the required majority it would also fall.

    Sir NLE:
    I don't think it's a question of having a resolution today. I would simply point out that we filed our Constitution with the Charity Commission and I'm surprised that they haven't come back and pointed out that they think there's an issue. But it's something we can look into to satisfy anybody who may have some doubts.

    And so we come to elections to the Council. As you will see some five members - Mr David Collins, Mr Nick James, [Catherine], Canon Stephen Kirk, Archdeacon Chris Smith - are seeking reelection. Are you all happy that they be reelected? - Yes - There are vacancies for others. Would anybody like to propose anyone else?

    Could I please propose Mr Brian Robinson? He has been a member of the Friends for a number of years and brings a lot of experience and I'd like to nominate you to the Council.

    23 mins 38 secs
    Sir NLE:
    Are you happy to stand - yes - and is this supported - yes. Anyone else? If anyone else wants to be involved with the Council, all you need to do is make yourself known to the Dean or the Secretary, and Im sure they'll be only too delighted to put you forward.

  7. Llandaff Pewster10 July 2017 at 12:47

    Transcript of the Friends' Meeting Llandaff Cathedral, 8th July 2017

    Page 5 of 6

    Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards:
    And so we come to the election of auditors. Broomfield and Alexander have done a first class job over the years and I'm sure you're all happy that they be reelected. All agreed - yes. Any other business?

    There's only one other point and I mention it now - we may do it before the talk as you're all here. You've heard from the Treasurer about the changeover as far as bank instructions are concerned. We are required to have two signatures, two out of three of the officers, and they are the Dean, the Secretary and the Treasurer, and unless cheques are signed by two people they won't be honoured by the bank. The loss of Sir Donald, and our Secretary going on holiday for a month, means there'll be nobody to sign the cheques. The extraordinary thing is that the Dean is not at the moment a signatory. When Dean Lewis left, we forgot - or somebody forgot - to change the mandate to the bank. As a result, I'm going to ask members of the Council - and only members of the Council - to approve a resolution that authority be given by this meeting so that the Dean and Alan Williams be given authority to sign cheques together with the Secretary at our bank.

    25 mins 08 secs

    Linda Quinn:
    Mr President, there is supposed to be a special meeting after the talk this afternoon.

    Sir NLE:
    Yes, we'll have it now!

    Well there is already a proposal to elect David Collins as the Treasurer, which is proposed and seconded, and that meeting was going to consider that in addition to what you've just said. So, as the Dean has said that Alan Williams does not want to be Treasurer, it would be fair to consider him [David Collins] as Treasurer.

    Sir NLE:
    Well it had been proposed but somebody raised a question about whether there should be proxy votes for those who couldn't come to the meeting and also whether due notice has been given to everybody for the meeting. So there are in fact technical problems so far as electing a Treasurer permanently today, which is why we came up with just the interim of getting us over paying bills in the next two months, until the October meeting when the Council has the opportunity to consider it in depth.

    Well if we're not having this special meeting of the Friends' Council after this meeting, as you've just suggested, can I propose as I suggested - Nick James has already proposed David Collins as Treasurer, seconded by the Vice-Chairman of the Friends, Graham Hardy, and there are a number of people who've said they already support that. So is it not fair to consider that? The whole meeting can consider that if you wish.

    Sir NLE:
    The problem is, as I said, somebody raised the question of those who are absent not having the opportunity to state their vote.

    What about those people who are here now? If you're asking them to vote one way, why can't they consider David Collins as Treasurer?

    Sir NLE:
    All I'm asking for is something only temporary, to last for three months. And that is just to get us over the hill. Appointing a Treasurer is a permanent matter and they'll be there for years to come, which is an entirely different proposition.

    Since we elect a Treasurer every year, and Alan Williams has already expressed his wish that he doesn't want to be Treasurer as he seems to have lots of other work to do. David Collins has done a lot of work for the Friends over the years, has been proposed and seconded, as people on the Council who are sitting are aware, so if you're going to consider one proposal, why not the other.

  8. Llandaff Pewster10 July 2017 at 12:49

    Transcript of the Friends' Meeting Llandaff Cathedral, 8th July 2017

    Page 6 of 6

    27 mins 35 secs

    Sir Norman Lloyd-Edwards:
    They're entirely different things. A temporary motion is one thing and we're just proposing to appoint someone for three months. That's all, until the October meeting. Come the October meeting there will be a proper discussion but today is just getting over the hump of not having anybody available to sign any cheques and we can't pay any bills at all. There are bills outstanding, for example the production of the Annual Report and the postage which the Secretary has already paid for out of his own pocket. He can't be repaid at the moment because there's only one signatory and that's Dean Lewis and that's not enough: we have to have two signatures on each cheque.

    Linda Quinn:
    I still don't see why the meeting here can't decide if they want to elect a Treasurer.

    Arthur Impey:
    Well it is not the business of this meeting. The Constitution lays down that the Annual General Meeting considers the report; it is not empowered to make decisions of that sort.

    But it's empowered to make a decision about the cheques?

    Gerwyn Capon:
    Can I just say that I didn't think in all common decency really before Sir Donald's funeral on Tuesday that it was an entirely appropriate undertaking to completely replace him at this particular meeting. So I think there is a sense in which we can respect his memory and in the fullness of time, meet and sort out this business.

    Mr President, may I say that to make arrangements for three months is eminently sensible.

    Sir NLE:
    Well can I then ask members of the Council [NB only a small proportion of those present] to show: are you in favour of appointing Mr Alan Williams and the Dean to be co-signatories on the bank account from now until the next meeting of the Council in October?

    In favour: 8 Against: 2 Abstentions [not counted but at least 4]

    Then that matter is carried and the whole question of appointing a Treasurer will now be discussed at the October meeting. If there's no other business, I'll call upon the dean to lead us in the Grace.

    ======End of AGM=======

    1. Respectfully, I have to say apologise for my banter about the Asst Bishop since the career of a person is at stake. I only did it in the knowledge that institutions have been known to promote their way out of problems. Again, I have no knowledge of the Dean whatsoever and those I know who are of his acquaintance only say good things about him.

      Regarding conflict of interest on the Friends matter though, it must be a conflict since the Dean as part of his job presumably makes decisions about capital expenditure out of the cathedral budget. His position as chair might change these decisions or to steer the agenda of the friends to suit his position as Dean. Even the suspicion of this would lead to a conflict.

      I can't see how this is lost on some of the trustees? The Dean should present to the Friends with proposals for funding not be part of the decision making or leading that process. IMHO

    2. Cathedral Friend11 July 2017 at 09:35

      Referred to at the AGM was the so called Dean's conflict of interest between the Friends and the Chapter. Just take a second to reflect ladies and gentlemen. If David Collins were to be made Treasurer surely there would be a conflict of interest there. After all he is also a Trustee of the Friends of St David's Cathedral. Think about it, he would then have a finger in two pies and I, for one, would not agree with that. In any case, where was he on Saturday afternoon? Probably sunning himself on a beach somewhere!!!

    3. Lux Et Veritas11 July 2017 at 10:44

      That's a worryingly pitiful lack of analysis and insight you demonstrate there CF.

      There is no relationship between the Friends of ANY other Cathedral in the UK and the Dean & Chapter of Llandaff Cathedral ergo there can be no such conflict of interest.

      Comparisons with other Cathedral Friends organisational structures provide valuable lessons.
      Since this will be very familiar to our new Bishop elect, let us begin here.

      Of particular interest will be the offices of 'PATRONS', 'PRESIDENT', 'CHAPTER'S REPRESENTATIVE', 'ARCHDEACONRY REPRESENTATIVES' and last but not least, 'HONORARY CHAIRMAN'.

      Following the recent publication of emails and transcripts it is self-evident Norman Lloyd-Edwards and Gerwhine must both be removed.

    4. What is your point about sunning oneself on a beach somewhere?
      It's July and the fortnight before the schools break up so why not?
      It sounds like Alan Williams was doing precisely the same in west Wales before being summoned by the poison pygmy but that's OK with you is it?

  9. Visiting Bishop10 July 2017 at 12:51

    This post and the associated emails reveal one clear fact: that Gerwyn Huw Capon is completely out of his depth, and his judgement of people and situations is seriously flawed. That he was sufficiently injudicious to accept the appointment of Dean in the first place tells me a lot about his lack of self awareness. I assume someone is going to bring this to the attention of the newly installed Bishop as a matter of urgency, not to say the Charity Commissioners?

    As for the speculation about being made Assistant Bishop, I can only laugh. The suggestion that giving this witless and inexperienced cleric greater preferment will only add to the ludicrous perceptions around the Llandaff senior staff. What this young man needs is putting in to a demanding parish, to allow him, and the wider Church, to discern whether he has the resilience and integrity deserving of high office. Barry Morgan's shenanigans in offering him the post cannot remotely be considered as discerning, especially as he was on the rebound from having his fingers badly burned by Janet Henderson. The fact is that he needed a stooge - and quick. Significantly, the appointment did not have the full support of the Chapter - let alone the clergy of the Diocese.

    Llandaff Cathedral is, by anyone's standards, a mockery. The Dean's incompetence, not to say his partisan and less-than-candid mode of operating, is having a profoundly negative impact on the mission of the mother church of the Diocese. It is bringing the Diocese and the wider church in to disrepute. My only hope is that June Osborne, without being distracted from the broader vision she needs to engender, will see all this and act with prompt decisiveness. She, surely, cannot allow her ministry and the dignity of her office to be associated with such a travesty. If I were her, I would get it out of the way quickly and concentrate on what really matters.

    1. If the larger fish in the CofE ponds at Peterborough and Exeter were dismissed with apparent ease then removing the minnow in the Llandaff swamp will prove to be a doddle.

  10. Nonsense - Dean Gerwyn had the misfortune to inherit grave problems from a previous Dean who very much hid behind his eccentricity and left the Cathedral in a parlous and dangerously precarious state (and I don't just mean falling masonry). It's sad that that issue - the previous Dean - was left to fester for years thus leaving Gerwyn to pick up the pieces - and there are many. He has also had to contend with clergy in place when he became Dean who make the situation worse. My heart sinks when I see the name of one of them on the list of preachers and I have stop myself from turning around and heading home.

    Thankfully retirements are soon to be in place and the Cathedral can have a clean sweep and the Dean can just then get on with being the chief pastor of the Cathedral and its congregation.

    I would not step into his shoes for all the tea in Jaspers.

    1. Utter nonsense. Gerwyn has had over three years to improve things and instead he has let the place slide. He has gone out of his way to attack those who tried to make things better and promoted the interests of a small clique.

      The sooner the Capon flies out of the Deanery - preferably with June's boot up his backside - the better!

    2. Every preceding Dean and acting Dean (Bonaparte, Darth --Insidious, Janet Henderson, Darth --Insidious and Peggy the Pilate) added to the underlying problems.
      Gerwhine has added plenty more.
      Remember the closing of the kitchen (which he claimed was unnecessary) and the Parish breakfasts that he stopped? Spending £30k on a new kitchen which is now a white elephant? The failed Cathedral Cafe experiment that had to shut down prematurely? Disbanding the voluntary Merbecke choir because it was brimming with subversive old ladies and widows? Poison pen letters to Mrs X and other old ladies and widows? The unexplained disappearances of various directors of music, the Catholic Curate Cerion Gilbert, handyman Hugh and cleaner Jade? The disappearance of the plummeting Communicant numbers from The Bell? The concealed Eleri Jones, Health & Safety and Quinquennial reports and still missing Organ Appeal accounts? The reduced number on the Electoral roll? The reduced giving? The ongoing shambles of the Cathedral Choir saga?

      But finally, and my personal favourite, the failure to appoint a professional fund raiser / development manager (see
      Almost 2 years ago :-
      "Church in Wales authorities were warned in 2012 that Llandaff Cathedral was facing bankruptcy unless a professional fundraiser was hired to put its finances right. But such a fundraiser has still not been appointed and a range of recommendations made in a report by a Welsh academic have not been implemented. The Dean of Llandaff says it is “totally irresponsible” to suggest the Cathedral is facing bankruptcy, and that the question of appointing a professional fundraiser is still under consideration. We are considering this possibility but I have been in post for just 18 months and feel that there is ground work to do first.”

      Well there's still no sign of a fund raiser but the Choirs have been evicted from their vestry so the poison pygmy can have a fully appointed luxury executive office entirely in keeping with his opinion of himself.

    3. I completely agree with "support your Dean". He has many loyal parishioners who will stand up for him and who detest this cyber bullying. One point, however, I notice on the above photograph that the Deanery is soon to be vacant. There is a mistake here. It should read 1 The White House where a certain Residentiary Canon lives will soon be vacant with any luck. When he retires I quote as Julian of Norwich said "All shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well". We will support you Gerwyn.

    4. This transcript is really putting the cat amongst the chickens!

      When the new Bishop comes, she must stop the Cathedral staff wasting so much time on the Internet. Better cut the broadband connection to the Office and force them all back to work cleaning and painting the building. Even the ones with spurious dust allergies!

    5. Taffy, you reek of l'eau d'oily amphibian Toad. Your modus operandi of arranging the 'removal' of colleagues is well known.
      You are but dust and unto dust shall ye return.

    6. How predictable that when the flak is heavy, the band of camp followers direct some diversionary fire at the Canon Residentiary. It must be irritating that he has been the primary provider of pastoral care in the Parish and borne the burden when Napoleon was so lazy and the Dean is so frequently unaccountably absent on Sundays. "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?" Dick Pickles, you may be right.

    7. Agreed. Graham Holcombe has been a paragon of loyalty and professionalism through two very differently challenging decanal periods. Social psychologists know well the personality of the bully, who is covered in smear, and attempts to pass it on to someone else lower down the food chain in order to avoid facing his/her own flaws and failures. This is exactly what Capon's supporters are resorting to. Pots calling kettles black, in other words. It's an insidious trait and Taffy is to be pitied for allowing himself to be drawn in to Capon's manipulating tactics. My guess is it won't wash with June.

      By the way, although I don't share her theological convictions, I do feel desperately sorry for her preparing for her 'consecration' with all this hullabaloo in the Western Mail, this morning. What was it 'Honest' John wanted to avoid? "A media circus"? He's certainly got one now, hasn't he?

    8. Martin Shipton has been busy on page 13 of today's Western Mail.


    9. There's only one clergy person who has ever officially been investigated for bullying at the Cathedral - bullying other clergy. My friend left because of it.

    10. Why so cryptic?
      Speak clearly and the consequences be damned!

    11. Canon Holcombe will forgive me for saying that he is far from perfect, but then which one of us is?
      When my time comes there's only one clergyman I want involved in my funeral and guess what, it's not the pathetic little Dean!

    12. @Cymru'r Groes
      Are any photographs of the glove puppet's "fully appointed luxury executive office" available yet?
      Stories of fitted carpets, conference table, large desk, sofa, antiques and other assorted tat are around The Green.
      It would interesting to see where the pew-sitters money is being spent while the Lady Chapel, Processional Way and Prebendal House are all still in various states of disrepair.

    13. 1662. I am being asked about the Western Mail Shipton article to which you referred but I and others have been unable to find a link online. Can you enlighten readers please?

    14. It was a full page spread essentially repeating the article in the Church Times with the addition of the usual vague ramblings from a Church in Wales spokesman in response to a request for comments from Martin Shipton.
      I couldn't find an online link yesterday either else I would have included it with my original post. Apology for not being more helpful.

    15. Llandaff Pewster12 July 2017 at 17:37

      First half of the article:

      The Western Mail, page 13 – Tuesday July 11 2017
      Bishops’ emails show hostility over gay cleric’s bid for election
      By Martin Shipton, Chief Reporter
      Emails released to a gay cleric who was denied election as Bishop of Llandaff have revealed the degree of hostility that existed towards his possible appointment in the Church in Wales Bench of Bishops.
      In March, Llandaff diocesan representatives unanimously gave their votes to Very Rev Dr Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans.
      But he failed to secure enough votes overall and in May the Welsh bishops decided to appoint the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Rev June Osborne, instead.
      After he failed to get elected, Dr John, originally from Tonyrefail in Rhondda Cynon Taff, accused the bishops of blocking his appointment purely on the grounds of his sexuality, in spite of his avowed celibacy.
      He wrote: "To ride roughshod over the very clearly expressed, unanimous view of a diocese in this way is extraordinary, unprecedented and foolish"
      Using the Data Protection Act, Dr John has now obtained partially redacted emails sent between the Welsh bishops in the run-up to the electoral college vote at which he failed to secure a sufficient number of votes.
      Extracts of the emails have been published in the Church Times.
      An email dated February 8, apparently from John Davies, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon and the senior bishop in the Church in Wales, said: "My instinct is that JJ's stance on the matter of same-gender relationships and his own situation might be unwelcome to many in the Diocese who would suspect that Barry's [the former Bishop of Llandaff and Welsh Primate, Dr Barry Morgan] evident liberal agenda was being perpetuated by his election. It would probably do the perception of the bench, at home and elsewhere, no particular good either. Personally, I also think that his election would be an immense distraction in the Province at the wrong time.”
      In another email, another writer, understood to be the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Rev Gregory Cameron, writes: "If, in the end, God wants Jeffrey to shake us up and the entire Anglican Communion, then so be it, but he has still got to get 32 votes... I don't think he has any episcopal vote, and he certainly doesn't seem to attract the St Asaph electors. However, I think we have to stand back and try not to manage the process, even if we can be honest with our electors."
      In an email dated February 17, Bishop Davies confirmed that he would be seeking to influence his own diocesan representatives. He said: "I will be meeting with my electors in Cardiff, probably on Monday evening, and expressing my anxieties.” He also wrote: "I am still of the view that JJ’s election could set off a Media circus."
      Writing about the state of the Llandaff diocese, he said: "Whilst neither sexuality nor age are conclusive factors here, I think that the depth of problems in Llandaff has yet to fully emerge... Getting to grips with all this, becoming known and trusted and turning things around will take a deal of time, possibly more than JJ has given his age:'
      Dr John is 64 - the same age as Dean Osborne, shortly to be consecrated as Bishop of Llandaff.

    16. Llandaff Pewster12 July 2017 at 17:38

      Second half:

      Bishop Davies concluded the email: "I am not sufficiently anxious to think that, at the College, I would need to say that there are anxieties or cautions which need to be taken into account. I tend to think that those who might have these are better at sharing them privately with our electors"
      Two hours later, he again wrote to the other bishops that he had heard of Llandaff's continued support for Dr John, stating: "What is clear is that, if there are to be candidates proffered by other dioceses, the home work on them needs to be well done and that they need to be well presented as very credible. Heigh-Ho!”
      The Electoral college met from February 21–23.
      Afterwards, having been given an account of the confidential meeting, Dr John attracted significant press interest when he accused Bishop Davies of colluding with “anti-gay discrimination”.
      The accusation was firmly denied by the Welsh Bench of Bishops in a letter to the Church Times.
      The letter said: "In matters of same-sex relationships, we strive towards inclusiveness and equality, with initiatives deemed of sufficient national significance to be reported upon in the pages of this newspaper. In April 2016, the Bishops issued a pastoral and apologetic letter to the LGBT community and accompanied it with prayers approved by the Bishops for use with couples in same-sex relation-ships; LGBT chaplains are already in post in some dioceses; gay clerics and civil-partnered clerics are in post in the Church in Wales, where they exercise both welcome and affirmed ministry; in December 2016, the premiere of the LGBT+ film All One in Christ, produced by the organisers of the Iris Prize - the world's largest LGBT short-film prize - was hosted at St Asaph Cathedral with the full blessing of the entire Bench of Bishops.
      "In a diverse Church of diverse theological opinions, homosexuality and civil partnerships are matters that some legitimately wish to consider; but neither of them is a bar to ordination or preferment in our Province. What is a bar to pre-ferment to the office of bishop is a failure to secure a two-thirds majority of votes in the election process - nothing more; nothing less."

      Responding to the publication of the bishops' emails, a spokesman for the Church in Wales said: "We understand that the private correspondence of the Church in Wales' Bishops concerning the process to elect a Bishop of Llandaff has again been put into the public domain by others. We are satisfied that the entire process of electing and then appointing the Bishop of Llandaff was carried out properly and fairly, and will not be commenting further."

    17. +John Davies needs to get a move on with those promised Provincial and Diocesan investigations into the Electoral College oath breaking Bishop and Llandaff electors before they take their revenge and vote Jeffrey John in to Swansea & Brecon!

  11. Agree entirely Taffy - with any luck you are right and my skin can stop crawling.

  12. The gin brigade is clearly on a roll tonight. Keep it up lads!

    Barry always had a talent for spotting the weak, the pompous, the venal and the vain. All of his appointees are at least one of those, if not two or three. The weak he could bully, the pompous he'd cajole, the venal he'd cover for and the vain he could flatter. They all had their uses. But look at the state of his diocese right now!

    Everything comes back to this worthless prelate whose only concern was to keep the lid on the scandals threatening to explode in his face.

    But here's the funny thing: his own choices for Dean and Bishop are both playing their part in revealing what Barry wanted kept under wraps.

    More to come soon dearies!

    1. Don't forget, he could attract the lawyers looking for a quick private buck. Like £305.000 + Scandal and Offence (Google) 1997.

    2. Llandaff tweeter11 July 2017 at 18:50

      Overheard in public: + John Davies has decided it is necessary to deal with the Llandaff problem.

    3. Resident at the Butcher's12 July 2017 at 16:14

      Overheard in private: after the email revelations, +John Davies is well and truly stuffed! And +Gregory's not that far behind, either.

  13. Call yourselves "Christians"? I think not. I thought Christ said "love one another as I have loved you". For heaven's sake stop this cyber bullying now. There is enough unrest in the world without you bullies adding to it. Live and let live and let peace be still.

    1. Tantrums, tantrums! ,...... someones having a dose of his own medicine?

      Llechen rhydd

  14. Ancient Briton - please could you put an end to this vicious blog now. People are suffering because of it.

    1. Fear not Parishioner, our wonderful Canon Residentiary can take care of himself.
      The discerning silent majority know the shirker from the worker.

  15. This cyber bullying must stop otherwise legal action may be sought.

    1. That sounds familiar! Does it not?

      Travelling light

    2. "To determine the true rulers of any society, all you must do is ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not permitted to criticise?”

      Kevin Alfred Strom

  16. Are the Gin and Lace cabal feeling a touch sensitive this morning?
    Take no notice Ancient Briton.
    I paraphrase the attitude prevalent in the Cathedral nowadays so nicely summarised on a previous thread.

    Perplexed 6 July 2017 at 12:49
    If you don't like how [Ancient Briton] is running the [Blog] you know what you can do.....go somewhere else. [Ancient Briton] and his loyal [readers] would be better off without you and your vicious [threats]. Good riddance and don't come back.

    Perplexed 6 July 2017 at 12:52
    If you don't agree with how [Ancient Briton] is running the [Blog] you know what you can do - belt up, shut up and get out and take your vicious words with you. Good riddance....

    Nobody forces you to read The Sun.
    Nobody forces you to read this blog.
    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
    Would a couple of large rum pansies help?

  17. Retired & Relieved12 July 2017 at 10:36

    'Please could you put an end to this vicious blog now.' Of course, that's exactly what unaccountable people in public office, who are paid by mugs like me and you, want, isn't it? It seems to me that there is a profound malaise at the heart of Llandaff Cathedral (and, by implication, the Diocese) and this blog actually provides the only medium to voice genuine concerns - not least because all other avenues have been systematically dismantled. As for the threat of legal action, that sounds suspiciously like the tactics of a former Anglican Primate, late of the Cathedral Green. Whenever the truth was in danger of getting in the way of his shenanigans, he would throw a shed load of the Church's money at the lawyers and tell them to close down all debate and liquidate the opposition. As for cyber bullying, see Hymn Singer's comments above. Very telling.

  18. Here's a suggestion.

    Once June Osborne is installed as Bishop of Llandaff (ten days from now), and announces that she is conducting a Visitation to Llandaff Cathedral, should there not be a moratorium on all comment about the Cathedral (and its personnel) until that process is concluded? I understand there are genuine concerns about the way the place is being run. I also understand how this is fuelling the dysfunction (and, let's be truthful, the toxic language) being expressed on this blog. However, if there were to be a process in place to address these concerns (I believe enough members of the Chapter read this to be able to pick-up on the suggestion that they request a Visitation at their next Capitular gathering), should we not allow due process to be completed and reported upon? This might help to get to the bottom of what - and who - is actually responsible for the long-running disaffection (which long predates the current Dean, to be fair, even if he does seem to be repeating past mistakes) and set the whole sorry saga in its proper context.

    As for the suggestion that comments posted here are causing distress, I would have thought that any spiritual director worth his/her salt would be advising those effected to knuckle down and get on with the more important job of caring for one's parishioners, praying for them, leading them in worship (especially on Sundays), get a life, and stop spending so much time on-line. By the same token, if the fan club showed some gumption and stopped off-loading by rushing to report every single opinion expressed here, the said person/s might be free to get on with their 'day job' without the added burden of bearing other peoples' misdirected angst.

    1. A moratorium on scrutiny? I don't think so
      That's a lot of ifs, buts and maybes there Iolo not least the Llandaff Chapter being permitted to 'request' a visitation and 'due process' in the Church in Wales?
      Anyone requiring 'the whole sorry saga in its proper context' may avail themselves freely of Ancient Briton's archive and it's a crying shame the Llandaffchester Chronicles are no longer available online too.

    2. @Giggles is entitled to his opinion, but it might be worth saying that the Chapter corporately, or a member of the Chapter individually, needs no 'permission' to request a Visitation by the Bishop. Indeed, anyone can write to the Diocesan Bishop to request that she consider the option. The only people who have anything to fear from such a process are those for whom independent scrutiny is anathema.

      As far as June Osborne's approach to such a process is concerned, let her own words speak for themselves (in her last sermon as Dean of Salisbury): "The only situations which have truly pained me are those where people run away from who they truly are or from the needs of others, when pretence has used all means, including the language of religious faith, to deny what needs facing and so avoid the possibilities of God’s grace. Pretence that our desires are rationally ordered and under our control. Pretence that we always behave humanely, or pretence that life can be addressed without the necessity of courage. So here’s one of my last words: never deny, even for the sake of peace and quiet, your own experience and convictions... Never pretend."

      Much that appears on this blog is factually accurate. Much that the senior clergy of Cathedral and Diocese have said and done is cringe-worthy and, in some case, thoroughly unworthy. I accept that. And those who protest that the Dean, in particular, is a paragon of virtue are not helping their cause. But I cannot see how a temporary pause from the free-for-all (which includes a fair smattering of tendentious opinion and unchallengeable, unfounded innuendo) represents a moratorium on scrutiny, especially when scrutiny will be undertaken by people who have access to much more than (I suspect) many of us who contribute to this blog.

      In saying all this, my assumption is that we are all agreed that we want (a) the truth, and (b) a just outcome from a process that acknowledges the truth from all sides of the argument - as opposed to the restoration of 'my personal nirvana'? Above all, I hope that the outcome of such a process would enable the Cathedral to flourish once more as a flagship for mission, within its distinctive liturgical, musical and cultural identity.

      Of course there are ifs and buts, but the ball is now in our court (and, in particular, the Chapter's court). The worst outcome of all would be to allow things to continue as they are. One might even hope that the Dean would show some real leadership and request such a process himself.

    3. What would Jesus say?13 July 2017 at 17:57

      There's the fatal flaw - "my assumption is that we are all agreed that we want a) the truth".
      If the glove puppet was interested in the truth why are the Organ Appeal accounts and Quinquennial report still unpublished and the communicant numbers hidden since December 2015? No blame can be attached to any predecessors for these decisions.
      As for him showing "some real leadership" and requesting "such a process himself" you're asking a Turkey to vote for Christmas.

  19. Low Profile Bernard12 July 2017 at 15:00

    After Thinking about what to write for a while. I agreed with you initially AB that the presumably soon to be ex-Dean's biggest challenge was inexperience, and hoped for all of us that he could grow into the job. Prepared to be open minded, I was willing to give him a 6-12 month honeymoon period to settle in. but I changed my mind over one thing, something he did which really can't be pinned on his narcissist mentor, the letter to Mrs X which I had to read on the blog over again. The deep, deep malice he demonstrated in this calculating letter made him devastatingly unfit for the job. After all she is a member of his flock. He wrote it and he signed it. It's amazing to me to this day it didn't appear on the front page of the sun. It was that shocking. For me it became inevitable that Gerwyn would be dismissed (or forced to resign) the only question left being when and by whom. Would suggest to the new bishop that she talks to Mrs X and to other members of his congregation who have subsequently received these nasty letters.

  20. Parishioner - Thanks so much for your request that this atrocious blog be taken down. I myself have made similar requests over time, but to no avail. I have also reported certain contributors to the Blogger website, but have no idea whether these have been upheld.
    One of the things that interests me is the paradoxical nature of this blog. To a degree, I can agree with the blogger and his contributors that it is time for a proper ecclesiological debate in the CinW - but NOT one that's based on caricature of how the church used to be 30/40 years ago, simply because that is what they like. They seem to have no concept of what it means dialogue, and ironically they themselves become the consumerists, struggling desperately to cling to the church of a bygone era.
    Another feature of this blog is that is consistently theologically light, with poor ecclesiological knowledge - there is a particular fascination with tertiary issues, but hardly ever anything of any substance. I think for now the blog will continue, but I have no doubt that one day it will reach a sticky end.
    If I were Gerwyn, I would take little notice of this blog. It has made little difference to the life of the CinW thus far, and will fail to do so going forward. Leave these boys & girls to play - and leave the adults to get on with building God's kingdom here in Wales. An exciting (and challenging) future beckons.

  21. LaSophia – thank you for that considered entry – I could not agree more. The reality is, when you do try your best to lift the theological tone of the debate on this blog it usually ends in silencing it; I suspect many of those who contribute to this blog are incapable of meaningful theological discourse. Indeed, I am often left astounded by the lack of theological literacy I find here. Beyond the cursory reference to other intellectually vacuous blogs - that do no more than support the many polemics promulgated by AB and his/her associates - there is a serious lack of engagement with anything approaching current theology and models of ecclesiology.
    Theology ought to be engagement with the world and with what God is doing within the world in terms of ongoing revelation. It cannot be anything but forward-looking as its orientation is the Kingdom of God. That’s why I so enjoy Gerwyn’s preaching: it quite clearly springs from a lively theological mind; a mind that is curious and diligent in its hope to capture something of God at work in his world and within his people.
    I can’t always say that the preaching I hear in the Cathedral springs from lived theology and, as a lay person, I sometimes come away sensing that I probably read more theology than some who stand in the pulpit. That’s arrogant of me, I know, but come on, if I a layperson can be bothered to engage with current theological thinking, you expect to see it from those paid to do so.

    1. I think we all define theology as we want to. Yours interestingly does not mention Scripture which remains important to many of, or tradition which is important to many. If we dump both we are simply a left wing sect, in which The Bench rules 100%.
      I agree we need to look forward but that can only work if we have our feet on a solid foundation.
      It would seem wise for some reconciliation process in the Cathedral, as clearly many are hurt and bruised on both sides.
      But we are on quick sand as we dump the Bible and traditional and run off with the latest scheme.
      Numbers speak .....double the people attend rugby internationals than all our combined CiW churches on a Sunday.

    2. You won't hear about the 'straight and narrow road that leads to Heaven' in their Scripture either since their permissive "current theology" and "models of ecclesiology" mean anything goes.

      Anyone who dares to suggest otherwise is labelled as something-or-other-phobic, this-and-that-ist or subversive then essentially told - either in writing or from the Llandaff pulpit - to go forth and multiply.

  22. Do @La Sophia, @Parishioner, @Scapegoat, @Taffy and others have any useful reflections on @Iolo Goch's balanced and considered suggestions (above)? I ask this in a genuine spirit of curiosity. It would be good to know, because if we are all agreed that truth and justice are an over-riding priority, and that an independent process might achieve that for the common good, as well as enabling Llandaff Cathedral to be a flagship for mission in the Diocese once again, it would be a step forward. Moreover, the concerns of all shades of opinion would be addressed without prejudice of predetermination. Wouldn't this be the sort of 'lived theology' being suggested?

    1. I think any process that would enable the cathedral and its people move forward with a lively sense of purpose and mission would be welcome. Maybe we'll get to the bottom of why Mrs X has passed her letter from one hand to the next and help her (and others) find a more profitable way to seek resolution.

  23. Drain the swamp13 July 2017 at 11:16

    Irrelevant. The preaching and theology won't be the focus of any investigation. The nasty letters and accounts will.

    1. The Dean sent the letters because people in the shop were spreading malicious gossip about him. He was just waiting for an apology when all would be forgiven. Those people still come to the Cathedral and so they couldn't have been that badly affected.

    2. Yes that's the case - only takes one person to start malicious gossip and sadly I have head one old dear in the shop speak really badly about others. I know where I would have posted her letter if I had been the Dean!

      It's sad that Mrs X didn't have the humility to seek forgiveness for her gossiping as I know the Dean would have had the grace to sit down with her and offer a way out of her nasty mean-spirited and unfounded idle chatter. She didn't, rather, she gossiped the more and since receiving the letter has gone about painting herself as the victim. It's not too late for Mrs X to knock at the Deanery door and say sorry - he's a good man and, though difficult, would much welcome her remorse and offer reparation.

      Meanwhile, I understand sales at the shop have gone up post the letter scandal - one can only guess that the idle chatter has lessened and that the focus is now more on welcoming visitors than undermining the priest.

      Much of the New Testament is formed of letters from Paul as he educates young christians in the ways of kindness. Not to mention the Letter of James in its warning about gossip. Well done the Dean I say.

    3. Bollocks the Butler13 July 2017 at 17:23

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. Turning Taffy on his head.

      People in the Cathedral were talking about the Capon because he's perpetuating the cover-up. They were just waiting for his acknowledgement when all would be forgiven. The Capon still comes to the Cathedral and so he couldn't have been that badly affected.

      What about the large numbers of people who HAVE left the Cathedral (taking their cheque books with them) because they have been so badly affected by the misconduct of the Dean?
      Don't bother, we already know the response. "Tough"

  24. Regular Worshipper13 July 2017 at 17:29

    And Iolo Goch's suggestion, Scapegoat...?

  25. Ephesians 4:31 & 32. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.

    Perhaps a lesson can be learned here. Remember this before you criticise the Dean.

    1. Satan can quote scripture too14 July 2017 at 00:05

      The hapless fool is supposed to be the leader and setting the example so it's a pity he didn't heed Paul's letters to the Ephesus congregation before scribbling his own rantings on paper to Mrs X, Mr A, Mr & Mrs B, Mrs C and Mrs D, not to mention turning away various volunteers from within his own flock.

      Remember this as you seek to defend the indefensible.

    2. Taffy - that's what I could call 'lived theology'.
      Regular - see my response above ref. Iolo - I cud respond.

  26. Outside Looking In14 July 2017 at 09:13

    Am I alone in observing that those who rant and rail against this blog seem singularly reluctant to support (to my mind) the very reasoned suggestion by Iolo Goch that the new bishop instigates a Visitation in to the Cathedral. What is causing the reluctance, I wonder? Scapegoat grudgingly agrees with Iolo. What about all the others who are currently indulging in displacement activity by shifting the focus on to Mrs X, and justifying the ill-advised and intemperate committing of pen to paper? Yet another example of what Hymn Singer (above) described as being 'covered in smear' and 'shifting' that smear to someone else. The psychologists call it 'transference.' In other words, bullying. It cuts both ways. 'By their fruits' and all that.

    1. Did anyone notice even one of Dean Capon's ranting supporters utter a murmur in defence of Philip North when he was on the receiving end recently?
      AFTER weeks of protest at his appointment, the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North, has decided he cannot be the next Bishop of Sheffield.

      I didn't think so.

  27. I believe I responded with: "I think any process that would enable the cathedral and its people move forward with a lively sense of purpose and mission would be welcome." Peculiar of you, then, to read that as grudging acceptance. Not sure what the psychologists call it when you read negativity into something entirely positive; I'd call it nuts.

  28. I agree Scapegoat, the Cathedral and its people should move forward with a sense of purpose and mission, that is the mission of the Universal Church which is much wider than the liberalism and same sex marriage debate which has been such a distraction, setting one against another.

    As Llandaff Cathedral enters a new chapter following this evening's Sacred Synod I invite commentators to desist from further in-fighting and instead pray for the Cathedral and the Church in Wales, that all may feel welcome as loyal Anglicans. In that spirit no further tit for tat comments will be accepted.

  29. Silent Majority14 July 2017 at 23:52

    A final comment, which I hope AB will permit. What would that great patron of Llandaff, St Peter, say about all this?

    "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.

    4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." [1 Peter 5]