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Saturday, 19 May 2018

Pentecost - Welsh revival!

Bishop Andy John, the lead bishop on evangelism                                         Source: Church in Wales

From a Church in Wales Provincial press release: Church launches £10m fund to inspire new Welsh revival.

+Andy has drawn the short straw as the lead bishop on evangelism. Perhaps it is not surprising since his Easter messages have made the rest of the bench look like amateurs but is it good news?

There is more to evangelism than saying the right things, a problem exemplified when bishop Michael Curry preached about love at the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle earlier today.

Many thought he preached a powerful sermon, drawing attention to the need to love God and one's neighbour. But the US Episcopal Church and Anglican bishops in Great Britain have distorted scripture, using 'love' as a password to permit virtually any permutation for sexual freedom.

A passionate supporter of same sex marriage, Curry's beliefs are curiously at odds with the beauty of the marriage service, clearly intended to apply to the union of one man and one woman for the procreation of children.

Easter messages reached rock bottom in 2014 when Archbishop Barry Morgan spoke of solidarity and forgiveness. He said: "Solidarity and forgiveness sum up the meaning of Easter and when one sees these values exemplified, one begins to realise the significance of what it means to believe in the God of Jesus."

He expanded his message in a newspaper article at the time. Lecturing politicians on ethics Morgan suggested that "people of all parties could work to bring something of the generous spirit of the governing body to wider politics and work to build a society in which are neighbours are not just tolerated but loved."

That 'generous spirit' led the Governing Body to show a complete absence of love for traditional Anglicans when it voted for a code of practice that abandoned the faithful. Instead it ushered in a feminist cult hell-bent on feminising the church and allowing same sex marriages.

So what of the Evangelism Fund? The chair of the committee overseeing the Fund said, “We are keen to give grants to effective, well-constructed projects and to ensure the Church’s money is well spent. We will be looking for ideas, for example, that create growth among people in age groups under-represented in our churches, create new forms of ‘church’ to appeal to people not currently going, and projects which lead to changes in culture or provide teaching and learning in faith all over Wales.”

Over represented in terms of numbers are elderly women. Traditional Anglicans have been made unwelcome while every effort is being made to accommodate more LGBT people by pretending they have been unwelcome in church despite their disproportionate presence in many congregations and especially among the clergy.

'More of the same - but faster', as the new archbishop put it, can only quicken the eventual demise of the  Church in Wales which in 2015 was given a potential extinction date of about 2040.

What most congregations now lack are traditional Christian families with children in the choir, Sunday school, youth club, Scout and Guide organisations, etc, looking forward at Pentecost for their annual Whitsun treat.

That women were more in evidence was not a problem as there were sufficient men in the choir and serving at the Altar to carry out essential tasks. If not, willing husbands and non-church people would often help-out.

To correct the imbalance today is a near impossible task. The Anglican church is no longer about 'otherness', just more of the same in vestments. A failed strategy that has resulted in empty pews because mystery has been replaced by what is commonplace in society.

As for new forms of ‘church’ to appeal to people not currently attending, there are toddler groups,  'messy' church, cafe style worship, animal blessings, LGBTQI+ eucharists. Everything in fact but repentance.

How much better it would have been at no extra cost to appoint Welsh speaking bishops in the  Church of Wales to make Welsh speakers feel welcome as outlined in the Welsh Language Guidelines published by the Church in Wales: "In general, what is expected is a positive and imaginative approach to extend the use of the Welsh language in the life of the Province".

The Welsh bishops like to lecture others but rarely practice what they preach beyond enforcing their secular agenda. They have ignored consultations and used positive discrimination to achieve their objectives, alienating many to gain a few.

As for a Welsh revival, dream on. Thanks to liberal minded bishops Anglicanism hangs by a thread. They are stretching it to breaking point.

From the press release: "The Evangelism Fund is being launched on Pentecost Sunday – May 20 – the day traditionally regarded as the Church’s birthday when Christians focus sharing their faith and growth."

Received faith has been abandoned resulting in constant decline. Tradition has been thrown out of the window while appealing to the faithless.

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place"  (Acts 2). Those were the days.


  1. Wow! Now I feel vindicated. I preached virtually the same words this morning. The word "love" is, as you rightly say, distorted and used as a weapon against orthodoxy and decency. In the context of the mandatum novum, love talks of prioritising the other. Prioritise God, prioritise your neighbour. So to love oneself, as Bp Morgan suggested we do, would mean prioritising ourselves... above God and above our neighbours. Then talking of the £10m fund to kickstart a revival - well YOU know already dear reader- this is not a problem that can be solved by throwing cash at it. It is for those who wear the pointy hats representing the gift of the Holy Spirit as a tongue of flame to use their gifts to fan the embers of the one true faith back into flames. Proclaiming that faith would be a good place to start.

  2. O.M.G. So the bench sitters in pointy hats have given Andy Crap the mother of all discretionary funds and judging by his performance on Radio Cymru this morning he doesn't have a clue of what to do with it.

  3. Dim syniad - totally incomprehensible - but that means he was being very Biblical, as psalm 139 would have it - "God, your plans are incomprehensible to me!

  4. Nothing will grow the Church or attract new converts to Christianity better than well qualified hard working Priests in Parishes.
    Here's a novel idea, let's spend £10 million on the bleeding obvious!

    1. Gwych. In a nutshell. It's like a 'bobby on the beat'to combat knife crime etc in spiritual terms ... good traditional parish priests. In the words of Bernanos: "The ridiculous is always so near to the sublime".

  5. They are desperate but can't see that it is liberalism that kills the church not lack of funds. Who will lead these new projects when there are so few clergy, and those who do exist are running themselves ragged.
    Still no paid clergy in Cwmbran (since August) and no refund of Parish share!

    1. Cwmbran wouldn't need a refund if they didn't stump up in the first place.
      Withhold payment of the Parish share until some clergy are allocated.

    2. I agree with you SS but it's my Aunt's parish (sorry ministry area!), and the LMO's who are running it and warden's won't withhold the £128K parish share, despite being treated like dirt by the diocese. I suppose they fear never having any clergy if they do.
      Perhaps before donating £10 million of hard raised parish share to a cause, the Bench should review how the diocesan mission funds worked and what the outcomes were. Much has been given out but were there any results? I know of a few projects that were given lots of mission funding but now don't exist.......

    3. If the LMO's and Wardens haven't got a pair of balls between them then the answer is simple. Tell your Aunt and all her friends to become "subversives" and stop their giving. It will have the same effect soon enough!

    4. @Danny
      They have the situation upside down.
      They will never have any clergy if they don't.

  6. No amount of cash will produce revival in a Church which has lost credibility - within and without - through its pursuance of female equality, gay rights and same sex marriage. Begin with a clear-out of all the existing Bishops in the Welsh Church resting supinely on their salaries and pensions, with no idea of mission or urgency in their faith.

  7. Sorry of course I meant Bp Curry in my first comment above...
    A good start to revival would be reclaiming a little credibility. Equal pay for all ministers, houses not palaces, courage to speak the truth of what's happening to our nation and Europe as regards Islam, electing bishops who dare to have different opinions and an "orthodox" bishop or two so anglo catholics and conservative evangelicals have pastoral oversight that doesn't seek to eradicate them. These might be a good beginning and may even enable ecumenical relations with the church of Rome to move forward.

  8. Meanwhile down under, some chickens coming home to roost.
    Australian archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of concealing child sex abuses

    1. "Child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church: What you need to know"

      One would rather know nothing of such matters at all, but the reality is that the Church has been covering up its sins for decades if not longer.
      One still knows nothing of the reasons for the unexplained disappearance of Gerwhine's little Catholic Curate Ceirion Gilbert and it must be said one is rather looking forward to the publication of the "Review" by Caiaphas' three stooges.
      Still no sigh of it Ancient Briton?

    2. Ceirion Gilbert is working with schools and families:

  9. PP: The thing is this might seem like deck chairs on the titanic,for many Anglican souls, but a least the CinW are trying to evangelise, or ask the pew sitters for ideas.

    So, rather than heaping a vast and varied dose of criticism, if all the disgruntled, send Bishop Andy, a viable project idea or two, might we see the changes needed.
    Perhaps AB, a another blog post could ask for ideas and a small group put these into an outline to go to Bishop Andy. Or, some with congregations could do similar. This is a golden opportunity to voice and act. The money is on the table, so why not take advantage and come up with viable anglo catholic evangelism projects.

  10. Pleeeeease tell me this Ad Clerum is a naughty jape distributed by a colleague.

  11. Just seen the item on the BBC Welsh News ... Evangelism 2018 ? - as it was presented, albeit in a few minutes, by info provided by 2 Callaghan Square, it was like stepping back to London in 1973 and part of my pastoral training : all denominations were engaged THEN in what the participants were talking about NOW - including the "lead evangelist" - Yes, over four decades ago !!! It was innovative then ... by now, it's old hat. How sad, how very, very sad.

  12. The new £500,000 per annum Penthouse Office suite, Diocesan jollies in Spain and blowing £10 million on "projects" that on past experiences will prove to be worthless.

    Where were all these magnificent sums of money when the Llandaff Cathedral Choir needed a mere £45,000 to save it?
    £10 million would have kept our Choir going for 200 years.

  13. Beleaguered of Bangor27 May 2018 at 07:45

    So, let me get this right... The bishop, THE bishop, who has presided over the most severe decline in his diocese since he took office, who has lost well over a dozen of his most gifted graduate (and Welsh-speaking) clergy, who has made some of the most disastrous appointments and then been stabbed in the back (cf Cyanide Sue, Fred West, the Potty Professor, and all the rest) is being given ten million quid to spend on... er... evangelism? Talk about giving the keys of the asylum to the lunatics!

    I am now convinced that Shirley and his cronies have completely lost the plot. Bangor is a total mess because everything Andy touches turns to... well, c**p. He has no strategic vision, he has made the Church less visible in the wider community, the diocese is staffed by a bunch of talentless sycophantic kids who are willing to blow smoke up his a**se on a regular basis and, most significantly, no-one with any brains or ba*ls want to serve there. He has put his own personal agenda before the common good (eg ordaining his ex-wife as a priest even though she hadn't been anywhere near a church for years until the marriage split up). The man is a complete and utter disaster, and we're giving him ten million quid? See you all down at William Hill's!

    1. Does the lead bishop really matter?
      It is an odd organisation that gets rid of members who believe what the majority of Christians believe and then allocates £10m in an attempt to refill the empty pews, presumably with people who do not belive what the majority of Christians believe - including Anglicans.

    2. Your comments have a greater significance than you may think B.B.
      On a recent visit to Ynys Mon some family members complained that on a recent visit to a church school Andy Crap turned up looking as if he had been dragged through a hedge backwards. He then went on to tell the children to call him "Bish Andy" whilst the pillock who accompanied him invited the children to call him "Rev Kev". God save us.

  14. Alwyn from Abertawe27 May 2018 at 11:41

    If I were June Osborne (which, mercifully, I'm not) I would take my share of the £10m and then tell Andy Crap to sod off. Who does he think he is, that he presumes dish out advice about growth and evangelism when he has been an abject failure and has contributed the most to the Church in Wales' decline. The man is a complete joke and should use next year (his 10th in office - yes, it IS that long!) to find another suitable sphere of ministry. Then Bangor can regroup, get shut of the kids, and get back to being the flourishing diocese it was under Tony Crockett. Before Crap was imposed on the diocese, not only was morale good, there was a much more talented cohort of clergy, and a real confidence in the parish system.

    Of course, Barry the Golfer was furious about all that, because he, too, had been a failure in Bangor. He hated the fact that Tony Crockett was doing well there, with a strategy that flew in the face of Morgan's meddling - and thought nothing of telling Morgan to keep his nose out of a diocese where he had no jurisdiction.

  15. Interesting to read Alwyn's comments - and even more interesting to note that the Byzantine Golfer was pulling the strings in Bangor (and still may be doing so for all I know) to push and push for the speedy adoption of Mission Areas. Crap obediently obeyed. But isn't it interesting that the Golfer was in no hurry whatsoever to introduce Mission Areas in the Diocese of Llandaff? A cat never s**ts on its own doorstep. And, more to the point, the Golfer was able to use his poodle to get back at the diocese that had decisively stuck two fingers up to his vacuous episcopate in the 90s. Not that he is the vindictive sort, of course...