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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Too little, too late?

  "Be joyful and keep the faith!" -  The motto of Credo Cymru   

Lay and clergy members of the Church in Wales who subscribe to the traditional Anglican understanding of faith and order are being invited by Credo Cymru (Forward in Faith, Wales) to Register as members of Y Gymdeithas, a Society for Wales under the patronage of the Welsh Saints similar to The Society in the Church of England. It is hoped that the Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, will serve in due course as Visitor of the Society in Wales.

This puts into practice the suggestion of the Bishop of St Asaph in September 2016 following the Conference to Preserve the Breadth of Anglicanism in Wales that such a body be established  "to explore the possibility of a 'double belonging' to the society and to the diocese. Priests would continue to owe a duty of canonical obedience to the bishop with jurisdiction, who is the  ordinary, but they could have an affective loyalty to an Episcopal Visitor chosen for the society."

For many it has proved difficult to 'be joyful and keep the faith'. So difficult that many have given up on finding that the church had left them, seeing no point in paying to maintain an 'inclusive' institution that excluded many cradle Anglicans. 

But be that as it may. The appointment of two women bishops has placed conscientious clergy and laity in Wales in a difficult position, one from which they could see no escape. This move provides hope and a belated glimmer of understanding. Pray that it is not too little, too late.


  1. Replies
    1. Ditto.
      And way way way too late.

    2. The ears in the walls report it's way too late for Llandaff Cathedral with the glove puppet allegedly draining the Friends' account as fast as he can to pay for the scaffolding and clerestory work, the bill for which is rumoured to be in the millions.
      Once the Friends' money has gone that will be it.
      There's nothing else left to sell, unless and until they can force out the Canon Residentiary into retirement!

    3. Time is fast running out for the few remaining fragments of St. Michelle's.
      My contacts in the world of choral music tell me that bookings of future accommodation arrangements for visiting guest choirs to Llandaff Cathedral are already being turned away.
      Obviously the final closure of St. Michelle's imminent.
      It must be obvious to anyone with anything other than delusions between their ears that considerably fewer guest choirs will be willing to visit.
      The final countdown to terminal decline has begun.

    4. Is that why there was another white van outside the Llandaft Deanery garage on Monday evening emptying out the glove puppet's stock of antiques?

    5. @Lux et veritas
      If the ears in the walls are only even partially correct then Linda Quinn, David Collins and the Friends' Council need to move very quickly to recover the cheque book and bank statements from Gerwhine and Alan Williams without delay.
      Failure to do so will result in the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral becoming as discredited as the Cathedral and Chapter already are. If that is permitted to occur then there will be no more legacies and the Friends will cease to exist.

      If money is indeed missing from the Friends' bank account then legal redress should be sought against Capon and Williams.

    6. It is probably too late already but the Dean of Llandaff needs to be kicked out of the Friends altogether as well as removed as honorary chairman.

    7. Mr Micawber

      If previous behaviour is clue to current behaviour then financial difficulties will be being hidden. So I decided to take a look a bit more at what is publicly available.

      The RB accounts, up to December 31 2015 are on the charities commission website. (For those interested in checking and verifying for themselves, please see note 26 "St Michaels College").

      Financial year to December 31 2014, St Michelle's made a loss of £206,000
      Financial year to December 31 2015, the loss increased to £304,000

      The reason that commentators above and on another thread would seem to be correct is that these losses at this level are unsustainable and the bishops have presumably made a quiet decision to close the college completely, with a loss of all the jobs.

      More to come.

    8. Rather like the Cathedral choir in 2013 I suspect the remaining staff at St. Michelle's will be receiving their P45s in the third week of December.
      I can see it now.
      "Many thanks for all your years of service and happy f***ing Christmas. ++John"

    9. While many other Cathedrals see an increase, Llandaff gets rid of its choir.

    10. Bullshit + bluster7 October 2017 at 19:14

      Lifted from page 2 of the annual report of St. Michael's College 2011-12

      New opportunities
      2011 has seen the culmination of an exciting development for St Michael’s
      College. The merger on 1st August 2011 with the Representative Body of
      the Church in Wales demonstrates the confidence the Church in Wales has in
      the college and ushers in a period of stability and new opportunities.
      Building on the impressive inspection report of 2009 and the significant
      investment in refurbishment in 2010, the merger enables St Michael’s to
      develop a long-term vision as a significant provider of training and
      development within Wales and further afield.

      New challenges
      Traditional routes to ordained ministry are changing. New and different ways
      of ministry, both ordained and lay, changing lifestyles and social patterns,
      advances in technology and developments in training all contribute to this challenging future. St Michael’s is already responding.
      Both in terms of training new ordinands, as well as providing continuing development for established clergy and Readers, the college is exploring different options. Education for discipleship and the development of the non-residential course are well underway. This has involved working closely with the St Seiriol’s centre and successful pilot groups in the two dioceses of St David’s and St Asaph. In addition a successful Mission Shaped Ministry course has evolved over the last two years and St Michael’s has been actively involved in discussions on Future Patterns of Ministry in the Church in Wales.

      New confidence
      A clear identity and focused vision have given St Michael’s a new confidence
      to engage in exciting and innovative opportunities and expand its horizons.
      The Partnership Agreement with Cardiff University continues to develop with St Michael’s contributing to the periodic review of undergraduate and
      postgraduate programmes, as well as participating in discussions around the
      challenges of future funding. The Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies, which achieved its first PhD in December 2010 (on hospital chaplaincy, as it responds to changes in health care policy), is consolidating its reputation as a centre of excellence for study, research and consultancy. The Centre delivered a well received research report on chaplaincy in prisons to the National Offender Management Service. The Centre is building its publications base and also hosted a very successful multi-faith conference in December, with Professor David Ford of Cambridge University as the keynote speaker.

      New beginnings
      St Michael’s is looking further afield too. International contacts are
      developing and the Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies is taking the lead in exploring a range of partnerships and training collaborations. Discussions
      are underway with the National Association of Chaplains to the Police (NACP) and there have been initial conversations about shared interests in school chaplaincy training with SKH Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong.

      In Wales, in the UK and overseas, St Michael’s is laying the foundations
      for success and growth.

    11. @Mr Micawber

      I have also gleaned the figures below from previous annual reports.
      2011 - Loss of £105k
      2012 - Loss of £100k
      2013 - Loss of £164k
      2014 - Loss of £206k
      2015 - Loss of £304k
      2016 annual report has yet to appear but if the pattern has continued the latest loss might be around £400k

      In the five years immediately following the £1.7 million refurbishment St Michael's lost a further £879k with the losses for 2016 and 2017 still to be added to the running total, but on previous form, likely to be in the region of another £500k.

      So by the time the RB comes to dispose of the property and grounds of St. Michael's (previously valued at £3 million) it could well have cost them around £3 million and to all intents and purposes be utterly worthless.

    12. Mr Micawber

      Thanks so much L et V

      Your analysis shows us that the RB lost £879,000 in the five years since the RB took over the responsibility for the finances. Pretty disastrous for any business - especially after a big sum in cash (£1.7m) had already been injected. I've analysed your figures and estimates and agree with them. Seem reasonable to me.

      Suspect the other comment about P45s is right, all the staff will be laid off.

    13. The writing has been on the wall for many years concerning the demise of St. Michael's.

      02 NOVEMBER 2006
      College future up in the air

      15 Apr 2014
      Top Church college could face axe despite £1.7m revamp

      16 Apr 2014
      Church college faces closure due to shortage of trainee vicars

      15 APRIL 2016
      Goodbye to St Michael’s College, as theological training is reinvented

      With the lunatics running the Church in Wales asylum it's nothing short of a miracle it made it to 2017.
      It won't see 2020.

    14. As St. Michael’s is being run into the ground and staff made redundant perhaps the fast-dwindling 28,000 remaining subscribers might wish to take an interest in where their money is going.
      Thanks to my contacts in the real estate sector, one may now see for oneself.

      “Big deals help UK's 'Big Nine' regional office markets top the five-year average”
      “Cardiff saw a low level of activity during Q2 as the Church of Wales took the largest deal - 10,770 sq ft at 2 Callaghan Square.”
      The RB’s new “Sacred Space” would seem to be the 4th floor penthouse.
      Having seen the brochure one then might be asking oneself the cost of the 8th Sacred Space.
      "Office for rent”
      Rent - 10,773 square feet at £21.75 = £234,312.75
      Service Charge (Estimated) – 10,773 square feet at £6.44 = £69,378.12
      Business Rates (Estimated) – 10,773 square feet at £8.00 = £86,184.00
      GRAND TOTAL = £ 389,874.87 per annum.
      Yes readers, you DID read that correctly - £390k - PER ANNUM.
      For the gophers and busybodies of the RB.
      What will the Church in Wales have to show for that huge expenditure at the end of their lease?
      The square root of sweet FA.

      Meanwhile on Cardiff Road, Llandaff all the wonderful refurbished facilities listed below will shut.
      “Welcome to St Michael’s Conference Centre
      St Michael's is a training centre for the Church in Wales and also a busy conference venue.
      We offer a unique mix of up-to-date facilities, traditional buildings and beautiful grounds, and we host all kinds of events including meetings, conferences and workshops.
      We pride ourselves on providing the right mix of meeting room facilities, en-suite accommodation and catering to ensure a successful event, all supported by our helpful and friendly staff team.
      With 6 varied rooms and 32 en-suite bedrooms we provide a good value alternative to hotel conference facilities. We are on direct transport routes from Cardiff city centre, near the M4 and free on site parking.
      Vital Statistics
      . 6 meeting rooms with capacities of up to 60 people
      . 32 en-suite bedrooms (2 fully accessible)
      . Combination of character buildings and modern facilities
      . Peaceful and tranquil setting yet in easy reach of Cardiff city centre, Cardiff Bay, Llandaff Cathedral and surrounding areas
      . On site Grade 2 listed Chapel designed by George Pace
      . Free car parking and easy access to M4
      . Great food provided by our in- house catering team”

    15. @Mr Micawber
      My apologies, I had no need to speculate after all.
      The 2016 accounts are available at

      If you turn to page 40 and see note 23, the latest losses for St. Michael's total £581k.
      The updated table now reads
      2011 - Loss of £105k
      2012 - Loss of £100k
      2013 - Loss of £164k
      2014 - Loss of £206k
      2015 - Loss of £304k
      2016 - Loss of £581k
      Running total loss of £1.46 million

  2. Too late!! .... and this defeats any notion of catholicity within the Apostolic Succession. Welsh Parish Clergy who are out of communion with their own Diocesan Bishop, now seeking pastoral care from an English Visitor with no Canonical jurisdiction??!! All of this when the Society in England is the result of 'A Code of Practice Will not Do ...' being alterd via humiliation and defeat at Synod to, 'I suppose a Code of Practice will have to do ...'

    Witness what happens when an Orthodox bishop is appointed to a Diocesan See, as in Philip North to Sheffield.

    As one former Bp of Ebbsfleet (now a Monsignor aboard the Barque of Peter) put it, Rome is The Answer.

    Double Belonging?? At the very most, what you have described is palliative 'care', AB. It's utter nonsense!

    - It's Goodnight From Me

  3. The 9rdinariate was created for you. Why continue to ignore it? ,

  4. Antique Richborough continues to tout for trade but few respond to his siren calls which become increasingly desperate as the Ordinariate continues to wither on the True Vine.

    1. What a bitter comment from a serving priest! May the Ordinariate continue to grow in its mission in the face of such hostility!

      - It's Goodnight from Me

  5. Watching from the Sidelines5 October 2017 at 07:56

    Yes, it is too late, and also far too loose. What sanction does this have from the Bench Sitters and the Governing Body? OK, at one level, who gives a fig about what the bishops and the vastly reduced and enfeebled faux democracy of Morgan the Golfer think? However, without any form of canonical agreement, this could place individual clergy at risk of disciplinary measures, especially if it means inviting episcopal cross-border raids. Given the recent reports of Andy Crap's comportment in this respect, some people will understandably feel nervous.

    Above all, it renders The Society as some kind of English Cause, which will leave a bad taste in Wales. Credo Cymru should be pressing hard for a Welsh bishop (and a Welsh-speaking one at that) who can minister to clergy and parishes from within the Church in Wales. Shirley should show some moral courage and appoint an assistant who can minister to these parishes.

    As for the Ordinariate... that is just a failed experiment in having one's cake and eating it. Either you swim across the Tiber and 'accept the full menu' (to use Cardinal Hume's aphorism, along with 'total, eventual integration') or you bear witness to catholic continuity with the Anglican Communion (as courageous people like Bishop Philip North is doing). Most of my Roman Catholic friends regard the Ordinariate as a variation on Opus Dei - an unwelcome and disaffected conservative rump that now finds itself out of step with the tenor of the current Papacy, but can't quite let go of their moorings in the C of E (witness the rather sad sightings outside The Bull in Walsingham on the day of 'The National').

    1. In the face of such a dismissive and patronising attack on my friends in the Ordinariate, I salute the many former young Anglican clergy who left comfortable livings, their homes, friends and colleagues - often with young families in tow - and have successfully made the leap of Faith into the wider Catholic Church, where they are distinct but fully integrated in Full Communion with the See of Peter. They are not 'unwelcome'; we are delighted to have them. They are not 'disaffected' - they are fully Catholic (as an aside, many conservative Catholics have reservations concerning the current Pope, but that is not to say that they reject his authority). Not to mention the laity who have left beloved churches and friends to truly follow their consciences.

      We all know why many remaining Anglican Clergy will not embrace the Ordinariate - and it is not connected with matters of Faith; more 'lifestyle' issues ... the unspoken Elephant in the Room.

      Posters on here should stop trying to deflect from the catastrophy that is unfolding around them within the CiW, by attacking those who have had the courage and integrity to follow Christ in His True Church. I left the CiW many years ago and was received via RCIA -- I only wish the Ordinariate had been available to me then. I can only encourage those who are dithering to start exploring. In either case (RCIA or Ordinariate) you will be loved and welcomed.

      As for this blog, it has had its day. I won't be commenting any further. Like it and lump it or move on, for pity's sake!

      - It's Goodnight From Me

  6. Under no circumstances should this poisoned chalice be accepted from what is essentially a bench of four renegade bishops and two others who have effectively destroyed the order and ministry of bishops over a large swathe of south Wales.
    The faithful do not need the permission of a cabal of Bazzarites such as this for their episcopal oversight.
    Just look at the way Bishop David Thomas was treated by the Bazzarites of his day, most of whom still occupy their benches now. He was marginalised, underfunded, under staffed, under resourced and ridiculed. Who can doubt that this treatment hastened his demise?
    The way forward for the faithful, orthodox Anglicans is to stand firm and use means such as this blog to expose the Pelagian heresies of a bench who are in serious error.
    Ther are seeking others to blame for their own misdeeds.


    Good news for the Archdeacon and his family but one fears for those in the parishes that he is leaving behind.

    It is noted that his final service will not be held at Bangor Cathedral. I think we can all draw our own conclusions about this.

  8. Dylan from Dolgellau5 October 2017 at 14:40

    As Dear Oscar might have said, "To lose one Archdeacon of Bangor to the Church of England may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two in succession seems like carelessness." Or, as we know only too well, up here in the Diocese of Despondency and Decline, it is inevitable that anyone with a scrap of intelligence and initiative will not hang around for very long to be part of Andy Crap's slow-motion car crash.

    Don't be fooled by the episcopal warm words and the platitudes about 'God is a God of Surprises.' This was the line when Cyanide Sue left the Deanery. Before we knew it, she was taking +AC to an industrial tribunal. Paul Davies is a much bigger person than that. But oh to be a fly on the wall when he and his current successor meet over a panad and a Welsh cake at the next C of E archdeacons' get-to-together...

    So who next? I don't see much evidence of a prestigious senior post in the C of E beckoning for Bob the Builder, or the Lavatory Attendant from Llanbedrog or even the part-time Dean. I am hoping that may be Andy himself will be called by the 'God of Surprises' to leave Ty'r Esgob and go Jogging for Jesus up and down some mountains somewhere else. Peru, perhaps; or even Papua New Guinea?

  9. Bob the Builder will almost certainly be polishing his charms in expectation of the realisation of his vaulting ambition. Could somebody please tell the poor soul that if polish doesn't work, he could always try covering himself in glitter.

    Menai Drudge

    1. Bob the Builder should stick to doing what he does best, as the recipient of more episcopal brown-nose awards than any other cleric in the whole of the history of the C in W. He's only here because the C of E didn't want him. If... if Andy Crap is so stupid and desperate to make him Archdeacon of Bangor, the pace of the exodus will only quicken. In any case, what would the Lavatory Attendant make of it (he who, when Bob the Builder's tutor at St Michael's, recommended he should not be ordained)?

    2. Do remember that he is a keen photographer whose rise to popularity finds its source in www .Scandal and .

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

    4. Gwyn from Gwalchmai6 October 2017 at 12:37

      As the Queen once asked of Kate Middleton, what does [he - i.e. Bob the Builder] actually do? He left his poking-his-nose-into-church-schools job some time ago. Now, he seems to be swanning around (on a full stipend if you please) doing little more than uploading feeble 'good news stories' on the Diocesan website and massaging Andy Crap's ego (as if it isn't inflated enough). This is all the more interesting because, in the early days, he was very much among the chorus of doubters, hedging his bets no doubt, as he waited to see who the victors would be after regime change. 'I was blind, but now I see' he must be singing to himself.

      Has anyone seen him taking services on Sundays recently? Any sightings should be reported, methinks.

    5. Reported? But to whom? Jodrell Bank Observatory and Discovery Centre?

    6. Look out some some schmoozing at the Bangor Diocesan Conference tomorrow where +Andy will almost certainly indulge and encourage some Bob-ery to divert attention from the *ahem* diocesan accounts.

      Remember: no matter how much a snake sheds its skin, it is still a snake.

      Menai Drudge

  10. I’m a little confused about this Society business. Most of those likely to join it use the Roman rite – they are all things Roman, except as for as, “It’s Good Night From Me” describes it the, ‘Elephant in the (bed) room’. So, if the Society is set up in Wales, who will these priests pray for in the canon: ‘June our bishop’ or ‘Jonathan our bishop’? If the former, they are clearly acknowledging that they are in communion with her. In which case, what it all the fuss about? If the latter, then by that very statement, within the prayer of consecration, they are declaring UDI from the Church in Wales. Now that would be a very interesting canonical situation!

    1. The confusion is not yours Confused but that of the Church in Wales for so electing bishops who stand in such dire error that they need the prayers of the faithful in order that they may repent and amend their ways.

  11. Even more confused!5 October 2017 at 23:30

    @Confused, you have hit the nail on the head. If Church in Wales clergy pray for ‘Jonathan our Bishop’ they are linking themselves with a bishop of the Church of England. Think about it. Priests of a disestablished church rejecting their diocesan bishop, and attempting to establish communion with a bishop from a different province? There is no way that the Bench will allow that to happen. The only workable solution would be for the Bench to make Ebbsfleet an Assistant Bishop in Wales. Which is surely what +David Thomas was doing? But the Bench rejected that concept. As Ancient Briton noted, too little, too late.

  12. Pondering Pastor: what an impasse we have! Is there a real argument for 'wrong' or, 'right'! Surely the middle ground the centric, is being mission focused on Christ.

    Interesting this article from Premier Christian Radio offers some focus, that mission is the vital tool, but alas, mission is no longer the domain of the clergy, but of the "whole" Church. As I have said in previous response to articles herein, we need evangelism, in the pioneering Anglo-Catholic Priest, the Church Army Evangelist, mission is key to receiving the Church, not making super parishes, or amalgamations. No the core emphasis needs to be a ground swell of the laity, saying "no", asking "why" and making the Church accountable for every penny spent not just blindly following.

    The article about the recent CMS research in the UK makes interesting reading.,57L5U,K09LSV,K1PCS,1

  13. News from St David's today.