|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.