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.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Church in Wales Ministry Areas





In response to my previous entry, commentator O.wot.a.blunda wrote:
"In the meantime morale among the clergy is at an all-time low. The misery areas or whatever they're called now are a complete shambles, with PCCs and all sense of order having gone to the wall. No one wants to be a ministry area leader except for newly ordained clerics who haven't a clue how to run a parish much less a ministry area. Some long-time clerics I suspect would rather drink poison than take up that role.
I'm surprised that you haven't spent more time discussing this awful mess on the Ancient Briton blog. Who would have thought that the Church in Wales review would have resulted in such a dreadful mess." [My emphasis - Ed.]

Perhaps this should serve as the opportunity for other readers to share their experiences. To date the hopes expressed in the lead video are not evident. Instead there is anecdotal evidence of disillusionment and regret.

"Let anyone with ears listen" said one of the propagandists in the video. The expectation was for a "new flourishing", a vibrancy resulting in "re-imagining ministry, revitalising the churches and rejuvenating the people".

The Anglican News Service explained the plan thus:
"From ministry areas to community cafes, changes happening in churches across Wales can be seen in a short film now available online. The 2020 Vision film highlights stories from each of the six dioceses in Wales which show how they are responding to the Church in Wales’ strategy for growth."

There has been no growth, only decline, contrary to the expectations of Ministry Area devotees, much like the suggestion that women priests would revitalize the Church and halt decline. The reverse is true.

The only 'benefit' for the Province of Wales accrues to the bishops and an increasing number of senior staff while the workers beaver away to develop a system nobody really wanted apart from Archbishop Morgan's devotees. Compare the inactivity on other recommendations in the Review to trim administrative offices and downsize, possibly to three dioceses [Section 15 of the Church in Wales 'Harries' Review].

Better still the Church in Wales should be returned to the Church of England so that England and Wales can at least go down united.  Prior to disestablisment in 1920, there were four dioceses in Wales. The Diocese of Monmouth was created in 1921 and the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in 1923.

In 2008 "new figures" compiled after an analysis of membership of religious bodies revealed the numbers attending church on a monthly basis could fall from 200,000 to fewer than 40,000 over the next four decades, less than the average attendance at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge football ground. Church in Wales regular attendance figures were already down to 28,291 in 2016.

The bishop of Bangor said in Sept 2013 that the speedy adoption of Ministry Areas was for positive reasons about "new ways of doing church" but he acknowledged that "it is undeniable" that the Church in some places is in crisis. The position is much worse in 2018.

The "landmark report" by Church in Wales which recommended replacing parishes with ministry areas, was summarised by Wales Online in September 2012.

The Church in Wales claims that "Ministry Areas reflect huge changes which have taken place in our society. The parish system, as originally set up with a single priest serving a small community, was put in place when people lived and worked in the same parish. All this has now changed – the communities to which people now belong are very varied and people travel freely."

Given that the entire province of Wales with its six diocesan bishops including an archbishop is about the same size as a diocese in the Church of England, one has to wonder why the struggling Church of England has not adopted the idea.

Law & Religion UK commented: "Our post in July 2012 observed that many of the symptoms underlying the CiW Review were present, to a greater or lesser degree, in the Church of England, and there is clearly much for those within both Churches to consider" but there were important differences. Unlike other churches in the Anglican Communion [the CIW] does not have a fully developed system of synodical government. Suspending parishes in the Church in Wales is a much easier matter, legally, than it is in the Church of England and Deaneries, as at present constituted [in the CiW], are not always a natural geographical unit - fuller details here - indicating that it was easier to get away with in Wales.

Readers of Highlights which reports on the Church in Wales’ Governing Body meetings  might have expected a fuller explanation of 'progress' but the cat was let out of the bag by the Revd Dr Stephen Wigley representing the Methodist Church who "welcomed the greater co-operation between denominations brought about by the change to Ministry Areas", strengthening the view that the Church in Wales looks to Nonconformists and the 'Uniting' church for survival, see more examples hereherehere and here.

The first Ministry Area in the diocese of Monmouth was formally inaugurated in April 2015, consisting of nine parishes in and around Usk. Three years later the "Job of the week" announced on Twitter is for Director of Mission and Archdeacon of the Gwent Valleys. Details here.

Remuneration & Benefits package

• Archdeacon’s stipend of £37,115 p.a.
• Final salary pension scheme
• 4-bedroom detached house in Abercarn village, with easy
  access to the Archdeaconry and Newport (the administrative
  centre of the Diocese)
• Expenses for all travel from home

The path to nonconformity is becoming expensive. Clearly there is little to shout about. If the Ministry Area scheme were a success I would have expected to find some positive signs but 'Googling' reveals nothing of substance.

Perhaps commentators will provide more insight.

53 comments:

  1. Up here in the north it seems that people are generally keeping their heads down - worn out trying to sustain ministry areas and afraid of saying or doing anything that might excite the spite of the puppet-master in Ty Denial.

    Menai Drudge

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are casualties along the line. Ministry areas just add to the low morale and frustration. Good priests are leaving the province or leaving senior posts in their diocese. To my knowledge at least 2 area deans have resigned, one very experienced. We are losing good priests in order to keep ministry areas alive.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is it possible to identify even one successful Misery Area?

    ReplyDelete
  4. It has been announced that the Bangor ministry area, Bro Deiniol, is to have another cleric to swell its staff numbers. The new university Chaplain and his husband have moved to Wales from England with their children and will become part of a Bangor team that now includes the Dean, sub-Dean, a curate and a part-time vicar who also happens to be the ex-wife of the Bishop. Our Canon Precentor remains missing in action but the addition of the Chaplain means there will be 4.5 clerics serving three churches and the university.

    It is fortunate that ministry area leaders elsewhere are too busy 'coping' to make a fuss but one wonders whether the costs of providing for this posse of priests is actually translating into tangible growth of the Church in Bangor?

    Menai Drudge

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rest assured: Christianity might disappear from Wales some time soon but worry not Ministry Areas will still flourish (in spite of this awkward fact). So they live, so they believe.
    Golly gosh, it's all so exciting!

    Tinker, sailor- anonymous

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pondering Pastor: Changing subject slightly. Watching the new BBC short series about Hereford Diocese, make interesting learning. Two Vicars one in the Border Black Mountains, with 8 churches and another in Much Wenlock with 14 churches. Both single handed in there benefices. No hint of mission areas, just good olde parishes with parishioners working together and coming up with some interesting variations on keeping "church" and "faith" alive. Perhaps we can learn something from this rural diocese, larger than some of ours with less hierarchy.

    Leeds Diocese became a necessary arrangements as 3 former dioceses became untenable, all larger than some of our 6, but still deploying psuedo Diocesan and suffragan leaders. Can we learn anything here?

    Wakefield Cathedral,maybe a good model for Llandaff. Both Anglo Catholic in tenor, one always being an Episcopal see, the other, created so, resolved but reimerged in a new diocesan model. One has fantastic mission, music and thriving, the other, enough said.if you listen to the Dean of one, he is so enthusiastic about doing church and mission, and engaging with his congregation and community. The other well, enough said herein this auspicious blog and beyond.

    Unfortunately, mission areas maybe here to stay and accountability little or none existent. Again as stated many many times on this blog, the voice of laity needs to be heard as Parishes pay a hard price for such a time as this.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Cwmbran used to have 6 full time clergy, since adding a parish and becoming a ministry area, it currently has no full time clergy but soon will have a team leader starting who has been ordained for 4 years. The new ministry area covering Malpas could not get a team leader so a curate was appointed in the role.
    Clergy with experience are voting with their feet.
    Meanwhile parish shares remain the same.........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder, Danny, how many of our laity would consider holding on to their parish shares if they realised how it was being misused.

      Delete
    2. Correction, the induction for the new ministry team leader of Cwmbran was mysteriously cancelled last minute, so still Cwmbran has no full time clergy (since August). No one has the manners to tell pew sitters what is going on. But hey, it only has a population of 50,000 so no clergy seem fair enough!!! Oh and a CiW school.........

      Delete
  8. So sad to watch the 2020 video - in terms of ethos it could have been produced in the seventies! The same 'speak', the same 'totally out of touch with' contemporary society mentality. Took me back to the 'Wales for Christ' campaign, when a copy of the NT was put through every letterbox in the land ... fast forward 2018, when I hear the same plea from many in their forties and fifties wanting to looking for a good traditional service, with sermon - sermon!!! A4 sheet with brief message for 'not-even-a-lay-reader' to read. Whatever happened to the traditional homily? And the standard of reading/leading worship is atrocious, since many 'helping-out' have not been prepared for public speaking - and of course, from many many contacts of mine from monmouth to mona, the average age of the laity struggling to support the Misery Areas is 65!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have attended my Church Saint Andrews in Tonypandy for seventy years, since the age of three.As I grew up, the Church was vibrant and provided much of my needs for fellowship and recreational purposes.I was a member of the choir and regularly attended the Church youth club.
    The Church had a vicar and curate, both of whom were well respected in the community.The youth club was attended by at least one hundred teenagers , most of whom attended the local Grammar Schools, Tonypandy and Porth County. At a recent reunion over 50 past members turned up.It was interesting to find that seven couples who had met in that youth club were still married.
    At that time of course there were many chapels in the area, all of which have now closed.The largest of these was the Methodist Central Hall , which was designed on the famous London landmark.
    All have now disappeared.The average attendance at Saint Andrews has dropped to less than ten on a Sunday and four on a week day. Despite this over three hundred attended the Rembrance Day service, as has been the case for many years.There are also links with the local girl guides movement and Llwynypia primary school.
    One senses that there is still a need in the community for the Church.
    Our last vicar who lived in the vicarage next to the Church (built in 1980 and now rented to outside tenants) was inducted in 2009 and left within four years.Since then we have been part of an area which consists of seven churches with two full time Priests (one our former vicar who moved to nearby Cwmparc) and a non stipendiary priest, all of whom live in the upper Rhondda area..Recently two other Churches in the area have been left without a vicar, so that there are now five churches in the Mid Rhondda area that exist without a resident Priest, despite paying Stipends of over £50,000 per year.
    In summarising the above I am not criticising anyone , just stating how it is.
    There are however points that I feel entitled to make.
    Slow strangulation is a horrible experience. No one seems to be prepared to make decisions. Despite the efforts of the deanery priests we feel completely neglected.Why has the real issue of promoting Christianity been neglected for so long.Why have the major issues been Women Priests and Bishops and Gay marriages, when the need of promoting Christian principles been so lacking for so long.
    Why has the Church in Wales got an equity investment of over £600m , on which no discussion is allowed and from which no money is taken to solve major problems.
    Why do our Priests spend more time attending funerals of people many of whom they have never met, and the majority of whom have never been in a Church in their lives, to the detriment of visiting their regular few Parishioners.
    After a lifetime of supporting the Church in Wales I feel completely let down, by a lack of vision , care, and commitment.
    I would respectfully suggest that I am just one of many who feel this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does anyone know what the Harries Report cost the Church in Wales?
      Rob

      Delete
    2. Her soul, my friend... her, soul.

      Delete
    3. My brother/sister I agree wholeheartedly. You'd think that homosexuality and sex were the only things that matter on earth. As others have said, we were promised that the ordination of female clergy would save the Church but experience has shown that it's not possible to get females to serve in poorer parishes for long if at all as incumbents. Perhaps if the stipend for an archbishop and a deacon and all orders and posts in between were the same, we'd return to an age when clergy served in all posts for the sake of the kingdom and Church Militant rather than status and income. THAT might attract more followers. At present it's got to the stage (I kid you not) when a newly consecrated bishop and a newly made deacon were discussing their clerical apparel with each other whilst neither were properly dressed for the service we were about to embark upon (I can't call it worship) and the rest of us couldn't have cared less what they WORE but what they BELIEVED would have been interesting...

      Delete
    4. Their idea of the Holy Trinity is probably Versace, Dolce & Gabbana.

      Delete
    5. Ha ha, comment of the day Laughing Gas.

      Delete
  10. The elephant in the room here is the complete lack of any strategic or academic evidence of integrity to support Andy Crap's arrogant insistence that the speedy adoption of Mission Areas has any impact on growth or the arrest of decline. Indeed, the evidence so far indicates that the decline has accelerated. This was the easiest piece of displacement activity to accept from the Harries report, because it was perfect camouflage for reducing clergy numbers, diminishing the distinctive nature of ordained ministry, and generally colluding with Barry the Golfer's pet hates. Significantly, Llandaff has retained its parochial structures and (I would suggest) with good reason. Clearly Byzantine Barry didn't want a failed experiment taking place on his watch and in his back yard, so he got his blindly obedient flunky in Bangor to do his dirty work for him. And yet... so much else in the Harries report was conveniently swept under the carpet. One thinks of the clear recommendation to reform the system for appointing bishops and adopting greater transparency, for example. Meanwhile, June Osborne seems to be in no hurry to rush down that particular cul-de-sac and is probably baffled by the mindless panic going on elsewhere in the Province.

    Now Monmouth is advertising for a 'missionary' Archdeacon. No surprises for guessing who might end up getting that job: a former 'Archdeacon for Ministry' in Bangor, perhaps; who was clandestinely spirited out of the diocese without so much as a squeak or a whisper, only to reappear in St Paddarn's Institute and lose his Venerable title. What's the betting it was all the subject of a confidentiality clause. M'learned friend is ding quite nicely covering up the gross incompetence in Bangor, isn't he?

    Meanwhile, in Bangor, the Cathedral Parish (which goes under the euphemism of the Bro Deiniol Mission Area) is milking the clergy deployment budget dry as more witless clerics are shoe-horned in to a car-crash in slow motion headed by a part-time Dean, a Precentor who has probably been spirited-out under a confidentiality clause by now, and a former episcopal spouse who does less work in the parish now than she did when she was the Bishop's wife and never went near a church. When Crap calls it a 'new way of being Church' he's not kidding is he? The tragedy is that it is costing the poor bl**dy infantry and arm and a leg.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pondering Pastor: What a very sad state of affairs, if it is to be believed. But of course it is, seen with fallen scales from loyal laity eyes, the fear of recriminations if one speaks open and frankly. If things are truly this bad: poor litergy, preaching and teaching, then we are in trouble.
    When you see new expressions of Church, appearing in some town and cities, not Anglican or the usual nonconformist brethren, then this begs the question: how and why they are attracting such large youthful congregations? Can we learn from this?

    I hope so, because if we do not, the stark picture is not so palatable.

    Surely if the laity are the paymasters, the givers, servers and movers, then why are there voices a clarion call for change heard on high.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Works well here excellent relationship between all Churches lots of joint projects very good (female) vicar. I do wonder what alternatives you all have in mind, there is not enough money to sustain the system of parishes. And do not be misled by TV programmes, the 6+ parish system in the rural parts of Herefordshire and Shropshire is extremely hard to sustain and there are a number of unfilled vacancies. My view : join up in places where it works with non conformists, shared buildings and joint ministries. Theological differences a small issue compared with the large number of joint concerns. Signed Adarynefoedd

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Decline is accelerating, not because of ministry areas, but because the demographics of our congregations is hitting the cliff edge. How do we attract new people to come under the influence of the gospel is the question? Ministry areas was just a reaction to much deeper, fundamental problems.

      Some think now it is not necessarily to style of worship that is the issue whether 'bapticostal' charismatic worship, bible teaching focused conservative evangelicalism or Anglo-Catholicism rather the authenticity of it. Is Christ worshipped as Lord and his teachings honoured?

      We all need to reflect before God on our own relationship to God and commitment to the truth as revealed in the scriptures and creeds and to which those ordained swore a solemn oath to uphold. I mean, those churches that are growing, could those liberals tell me what the common factor in their otherwise diverse style of worship is? Certainly not focusing on the latest social justice fads of the twitter-sphere.

      Liberalism is the death knell for a church denomination or movement, look at the URC which has literally halved in size in 7 years. We need a severe lurch to traditional Christian beliefs and values.

      Ministry areas or parishes compared to these issues is like focusing on how one sets out the deckchairs on the Titantic.

      Delete
    2. Adarynefoedd it's great that your ministry area is working, but that really is very unusual. So much depends on a good team leader, and the whole thing fails if a bad one is in place.
      You mention funding, but the point is, that like many organisations we are top heavy, with far too many management levels, plus office staff, while hardly any staff at the coal face.
      Your area may have plenty of clergy, but many do not, so end up with clergy doing non stop funerals and no time for anything else. I recently spoke to a distressed relative who's dying Aunt was unable to get a Priestly visit, there simply wasn't anyone.
      I agree with Whamab though, that liberalism always fails.

      Delete
  13. Alwyn from Abertawe22 January 2018 at 13:06

    "Join up with non conformists" urges Adarynefoedd. In other words, jumping from a sinking ship to a submerged liferaft. Non conformity is decimated - in Wales and everywhere else - because its capacity to appeal to wider society, with its arid, colourless and word-dominated worship, is nil. The last thing the CinW needs is to channel all its energy into other, failed, inward-looking, congregational ecclesiologies. That's as worse a case of re-arranging deckchairs as Mission Areas - or an ecumenical bishop for Cyncoed.

    What is needed is a renewed confidence in our Anglican identity as catholic and apostolic, and focusing that energy outwards towards those who have nowhere else to go. We will do that by the transparency of our quality of life, with a rigorous but humble conviction about what we believe, and a demonstration of unity that shows we can flourish alongside those who hold differing convictions about what it means to be catholic and apostolic. That's rather different from cosying up to the local United Reformed minister (with a congregation of 10) who insists on the latest ruse from the WCC, readings from the Dali Lama, building cairns, singing anthropocentric hymns from Iona, and a wholesale ban on booze after Mass. If I want that, I can go to the local mosque!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alwyn for your thoughtful response, actually here 'catholic and apostolic priests' proved an unpopular option, one who could work with others has been far more successful. I think we could learn a lot from non conformists, in particular the elders maintaining the buildings, less focus on priests and more on the people, social awareness. In no way do I want to go back to a sort of 1950s sectarianism.

      All denominations are beset by the demographics described by Whamab above, I see little difference between our local congregations apart from Catholics who have increased their numbers because of EU and other migration. Class is a crucial issue as well, none of our local Churches attracts anybody who might be described as C2DE the only group I know who gets out there on the door knocker are Jehovah's Witnesses who do manage to recruit from C2DE and get them participating. Thus I have no doubt that our Food Bank and lunch club are appreciated, our refugee activities attract some hostility and our joint Christian activities apart from carols are regarded with some puzzlement. So maybe we need to learn jointly from some of the fringe groups and offer practical help, contact in the home and small house based groups to get people in.

      The virtual death of council youth services offer another opportunity to focus on say the 7 - 12s and offer a mixture of activity and simple faith based events. The recommendation in the Harris report for youth workers (perhaps jointly funded across the Churches) is an excellent one which requires attention. Sorry for the rambling response.

      Adarynefoedd

      Delete
    2. Alwyn, you're my kinda guy! David.

      Delete
    3. Tut tut, Father.
      Comments like that are easily misconstrued in Llandaff nowadays.
      If you're not careful you'll have the pink Chinos and Pink Gin & Prosecco crowd knocking on your front door duckie.

      Delete
  14. Not all newly ordained want to be ministry area leaders. I worry about the outcome when I see people who have been ordained but show no sign of a priestly life, Lay readers and NSM's who are at the best stuggling and the worst incompetent being given responsibilities far beyond what the can cope with. Throw into the mix those who have been ordained and feel no desire to participate in parish life but are happy to swan around in their colourful shirts and clerical collars displaying an arrogance that is breath taking. Too many people who are happy to take the title yet feel no need to get their hands dirty, and as they are not depended on the church for their home and income feel that they can pick and choose what they do. Knowing full well that the situation is too desperate for any one in authority to tell them to buck their ideas up. Should the unthinkable happen and they get called to account the cry of 'unfair' or 'discrimination' goes up and nothing else happens.

    Escape Tunnel Digger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couldn't agree more. You hit many nails on the head there my friend.

      Delete
  15. This is so true Escape Tunnel Digger. But it's even just as difficult for clergy from other denominations to transfer into CiW. Some with excellent Quals and experience. Yet in English it's a dependent on the Diocesan.

    Some new interdenominational training programmes in England, are better than the basic NSM etcs courses. Surely collaboration would benefit Wales. Pondering Pastor.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well, AB, I see the invited examples of where Mission Areas are flourishing are coming in thick and fast. Not.

    Meanwhile, in the Bro Teilo Ministry Area (affectionately known as Llandaff Cathedral) the cat is out of the bag and I am reliably informed that copies of Mr Jones's letter re the organ fund are winging their way to various news organisations as we speak. I think June will have to listen to 'credible' voices this time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One imagines Anna Morrell receiving an email from Martin Shipton requesting a comment from Calamity June about.... 6 hours ago.

      Delete
    2. I put one example of where it is working well .. none of you have come up with any alternatives apart from the parochial system (failing) or the evidence of a TV programme (reality = also failing). Rather than the focus on the priests, perhaps we should empower the people. Adarynefoedd

      Delete
    3. Adarynefoedd...... surely it's our leaders who need to come up with answers, after all they are quick enough to comment when it comes to politics. We have an entirely left wing, liberal bench which does not represent the pew sitters which are a diverse bunch. The bench has created many high paid jobs for people to advise them, yet they have no answers.
      I personally believe that the CiW will die but God will continue His Church somehow where it is faithful. I agree with you about empowering the lay people but without good leadership that can land in chaos, as humans we like to spat! You can also argue that a lay lead Church is not Anglican but non conformist, and many of those are dying out too.
      If we look world wide.... evangelism is growing, as is orthodoxy....both of which teach conservatism. No where does liberalism grow Churches.
      This blog doesn't aim to have all the answers but rather give pew sitters a voice, which the CiW doesn't. When was the last time your GB rep asked your opinion on anything before voting? Do any of us even know or get contact with our reps?

      Delete
    4. We have reps?
      Sounds like Avon or Anne Summers....

      Delete
    5. Adarynefoedd, one example is hardly 'thick and fast' even in the spinning and obfuscating Church in Wales. I can see Ms Morrell at her keyboard now, coming up with the headline for a press release: "Story of Co-operation Typifies Transition to Mission Areas." It's a good ruse to paper-over the decline, isn't it?

      Delete
    6. There is one very simple reason the Governing Body representatives never ask for an opinion on any matter from the few remaining pew-sitters.
      An opinion is not required.
      Decisions have already been made and the required answers already provided.
      The GB is nothing more than a facade, a sham, a game of charades and window dressing.
      Exactly as Darth --Insidious wanted and arranged for it to be.
      Anyone with their own opinion, much less a functioning brain and the will to use it and speak out, was removed years ago.

      Delete
  17. The clergy have not got the monopoly on low morale. Members of the church I attend in Rhondda have never felt more despondent. With a congregation of mainly widows, mostly elderly, the ‘widow’s mite’ doesn’t go very far in covering the full quota payements. Yet we have never failed to pay our dues to Llandaff. We work hard fundraising, but we want to raise funds for much needed repairs, the delay of which is making things worse. Water entering from roof features, wet walls and pealing paint are the order of the day. Every time we raise so much another Llandaff obstacle seems to be put in our way and the estimates become higher. We have no resident priest and our Vicarage has been let out by Llandaff. Our treasurer of several years retired a year ago and someone has filled in for just a year. No-one is volunteering for the position. When church members don’t want their offerings to go to Llandaff but want to see the repairs done but are afraid that their church will be closed if they don’t ‘pay up’ then no wonder everyone is feeling demoralised and no-one wants the responsibility of the treasurers position. Pew Sitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was prepared to bet my Mortgage that the senior Clergy in Llandaff have a monopoly on low morals.
      But then I remembered Donald Trump and the fact that Caiaphas has been imported from Salisbury so it seems likely there's more than one Shithole involved.

      Delete
    2. Ministry areas are con tricks to get maximum money from former Parishes without supplying the necessary number of Priests. The success is based on tick boxes... Messy Church, food banks, coffee mornings, Ecumenical activities. True worship is rearranged for 'convenient' times, which are often made without consultation with the parishioners.
      To supplement poor wages, weddings and funerals become a priority.
      All of this eventually and quite quickly wears out Priests and parishioners alike.
      Certain churches benefit slightly.Those at the centre near a resident Priest.Those on the periphery accelerate to obscurity.
      This crazy system should be halted now.I am certain that the new attendance figures will show what a disaster they are.
      And all the time the Church in Wales sits on a bigger pot of money than it has ever had.
      Obscene!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous, thank you for sharing that with us. I truly feel for you and I will make all parishes in your position the intention in this morning's mass. I can't imagine what a church family feels like without a "father" but I pray you'll receive a spiritual and loving priest soon. God bless you. David+.

      Delete
  18. The sadness at heart,one feels is beyond words. Why should huge 'parish share' payments be more important than repairs and congregations well-being. It was mentioned on this blog that the Church has accrued a balance sheet reserve of around 600m, if this is the case, then surely a proportion should be used to support parishes with these needs and lower parish contribution. Surely if a tithing system is in operation, then Parish share should be according to annual income not communicants. Most denominations ask local churches for 10% of gross income. Yet from what I'm hearing, this vastly higher in the CiW. Why and for what purpose, if a parish has no priest and there parsonage is rented out by a diocese ( does the parish see any of that income?).
    The only way to change things is not to pay as mentioned in earlier comments.
    My prayers and heartfelt support goes out to those little parishes that are so oppressed. Pondering Pastor.

    ReplyDelete
  19. For too long the Church in Wales, especially the diocese of Llandaff, has appeared to be a department of the Labour controlled Assembly. It was no surprise, therefore, that a liberal, politically left wing bishop should have been chosen by the Labour-leaning former archbishop to produce a review of the Province. He chose to recommend trendy LMAs and break up the parish system, which had worked for centuries. If the country lets in Communist Corbyn the whole nation will sink, and sink further than ineffectual Mrs May allows it to. The way that the nation's defences have been run down is a scandal. The parallels with 1939 are increasingly strong.
    Rob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Puzzling comments, a good relationship with WAG and faith groups is a great strength in Wales do not really understand why LMAs are 'trendy'. Clear that the current system is not working at least in rural areas like this there is no way one person can cope with 8+ parishes. Strange that some postings show unwillingness even to debate the various alternatives. Puzzled also at the broadside against Jeremy Corbyn, I am no Corbym fan(though a Labour Party member) sadly it is inequality and lack of investment that is destroying this country not Mr Corbyn. Adarynefoedd.

      Delete
    2. Puzzling comments, a good relationship with WAG and faith groups is a great strength in Wales do not really understand why LMAs are 'trendy'. Clear that the current system is not working at least in rural areas like this there is no way one person can cope with 8+ parishes. Strange that some postings show unwillingness even to debate the various alternatives. Puzzled also at the broadside against Jeremy Corbyn, I am no Corbym fan(though a Labour Party member) sadly it is inequality and lack of investment that is destroying this country not Mr Corbyn. Adarynefoedd.

      Delete
  20. Alwyn from Abertawe25 January 2018 at 11:24

    June Osborne is at St Margaret's, Roath, for much of today. There is an open meeting, this evening, principally for Churchwardens, but others may attend. Seems like an ideal opportunity to ask some questions from the floor about Parish Share, Organ Fund accounts, and that arrogant little Deanery squatter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Calamity Caiaphas is also attending the Llandaff Society meeting tonight at 7.30pm in the new Memorial Hall.
      Are the awkward questions and Dictaphones ready Llandaff?
      It would be so amusing if Martin Shipton were present.

      Delete
  21. The Honourable Schoolboy28 January 2018 at 12:51

    One wonders why, when the Diocese is so much in need of priests, Llandaff Cathedral merits an additional Curate. After all it could make far more use of its Dean.

    This morning at the Eucharist the Dean's sole contribution was to read the Banns (for the forthcoming marriage of said Curate) and to announce a special Evensong today for the retiring Head of the Servers.

    It is something of a miracle that the Dean remembered to thank someone for their services to the Cathedral, as he usually omits even to send a supportive email. Clearly the Head Server's contribution is one that deserves special notice! No doubt keeping those servers in line, Sunday after Sunday, is of central importance to the Cathedral's mission.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will only be a matter of time before the slimy amphibian Mr Toad instructs the dud in the Deanery to give him the responsibility of telling the servers how to do their job.
      By now Toad's portfolio of duties include being Gerwhine's Groom of the Stool.

      Delete
    2. Same Circus, Different Clown28 January 2018 at 21:21

      That's already been taken carer of LG.
      Kenyon has barely left the Cathedral today but Toad is already in there like a rat up a drain pipe.
      http://www.llandaffcathedral.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BELL-Feb-2018-Final.pdf
      Page 19
      "GUILD OF SERVERS
      For our Sunday morning worship, and on certain other occasions, Servers
      are needed to assist the clergy. If you are confirmed, whatever age or
      gender, and would like to join us, please come and have a chat with the
      Head Server after a service, or telephone.
      Contact Jonathan Hoad, Head Virger 029 2056 4554"

      The nepotism in Llandaff is as rank as the swamp.

      Delete
    3. How long will it be before there is a transgender transister transformer translator server?

      Delete
  22. What most of us want to know is when will there be an announcement for a special Evensong to say farewell to the Dean? He cannot seriously think he's going to be there long-term, can he? Apart from June asking how the Golfer could have been so recklessly stupid by putting him in there in the first place, the cocky little sod had the front to lead an all-out rebellion against 'Honest' John, the former dodgy solicitor from Brecon, after the failure to elect Jeffrey John. Drain the swamp indeed.

    ReplyDelete