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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Another Church in Wales senior appointment

The Archbishop of Wales at the window in HQ which affords distant views of the Salvation Army
DHQ and the Church of St Mary's The Virgin in Butetown .  Source: Church in Wales

Hot on the heels of the Church in Wales advertisement for a Director of Welsh Language and Bilingual Mission (Grade F – £36,225 to £40,986 per annum) comes another bishops' adviser senior appointment. This time for a Director of Education Policy (Grade G – £42,692 to £48,302 per annum).

According to the job description the post holder will be responsible to the Bench of Bishops and the Standing Committee of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales through the Bishop holding the Education portfolio (currently the Bishop of Llandaff) for the content of work. The post-holder will be a senior advisor to the Bishops and will be responsible for ensuring that they are kept well briefed and well-informed about developments in the areas of work covered by this role.

With a bloated bench of  six diocesan bishops for a province the size of a Church of England diocese and no sign of reducing the bureaucracy as recommended in the Harries Review (Section 15), one has to wonder how the bishops spend their time with advisers assisting them with the briefs. Perhaps that is why they are so out of touch, spending time indulging their LGBTI/same-sex marriage obsessions.

In a previous entry, 'The cost of change', I noted that the  bishop of Llandaff, the holder of the Education portfolio, had said, "You can talk about it as a story of decline but actually what it is about is change." So there we have it. More bureaucracy.

While the peasants at the bottom of the pile are urged to dig deeper there is no shortage of money for the lord bishops' advisers. 

There is a salutary tale from the US on the decline of the Episcopal Church (here) but the bench continues to look to TEC for support. Their ex-Presiding Bishop is mentoring ♀June and ♀Joanna.

Female bishop mentoring                                 Source: Twitter

Since we were led to expect so much from women bishops it is a bit of a mystery why they need mentoring: 
“People were delighted in my appointment because it was fairly unexpected that in a single year the Church in Wales went from having six men as its bishops to a third being women. I can’t tell you the amount of pleasure and delight it causes people. It’s now what we expect, we don’t expect there to be barriers for women. That is as true for spiritual leadership and the church as for medicine or journalism or the boardroom.” - June Osborne

Not without substantial help apparently. Who is paying the mentoring bill and why choose a woman who has been exposed for her non-Christian theology?

If there is so much money about might I suggest another senior appointment? Someone who can advise the bench how to get back on track after being derailed by the former archbishop and his heretical mentor. That would be money well spent.


  1. Gwyn from Gwalchmai6 March 2018 at 17:26

    Sounds a like another trip down to Wm Hill is in the offing. Ideal post for Bob the Builder, I would have thought. As a former Schools Inspector for Bangor Diocese he is, on his own admission, ideally qualified for such a role. What he doesn't know about education isn't worth knowing, apparently. Good on you, Bob. Now you can escape from Bangor Diocese, just like you said you wanted to in 2012!

  2. At least the church is not using consultants which would be more costly than a fulltime post. However, one would hope that the tenure of these advisor roles are for a set contract term, like in most not for profit organizations. PP.

    1. The sheer profligacy of salary grades F and G for such 'advisory' roles are in stark contrast to the disgusting way the Church in Wales treated and continues to treat its musicians.

      Consider 2013 and compare the redundancies of the Llandaff Lay Clerks due to the Cathedral's alleged inability to pay them a salary of even £3,300 per annum with the obvious nonchalance then (and now) towards the apparently trivial matter of a missing £735k that could have kept the choir going for at least another 20 years!
      Not to mention again the attitude towards the Lay Clerks daring to demand the correct fees from the BBC and Avanti over the Songs of Praise scandal.

      Fast forward to 2018
      The choir of Bangor Cathedral have also been screwed over Songs of Praise and the opportunity of earning recording fees to which they were perfectly entitled to earn as the 'resident' choir.

      Is the labourer worthy of his hire?
      Obviously not in Llandaff or Bangor.

      The remaining 27,500 church-goers should stop their giving completely and immediately.

    2. They won't thank you, you know—these directors of language and education. If they are anything like the former Bishop of Truro's 'Strategic Programme Manager—Transforming Mission' (also on £40k) they won't even be Christian.

      I give to several charities by direct debit; not very much and to mainly small, not very exciting organisations. Once a year I get a newsletter telling me how the money has been spent, always accompanied by a letter of thanks and appreciation. I know they are careful to say thank you because they hope for more but it's always nice to get a word of thanks.

      Three years ago I helped to organise a jumble sale with raised over £200 for our village church. After the service the following day I announced the total and thanked every one who had helped. The vicar, who had not attended the sale, stood at the back of the church and said not a word.

      For nearly 20 years I gave fairly generously to the Church in Wales, latterly by direct debit. Every year I was told what the sum had amounted to but not what it had been spent on.
      Three years ago I wrote to Cardiff to say, as a result of the aggressive way the debate on Same Sex marriage was being handled, I was stopping my direct debit. I didn't even get an acknowledgment.

      If you follow Simple Simon's wise advise to stop giving to these overpaid and unnecessary flunkies don't expect any word of thanks for past generosity.
      Anglican Misfit

    3. Simple Simon you are so right. What IS a cathedral without glorious music praising our God and touching our spirits? Perhaps I'm not intelligent enough to understand why all these new and very well paid posts are needed all of a sudden, while the basic necessities of the cathedral, such as musicians and choristers of high quality and dedication to their arts and to God, are being eliminated... what IS going on??

  3. Jeffers-Schori to mentor in what exactly? How to destroy a church movement in 10 easy steps? Crazy, its like asking Fred Goodwin to mentor a new chief executive in banking. Really? Does being female exonerate one from being an unmitigated disaster?

    Equality must mean receiving criticism where it is all too evidently due.

  4. I firmly believe ALL clergy should be paid the same amount. To do otherwise is agin the teachings of Jesus and the examples of the early church. There is far too much love of money among us and love of authority too. The love of red piping on cassocks, titles, houses / palaces etc etc. We need to prove our humility and begin to serve one another and the people in our care. Perhaps when the world sees a servant church rather than a secular, one-upmanship organisation things might improve. The people of Wales deserves far more than they've been getting from us.

    1. Well said. And that same pay must include the C of E fees go back so everyone gets a higher but equal salary. In Wales some clergy are earning an extra £20 k per year on weddings and funerals while others get hardly any. If people spend all week on funerals they aren't out visiting the flock etc etc. Lay readers can take funerals but don't as clergy want the fee.

    2. I agree Danny. It is well known that some "priests" have very good relations with undertakers and see no problem with "stealing" funeral fees from their brothers and sisters in neighbouring parishes but nothing is done about it. In the early church we are told that "they held all things in common... and they distributed to each as anyone had need." The C of E model is far better. ALL fees should be shared. I am ashamed of the grasping and hoarding that is so evident among my fellow clerks. At present, our Church resembles any old institution with a board of directors and a hierarchy of senior officers below them. I see little Godliness just a desire to climb the ladder and get a tasty pension at the end of a useless career. When I read of the early Bishops who genuinely fought AGAINST consecration and who dreaded the awesomeness of the responsibility the role entailed, I struggle to witness such holiness in the "boardroom" today. I honestly despair and like other clergy, struggle with depression at the state of the Church I love(d).

  5. Looks like the whole stinking swamp will be coming down soon.

    "Police and prosecutors are considering a criminal investigation into a former Archbishop of Canterbury over an alleged cover-up of sexual abuse.
    George Carey stepped down as an honorary bishop last year after a report found the Church had "colluded" with convicted sex abuser Bishop Peter Ball under his leadership.
    Now the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is discussing with Scotland Yard detectives whether to pursue criminal charges against Lord Carey, the Telegraph understands."

    1. Not a minute too soon either. Then, will it be the turn of Bazza' oath takers?

    2. Simon Stylites9 March 2018 at 21:27

      Sean O'Neill, Chief Reporter of The Times, wrote this today regarding charities and transparency. It takes outside pressure to force the culture of secrecy to change in both the CinW and CofE, and especially at Llandaff!

      "Charities that take public money must be open to scrutiny:

      "The trustees in particular have questions to answer. Their duties include "ensuring your charity its purposes for the public benefit" and making sure the organisation is "complying with the law, well run and effective." In a nutshell, trustees are supposed to scrutinise rigorously and hold to account the management of their charities. The reality is that many of them are too close to see, or be honest about, what is going on.

      "[...] Transparency is being forced not by trustees or the Charity Commission, which has the impossible task of overseeing 167,000 charities with 280 staff, but by the media. If we want accountability and truthfulness from this sector that media pressure must continue."

    3. You omitted my favourite bit of the article to which you refer Simon.

      "The senior management and trustees of both organisations have been at worst active participants and at best complicit partners in those cover-ups."

      Sounds just like Llandaff to me.

      I do hope all these timely press cuttings and appropriate comments are wending their way to the 3 stooges appointed by Caiaphas to carry out her "review".
      The ears in the walls report the 3 stooges have at least taken a leaf out of some of Ancient Briton's previous contributors and are tape recording the "interviews" they are conducting.
      I hope most sincerely that someone has had the foresight to provide them with a copy of the transcript of --Morgan's infamous speech to the Cathedral Friends at their 2015 AGM.

    4. Here's the quote that will set the clerical backsides a twitching Simon!

      "Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, has drawn up a plan for reform. She could take one further important step by requiring all charities in receipt of significant public funds to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It’s time to open the files."

    5. @1662

      The grumblings on The Green this morning concern His --Darkness having volunteered himself for an interview with June's 3 stooges last week.

      Perhaps he handed them a copy of the transcript himself spouting froth on 27th June (it's freely available on a couple of Ancient Briton's blog threads) along with a copy of his letter of 21st August 2015 addressed to the Chapter that couldn't run a bath?

    6. One has also heard that story doing the rounds LET.
      The ears in the walls report Cathedral Treasurer Alan Williams also making an appearance for a session with the 3 stooges in the antiques-dealing Deanery squatter's executive office suite. One is mildly amused at the idea of the glove puppet never anticipating the former Cathedral's choir vestry hosting the inquisition into his squalid morass of the stinking swamp.
      But no appearance by Bonaparte or Captain Peacock to date.

    7. If only the "subversive" old ladies and widows who received poison pen letters and verbal harassment from the stinker in the Deanery have all had an opportunity to say their piece and submit copies of Gerwhine's penmanship for outside scrutiny.

    8. A spoonful of straight forward straight talking common sense from the likes of Linda Quinn and Liz Anderson Reid wouldn't go amiss either.

    9. Martin Shipton hoped to interview the 3 stooges on taped but for some strange reason they declined his invitation!

  6. How I wish I had found this frank & therapeutic site called Ancient Briton on 9th Nov when the SEC College of Bishops announced Rev Anne Dyer (came to SEC from C of E in 2011, supporter of SSMarriage) had been APPOINTED Bishop of Aberdeen & Orkney by overlooking highly experienced & academic SEC clergy. This appointment was NOT by the normal democratic ELECTION by clergy & laity representatives of the Diocese. However much they claim, the C of B followed Canon 4 -they failed to reveal a clause, which allowed them 'assent' to take over.
    Searching on line on 5th March I discovered 'Wimmin called to Ministry', and posted the following comment: "The SEC have allowed themselves to be taken over by C of E same sex supporting clergy, who now have 5/7 Anglican Bishops with 2 more vacancies to go. Scottish Episcopalians know that their traditions are slowly but surely being eliminated. What is the real motive behind all this??
    The affable Primus is taciturn on these serious matters.
    During an interview with the local press pre-Consecration, Ms Dyer showed, that one of her qualities was not humility and demonstrated a complete lack of awareness of Scots' social conscience.
    2017 saw a prestigious Jacobite Exhibition in Edinburgh with the SEC faith at the forefront of many of the exhibits. Memorable were the swords with the motto: 'For Scotland and NO Union'."

    Today I would like to add, that I am in total agreement with Rev'd David Lloyd's comments re clergy.....with perhaps the exception of one Bishop in SEC, they are puffed up by paraphernalia , expensive adornments and their crosiers no longer represent the notion of "shepherds of their flock."
    Their arrogance that others should subsidise their first class travel, accommodation & dining is difficult for members of congregations to thole.
    It is uplifting to see others in Wales & beyond speaking out about similar & different problems in their Church(es).
    Mhairi MacInnes, trying to remain a Scottish Episcopalian.

  7. Stipends were never designed to be more than living costs, commensurate with the free house, expenses. If qe look at other churches, the Methodist, Baptist and Salvation Army ministers are paid an allowance and, expenses.Then have a manse and housing costs.
    If we look at funeral costs, Anglican Clergy in Wales are paid far more than there free church colleagues, gaining a fee for: in church, in crem/cemetery committal and, if interring cremated remains a further fee. The free church minister, has one standard fee for "the funeral" sometimes, all 3 services taken, for the one fee. Then the fee has to go through the Church's accounts. However, the exception is a further charge for use of a church building, which can rise from £25 to over £'350.
    I once assisted a dying lay reader with his funeral plan, he had served his Parish for over 30years, yet his vicar at the time, told him his fees could not be waived, for parishioners - is this the Church or a business?

    If you download the CiW fee scale for 2017 and compare with lets the Methodist scale, the fees are poles apart.
    Sadly I return to a previous blog entry and equally noted above, is it time to stop giving. Maybe putting a token £1 on the plate, no DD or other giving. Call it the "peoples pound pledge" to pledge to give no more until things change. Then give our normal giving to a charity of choice.
    Why the levity has got so badly skewed is beyond belief, the maxim "action speaks louder than words" springs to mind. Able Anglican

  8. How refreshing Able. Why not covenant your giving to any group that might be church planting in your area. It is sinful to waste one wealth on the Church in Wales. "A thief comes to kill, steal and destroy," The Church in Wales hierarchy can be compared to the sons of Samuel and Eli.


  9. AB,as you put it, so many of us are dismayed at the CiW obsession about LGBTQIA+ matters and +Joanna has deeply offended me with the recent post on the CiW website about this newly formed group CATAC. It is wrong on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin but hopefully the points below will suffice to express my chagrin with this nonsense.

    Firstly, LGBTQIA+ people have been treated very harshly in the past which was neither fair nor right. Jesus would have treated them with compassion and love and invited them to follow him. However, with this being the case, traditional Christian teaching from scripture has not sanctioned some of the lifestyles promoted by +Joanna and CATAC. No matter how one tries to re-evaluate scripture it is never going to teach what they want it to mean.

    I’m flabbergasted that the Bishop believes she has the authority to campaign on the CiW website for full inclusion of people making these choices. The teaching of the Church-in-Wales as it stands does not accept full inclusion (i.e SSM) and so her post is at variance with the status quo. Can EFCW or Y Gymdeithas have some exposure on the CiW website promoting a traditional view of scriptural teaching on family life? Surely, it is only fair for some to be given the opportunity to promote the actual teaching of the CiW on marriage as it is at present? In your dreams butty: fairness and inclusion have come to mean that just as long as you kowtow to the zeitgeist of secular society or else you are silenced and excluded.

    Changing the definition of marriage is so fundamental that no Bishop, province or synod has the authority to do this in God. Only an ecumenical council with the authority of old could sanction such a novelty. Any province that does makes itself a heterodox breakaway from the catholic and apostolic church. Why don’t you think a definition of marriage was placed in the creeds and historic formularies of the Anglican Church? It is because the traditional understanding was so self-evident, so obvious to the great Divines none of them even imagined a need to do so.

    I also object to 1 Corinthians 13 being quoted to me as if disagreeing with their skewed, heterodox reading of scripture means that I am unloving. Love certainly is not ‘arrogant, boastful or rude’ and the irony is that implying people who believe what the vast majority Christians have believed everywhere are unloving is in itself arrogant, boastful and rude.

    Quoting higher principles as a hermeneutic device is shabby and leads nowhere on formulating doctrine on the detail of moral boundaries. Anyone can do that to prove anything – polyamory, polygamy, even adult consensual incest. I mean if love wins, who are we to deny them? All those African chiefs that gave up their subsequent ‘wives’ in the days of the great missionary endeavour deserve a posthumous apology after those naughty missionaries said you can only be married your first wife if you want to be a Christian in good standing.

    All sinners who are truly Christians exhibit the fruit of the spirit to some degree but their evidence never sanctions one’s sinful choices. Again another argument supposedly to support their interpretation that somehow one demonstrating spiritual fruit sanctifies the lifestyle.

    The post finishes with the quote from +Joanna, ““After 2000 years, we are still learning how to work out our Christian faith…” No kidding? And what makes you think you can just declare that 2000 years of thought, theology and pastoral practice is open to change? One might think you’d say to yourself: 2000 years, hang on a minute, have I really got this right?

  10. I have visited this blog, on and off, for the past three or four years. I am staggered that some of the views expressed here are still held by intelligent people in the second decade of the 21st Century. I have never commented before (and this will probably be a one-off) but I do recognise that, behind some of the reactionary carping, this is an important forum in two respects. First, it provides a vital snapshot of the view from 'ground level.' Second, it proves beyond doubt that when the senior leadership in any organisation, be it the church, local government or education, believe they can treat those people at 'ground level' with the kind of contempt and disdain that appears to have become the norm in the Church in Wales, there has to be a means of exposing that belief - as well as the actions that follow from it.

    Put simply, some of you may may hold shocking views; but most of you are holding people to account who are arrogant enough to imagine that they are unaccountable. So long may AB continue.