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Saturday, 14 November 2020

Hurt and unnecessary suffering

In their Forward to the Church of England booklet Living in Love and Faith the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell claim that the Church has caused ‘hurt and unnecessary suffering’.

That is not a belated acknowledgement of the misery caused to the thousands of Anglicans un-churched by progressive bishops but further homage to a vocal minority whose purpose is to redefine Christianity so that, for them, it legitimises personal preferences. 

Living with sex and faith would be a more apt title. 

While brotherly love is implied, there is no love in the Church of England House of Bishops for defenders of traditional marriage who strive to uphold the faith as received. Instead the Church of England’s two most senior figures apologise to the comparatively few LGBT+ people for causing them ‘huge damage and hurt’. What of the hurt and damage caused to others? Not a word. Not a care.

It makes no sense. 

Archbishop Justin Welby claims that Living in Love and Faith enables us to "explore God's will for the Church". Most Christians thought that was already clear from scripture and tradition. 

The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, has been appointed to chair a small “next steps” group of bishops, whose task is to encourage people to use the Living in Love and Faith  material and move the Church towards decisions on key matters to do with sexuality.

If they adhered to biblical teaching there would be nothing to discuss so presumably the bishops have already decided on change. 

The liberal, feminised Church of England is dying but no effort is spared in satisfying the demands of a handful of people who seek same sex marriage in church when in reality there is little demand for such a monumental change.  

The number of opposite-sex couples getting married has fallen to the lowest level in history according to official figures. In 2017, the number of same-sex couples married through religious ceremonies was 43.

Taking a leaf out of the Islamophobia handbook of how to stifle any opinion but their own, gay activist Jayne Ozanne and member of the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel said that while she welcomed the publication of Living in Love and Faith, the Church of England ‘must not excuse or legitimise homophobia in any form’.

Ms Ozanne claims the the Bible's teaching on sexual ethics is homophobic

The Christian faith has been all but abandoned by C of E bishops. 

If they had inherited the faith of our forefathers they would not be seeking to abandon scripture and tradition, something the bishops in the Church of Wales did under the former Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan, a policy eagerly continued by his successor who promised more of the same but faster.

Church in Wales bishops, desperate to appear relevant to society, have already decided, contrary to members' wishes, that same sex unions are more important than the Word.

But the Church in Wales is virtually dead. 

The 2019 Annual Report and Accounts identified a number of significant risks in their 2019 risk register including the following 'most significant' Operational Risks:

    a. Falling congregation numbers and increasing age profile leading to an accelerating decline in church attendance;

    b. Falling clergy numbers;

    c. Organisational structure of the Church in Wales no longer appropriate for the needs of the organisation;

Bench parity was achieved in Wales with the appointment of a woman bishop living in a same sex relationship, much to the delight of the LGBT activist bishops of St Davids and Llandaff.

To aid the bishop of Llandaff as she "leads her diocese" and "fulfils her roles in the Church in Wales and beyond" the diocese is currently advertising 'an exciting opportunity' for  an Executive Assistant to the bishop with a salary between £28,694 and £32,465 (Grade D) to 'deliver a variety of operational services to support'.

The duties include 'acting as a first point of contact, co-ordinating and supporting meetings, preparing briefings, processing correspondence and arranging logistics to ensure that the work of the Bishop is efficient, effective and responsive to changing requirements'.

Another factotum to add to the 'Organisational structure of the Church in Wales no longer appropriate for the needs of the organisation'.

Postscript [20.11.2020]

"Churches holding to Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics likened to Holocaust deniers and rapists by LGBT activist Jayne Ozanne." - The Christian Institute


  1. The marriage service clearly states

    For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.

    so that needs to go but as it can't people who do not accept it should start their own cult

  2. What are the bishops of the Church in Wales doing to earn their bread? Not a pipsqueak from them have I heard about anything, simply hiding behind Covid restrictions to prevent churches from reopening.

  3. Are bishops "preventing churches from reopening"? The churches in our local Ministry Area (Monmouth Diocese) were certainly open yesterday.

    1. The same is true in my area of St Asaph diocese. My other half - who has stayed in Anglicanism - was at the Eucharist yesterday morning. All the churches of the local ministry area whose ground-plan allows for following the regulations are open and functioning.

    2. Medwyn on the Menai16 November 2020 at 14:05

      There is, of course, one conspicuous church in the Welsh province that is being characteristically diffident about whether worship is - or is not - happening. Yes, you've guessed right, it's Bangor Cathedral!

      Go to it website and you will see that no creative expense has been spared in giving us a photo of a pile of knitted woolen mice on the nave altar. But you try finding information about the round of daily worship. If you click the 'Worship' link you are taken to a '404 Page Unknown.' Click 'Sunday Services' and you get a nice photo of a carving of St Deiniol but not a word of information. Ditto the 'Newsletter' link. Somewhere, I stumbled across a rather opaque reference to a 10am said Sunday Eucharist during the Covid19 restrictions, but that was clearly out of date.

      You've got to hand it to Car Crash Cathy, she's clever, if not downright sly. Giving every impression that the place is open and functioning, she manages to keep the doors firmly shut and bolted. As she tells the whole of cyberspace that Bangor Cathedral is ready to welcome the world, she can repel all those annoying people who want to go to Mass or pray the daily offices, giving herself plenty of opportunities to do what she wants to do instead of being focused on the job she's paid to do.

      But here's the real joke. Bangor Cathedral is now being branded as 'Your Cathedral - Here for You.' Utterly, utterly risible.

      Here's an idea. Why doesn't Andy Crap do a job-swap with June the Bruiser? Now that should send a shiver down the collective spine of both dioceses!

    3. PP. Interesting you mention Bangor Cathedral. Last week's Songs of Praise, featured Dean Cathy with Aled Jones. In the Cathedral with her was the Archdeacon and a former Minor Canon. (Do we still have Minor Canons in Welsh Cathedrals).

    4. Yes, the website is hopeless. To me, almost the first thing you ought to see on a church's website are its service times - yet quite often they're not obvious.

      The Cathedral obviously expects everyone to look at its Facebook page, but even there the results, though clear, are surprising:

      Cathedral opening times
      Sundays- 10am Bilingual Said Eucharist
      Wednesdays- 12-1pm Brief service and time for private prayer.
      It is possible that opening times will change due to Covid-19 regulations.

      Is that all?

  4. Yes, admittedly, most recently. But do the members of the congregation wear masks? Are they allowed to sing? Is there a sense of normality about services? Did the Welsh bishops press for this or were they only too eager to close?

    1. I don't think there's much 'sense of normality' around much of daily life at present, so I suppose that it's hardly a surprise if public worship shares the general atmosphere of dislocation. But my impression, from what my other half tells me, is as follows, and might to some degree be 'diocese-specific' to St Asaph. It's the pattern which evolved after the spring lock-down was lifted and, other than during the seventeen-day 'firebreak', has continued.

      Before public corporate worship was resumed, each parish priest had to compile a risk assessment - I take it that there was some sort of pro-forma to prompt them - to maximize the safety of those participating. When completed that had to be passed to the ministry area leader who, once s/he was satisfied with it, passed it on to the local archdeacon for approval. If approval was granted, then public worship could resume.

      Church buildings with a single aisle aren't eligible, because of the difficulty in keeping two metres apart; double aisles allow for a one-way traffic system. In the beginning churches which didn't have two doors - one for going in and the other for going out - couldn't be used for public worship, but I think (though I'm not sure) that they'll look at suggested alternatives which address the risk of people 'bottle-necking' on their way in or out.

      People sit two metres plus apart and similarly distance themselves going up to receive the sacrament. Masks are worn; the celebrant tends to wear a plastic face shield for better audibility. Communion is only in one kind - the scrupulous who've baulked at sharing the chalice are for once justified! No singing, since the scientific advice is that singing can project minute droplets almost as much as coughing and sneezing. In our local parishes music and hymns are produced electronically, as a 'backcloth', of course, not as an invitation to participate!

      As I said, requirements in other diocese may differ to some degree, but I'd imagine not a lot. I don't get the impression that there's been any episcopal discouragement of churches resuming public worship in St Asaph diocese: the local ministry area here quickly resumed daily public worship, not just Sundays.

    2. The specific rules in my denomination are slightly different but broadly the same. Certainly we had to do detailed risk assessments, people have to be socially distanced, singing is not allowed (though we do hum!), face coverings have to be worn. We have found a way of doing Communion in both kinds, facilitated by our normal practice of using individual wee cuppies rather than a common chalice. The one thing which did surprise me, John, was your comment about single-aisle churches not being able to open. I don't think that's the case in Monmouth Diocese as a CinW congregation which normally meets at a school is using our single-aisled building every couple of weeks. And, if you applied the same rule to public transport no bus, train or tram could run!

    3. @ Baptist Trainfan:

      If I've got it right, single-aisle churches can be open for private prayer as long as someone's lurking around to supervise. It's just public worship which is not permitted.

      But this particular refinement may indeed for all I know be unique to St Asaph - I'm not much up on Anglicanism these days beyond what the other half tells me and what I glean from this site! Possibly the proliferation of double-aisled mediaeval churches in this area might have been a factor here; in our area there are probably more double-aisled than single-aisled.

      Which struck me as odd when we first moved here because even allowing for the absence of sectarianism, more generalized piety and larger rural populations in earlier times, it was still hard to imagine congregations ever being large enough to require such spacious buildings. There are various - at least to my mind! - more or less fanciful theories to explain the phenomenon, but for me the most plausible is that if they needed an extension it was actually cheaper just to shift one wall along and construct a second matching apex roof rather than tinker about building something more modest, but architecturally more intricate, to one side

  5. Just wondering how all the gay Anglo-Catholic priests (many of them partnered) serving 'traditionalist' parishes, opposed to the ordination of women, who are forced to go underground and resort to double=speak, most of whom are in the Llandaff diocese, will feel about this? For decades, hundreds of them have had to say one thing in the pulpit while doing something completely different in the bedroom. Many of them have been hailed on this blog as heroes of the faith - including one former Bishop of Llandaff within living memory of many of us.

    The impact on their mental health, not to say their sense of vocation, must be pretty severe when they see an attempt to make sense of their identity as human beings being completely and mindlessly pilloried by a blog that, in other respects, is a cheer-leader for their cause.

    What you are saying here is, in itself, something that has been said many times by many people. I don't agree with a word of it; but this is a free country and you're entitled to your opinion. I would be alarmed if anyone tried to silence you. I am just concerned about all those traditionalist clergy who are being forced to live life and proclaim the faith on two opposing levels and how it is gnawing away at them - especially when their own mouthpiece is so hostile.

    1. To be clear, Troubled, I am not hostile to gay clergy but to same sex marriage.

    2. Thank you for the clarification, AB. It isn't entirely clear from the main post that this is the case - not least because the Church of England publication to which you refer is not, solely, about same-sex marriage.

      But I still make the point that there is a a silent constituency (namely gay partnered traditionalist clergy) for whom 'hurt and unnecessary suffering' is a reality while the gin-and-lace culture insists on an unhealthy culture of double-speak.

  6. Some months ago, I sent a message to Bangor cathedral website asking why, with all the clergy they have, did they did not have a daily eucharist. I received the answer, we do have a daily eucharist on Mondays and Wednesdays!

  7. And please can we talk about same gender marriage? Gender is what we are, sex is what we do.

    1. Except according to current BBC news, teaching and information there are over 100 genders!

    2. I'm afraid you're wrong there, M.O. "Gender" is a grammatical term, applicable in e.g. Latin and French to nouns which even if denoting "sexless" objects (pens and pencils, motor cars, bicycles and cooking stoves...) are in the former case often and in the latter always assigned either masculine or feminine gender.

  8. Grammatical term: exactly, Matthew. It's strange that our society is so timid to employ the only correct term in this context.

  9. Fear not, Llandaff Cathedral observers. In news just in, the Cathedral is blowing its trumpet loudly on twitter to tell us that live-streamed services will be broadcast to the entire cosmos anytime soon. Then we'll be able to see which clergy are present and absent.

    From what I read on here, it sounds unlikely that any such plans are being hatched in the Mother Church of the Diocese of Bangor - just in case someone's totting up the incidence of Decanal absence!

  10. An article that should be the cause of deep shame to the Dean, Chapter & Bishop of Llandaff.

    Cultural vandalism.
    The true legacy of Peggy the Pilate and Darth --Insidious.