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.

Friday 31 December 2021

The Church in Wales 2021

Bangor wedding                                               Source: Facebook

My first blog entry featuring the Church in Wales in 2021 posed the question, The next Archbishop of Wales? 

The entry led with a Facebook photograph showing a divorced father of four with his new bride, one of his female priests. The groom was, of course, the bishop of Bangor, the Rt Rev Andrew John, who would be the most senior bishop in the Church in Wales following the retirement of archbishop John Davies.

If, for some, 1 Timothy 3 came to mind, no matter. The Church in Wales had already decided to put the Bible to one side and do things their way, something that was to become a habit.

In 2004 'fury' and 'anger' surrounded the appointment of Britain's first divorced bishop in North Wales when the Archdeacon of Carmarthen was declared the unanimous choice of the church's Bench of Bishops after the electoral college failed to agree on the most suitable candidate. This procedure has since become a habit resulting in of a self-perpetuating clique.

The Daily Post, North Wales Live reported at the time that a member of the original secret electoral college said the appointment was a shock and unexpected: "There may be controversy over this," he said. "My own view is that the scripture does say that a bishop has to be married to one wife."

Responding to criticism from within the diocese of Bangor, the then archbishop, Barry Morgan, said that the appointment was "in accord with the Church's view on divorce."

Moving on to June 2021, the only woman bishop not to be appointed by the bench is proud Corbynista Joanna Penberthy, bishop of St Davids. 

She caused uproar following a 'private tweet' about Conservative Party supporters in which she said Never never never trust a Tory. Many commentators thought that was the end of the road for Barry Morgan's chosen one but showing no shame she simply carries on after a few months off work. 

Mentored along with the bishop of Llandaff by TEC's former presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, it appears that no embarrassment for the Church is too great to shift her as she remains doggedly stuck to her throne.  

On the plus side the Church in Wales bade farewell to another of Barry Morgan's Church of England rejects, Peggy (the pilot) Jackson, Archdeacon of Llandaff. If she had had her way this spiteful woman would have barred from ordination anyone who objected, on grounds of conscience, to women clergy thus making a mockery of the promises made to allow the ordination of women.

Jackson was supported in her endeavour by the now disgraced bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy, and the bishop of Bangor, Andy John. The two other bishops present, John Davies (Swansea & Brecon) and June Osborne (Landaff), signalled their lack of opposition to the measure by abstaining.

September 2021 saw the Church in Wales risking suspension from the Anglican Communion as its Governing Body voted to accept same-sex blessings. Again putting scripture aside, the decision was based on a lie

The Liturgy for the Blessing of a Same-sex Civil Marriage or Civil Partnership was authorised for use from 1 October 2021. It is A wedding in all but name.

In November the troubles at Llandaff Cathedral resurfaced with claims and counter-claims as the bishop and dean continued their battle, dragging the Church through the mire with nobody apparently able or willing to get a grip of the situation.

The Archbishop, the Deanery, the  Archdeacon of Llandaff and a can of worms.

A letter to the Church Times today from a brave member of the clergy claims that there is "a culture of fear in Llandaff diocese. Curates, vicars, ministry-area leaders, and lay diocesan staff tell me that they fear their Bishop. Although many say privately that they have been ignored, reprimanded, moved sideways, paid off, invited to take early retirement, or that their resignation is referred to as a retirement, I imagine they would be too fearful of repercussions from the Bishop to put their signature to this letter."

The Church impotent?

In calmer waters, the appointment of the new bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Lomas, former Archdeacon of Wrexham  was confirmed at Sacred Synod and Buggins' turn prevailed again to see the bishop of Bangor, Andy John, elected archbishop.

This cleared the way for the Monmouth Enquiry and Review Report dated 13 July 2021 to be published in December. That is when the dung truly hit the fan.

The Report exposes the fragile state of the Church in Wales after decades of manipulation by the bench under the influence of archbishop Barry Morgan. It refers to inadequate clergy disciplinary procedures, a 'prevalence of swearing and an excessive intake of alcohol among bishops and senior clergy' in a culture that was likened to that of an 'old boys' club.

Commenting on the 'Culture' in the Church in Wales the Report states: "However, we were also told that dioceses in the Church in Wales were surprisingly independent of one another and that a monarchical episcopate was still alive in the Province." There is plenty of evidence for that.

Happy New Year!

Friday 24 December 2021

Happy Christmas to all my readers

The Holy Night                                                                                                                        Carlo Maratta (1625 - 1713)

Very Best Wishes for a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Caption corner 21 December 2021


The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Andy John                                          Source: Herald Wales

Publishable captions will appear under comments.

Monday 20 December 2021

Another Bleak Midwinter

Of all the Christmas carols the Church of England could have chosen to update for their  #AtTheHeartOfChristmas campaign they chose Christina Rossetti's In the Bleak Midwinter

That is what the Anglican Church does best, tinkering with the familiar to replace timeless, simple beauty only to end up with something traditional worshippers barely recognise.

Gustav Holst's In the Bleak Midwinter has a timeless beauty with a clear message which has not been bettered despite the rise of the new version top of the classical charts.

Similarly the beauty of the Book of Common Prayer has not been surpassed by attempts to modernise it. Its language is timeless and comforting, presenting an otherness which modern attempts at revision frequently lack.

Ecumenical News reports that In England and Wales number of Christians falls to half the population, while in US similar pattern shows:

"Figures from 2019 show that only 51 percent of people in England and Wales are Christian, while those with no religion account for more than one-third., Christian Today reported on Dec. 17.

"A few days earlier, Pew Research Center published a survey showing that about three-in-ten U.S. Adults are now religiously unaffiliated, and self-identified Christians make up 63 percent of the U.S. population in 2021, down from 75 percent a decade ago."

This is in marked contrast to the #TeamBelieve campaign which would have us believe that everything in the twitter garden is rosy. 

It probably is for career women in the Church who now have everything they wanted - while it lasts!

Source: Twitter

Postscript [26.12.2021]

Royal approval? 

"While Covid again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions. Be it the singing of carols (as long as the tune is well known);..."

Monday 13 December 2021

The Monmouth Enquiry and Review Report: Senior staff team exonerated


St Woolos Cathedral, Newport,  'an oasis of quiet and peace'                                                                                                                    Source: South Wales Argus

There is much to absorb in the Monmouth Enquiry Report: Report from the Review Panel.pdf

First things first.

In a Statement following the publication of the Report, the current bishop of Monmouth, Cherry Vann, writes:
"I am particularly pleased that the Report exonerates the current Archdeacon of Newport, Jonathan Williams, and the former Dean, Lister Tonge and the former Archdeacon of Monmouth, Ambrose Mason. I want to pay tribute to them and to the office staff, clergy and people of the diocese who continued faithfully with the work of Church whilst feeling left bereft and abandoned."

From the Church in Wales Monmouth Enquiry and Review Report: An Overview:

"The role of the Senior Diocesan Team. The Reviewers describe in detail the role played by three senior colleagues of the bishop. They conclude that throughout the investigatory period and immediate aftermath, they acted in good faith and responded properly to their concerns about and for the bishop. Their concerns were considered to have been well founded and they acted professionally in the way they reported these concerns. Moreover, throughout difficult investigations they maintained the confidentiality required of them and participated in good faith in the processes established, trusting that these processes were adequate and appropriate. This was particularly commendable when their reputations were being traduced and rumours circulated that the bishop’s absence was due to a breakdown in relationships between him and his senior team. These rumours included the belief that the senior team were looking for a way to oust him. The Reviewers do not believe that this was the case and were impressed that they have said so little publicly and have stoically borne false accusations."



South Wales Argus report.

Church Times: "Review lists catalogue of errors in Monmouth and the Church in Wales."


Western Mail (Pressreader), Martin Shipton: CHURCH IN WALES CULTURE CHANGE URGED


Western Mail (Pressreader), Martin Shipton: Worshippers urge inquiry on leadership


The bishop of Monmouth, Cherry Vann, addresses The Monmouth Enquiry and Review Report in her Christmas message 2021 on YouTube starting at position 2.35.

Friday 10 December 2021

Just a job!

Former Gogglebox star and a priest in Nottinghamshire
Photograph: @revkatebottley

From the Guardian: "It’s a job that comes with a range of uniform options...The retailer’s women’s black jumper with the word 'Believe” emblazoned in bold colours is a hit with female priests, leading one Church of England bishop to describe it as “the new clergy uniform'...

"Rev Kate Bottley, the former Gogglebox star and a priest in Nottinghamshire, also posted a picture using the hashtag #TeamBelieve. '​​Never one to shy away from a bandwagon, like most of the clerics I know I’ve bought this jumper,' she wrote."

But believe what? 

More or less whatever they like these days. The creeds have become something to recite in religious rituals. Clergy believe what they want influencing laity to do the same.

In the Church in Wales "the Bishop of St Asaph is among four senior religious leaders and Parliamentarians recognised for their 'ground-breaking work' in the area of sexuality, gender identity.

"The Rt Revd Gregory Cameron received an award for his leadership within the Church in Wales in bringing it to a point of enabling same-sex blessings.

"Jayne Ozanne, whose Foundation instigated the new awards, said: 'It is so important to recognise the role that leaders have in tackling prejudice and discrimination at an institutional or national level.  So many of us yearn for change, but few know how to achieve it.  I am thrilled that we are able to recognise some of our unsung heroes who have given so much in the fight for equality'.

It is not prejudicial and discriminatory to belief other than these people would have us believe.

Gay couple receive 'landmark' Church in Wales blessing from the bishop of St Asaph   Source: BBC


More 'believers' or 'seasonal consumerism at its worst' as Richard Frith, canon precentor at Southwell minster described it.

Postscript [12.12.2021]

Thanks to Archbishop Cranmer for this video of a 'Believe' sweater wearing cleric explaining what believing means to her. 

The bishops of the Church in Wales clearly demonstrate that reciting one thing and doing another is what they believe.

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Joanna Penberthy creeps back

Source: Church in Wales


From Church in Wales Diocesan news:  Join Wales' Christingle service and help Faith in Families led by the Bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy.

Nothing it seems prevents bishops of the Church in Wales from continuing as they please. 

In a previous entry, The future of the Church in Wales from the Archbishop in waiting? I quoted  Andy John's statement:

“I think the question whether Bishop Joanna resigns is done and dusted”, Bishop Andy states. “She made clear that she regretted what she had to say… I think if we cannot provide a way in which people can acknowledge wrongdoing, learn from their mistakes, and come back, then it begs questions about whether we believe people can change. Whether or not we think the Christian faith is about second chances. To me, fundamentally, it’s about that. And those who are baying and frothing at the mouth seem to me to be part of what I think is quite pernicious in society: which is that we dress up in virtue – or in the language of virtue – a kind-of campaign to persecute.”

This may explain some of the facial expressions when the statement of Bishop Andy’s election as Archbishop of Wales was read out. Joanna Penberthy can be seen beaming but not quite as ecstatically as June Osborne who could not wait to signal her approval of the 'wonderful news'.

Looking markedly less thrilled were the bishop of St Asaph and his compatriot in the GB gay blessings saga, the bishop of Monmouth. Following their 'success' at GB perhaps they believed the Pink News article headline, "Cherry Vann, the Bishop of Monmouth, is in the running to be elected the Church in Wales’ first lesbian archbishop." 

Cherry may have been led to believe that her election would be another Church in Wales stitch up, a foregone conclusion as apparently was the GB same sex blessings vote when she arranged a victory dinner in advance of the debate. 

No doubt from his statements the "bullying" bishop of Llandaff and bishop of St Davids will feel more secure under archbishop Andy than they would have under their junior, Cherry Vann, but Andy could surprise everyone now he actually holds the reins of power, such as it is. 

Next though should be the long awaited Bishop Graham Jones report of the investigation into the departure of the former bishop of Monmouth. 

An August update claimed the bench expected "to make progress quickly over the summer period" and to complete their work "in the autumn". Presumably 2021!

Postscript [10.12.2021]

Something fishy again?

I see the fulsome acclamation of the election to archbishop of the bishop of Bangor by the 'bullying' bishop of Llandaff has been rewarded with a personal archiepiscopal tweet to the diocese. 

Perhaps June will now feel as secure as Joanna appears to despite their behaviour.

Monday 6 December 2021

New Archbishop of Wales

Looking thrilled, the new  Archbishop of Wales, Andy John, Bishop of Bangor         Source: Twitter

Buggins' turn. It could have been worse

Pray that when the doors were locked the Holy Spirit was not locked outside!

Postscript [07.12.2021]

Saturday 4 December 2021

It's not cricket (3)

'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me'. 

That was a familiar proverb, particularly for people of my generation, used to shrug off unwarranted taunts back in our school days. 

Children can be cruel. They can also be quite adept at working the system. 

Listening to stories from my own grandchildren I find it astonishing how many schoolchildren are able to use woke culture to manipulate their teachers, often to the detriment of other pupils, by following the latest fads such as the (ab)use of pronouns, bullying others into submission. 

The Yorkshire cricket racism scandal made news headlines about name calling for some time, unabated by revelations that the prime accuser had skeletons in his cupboard as did some of the accused who had their social media accounts scoured for incriminating evidence against them.

By contrast there has been almost no coverage of a report by International Christian Concern that "The United States has once again designated Pakistan as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its egregious violations of religious freedom.

"The designation was vehemently criticized by Pakistani officials. The Spokesperson for Pakistan’s foreign ministry, Asim Iftikhar Ahmed, said that the CPC designation was completely against the reality on the ground. Despite his claims, though, most NGOs on the ground—as well as several governments—report that Pakistan is trending downward for religious freedom in recent years. Pakistan has historically lied about the country’s treatment of religious minorities while continuing to claim internationally that the country is in doing well on the religious freedom front."

A report of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for Pakistani Minorities draws attention to the appalling "Abductions, Forced Conversions, and Forced Marriages of Religious Minority Women and Girls in Pakistan ."

One commentator who has referred to this scandal is Adrian Hilton who tweeted: "Christian or Hindu girls between the ages of 12-25, abducted, converted to Islam and immediately married to their abductors have been increasing steadily in recent years in Pakistan." We don't hear enough about this.


Back in 2014 it was reported that an estimated one thousand Christian and Hindu women are forced to convert and marry Muslim men in Pakistan every year but hardly a murmur. It is not cricket.

Postscript [10.12.2021]

From ACN: All of Pakistan’s Catholic bishops have denounced the lynching of a Christian Sri Lankan man by a mob who accused him of blasphemy, tortured him to death and set his body on fire.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Church in Wales election farce

The Bench of Bishops. From left: Bishop June Osborne, Bishop Joanna Penberthy, Bishop John Lomas, Bishop Andy
John, Bishop Gregory Cameron and Bishop Cherry .  Source: Church in Wales


Following the return to work from sick leave on 1 November of the bishop of St Davids and the confirmation in Sacred Synod on 22 November of the Archdeacon of Wrexham, John Lomas, as bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Church in Wales moves to the next scene of their ecclesiastical farce, the election of the next archbishop of Wales followed by the early retirement of the bishop of St Davids if any semblance of decency remains in the Church in Wales.

What a choice! Apart from the new bishop of Swansea and Brecon none of the candidates would normally have a chance of being elected Archbishop based on performance and beliefs. 

But this is the Church in Wales. Assuming there are no skeletons in the cupboard bishop Lomas may be the only bishop untainted by secularism. 

However, the bench are frequently quoted as being of a 'single mind' on important issues so presumably the bishops have satisfied themselves that they can count on the support of the latest addition, thus perpetuating the rot.

In October 2010 I wrote in Deception in the church: 'Ali Bari and his band are out to rob traditionalists of their heritage'. Faithful Anglicans have simply been dumped. Deprived of fellowship and spiritual wellbeing. Instead their bishops promote secular causes under the mantra, Jesus loves me. 

Around the same time WalesOnline reported: "Between 2011 and 2012, the number of adults attending Church in Wales Sunday services fell by 5%, from 33,783 to 32,171."

In 2004 the figure was 41,771By 2018 that figure had dropped to 26,110 with a predicted extinction date for the Church in Wales around 2040.

All tarred with the same brush, the new archbishop might as well be appointed using a silver bodkin in a blindfold pricking ceremony saving the electoral college much time and money.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Red Wednesday 2021


#RedWednesday is the time for people of all faiths, and no faith, to come together in solidarity for Christians and others who are oppressed.

Just one of many stories form Aid to the Church in Need:

"A THREE-YEAR-OLD Christian girl in Pakistan, who was raped by the husband of her school principal, is still a long way from recovery several months on from her ordeal.

"According to the national Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), based in Lahore, Anna was raped at the school she attended in Raiwind, Lahore – which operated out of the house of her abuser, Muhammad Saleem.

"Ms Merab Arif, Communication Coordinator of CCJP  said: 'Girls from religious minorities are at high risk of sexual violence and abuse. And not just that, early and forced marriage deprives them as well of their fundamental right to education, health, and freedom of religion'."

ACN #RedWednesday 2021 Petition

We call on the UK Government and the United Nations to take more effective steps to address the double jeopardy faced by women and girls from religious minorities in certain countries suffering sexual violence and persecution.


Saturday 20 November 2021

'Women's rights' bishop to retire

Christine Hardman Bishop of Newcastle in the House of Lords                          Source: BBC News

BBC News reports that the Right Reverend Christine Hardman is to step down as Bishop of Newcastle on 30 November.

"The 70-year-old said great progress had been made in achieving equal rights for men and women in the church leadership. However, Mrs Hardman said there was still a lot of work to do to make the church more diverse.

"The church does feel like a different place now and it's not about women's rights, it's about men and women being equally represented in the leadership of the church she said." 

Equality, diversity and parity have far more to do with secular ambitions for so-called women's rights than for spreading the faith as received.

From The London Economic: "Feminist theologian Dr Niamh M. Middleton, author of new book Jesus and Women: Beyond Feminism, says that the Roman Catholic Church will lose all its female practitioners within two decades, and will become extinct within a generation, unless it takes urgent steps to address inherent gender-based discrimination.

"The Roman Catholic church will become ‘women-free’ in Britain and Ireland within 20 years and die out completely within a generation unless it reverses its “sexist and unbiblical” policy that only men can become priests and bishops, a leading academic and theologian has warned.

"Worshippers are already said to be turning their backs on Catholicism “in their droves” in response to its views on women’s rights, LGBT rights and contraception."

A review of Dr Middleton's book in The European put it this way:

'Challenging gender inequality in the Church' it 'dissects institutional sexism within the Church, and outlines how women must lead the way in restoring gender equality'.

The review continues: "Christianity is in crisis, with congregations continuing to fall away both within the Catholic and Protestant Churches. One of the main issues remains the institutional sexism found within Church hierarchies. This discrimination, which finds its apex in the Catholic Church’s prohibition of female ordination, alienates women, leading to them and their families abandoning the pews."

Feminists start from the presumption that institutional sexism exists in the Church but they use secular criteria to achieve their secular aims. It is that which puts Christianity in crisis

In the UK and abroad, where feminist principles have been allowed to influence the direction of the Church it has been downhill thereafter.  

Postscript [23.11.2021]

No change there then! The complete feminist package. They should be campaigning for Christ not using His name to advance their secular cause.

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Dean of Llandaff returns fire on "bullying" bishop

Clergy school impression of Bp June with Peggy 'the pilot', Barry's enforcer               Dean Capon welcomed by Abp Barry Morgan Source: Welsh Icons News


Press Reader report of Western Mail article by Martin Shipton, Political editor at large:

"THE Dean of Llandaff has made a formal complaint of bullying against his Bishop, accusing her of wanting to force him out of his post.

It is understood that while it has reservations about the Dean’s allegations, a Church in Wales preliminary inquiry has decided that the Bishop, Rt Rev June Osborne, has a case to answer.

The Very Rev Gerwyn Capon, who was appointed Dean in 2014 by the current Bishop’s predecessor, Dr Barry Morgan, submitted a 31-page complaint about Bishop Osborne to the Church last year.

In it, the Dean alleges that after Bishop Osborne took up her post in 2017, she quickly made it clear that she had no confidence in him, stating that she believed allegations relating to the running of an organ appeal.

These allegations had been investigated by the then Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, in conjunction with the Charity Commission shortly before Dr Capon had been appointed Dean. The conclusion of the inquiry was that the allegations were unfounded. Dr Capon subsequently reviewed the allegations and came to the same conclusion.

Earlier this month we reported how the Chapter [ruling body] of Llandaff Cathedral had just published on its website claims that the Dean had misspent more than £30,000. The allegations were included in Llandaff Cathedral’s annual report and financial statements for the year 2020. In fact an earlier inquiry which reported in October 2020 had concluded that the Dean was innocent of such allegations.

In a statement, the Dean alleged: “I had been in post for a number of years before the new Bishop arrived in 2017 since when she subjected me to an atmosphere which has felt increasingly unsafe and threatening.”

He went on to claim that by April 2020 he was exhibiting signs of stress and had subsequently been diagnosed with clinical depression.

The Dean alleged: “Immediately upon being diagnosed with work-related stress in May 2020, the Bishop took the opportunity to visit me whilst on sick leave to threaten me further into resignation.

'It was then that I decided to invoke the complaints procedure set out in the Constitution of the Church in Wales, through which appeal may be made to the Archbishop.

'Once I submitted my complaint against Bishop June Osborne for bullying me, the then Archbishop of Wales referred the matter to the Provincial Disciplinary Tribunal.

'No sooner had the Archbishop acknowledged receipt of my complaint than I received notice that I myself was being referred by the Bishop of Llandaff to the Disciplinary Panel following a complaint she had received from the Cathedral Chapter.

'This concerned questions they raised which related to expenditure at the Cathedral.'

The Dean stated that while still on sick leave, he was required to appear before the Committee of the Disciplinary Tribunal to respond to the allegations.

He said: 'The Tribunal Committee found I had no case to answer and exonerated me.

'I have tithed my stipend back to the Cathedral since my arrival in post – between 2016 and 2019, I have, with gift aid, given the Cathedral over £19,000.

'Painting me therefore as a thief is personally wounding and untrue.

'Yet despite the decision of the tribunal committee, I soon afterward received documentary evidence that a member of the Chapter, disappointed by the result, wrote to the Bishop to say that there is ‘more than one way to skin a cat'.'

The expression appears in an email sent by the then Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Venerable Peggy Jackson. She retired in July this year.

Prior to publication we put the contents of that email to the Church in Wales and the Bishop, but we have not received a response.

The Dean said that in October 2020 he was invited to submit details of his complaint against the Bishop of Llandaff.

The preliminary adjudication confirmed in May 2021 that, on the balance of probability, Bishop June Osborne has a case to answer.

It went on to recommend mediation between the Bishop and the Dean, but he claimed that had not proven fruitful, alleging: 'Rather, it seems clear to me that my refusal to drop my complaint has now led to the Cathedral Chapter rehearsing allegations that have already been dealt with and where I have been found to have no case to answer.'

The Dean said he was calling on the Church authorities to abide by their anti-bullying and harassment stance and address what he described as “unacceptable leadership behaviours”.

It is understood the Dean’s formal complaint against the Bishop was assessed by James Davenport, the diocesan registrar for Swansea and Brecon, who determined the Dean’s complaint should be examined at a full hearing.

Neither the Church in Wales nor the Bishop of Llandaff wished to comment."

What a sorry state the Church in Wales finds itself in with their secular leaning bishops. 

The bishop of St Davids is carrying on in disgrace hoping all will be forgotten. The bishop of Monmouth along with the bishops of St Davids and Llandaff actively promote their LGBT agendas. The bishop St Asaph leads his flock astray with his own 'contextualized' interpretation of the Bible while the divorced and re-married bishop of Bangor sits back awaiting his Buggins' turn elevation to archbishop because there is no obvious spiritual merit among the bench of bishops on which to judge the suitability of any one of them.

Postscript [26.11.2021]

Bishop Osborne has ‘case to answer’ over Dean of Llandaff, panel finds  

"A DISCIPLINARY committee of the Church in Wales has found a case to answer over allegations of bullying and harassment brought against the Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt Revd June Osborne, by the Dean, the Very Revd Gerwyn Capon."

Monday 15 November 2021

"The 'look and smell' of a traditional wedding"


"Fabiano Da Silva Duarte, left, and Father Lee Taylor were blessed by the Bishop of St Asaph"                                                                                   Source: BBC

From BBC News: "Father Lee and his partner Fabiano Da Silva Duarte have become what is thought to be the first same-sex couple to be officially blessed by the Church in Wales." 

Unofficially a former archbishop is rumoured to have performed at least one same-sex blessing for one of his diocesan clergy and same-sex partner.

Commenting on the official "landmark" blessing delivered by the bishop of St Asaph, bartender-turned-vicar Father Lee Taylor said with a choir, bell ringers and family and friends attending, the ceremony had the "look and smell" of a traditional wedding.

No surprise there, especially given that the Welsh bishops regard the new service merely as a stepping-stone to gay marriage in Church.

So why is the bench hell-bent on pursuing a policy that puts them at odds with the Church of England in particular and the wider Anglican Church in general, risking suspension from the Anglican Communion?

Having lost all credibility and most of its membership, perhaps the bishops have calculated that by becoming the queer Church in Wales they can avoid its predicted collapse and save themselves from the ranks of the unemployed.

In doing so the bench of bishops claim to be caring for the 'unloved and rejected' which is clearly a nonsense. 

They show no regard whatsoever for others who fit bishop Cameron's description of "real disciples of Jesus Christ...vulnerable, fragile human beings" whom the bishops have chosen to leave without any of the pastoral care they lavish on those who worship under the LGBTQ+ banner.

Saturday 13 November 2021

Remembrance Sunday 2021

Lest we forget


For the Fallen

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Help needed for a new church on the Angle Peninsula

A request for help from Bishop Andy Lines.

Following the recent change in the doctrine of the prayer book of the Church in Wales [The big lie], Rev Josh Maynard handed in his resignation to the Church in Wales and is currently working out his notice. Josh and his family – his wife Rachel and three children – will be moving out of the vicarage in January.

Hat tip to Anglican Unscripted for this story.

Postscript [11.11.2021]

Vision Statement for the Wellspring Anglican Church

Saturday 6 November 2021

Bishop elect is introduced

The senior bishop of the Church in Wales, Andy John, introduces the Archdeacon of Wrexham, John Lomas, who has been chosen as the 10th Bishop of Swansea and Brecon. 

From Church in Wales Provincial news: Archdeacon John’s appointment is to be confirmed at Sacred Synod on the 22nd November 2021at St Giles’ Church, Wrexham. His consecration as Bishop is likely to take place at the Archbishop's Cathedral. The date of consecration and the location of the event will be confirmed when a new Archbishop has been elected.

Thursday 4 November 2021

Road to renewal?

Bishop elect of Swansea & Brecon, John Lomas            Source: Church in Wales

The Church in Wales has announced that the Archdeacon of Wrexham, John Lomas, has been chosen as the 10th Bishop of Swansea and Brecon. 

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Llandaff revisited

The Archbishop, the Deanery, the  Archdeacon of Llandaff and a can of worms.

Saturday, 4 October 2014, Church in Wales: The Llandaff dimension

That entry attracted 83 comments. In November 2013 Morgan's organ had attracted 66 comments. A month later in First things first! when I listed the 'All time' top 10 posts I wrote:
" When I started this blog I had no idea where it would lead but four years later of the 677 entries the most hits have, with a couple of exceptions, centred on the tribulations of the Church of Wales and the Diocese of Llandaff in particular. 

The publication of the Llandaff Cathedral Annual Report and Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 December 2020 has caused a similar reaction with many comments already posted under the previous entry. In particular in response to the revelation on page 22 under Related party transactions and trustees' remuneration, expenses and benefits:

"The trustees are required under section 8(5) of The Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008
to prepare the statement of accounts in accordance with the Charities SORP, which requires trustees to
disclose certain information about the remuneration and other benefits received by trustees. The
Charities SORP states that all transactions with a trustee must be regarded as material regardless of

"As to remuneration, none of the trustees received any remuneration from the charity in 2020. The Dean
and canons residentiary are ecclesiastical office holders remunerated by the Church in Wales.
The Church in Wales sets out the rules under which clergy can claim for expenses of their office. In
2020 the clergy claimed £3,211 in utility costs which they are specifically entitled to under the Church in Wales rules in respect of their office, and were reimbursed £1,065 for equipment and consumables
used in the Cathedral itself, from budgets approved by Chapter.

"In 2021, Chapter has been investigating expenditure totalling £69,350 between 2016 and 2020 of which
at least £35,551 it does not believe was approved by the trustees, as required in law. As a result of a
report commissioned by Chapter (and shared with the Charity Commission) from a Queen’s Counsel
independent of the trustees, Chapter has concluded that the following amounts were apparently
authorised by The Very Reverend Gerwyn Capon which benefited him personally, directly or indirectly,
but were not approved by the trustees of the charity:
    • for work at the Deanery (not owned or maintained by the charity), including the purchase of an
      Aga cooker and wood-burning stove: £22,173
    • Furniture, artwork and other items: £4,789
    • Entertaining, travel and other costs: £5,325

"A further £3,264 was apparently authorised by The Very Reverend Gerwyn Capon for payment to an
employee in addition to salary, without the authority of the trustees.
The QC’s report recommends that the trustees seek restitution of these amounts, and the trustees are
taking steps accordingly."

Cover up and secrecy have become far too common in the Church in Wales. The Llandaff dimension has rumbled on for years. The former bishop of Monmouth's absence and subsequent retirement have yet to be properly explained while the bishop of St Davids keeps her head down hoping everything will blow over so she can carry on where she left off.

The people are the Church not the bishops and their appointees. They need to know the truth. Instead they are treated as pew fodder to keep the bench in the style they have become accustomed too. 

It is no wonder that outside their tiny Province the Church in Wales is regarded as finished.

Postscript [05.11.2021]

The Dean's response:

"The Dean responded with a statement saying: “I am deeply shocked the Cathedral Chapter has taken a decision to defame me in this way.

“In May 2020, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and needed some time off work, whereupon the Chapter made a series of unfounded allegations against me to the bishop [Rt Rev June Osborne].

“She referred them immediately to the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Church in Wales, before which I was invited to appear in order to answer their complaints.

“The tribunal reviewed my detailed evidence and concluded there was no case to answer. I was completely exonerated.

“For Chapter now to renew them, knowing of the tribunal’s decision, is entirely malicious, and people will properly question their action.

“Needless to say, I refute the allegations completely, and refer, again, to the decision of the Church in Wales Tribunal who rejected them at the very first hurdle.

“I have written formally to the Chapter asking them to retract these defamatory remarks and remove them from the cathedral website.”

The dean shared the report of the disciplinary tribunal with the Western Mail.

It states that a committee of the tribunal met in October 2020 to consider a referral from the bishop relating to the dean.

A complaint made by Gerald Elias QC as vice-chair of the Chapter obliged the committee to decide “whether [the dean] was responsible for neglect of duties of office, or persistent carelessness or gross inefficiency in the discharge of his duties and / or that his conduct had given just cause for scandal or offence”.

The committee found no evidence of claims incurred by or authorised by the dean that were improper, but said there was a “somewhat antiquated accounting system which oversaw a lack of a proper framework for the claim and payment of expenses”.

There had been no complaints from the external auditors.

The committee concluded: “While we find that the dean might have been more proactive in addressing the difficulties that the system he inherited posed, that responsibility was not his alone and we do not find that any failings were such as to enable us to find that he has a case to answer on the basis of neglect of duties of office, or persistent carelessness or gross inefficiency in the discharge of such duties.

“Accordingly we find that the dean does not have a case to answer.”

A spokeswoman for the Church in Wales said: “The dean remains off work due to illness.

“I have checked with the Cathedral Chapter and they are not commenting further.”

The Very Rev Capon, 56, was appointed Dean of Llandaff in 2014 by the former Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, whose chaplain he had been.

Thursday 28 October 2021

Episcopal trick or treat?


Bishop Joanna with some Halloween prop suggestions added   Original photo: Christian Today/CiW

One facet of Halloween festivities that few of us can avoid regardless of our attitude is 'Trick or Treating'. 

Given her penchant for matters secular the bishop of St Davids could enter fully into the festive spirit by swopping headgear and staff for something more suited to the expectations of trick and treaters.

More importantly for the Church in Wales and Anglicanism in general is whether Joanna would have chosen trick or treat. 

'Away from work' until the end of October Joanna could have treated Anglicans by announcing her retirement rather than trick the Church again by returning to duties, such as they are given her devotion to party politics.

Sadly she is reported to be more eager to trick the Church and treat herself by beginning 'a phased return to work from November 1'.

This is a problem not confined to the Church in Wales with their unaccountable bishops. 

The Scottish Episcopal Church is in a similar position: "The Times reports the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church is in fear of being deposed by the members of the church’s College of Bishops over his handling of the Anne Dyer affair. An independent investigation recommenced the Rt. Rev. Anne Dyer, Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney be placed on a terminal sabbatical leave for mismanagement. The primus, the Most Rev. Mark Strange, is being blamed by his brother bishops for Dyer’s appointment and the public relations fiascos that have ensued."

Meanwhile, before the election of the next Archbishop of Wales can take place, the appointment the bishop of Swansea and Brecon is awaited with uneasy anticipation  

Given the mess in which the bench finds itself after successively appointing like-minded individuals they should realise that they cannot afford another botched job. But I doubt it. 

More likely they will have another trick up their sleeve to take the Church in Wales even further from its roots.

Postscript [29.10.2021]

The 'Away from work' link in paragraph 4 above has been removed. A new notice under the original absence date 'Posted: 21 June 2021' has appeared advising that "Bishop Joanna is to make a phased return to work following four months of ill health. She will return to her office on Monday November 1st."

Having abandoned her Twitter account on which she spent so much of her time, presumably her duties will be light. The nature of the bishop's ill health has not been disclosed. 

Coinciding as it did with breaking news of her party political Twitter activities many will draw their own conclusions as she brazens it out without any sign of contrition other than being sorry for being caught out.

The whole episode stinks to high heaven but the Church in Wales carries on regardless.

Joanna's absence has not prevented her from adding her name to those of other bishops' joint statements, eg, Statement on COP26 . 

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Slowing the death of Anglicanism in Great Britain

General Synod                                                                                            Source: Church of England

An analysis of  the votes for membership of the Church of England General Synod Elections 2021 shows a majority of the House of Clergy to be revisionists while the House of Laity reflect more orthodox Anglican views despite intensive canvasing by Inclusive Church to elect revisionists:

 House of Clergy

Orthodox – 79    (40%)
Revisionist – 83  (42%)
Unknown – 34    (17%)

House of Laity

Orthodox – 73    (37%)
Revisionist – 69  (35%)
Unknown – 55    (28%)

(Analysist's note: The labels Orthodox and Revisionist refer to the member’s position on blessing same-sex unions.)

As in Scotland and Wales bishops in the CofE are out of touch with views in the pews but in England there is some hope for Anglicanism in the House of Laity.

Commenting on the results the Rev Peter Ould wrote, "this puts to bed finally the misconception constantly spun by those wanting a change in the church’s teaching that the average person in the pews supports their position. In reality, the representatives of those in the pews were more likely to back someone who took a traditional stance than someone who wanted to revise the church’s teaching."

In Christian Today a different analysis led to the conclusion that "Church of England conservatives on marriage and sexual ethics have held their ground in this month's elections to the General Synod but have not made significant gains" leading a co-creator of the Thinking Anglicans website to predict "It is likely that following the Church in Wales vote to allow services of blessing for same-sex couples a similar proposal will go before the new Synod within the next two years."

Already leading the way on same sex marriage the bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church continue to show their contempt for orthodox Anglicans in the way they are handling the behaviour of their appointee, Anne Dyer, bishop of  Aberdeen & Orkney. Two reviews have recommended she “step back permanently” from the episcopate with immediate effect. Instead the bishops have chosen a mediation route to resolve the case, that is, to provide the result they want which is typical of revisionists. They persist until they win. 

The long suffering laity in Wales know only too well that their bishops regard themselves as the Church, manipulating Governing Body to do as they please.

The extending absence of the bishop of St Davids, who, like her Scottish counterpart, seems incapable of doing the decent thing and resign, calls into question the cosy structure the bishops have created for themselves. 

Following the extended absence of the former bishop of Monmouth, the review of which is still being massaged before release, one would have thought that the extended absence of another bishop while awaiting the appointment of a third would have at long last triggered a response to the recommendations of Section 15 of the 2012 Church in Wales Review

Recommendation XXII
There should be three administrative centres, one in the North
and two in the South and South West.

Recommendation XXIII
The Dioceses served by the three administrative centres should
form joint committees for all areas of work, unless there is an
overwhelming reason to keep a particular committee separate. 

Recommendation XXIV
The administrative centre in the North should also be the base for
the provincial work that relates most naturally to those offices of
the Welsh Government that are located in Llandudno. 

Recommendation XXV
The recommendations XXII, XXIII and XXIV should be reviewed
after three years and a judgement made about whether the
Church in Wales is best served by six dioceses with three
administrative centres or whether it would be more effective to
reduce to three dioceses, together with four area bishops.

While the Church in Wales has been turned upside down the bishops continue to do it their way, ignoring any recommendations that upset their privileged position.

Orthodox laity in England have shown that they can slow the death of their Church. Others should follow suit to protect the Anglican Church from its bishops.

Postscript [21.10.2021]

"Results of the General Synod (national church parliament) election in the Church of England indicate that conservative evangelicals will have the numbers to block changes such as authorising same-sex blessings or wedding ceremonies." Eternity News

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Highlights September 2021 - the big fix

Church in Wales Governing Body September 2021                                                                                                                                                   Source: YouTube

Highlights of the Church in Wales (CinW) meeting of the Governing Body, September 2021, have been published. 

Highlights for bishops of the CinW they may be but for the vast majority of Anglicans, they will be anything but that. Attracting widespread criticism, the process has been a gigantic fix.

Built around a Bill to authorise a service of blessing for same-sex partnerships, the meeting's opening prayers invited us to show "love, compassion and concern for all those who are anxious about the day's debate, especially for the members of the LGBTI+ community." Especially for the LGBTI+ community! Do others merit no concern?

Even the response 'In your love and tenderness, remake us' was geared towards voting in favour of the measure. The cleric leading the prayers was far from neutral having already been remade, 'living happily' in a civil partnership with a younger man, he is a noted LGBT activist in common with all three women bishops.

One of the more illuminating speeches came from the Revd Dr Jonathon Wright (S&B), who submitted an amendment that, according to the Chair, Judge Andrew Keyser QC, 'touched on a fundamental part of the Bill'. Dr Wright wanted to have it delayed until it could be considered holistically as part of the Church’s doctrine on marriage, and introduced with same-sex marriage at some future date.

The bishops were in no mood to stop and reflect on their actions, typified by the response the bishop of Monmouth, Cherry Vann, also in a same sex civil partnership, said that it would be "a huge missional and pastoral opportunity lost for yet another generation. . . The cry will go up, ‘How long, O Lord, how long?'"

Not the Lord, bishop Vann but GB members. The amendment was lost by 77 votes to 27, with no abstentions. 

The Bill itself was proposed by the bishop of St Asaph who was "conscious that some members saw the Bill as a departure from Biblical teaching and the historic faith of the Church", probably his most accurate statement, but nevertheless he asked if members would be “bold enough to take a decision in favour of faithful love and mercy, which will bring hope and joy?”

The bishops won, the Bill passed. The Church in Wales lost.

Friday 8 October 2021

Bottomley feels the pinch

Sir Peter Bottomley with his Knight Bachelor medal, presented by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II
during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on March 10, 2011
 (Image: Getty Images) Source: Sussex Live

Ten years ago in an entry Honour and Dishonour I compared two honours for loyal service. A knighthood for Peter Bottomley after 35 years as a Member of Parliament and an MBE for eighty-three year old Kathleen White who had worked at Claverley Post Office near Wolverhampton for 68 years.

Miss White became sub-postmistress in 1960. She also spent 38 years on the parish council and ran the Sunday school at nearby All Saints Church for more than 20 years.

Sir Peter Bottomley deserves recognition for his candour as a member of the parliamentary Ecclesiastical Committee. 

I wrote in that earlier entry: "In 1992 the Ecclesiastical Committee insisted that provisions must be made for those opposed to women bishops, something conveniently forgotten when the Church of England submitted to the will of Women and the Church (WATCH) who have been determined not to honour pledges given. 

"In 2008 Bottomley's response to this duplicity was "Essentially everyone knew that when you had the ordination of women as priests that this would lead to the ordination of women bishops after a decent length of pause. Some would say it has now been an indecent length of pause." 

"An odd sense of honour for someone in a trusted position. Perhaps having served on the Parliamentary Standards Committee and knowing so much about honesty, openness, evasion, misrepresentation and lying he felt well qualified to distinguish between honour and dishonour."

Ten years later and now father of the House of Commons, Sir Peter has been pleading the cause of 'struggling MPs'. 

Sussex Live reports that "the Worthing MP called for a pay rise for MPs as living on £81k can be 'really grim'.

"Sir Peter made his comments as Brits - whose average full-time salary is just over £31,000 - face a cost-of-living crisis this winter with rising energy bills and soaring inflation."

Sky News reported: "Within 24 hours of his comments being published, a JustGiving fundraising page was created titled 'Please help feed struggling Sir Peter Bottomley!' - with all donations going to foodbank charity The Trussell Trust.

Sir Peter told LBC that a pay increase could be achieved by cutting the number of MPs by 10%.

Were the 77 year old MP to put himself at the head of the retirement queue after 46 years of unremarkable service he would have to manage on a final salary scheme pension. 

Poor soul.

Friday 1 October 2021

Queering the Church in Wales

"Celebrating Faith, Hope & Love - An Open Table celebration of communion
with OTN Patron Bishop Cherry Vann "  Source: Twitter            

In a tweet from the Diocese of St Asaph applicants are invited to join the bishops of St Asaph & Monmouth for a special 'Open Table' event in November hosted by the LGBTQIA+ Chaplaincy in the Church In Wales Diocese of St Asaph.

In the illustration above the holy sacrifice of the Mass is merged into LGBT rainbow colours as if to emphasis the bishops' recent victory at Governing Body which approved the blessing of same sex unions.

Open Table issues its invitation to 'come as you are' to a 'Communion service led by Right Revd Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph', a 'Reflection by Right Revd Cherry Vann, Bishop of Monmouth, Patron of Open Table Network' which will  be 'Followed by a simple lunch, conversation and a chance to meet the Bishops'.

Bishop Cameron proposed the motion at Governing Body to allow blessings of same sex unions. In doing so he led Anglicans astray using unorthodox, poor theology which speaks volumes of the unanimous vote of the bishops and two thirds majority of clergy who voted in favour of the motion. 

The event is 'Supported by the Open Table Network, a growing partnership of Christian worship communities which welcome and affirm people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, & Asexual (LGBTQIA) + our families, friends and all our allies'.

Other Church in Wales worshippers are left out in the cold. 

If you keep the faith as a traditional Anglican or, more recently, as an evangelical you have to "find accommodation as best they can" as the Ven Peggy Jackson put it with all the charity she could muster.

What is the driving force behind queering the Church in Wales? It has become the Great Commission in reverse, driving out the many to welcome the few who interpret the bible as they please to achieve their own ends. 

One clue may be in the same-sex extracurricular activities in the St Michael's class of 1984 from which three students were to go on to comprise 50% of the bench of bishops. A bench that would later go on to appoint two LBGTQIA+ campaigning women as bishops followed by a partnered lesbian who is to share a reflection at the Open Table event. 

That is not to point the finger at anyone, rather it is to query whether such non-biblical practices became accepted as normal behaviour at theological college.

Whatever the reason, the current position is beyond parody when LGBTQIA+ people and their supporters are courted as the faithful. 

CinW bishops have lost all credibility.