You are here . on the pale blue dot

Blog notes

'Anonymous' comments for publication must include a pseudonym.

They should be on topic and not involve third parties.
If pseudonyms are linked to commercial sites comments will be removed as spam.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Decision time

The bishops of St Davids, St Asaph, Llandaff, Swansea & Brecon, Bangor and Monmouth                                                                   Source: Church in Wales

The 2012 Church in Wales Review kicked off with two recommendations:

Recommendation I
1) The Governing Body and bishops should make it clear, if
necessary by Constitutional amendment, that motions can come
from parishes, and deaneries (or whatever body might replace
them), to Diocesan Conferences, and from Diocesan Conferences
to the Governing Body, and that such motions would be

Recommendation II
Candidates for election to the Governing Body should provide a
short manifesto which would be sent out to all electors by each
diocesan office. All elections in the Church should be conducted
in such a way as to ensure that electors know what the
candidates stand for on the issues of the day. 

Looking at the Agenda for the next Governing Body meeting little has changed. However, the spirit of Recommendation I is apparent in the Reverend Harri Williams' Private Members Motion on ‘Admission to Communion’. 

From the explanatory note: "Following the publication of the ‘Documents about Admission to Communion’ in September 2016, considerable discussion was held within the Deanery of Roose about the proposed changes. Whilst acknowledging that matters of faith and order are the preserve of the Bench of Bishops, it was recognised that these changes presented significant practical and pastoral considerations, for both clergy and laity, which it was felt had not been fully considered. These discussions voiced concerns which were shared on a wider basis throughout the Diocese."

The background can be read in a March entry, 'Dodgy legal advice leads to Eucharistic free for all'. That was the conclusion of the Rev'd Professor Thomas Glyn Watkin, a former Professor of Law at Cardiff and Bangor and former Legal Assistant to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales.

Professor Watkin wrote: "The interpretation placed upon the rubric by the Legal Sub-Committee not only circumvents the Church's due processes for alteration to rites and discipline. In its consequences, it displays a scant respect for - or an inchoate understanding of - the rule of law in Church affairs."

It will be interesting to see how the bishops respond to genuine concerns expressed in the pews about an enforced alteration to rites and discipline. The bishops were forced to backtrack on their desire to adopt same sex marriage in Church after the pew sitters expressed their concerns illustrating that their liberal agenda is not necessarily shared by members paying the Parish Share which is reflected by a continual fall in regular attendance, down to 28,291 and a reduction in planned giving from £11.4m in 2015 to £11.1m in 2016 - see Membership and Finances 2016 here.

Recommendation II implies openness but that could be used to vet candidates for election to the Governing Body to ensure even more like-mindedness to drive through proposals which do not necessarily reflect the views of the pew sitters. Of the farcical consultations carried out by the Church in Wales the most damaging was the refusal of the bench of bishops to entertain any sort of alternative Episcopal oversight for members who in conscience cannot accept the sacramental ministry of a woman priest. This has become a far greater problem with the appointment of two women bishops.

The bishops of St Davids and Llandaff have clearly stated their liberal agendas with more emphasis on inclusion and parity but with Barry Morgan in retirement, what are the real thoughts of the more senior bishops? Some potted histories are available here but what of their future plans if elected? In the process as described the meeting of the Electoral College will "begin with a discussion on the needs of the Province and a period of prayer and reflection".

They will need to pray about past mistakes and reflect on taking the Morgan line that there would be alternative episcopal oversight over his dead body. Many clergy and lay people have been forced to decide whether they can, in conscience, continue their membership of a church which values only their financial contributions. For many there is no alternative but to stay away. If that sits easily with the collective consciences of the bishops of the Church in Wales they will be seen as wolves rather than shepherds.

The decision must be for a good shepherd who cares for all his sheep.

Updates [06.09.2017]

1. It has been announced that he new Archbishop of Wales is the Rt Rev John Davies, the bishop of Swansea and Brecon. Our prayers must be for the restoration of the Church in Wales, undoing the damage of his predecessor, to ensure that all are welcome with acceptable sacramental and pastoral provision for all those souls neglected for so long.

2. Church in Wales report here.


  1. I hate to say this, but reading the bios, and not taking theological positions into account, for me June Osborne's leadership credentials are a class apart despite her inexperience as a Bishop.

    1. Typical EFCW (Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales) Where else would you find them? Spineless, liberal and plagiarists.

    2. I wasn't endorsing her Enforcer, read a bit more carefully before unleashing your unchristian vitriol.

    3. "Not taking theological positions into account"? Isn't that your problem Whamab? You haven't got one?

      As a speaker once announced in an EFCW conference: "Those who want coffee put yours arms down".

    4. I was merely commenting on June Osborne's leadership abilities apart from her liberalism.

      'Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the LORD' Ps 132:2

      And if there is coffee available, great.

    5. But it still leaves you, in what appears to be a typical Church in Wales via media evangelical (EFCW) without decisive theology. The problem walking in the 'middle of the road' is you get run down. Good leadreship skills are not necessarily Christian no more than those within a masonic lodge or the Druid circle. I hope this is clear to you by now Whamab. God bless you.

    6. Enforcer, I am baffled?
      Those of us in EFCW are not liberal and are opposed to the liberal agenda of the CiW.
      Many in EFCW, also struggle with lady's in leadership.
      We are evangelicals, certainly not "without decisive theology" as you claim.
      I have always valued the diversity within the CiW, and believe that as evangelicals we have a distinctive and valuable role. I respect Anglo Catholics and their right to their beliefs.
      I am saddened by your mocking of us, and your intolerance.
      Surely we should all be uniting against the grey of liberalism, which is killing our Church. (or rather the CiW)

    7. By heck lad! That were more like it- the fury and the eyes of an angry Bull. Another wild and unpredicatble EFCW member, "Don't you look at me in that tone of voice".

  2. Pondering Pastor. Let the Holy Spirit hear our prayers and umpire the sacred meeting. Whoever is elected, let them be His choice, regardless of gender,or experience.

    1. Too late. The infection has spread. The patient is in terminal decline. Recovery is impossible. Miraculous cures all used up.

    2. A 21% drop in the number of confirmations.

      The bunglers on the bench should give due consideration to the possibility that people have woken up to the fact that some of them have been dipping their hands into the collection plates at Confirmation services.

  3. I think we can safely say that this particular election will not be concluded in the hour-or-so it took to elect Rowan Williams. This particular election is an especially rank and impervious swamp of mistrustful back-stabbing. Yes, I agree, it may be necessary to elect June Osborne if only to drain the swamp of the dictatorship and disingenuous duplicity that marked the 'Morgan Years.' But I cannot help thinking that she is in Wales with no electoral mandate in the first place, and could prove a liability when it comes to understanding Wales and the wider cultural and political terrain. Her (alleged) instruction to remove a Welsh hymn from her enthronement service because 'none of my friends will know it', coupled to the Jefferts Schorri anointing, is a sign that the Sarum Strategist doesn't quite get what Wales is all about. Having said all that, the cupboard is otherwise bare... What a pile of fertiliser Barry Morgan has left for the Church in Wales after such a self-regarding episcopate, and imposing his own self-serving agenda. Utterly shameful. But at least we can now see the results in all their ghastly glory.

  4. Why not see the funny side of this mess? Try 'Fantasy Island' gowermasterblog

    Barry Pen-deryn

  5. Still at it in Llandrindod I see. I also see that, despite Ms Morrell's attempts at positive spinning (and the extensive provision of photos of previous archbishops) on the C in W website, there's no mention of the election on the 'front page' of the BBC Wales news website. Just shows how newsworthy the C in W has (not) become.

    Yes, Evans, I think you're right. This one is going to run and run until Morgan's Swamp is drained and restocked with life-forms of greater integrity.

  6. And life forms of greater gravity, too, one would hope.

  7. Well if the BBC spin is anything to go by ...

    Looking very interesting indeed

    Pondering Pastor

    1. I would use the word "harrowing" P P. We can't even look forward to the election of the best of a bad lot.
      Over the years the electoral machinery has been systematically stuffed with liberal minions whose function has been to elect liberal clones.
      Real diversity and inclusivity should have presented the church with an exciting choice today. Whatever the result the only outcome will be Mutually Assured Destruction. MAD isn't it?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. It's a pity your comment has been deleted Simple Simon, I agreed with everything you said.

      It's more of the same in England.
      Archbishop of Canterbury calls for radical economic reform
      'The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, says Britain's economic model is broken, as the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the UK widens.
      Britain stands at a watershed and must make "fundamental choices" about the direction of the economy', he said.

      He's an expert on things that are broken, what a shame his attention isn't 100% focused on the Church of England 'model' that is failing and breaking up the Anglican Communion.
      It won't be long before one of the bunglers on the Welsh bench feels the need to speak out on matters economic.

      If only their own houses were in order.

  9. Hello! Is Anyone Still Breathing?6 September 2017 at 07:53

    The classical Anglican definition tells us that bishops are a focus of unity... unless, of course, you live in a Welsh diocese. The failure, so far, to elect an Archbishop just goes to show how far Anglicanism in Wales has been steam-rollered by the archdictator, Barry Morgan. As the walking wounded emerge from Llandrindod parish church, and the Church in Wales descends into further chaos, he's having the time of his life on the golf course and laughing all the way to his pension pot.

  10. I do not normally begin the day with a gloat A.B. but Radio Cymru is currently highlighting yet another "own goal" by Mrs Morrell and her overpaid staff in Cathedral Road.
    Here in the North we are actively commemorating the centenary of the day when the tragic news of the death of Hedd Wyn was given to the National Eisteddfod at Penbedw (Birkenhead).
    Later today the First Minister will be at Hedd Wyn's home,Yr Ysgwrn,Trawsfynydd. In Penbedw the Revd. Dr. D Ben Rees will be masterminding ceremonies which are scheduled to last for several days..
    So far removed are the "Welsh" bishops from the real Welsh people that not a single one of them is expected to be present at these Welsh language events of national importance.
    Whatever may or may not be the outcome in "Llan-Dod" today it will be eclipsed by the real Shepherd from Trawsfynydd.

  11. Well the Bishop of Swansea & Brecon, who would have thought? Let's see his first address as His Grace Cambrensis at GB becomes a move for change. Pondering Pastor

  12. So Buggins' turn it is.

    1. O Dear.....O Dear O Dear.....O Dear O Dear O Dear. Still never mind eh. What's to loose? Only the Christian faith in Wales. Did you see the expression of triumph on the face of the Wench of Abergwili standing behind him?
      Our troubles have not yet begun.

    2. The Most Revd Shirley-looking-over-your-shoulder-for-someone-more-important-to-talk-to-Davies7 September 2017 at 22:51

      Don't call me +Shirley!!!

    3. Now stop it, just stop it, come on stop it, don't call me Shirley! Calling the Dark One His Darkness was bad enough, so don't start all that business about calling me Shirley. Surely that's not too much to ask? Don't call me Shirley!

  13. Shame, I'd wagered a pound on Jacob Rees-Mogg becoming the next Archbishop of Wales.

  14. It's getting just like parliament then Father David?. Another former lawyer, "specialising in criminal law" (Daily Post. Small thin strip p15 only). Now move over Mr Rees-Mogg, there's a good chappy. We have an expert- a bishop.

    Trouble is, a magician may be able to impress his audience with a trick once, but after a while it begins to loose its lustre. Let's ask the new Archbishops opinion on impersonating, conspiracy and fraud, such as in : www.scandal and (google) . "Enlighten our darkness we beseech thee your grace, and by thy great mercy deliver us from the dangers and perils of this dark night".

    1. Essential reading for everyone Enforcer. Amen and Good Luck.

  15. Dear A B. May I refer your contributors to the criticism which is being strongly expressed in the Welsh media especially through the BBC service Cymru Fyw of the 7th of September.(still available on line)
    It is now known that the charlady from Sarum Cleansing Services banned the use of the Welsh language in her Anglo Saxon, ticket only, orientated jamboree in Llandaf Cathedral.
    Not a single "Welsh" bishop warned her of the folly of this insult. Time for your bloggers to put pen to paper?

  16. Gareth from the Gower8 September 2017 at 11:59

    OK. Now that Dodgy Davies (Shirley or not) has it in the bag, he has a chance to redeem himself after the unsavory revelations of Emailgate. He has the option to appoint an Assistant Bishop. Will he show some moral courage and theological generosity, and appoint someone who can minister to the clergy and parishes who, in the words of June Osborne, are 'not required to accept the ordination of women'?

  17. For goodness sake Gareth from the Gower, there was once a Provincial Assistant Bishop appointed for just such a reason .... and guess what??? With a few notable exceptions, NOBODY USED HIM. It was this dearth of work, which exasperated +David and caused him great disappointment, that ensured no further appointment when he retired.

    How many confirmations was +David asked to carry out during his tenure, I wonder? Answer: a risible amount.

    Those parishes now recoiling in horror at the reality of woman bishops (... if there are indeed such parishes), who failed to take advantage of +David's ministry when he was in post, are now reaping what they have sown.

    The new Arch is still part of a bench that has already stated that the appointment of a PAB will not happen. 'Whistling in the Wind' springs to mind.

    - It's Goodnight From Me.

    1. You ignore the sad reality for all traditional Anglo-catholic Parish priests labouring under the Darth --Insidious regime - if they had invited +David to carry out confirmations their card would have been definitely marked and the Arch bully boy seen to it that they were left to rot in some backwater.
      No good deed ever went unpunished by Morgan.

    2. ..... the sad reality is actually that traditional Anglo-Catholic Parishes have lost their provision by their very reluctance / timidity in using that provision when it was available. The Parish Clergy must carry the can for this. Most Anglo-Catholic clergy that I questioned as to why +David wasn't being utilised replied with some claptrap along the lines of, 'I'm loyal to the Diocesan, I'm a Catholic'. Fast forward ..... Welcome to the reality of a woman on the cathedra at Llandaff and St David's, with no provision for dissenters. So much for loyalty to the Diocesan.

      - It's Goodnight from Me.

  18. Charles Villiers Stanford8 September 2017 at 13:54

    Watchman is on to something here. Not only did June Osborne take the spectacularly cackhanded decision to excise all Welsh from her enthronement (one wonders what the Dean's motives were in not strongly advising her against such a move?), but we hear from our correspondent in the Butcher's Arms that Shirley has been corresponding (those emails again...) with a notable Welsh composer: accusing him of bigotry, no less, when asked why a non-Welsh speaker was appointed to the See of Llandaff. The composer in question is a communicant at Eglwys Dewi Sant in Cardiff, and has a reasonable point when faced with a diocesan bishop who cannot exercise her ministry of word and sacrament in the native language of the worshippers in a parish in her diocese. In the meantime, Shirley is banging on about the C in W not being good at getting its message across. Not in the Welsh language, certainly.

    1. Come, come people, there's far more important matters to attend to.
      How long will it be before the toilet facilities in our Cathedrals are remodelled and made gender-neutral?
      The little darlings at the Bishop of Llandaff High School have had it foisted upon them and will now be expecting the same elsewhere.
      "A school has introduced gender neutral toilets which it says were designed to make them accessible to everyone. The “hotel style” facilities were opened at Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School in Cardiff for the start of the new term this week.
      Head teacher Marc Belli said the open plan toilets were designed as gender neutral for practical and not political reasons. He declined to say how much they had cost."

      I wonder if they have included disabled, trans-gender, multi-gender and undecided facilities?

    2. The ears in the walls suggest that it was Gerwhine who deliberately leaked the story to one of his pint-sized cronies who just happens to be a member of the Taffia and a big chum of Darth --Insidious.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. @LET
      Don't you mean pocket-sized? ;-)

    5. Nice one Episkopos especially if it is linked to the Cymru Fyw article of 7 September !

  19. You too are on to something C.V.S. The Welsh people are not monoglot oafs as the bench sitters suppose. Our horizons extend far beyond the leafy groves of Whitchurch and Rhadyr. Our long history has taught us what good Bishops are made of. We know what to expect of them and we know how to serve them well.
    Even when Lambeth ruled over us it was ordered by statute in 1662 that the Prayer Book be translated into the Welsh tongue - 13 & 14 Charles 11 cap.4 S 27. Then in 1838 by 1 & 2 Victoria cap 106 S 103 - 105 it was enacted that any bishop in Wales could refuse Institution or License to any clergyman unable to officiate in the Welsh language. Sources Ivor Bowen and C.A.H.Green.
    We have been betrayed.

  20. SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

    England's Trump : Could Jacob Rees-Mogg MP proclaim the Social Reign of Christ the King based on Vatican Council II ( Feeneyite) and the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus ( Feeneyite) ?

  21. Does the Church in Wales have a Welsh identity. Look at the Bench; The two wimin, indigenous Welsh? or is it "Achtung; Achtung das ist Englandt." Then there is the Monmouthshire complement of three, and the others? as Welsh as the ace of spades? Are we just a step away from re-absorption.

    Let them express our quintessential nature without the hymns that 'my friends do not understand' if they so wish but what is it? and if they don't can I belong?

    Or are they saying I neither understand your question and if I did nor do I care about you anyway. So much for the endless debt of love. It is times like this that I honestly hate the episcopal gear that is upon them. I'd willingly rip it off their backs. Tell me who is that bench photograph for? Which Scripture does it reflect?
    Come back Amos. You hated those feasts-and the rest.

    1. Thrupence , You are worth ten times your weight in gold. You enable me to pose the question. Does anyone know of a single Metropolitan or Diocesan Bishop in the Provinces of Canterbury and York who can not or could not speak the English language? To emphasise my point I will add the supplementary question. Does anyone know of such an instance in the past 100 years?
      I say again the Welsh people have been betrayed.

  22. Brilliant. Thankyou, from those of us who remember when thrupence were thrupence.