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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

All change at the Cathedral


#RedWednesday, Epstein's Majestas,  Llandaff Cathedral                                                                                                                    Original Source: Cool Places


It is "all change at the Cathedral" according to a Diocesan press release in which the bishop of St Davids announced more appointments at St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.

The first woman bishop in the Church in Wales followed her own appointment by appointing the first woman Dean of St Davids. She continues her feminizing by appointing another woman to be Canon Treasurer.

Thankfully there will still be a male presence at the holy shrine of the Patron Saint of Wales, Dewi Sant because Bishop Joanna has appointed Canon Leigh Richardson to be the next Canon Residentiary.

From their diocesan website: "The history of the present diocese of St Davids is long and varied. Celtic saints and Welsh princes, mediaeval bishops and Victorian legislators, Reformation scholars and Puritan divines, ascetic monks and Georgian parsons – all have left their mark on an extensive sacred landscape."

But it is all change at the Cathedral. Only now have past 'errors' been realised by the new elite who presumably regard Christ as sexist for not appointing a woman apostle.

Scripture and tradition are being swept away. Just like many faithful Anglicans who have been sacrificed to appease a few vocal feminists and disproportionate numbers of homosexuals who, from the security of the vestry and pews, claim to be excluded from the church. The lights are going out. For many they went out years ago but not in the candle-lit world of their progressive liberal bishops.

Worshippers who attended church twice or three times on a Sunday have shrunk as change has been forced on passive congregations by ambitious clerics led by the likes of Archbishop Barry Morgan and his bench sitters. One wonders what beliefs they hold with no apparent fear of judgement day when they will have to account for their actions which have resulted in losing many as they compromise on sin to satisfy the desires of the few.

Traditionalists are often accused of misogyny but from my own experience more women than men have been driven to the conclusion that their church has left them. Read a Church of England account here.

St Davids is not alone in making changes. I have seen no formal announcement but I understand that the second woman bishop to be appointed in Wales, the bishop of Llandaff, has appointed the former bishop of Monmouth Dominic Walker to be her assistant bishop representing her at confirmation services in parishes which request a male bishop.

Clearly they don't get it. A male bishop whose beliefs resulted in the appointment of women priests and bishops, who stands in, or preferably sits, to confirm dwindling numbers in her place reduces a theological objection to one of sexism.

Similarly in St Davids, the new Canon Residentiary will serve as Sub Dean of the Cathedral, the Dean's assistant with only delegated authority from Dean Sarah. Canon Richardson will be licensed at the Cathedral on 2th February 2018 leaving a considerable gap before the new Dean & Precentor, the Rev'd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones is licensed, collated and installed in the Cathedral on 5th May 2018.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017 is Red Wednesday when we are asked to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and all who suffer for their peacefully held beliefs:

"Red is the Christian colour of martyrdom. Christians are the most persecuted faith group in today’s world and #RedWednesday will honour all Christians who suffer and die for their faithfulness to Christ’s message of peace and love."

The campaign calls for respect and tolerance for people of faith and between different faith traditions.

Anglicans who have been effectively excluded from their own church cannot compare their suffering with those we seek to honour tomorrow but many in their own church have suffered for their faith, tragically at the hands of those who were supposed to be their shepherds. Is it any wonder that Anglicanism is dying in England and Wales.

59 comments:

  1. Today as well as being "Red Wednesday" is also St. Cecilia's Day who was, of course, a martyr (c230) herself.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, Bishopess Joanna would hardly draw attention to St Cecilia's day, would she? That might focus too much attention on the musicians - and Welsh cathedrals have a vested interest in keeping musicians in their place, despite the fact they are the only professionals keeping the show on the road. Never mind 'All Change' at St Davids. When are we going to see some root and branch reform to facilitate greater transparency at Llandaff?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Llandaff Cathedral in the red?
      Is it that time of year for Capon and Williams to massage the accounts again?

      Delete
    2. One possible alternative is that Mr Toad and the Capon are planning this year's Cathedral office Christmas p*ss-up in Pentyrch and trying to work out how to avoid another Scania and not to lose the new curate this time?

      Delete
    3. One doubts the Landlord of the King's Arms is much looking forward to having their repeat business after the gay goings-on of their previous visit.

      Delete
    4. Has Mr Toad posted Ceirion Gilbert's invitation yet?

      Delete
    5. Gerwhine's secret recipe for the aperitifs at the piss-up in Pentyrch has been leaked.
      https://www.facebook.com/dailymirror/videos/10155835956774162/

      Delete
    6. Pink Gin and Prosecco?
      Who would have thought it?
      Makes a change to Rum Pansies I suppose.

      Delete
  3. So Llandaff has a new Ass selected by it's new Bishopette.
    Did she carry out any background checks?

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/bishop-monmouth-warns-witchcraft-break-ins-2031724
    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/exorcist-bishop-called-purge-demons-2034674
    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/gwentnews/15625030.Bishop_talks_of_the_paranormal_and_performing_exorcisms/

    Perhaps the long-suffering pew-sitters can look forward to Gerwhine and the Toad being exorcised from Llandaff Cathedral.
    I know dozens of people who'd be willing to pay for front row seats to watch that spectacle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well the previous Llandaff Ass used to ride his Exorcise bike everywhere!

      Delete
    2. Llandaff Cathedral has for many years now been haunted by the ghosts of Congregations past.
      The ears in the walls report that Gerwhine has been required to write letters of apology to various elderly lady members of his congregation who were previously on the receiving end of his poison pen.

      Delete
    3. Jeering for Gerwhine25 November 2017 at 19:16

      Gosh, only 18 months to get these apologies out? And for something that should never have happened in the first place.

      I do hope the ladies concerned are reinstated to their voluntary positions - let's not forget they gave their services for free. In a cathedral with such tight finances the volunteers must be cultivated, not abused.

      It seems the Dean himself is away for a week. Let's hope it's for some pre-Advent contemplation of his own failings rather than a spot of auctioneering in Colwyn Bay.

      Delete
    4. Glad tidings indeed LET.
      Perhaps that's why the inept whinger is nowhere to be seen again this weekend?

      The grumblings on The Green suggest at least two letters of apology have been sent out from the Capon.
      If the apologies are sincere (and frankly I suspect they are anything but sincere) then I trust his previous comments announced from the Llandaff pulpit concerning various "subversives" in the congregation will be withdrawn equally publicly.
      Also, I challenge him and look forward to seeing him publicly reinstate Mrs X (to her previous voluntary positions as Welcomer and Shopkeeper) and Mrs E (to what Bonaparte used to lovingly describe as the "stitch'n'bitch" group).

      If his actions fail to match his words then the Bishopette will realise she needs to take more decisive action.

      Delete
    5. Has anyone else noticed how (since news of the golf caddie being required to provide "subversive" elderly lady members of his congregation with written apologies) quiet the brown-nosing sycophantic supporters of his, like Scapegoat, have become?
      Are their apologies to Mrs X and Mrs E in the Christmas post?
      Somehow I doubt it.

      Delete
    6. Llandaff Pewster3 December 2017 at 21:53

      For the sake of new Blog readers who may not have seen the Capon's poison pen letters, with AB's kind permission, here is a reminder.


      Eglwys Gadeiriol Llandaf
      Llandaff Cathedral

      9th April 2016
      Dear Mrs X

      Thank you for your letter of today's date.
      I spoke to you today because I am simply fed up about hearing of your constant maligning of the Archbishop, me and the Cathedral. After 50 years of association here, you should actually be setting an example.
      Through this continuing negative attitude about the organ (something that has now been entirely consigned to history with the blessing of the Charity Commission) you and your husband subvert the wellbeing of the Cathedral and my leadership of it by constantly making claims that are simply untrue. I know you are unhappy and speak of your reasons for it because most of the shop volunteers have told me about this. You should tackle them about it and I hope perhaps that they will be honest with you as I am.
      If you wish simply to ignore these facts, that in the end is up to you. But, on reflection I have decided that it does not entitle you to behave as you do and remain here as a welcomer and guide, nor indeed as a shop volunteer.
      I would be overjoyed and delighted to see you return to these duties once I see some measure of repentance and an apology from you and your husband.

      Yours sincerely,

      Gerwyn Capon


      With particular reference to
      "I would be overjoyed and delighted to see you return to these duties once I see some measure of repentance and an apology from you and your husband."
      now it is in fact HE who has been obliged to provide "some measure of repentance and an apology" the little squirt must indeed - very publicly - reinstate Mrs X.

      Or he must resign.
      Or preferably, both!

      Delete
    7. Pondering Pastor: forget the poor grammar from one so educated, the letter is a reflection of very poor leadership skills. This clergyman must have an ego the size of which knows no bounds! I just hope his Bishop has in years of experience and measured perspective, sees the picture of a puppet, who has a dark hand at play. Strange how the darkness has gone and elevation to peerage dissolved. Hopefully Llandaff will revive her beauty in litergy,song and people. Pickford's might be the option!

      Delete
    8. Subversive Friend4 December 2017 at 11:59

      @Llandaff Pewster

      Whilst I am in full agreement with your sentiments LP, of greater interest to me is "you and your husband subvert the wellbeing of the Cathedral and my leadership of it by constantly making claims that are simply untrue."

      If as is claimed (and I believe it is factually accurate although none of the apology letters have appeared on here yet) the glove puppet Capon has indeed penned long-overdue apologies, I should like to know precisely what "claims" he labelled as "simply untrue" he has now had to accept were and are, in fact, true?

      His own letter contains at least two falsehoods.
      1. The fiddled Organ appeal accounts have not been "consigned to history" despite his and Morgan's best efforts to do so. There still exist many, many people who remain dissatisfied with the failure to publish full detailed accounts (for both the Organ Appeal and all the invoices from Nicholson's Organ builders and have both fully audited) and who will not let the issue be swept under the carpet by corrupt Church in Wales clergy.
      Unless and until this occurs - as is normal best practice with any charitable fund-raising scheme - Bishopette June can forget any future fund-raising schemes in Llandaff for Clerestory, Lady Chapel, Processional Way or anything else.
      The previously gullible pew-sitters who had their fingers burned by the Cathedral are no longer so gullible and have learned to their cost that the Church in Wales generally and in the Court of public opinion, the Dean and Chapter of Llandaff Cathedral in particular, are not trustworthy.

      2. There has never existed any "blessing of the Charity Commission".
      The Charity Commission merely refused to do their job of investigating the heart-felt and genuine concerns of those who felt cheated by Bonaparte, the Chapter and the Cathedral.

      Let Gerwhine produce any documentary evidence to the contrary at the same time as the accounts, invoices and audit report.

      Delete
    9. Subversive Canon4 December 2017 at 20:05

      It is inconceivable that --Bazza's golf caddy would have produced any apology in any form for his appalling behaviour towards members of his flock without having been strong-armed into doing so.

      It takes little imagination to speculate of a meeting without mince pies, sherry or pink gin & Prosecco Pansies, during which he was on the receiving end of a forthright assessment of his pastoral and letter writing skills resulting in an invitation to "consider" his position in the straight-forward terms of "Be sacked, resign or sign these apologies I have dictated and had typed up on your behalf".

      Delete
    10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    11. Jeering for Gerwhine5 December 2017 at 21:12

      The Ears in the Walls report that Gerwhine's Sunday gin jollies in the Prebendal House following the eleven o'clock service have been curtailed. Someone is clearly cramping his style!

      Delete
    12. If the Sunday lunch-time Gin jollies have gone South perhaps tomorrow's Cathedral staff Christmas p*ss-up and gay goings-on might also have been curtailed but in case not, any parties interested in some fun spectator sport will need to be at the King's Arms Pentyrch by 1pm for a Grandstand view of the festivities.

      Delete
    13. Your information is not quite correct DP.
      The ears in the walls report that kick-off at the King's Arms Pentyrh is at 7.30pm so curious spectators won't need to arrive until shortly beforehand.

      Delete
    14. It would be rather amusing if Pentyrch Parishioners had drawn to the attention of the Landlord of the King's Arms that his pub has been brought into disrepute by the lower class clientele he has been attracting of late and their little bunfight was cancelled.

      Delete
    15. Twitchy Sphincter7 December 2017 at 17:04

      It is rumoured the only spectator to show up in the King's Arms Pentyrch was a short, stout, stern-looking grey-haired lady wearing glasses, a purple shirt and Pectoral cross who observed the proceedings whilst taking notes.
      Not a good time was had by all.

      Delete
    16. Apologising for letters written 18 months ago in further private correspondence and hoping the problem will just go away is one one, but what about apologising to all those he upset repeatedly when spouting his drivel in the pulpit?

      Here's a reminder from AB's blog a mere 6 months ago.


      Silent Majority 2 July 2017 at 15:27

      I think Bishop June should invite Gerwhine to preach exactly the same sermon he spouted today at the 9am and 11am services in Llandaff. (Obviously writing two different sermons was too much like hard work!)

      Amidst the waffle about love and unity, he felt to moved to attack "the small minority" who are "undermining his work" and invited them to "leave" so that he can march bravely into the future.

      Poor old Capon got so worked up that he tripped over his words and repeated himself. The congregations at 9 and 11 were bemused to say the least. Reactions afterwards ranged from "what's he blathering about?" to "shame on him" and "useless little man". It was generally felt unworthy to use the pulpit for personal attacks on specific members of the congregation.

      I've known many Deans over the years and some were right rum pansies, but none of them would've stooped to this. If Capon is feeling the heat he should take some time off, permanently if need be.

      Delete
  4. In a Position to Know27 November 2017 at 08:59

    Yes, indeed, the whingeing little upstart has been well and truly put in his place, and been given some words of wisdom about the nature of leadership (one of June's favourite words) and his future. And that's only for starters. The word from 'upstairs' is that June's appointment is just a small part of Shirley's strategy for payback after the Capon rallied the troops to force the Jeffrey John issue. After all, Shirley would know that an English Dean would be speechless at such an inept and divisive figure not only occupying the Deanery of the Cathedral of the capital city; but having a leading place around the senior staff table. By the end of July 2018 I gather we are likely to be be talking of the arrogance and opacity in Llandaff in retrospective terms. Now that would be a result worthy of lining up the rum pansies for a toast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first of what I anticipate will be many, many rounds from a very long queue lining up in the Butcher's Arms to celebrate such an outcome, will be on me. Cheers!

      Delete
    2. One imagines a thorough inspection of the Cathedral, Friends' and Organ appeal accounts with publication of the concealed Quinquennial report would assist in bringing that date forward to January 2018.
      If Exeter and Peterborough can dispense with their Deans so could Llandaff.

      Delete
    3. If the new broom is really starting to sweep out the dross let us hope and pray that Philip Masson receives his just reward for his role in the sordid Jeffrey John affair, along with that treacherous pair Peggy the Pilate and Wigley.

      Delete
  5. In a Position to Know27 November 2017 at 15:25

    The 'Peggy Situation' (as it is referred to) is an interesting one because she may have been a banner waver for Jeffrey John, but she also redeemed herself by coming up with the June Osborne suggestion in the first place (you first heard of it here). She's due for retirement soon, anyway, and 'sisters in the struggle' tend to stick together. However, I agree she would hardly be June's number 1 choice as an archdeacon. We have to be patient there and allow the spotlight to shine where it is most needed: on the Deanery. Episkopos is pretty close to the nub, because a Visitation is probably the way it will be dealt with. After all, if June doesn't know how to run a cathedral, who does?

    By the way, a regular snigger among the staff at Salisbury Cathedral used to be "Why is there no prison in Salisbury? Because June doesn't take prisoners"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How could Peggy the Pilate have been responsible for a June Osborne suggestion? At what point in time did the Archdeaconesse park her ampleness on the bench of Bishopettes?
      The only thing for which she will be remembered is being the bean-counting philistine that presided over the destruction of the professional Llandaff Cathedral choir.

      Delete
    2. The charlady from Sarum cleansing services may not take prisoners IPK but nor do the Llandaff and Cardiff CRACH as she is beginning to find out.
      They are very different and very superior to the English establishment upon which she relied for her powerbase in a previous incarnation.

      Delete
    3. What would Jesus say?29 November 2017 at 15:47

      I, and many others, are still awaiting the Sarum charlady's announcement that she has closed down bully boy --Bazza's £60k per annum "Discretionary" fund, topped up by his dipping his hand into collection plates.
      Regular AB readers will know full well that such disreputable practices went out years ago in the Church of England so, the question remains, will June import a bit of best practice or will she succumb to the archaic, corrupt and morally indefensible Llandaff ways so beloved of His --Darkness?

      Delete
  6. In a Position to Know28 November 2017 at 11:58

    Harold Darke speaks the truth, of course. I was simply saying that it would be pointless to expect Peggy to unexpectedly 'move to another sphere of ministry' before she retires. She and June have history (not least via the Osborne/Winkett Female Promotion PLC) which has been providing 'mentoring' for women wanting to climb the greasy pole in the C of E. Whilst June may not completely approve of Peggy's short-sighted Barry-worshipping inclinations, in relation to the cathedral choir especially; she will not move against a partner in crime. After all, you don't diss one of the sisterhood!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Alwyn from Abertawe28 November 2017 at 17:16

    Watchman, isn't In a Position to Know only saying that, when the Electoral College failed to elect for Llandaff, Shirley asked for names and invited people to send them to the Tower in Brecon. Presumably, this is what Peggy the Pilate did (presumably with some effusive supporting documentation). She did not need to be a bench sitter in order to do this. Whatever the matter, I think we are expecting too much to think an archidiaconal P45 is winging its way. As for a decanal one, well... we live in hope.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pondering Pastor: this article about letters to a congregation in Salisbury by a vicar, has met with serious intervention by the Diocesan Bishop it does have interesting parallels to the current topic

    https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Vicar-apologises-for-calling-his-congregation-arrogant-gossips?utm_source=Premier%20Christian%20Media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8950221_daily%20news%205%20dec&utm_content=Gossips&dm_i=16DQ,5BU19,K09LSV,KKPUX,1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pondering Pastor, the parallels with the Llandaff situation are uncanny. However the Diocese of Salisbury's intervention was timely and effective. This is what is missing at Llandaff:
      "The Bishop has also offered Mr Thewlis pastoral support including sabbatical time to consider his future and he has accepted this."

      Clearly Rev Thewlis has some hard thinking to do.

      At the end of the article it mentions: "Rev Thewlis, who relocated to Wiltshire last year after working for 21 years in a Jersey church, also said in his original letter that he and his wife were "actively looking for a ministry elsewhere".

      What's the betting he ends up somewhere in South Wales?!

      Delete
    2. Here's some more links to the same story.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/04/vicar-apologises-criticising-grumbling-congregation/

      http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/15702954.Vicar_forced_to_apologise_after_calling_parishioners_gossips/

      Since the Bishop of Salisbury has demonstrated how to deal with such an idiot in the pulpit, one could be forgiven for thinking that the former Dean of Salisbury and Bishopette of Llandaff would have called her old boss for advice and then follow suit.
      Despite his arrogance and hubris the Dean of Llandaff is merely the Parish Priest and Vicar of Llandaff.
      A three month "sabbatical" and a free transfer of the Capon to a "new ministry elsewhere" would be the ideal Christmas gift for the few remaining long-suffering Llandaff pew-sitters.
      It might incur the additional benefit of encouraging some former members of the diminished Llandaff congregation to consider returning to the fold.
      If June is only half as sharp as has been suggested elsewhere on this blog, by now the realisation will have dawned on her that she is going to need all the help she can get to drain the Llandaff swamp and get the place back on its feet.

      Delete
    3. Here is one more to add to the collection.

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/vicar-andy-thewlis-takes-a-swipe-at-his-grumbling-congregation-zj9dc6jn5

      "Vicar Andy Thewlis takes a swipe at his ‘grumbling’ congregation"

      Tonight's Pentyrch party might well turn into Gerwhine's farewell frolic!

      Delete
    4. I hear rumours that June has forbidden the latest new Curate to attend in case he disappears into thin air........

      Delete
    5. The serious questions are firstly, why is Gerwhine receiving preferential treatment compared to Rev Thewlis and secondly, why does the Llandaff Bishopette feel she lacks the authority that clearly the Bishop of Salisbury not only has but isn't afraid to wield?

      Delete
  9. With the shameful goings-on at Llandaff Cathedral since the retirement of John Rogers this news article will come as no big surprise to anyone - except perhaps the Clergy!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/30/public-trust-priests-has-fallen-all-time-low-do-professions/

    30 NOVEMBER 2017
    Public trust in priests and the clergy has reached an all-time low according to figures from Ipsos MORI's long running Veracity Index.
    Just 65 per cent of the 988 polled adults said they trusted priests to tell the truth in 2017, down from 69 per cent in 2016.
    This continues a long-term trend of decline in trust for the clergy in Britain with 85 per cent of the public trusting them in 1983; the first year for which there is data.
    It coincides with a general drop-off in church attendance figures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It appears the Capon is up sh*t creek in his chocolate canoe once more.

      PressReader - Western Mail: 2017-12-09 - Cathedral Dean ...
      https://www.pressreader.com/uk/western-mail/20171209/281788514398270
      1 hour ago - The Very Rev Gerwyn Capon, a former commercial property developer who has been Dean since 2014, sacked one woman who had been associated ... The recipient of the letter and former volunteer does not wish to be identified, but it is understood that she recently received an apology from the Dean.

      Delete
  10. A dull response from the Bishopesse.
    Never mind drain the swamp, it's business as usual - milk the pew-sitters for all the cash you can and if they don't like it then close ranks, insult them once more, refuse to look at what has gone one and insist on looking forward to that rosy future which is always just around the next corner but never seems to arrive.

    Jam tomorrow June.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her response is appalling.
      Unlike the +Salisbury she clearly fails to understand that it does not require "reputable" sources to demand the dismissal of the Dean, his nasty letters and the very existence of the tardy apologies are sources enough for that purpose.
      The necessary pre-requisite is a leader able to judge when remedial action is required, without prompting.

      Unlike +Salisbury, +Llandaffesse has been found wanting.

      Delete
    2. Football club chairman9 December 2017 at 11:19

      With respect to Episkopos, I’m not sure I agree.

      Read the last sentence again, without the word “vision”. It now becomes

      “I look forward to working with the Dean to strengthen the .... performance of our cathedral”

      As in, the Cathedral is performing badly - and if it doesn’t improve you will be out of a job. Bishop June is the chairman and Gerwyn the (apparently accident prone manager). In my world the manager better sort it and fast.jjj


      Not so coded.


      PS the letter is truly awful isn’t it?

      Delete
  11. Pondering Pastor: I have come to the conclusion from the posting that unlike the Capon & Co, the Bishop does not 'wash her dirty linen in public' but takes the time honoured route ... 'give them enough rope, and they will hang themselves'. So perhaps the apology letters are stage one of this scrubology cleansing. The bishop is no fool, and given her long tenure in a previous cathedral, not a manager to be fooled or, undermine. These are early days in the See, let her find her feet and assess the diocese. No good manager goes into an appointment with a bulldozer, that's very bad strategy, a good manager assesses, listens, takes counsel of her team and then acts in the best interest of all. Surely enough kindling is coming together on the green, a bonfire of cleansing won't be that far off. I suggest we look at watch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Full text from today’s paper9 December 2017 at 14:09

      Cathedral Dean apologises after ‘subversion’ row
      Western Mail · 9 Dec 2017 · Martin Shipton Chief Reporter martin.shipton@walesonline.co.uk


      Dean of Llandaff Gerwyn Capon
      THE Dean of Llandaff is understood to have apologised to at least two elderly volunteers at the cathedral whom he accused of undermining “the wellbeing of the cathedral”.
      The Very Rev Gerwyn Capon, a former commercial property developer who has been Dean since 2014, sacked one woman who had been associated with the cathedral for half a century from her unpaid post as a welcomer, guide and shop volunteer.
      On April 9, 2016, Dean Capon wrote to her saying: “I spoke to you today because I am simply fed up about hearing of your constant maligning of the Archbishop, me and the cathedral.
      “After 50 years of association here, you should actually be setting an example.
      “Through this continuing negative attitude about the organ (something that has now been entirely consigned to history with the blessing of the Charity Commission) you and your husband subvert the wellbeing of the cathedral and my leadership of it by constantly making claims that are simply untrue.
      “I know you are unhappy and speak of your reasons for it because most of the shop volunteers have told me about this. You should tackle them about it and I hope perhaps that they will be honest with you as I am.
      “If you wish simply to ignore these facts, that in the end is up to you. But on reflection I have decided that it does not entitle you to behave as you do and remain here as a welcomer and guide, nor indeed as a shop volunteer.
      “I would be overjoyed and delighted to see you return to these duties once I see some measure of repentance and an apology from you and your husband.”
      The recipient of the letter and former volunteer does not wish to be identified, but it is understood that she recently received an apology from the Dean.
      Another person is also understood to have received an apology after getting a similar letter around the same time.
      A cathedral insider told us: “The Dean’s letter was very intemperate, and hardly the way to write to someone who had been associated with the cathedral for many years, including as a voluntary helper.”
      Some members of the cathedral congregation, including the former volunteer, had been concerned about money raised in an organ appeal being diverted into the cathedral’s general fund, although the Charity Commission found that no irregularity had occurred.
      We approached the Church in Wales for comment.
      Bishop of Llandaff June Osborne said: “As a previous Dean and now a new bishop I have very much enjoyed getting to know Llandaff Cathedral. I hear no reputable calls for a change of leadership from those who know the cathedral well and have its best interests at heart. I look forward to working with the Dean to strengthen the vision and performance of our cathedral.”
      A spokeswoman for the Church in Wales said it would be inappropriate to comment on confidential correspondence involving the Dean.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for posting the article, and to Martin Shipton for writing it in the first place. Both the photo of Gerwhine and the description of him as "a former commercial property developer" suggest a certain measure of contempt for the little man.

      What intrigues me is whether Gerwhine's awful (both in terms of content and style) letter is all his own work. Given his notorious laziness and tendency to be influenced by certain people, I wonder if the letter is partly the work of some close friend?

      Answers on a postcard!

      Delete
    3. So June says she hears "no reputable calls for a change of leadership".

      Is she listening?

      It sounds to me like she's been reading Ancient Briton's blog but doesn't feel it is a sufficiently reputable source to form a basis for sacking the antique dealer squatting in the Deanery without risking an employment tribunal.

      So here's a thought.

      Why don't all the recipients of Gerwhine's nasty letters simultaneously provide copies of them to June and Martin Shipton accompanied by formal requests for his immediate resignation or sacking if he won't fall on his own sword.

      The question for June is how many "reputable calls" will it take?
      It might just be one that is required.

      Delete
    4. Postcard for Silent Majority
      Your suggestion intrigued me and in answer to your question the ears in the walls report that indeed the poison pen letters were co-authored by none other than the oily amphibian Toad.
      The walls further report Toad and Gerwhine being overheard last year discussing "one of OUR letters" (my emphasis but the significance will not be lost on you all) being published on "the blog".

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    5. How would the chuckle brothers know what appears on AB's blog?
      Hasn't the dud Dean often preached that the blog is full of subversive gossip, is to be treated with contempt and ignored?
      (You know Llandaff pewsters, just the way you're treated in real life and told "tough" or "get lost" if you ask awkward questions or make complaints)

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    6. Llandaff Cathedral was full of surprises today. The Ears in the Walls report that pewsitters at the 11 o'clock service were mystified by the presence of ex-Dean Bonaparte.

      Considering that his entire career as Dean was built on the principle of not putting himself out, why would he travel all the way to Llandaff from his nice warm house on a snowy winter's day?

      Could it have something to do with this line in the "Subversion" article:

      "money raised in an organ appeal being diverted into the cathedral’s general fund"

      That might trouble someone who was in a position to know what went on with said Organ Fund. Now the article goes on to state that "the Charity Commission found that no irregularity had occurred." But the mere fact this issue has been raised again in the public domain shows it is far from settled.

      Let's hope our former Dean can sleep soundly on the carpet under which such things have been swept!

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    7. 1662, thanks for your informative reply! No doubt the poison pen letters were the product of much fevered discussion until the small hours, fortified with gin or rum pansies.

      On that subject, several pewsitters noted that Mr Toad was keeping a close and watchful eye on the Dean today, indeed practically standing on his shadow. Perhaps it was a show of defiance aimed at the subversives?

      As the Psalmist says: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 133)

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    8. Ignatius of Loyola11 December 2017 at 09:26

      There will be no hope of unity in Llandaff Cathedral as long as the Capon and the Toad remain in situ.
      But all might not yet be lost.
      There is a growing sense around the Parish that Gerwhine already has his right foot in the grave and his left on a banana skin, so one more firm shove in the right direction could see the job done.

      Is June's comment that she hears "no reputable calls for a change of leadership from those who know the cathedral well and have its best interests at heart" actually a coded request for such calls to reach her?
      There is only one way to find out.

      All the recipients of poison pen letters should send copies to June accompanied with calls for sackings/resignations of the author(s).

      To keep June honest, copy all the correspondence to Martin Shipton who will no doubt be quite prepared to publish follow-up articles. As has already been observed, Mr Shipton has no need to identify those on the receiving end of the poison but in any case, names and addresses could be redacted on documents sent to him.

      Long-suffering good people of Llandaff, the time for action has come.

      Call to mind the prayer
      "Teach us, good Lord,
      to serve you as you deserve,
      to give and not to count the cost,
      to fight and not to heed the wounds,
      to toil and not to seek for rest,
      to labour and not to ask for any reward,
      save that of knowing that we do your will.
      Amen."

      If the good people in the congregation of All Saints Church in Burbage, Wiltshire can do it, so can you!

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    9. @Simon Stylites
      If the Bonaparte is hanging around again, perhaps Sauron and Gollum are becoming increasingly concerned that the mess he left behind is all beginning to unravel around them, after all, it's the first time any mention of the fiddled missing Organ Appeal accounts has made it into the Western Mail!

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  12. Jeering for Gerwhine9 December 2017 at 21:52

    Oh ye of little faith, Silent Majority. I think you'll find our dear Dean has written a most moving homily in the current issue of the Bell. To whit:

    "Despite what I say to my friends (that I can’t stand the hype of Christmas and the fuss) yet it is a time of joy and hopes are, or should be, high. Goodwill is in the air. But come the bleak days of January and February, what is left of the afterglow? The glory will depart. Like the truce in the trenches in that first Christmas of the Great War when the troops famously played football and sang carols with the enemy, it doesn't last. Soon enough the illusion of peace will be dissipated."
    https://www.llandaffcathedral.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/BELL-Dec-2017-Final.pdf

    It seems the illusion of peace has already dissipated in Advent. Goodwill most certainly is not in the air. As for the truce in the trenches, that was a vain hope on the Dean's part!

    Let's see what happens before Christmas Eve. Perhaps Santa will have a nice gift for us here on AB's blog. And a nice piece of coal for the Dean.

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    Replies
    1. J for G, the naughty little man needs a visit from Krampus. That would set him on the straight and narrow path!
      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e4/e8/9c/e4e89c7027678428c96a44f74701d717.jpg

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    2. The likeness to the oily amphibian Toad is uncanny!
      He's even sporting a large yellow H.

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