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Tuesday 28 February 2023

St David's Day - 900 years on

The Dean of St Davids (second left) with cathedral clergy                                                                   source: Friends of St Davids

Friends of St Davids Cathedral will have received a message from the Dean, Sarah Rowland Jones, wishing all a 'joyful celebration of St Davids Day, and blessed and holy Lent'. 

The message begins:

"As St David’s Day approaches, I’m delighted to share with you details of two upcoming TV programmes, and a whopping 25 radio programmes, which are being broadcast between this weekend and Easter, wholly or largely about St David and aspects of the 900th anniversary of the papal recognition of Dewi as an 'international saint' and of two pilgrimages to St Davids being of equal value to one to Rome. I'm quite bowled over that BBC Radio Wales in particular have embraced the celebrations quite so enthusiastically."

The Dean enjoyed a jolly in Jerusalem to help her consider whether David may have made a similar journey. Wondering why she could not have contemplated the conundrum at her desk in the Deanery I listened to her broadcast on All Things Considered. In her 4 minute interview with the Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Theophilos III, his opinion was that it was quite likely that David did visit Jerusalem. 

The Dean asked the Patriarch to explain 'Patriarch' and 'Patriarchate'.

Advance to position 22 of the All Things Considered video for the Patriarch's probably unexpected answer in which he explained that the patriarch is the "living  testimony to the Apostolic Succession. That is to say that the Patriarch of Jerusalem is the successor to the first bishop, not only of Jerusalem but of the whole Church of St James, the brother of Our Lord. This succession has been without any break throughout the ages."
That is something for the still absent bishop of St Davids to contemplate privately as she celebrates the granting of a privilege from Pope Callixtus II in Rome that two pilgrimages to St Davids Cathedral were equal to one to Rome.

In my 28 February 2019 entry Bishop steals clothes I reported how the bishop had high-jacked Credo Cymru's motto "Be joyful and keep the faith". 

It was ironic then, now even more so. The Church in Wales abandoned the received faith years ago.

The ordination of women closed any hope of unity with Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Now the Anglican Church is split by the decision of some western provinces such as the Church of England and the Church in Wales to bless same sex marriages.

We were warned by the apostles:

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.-  The Letter of Jude (17-19)

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Pot, kettle and black

Remember you are dust and to dust you will return.
Turn from sin and be faithful to Christ. Souce: Twitter

Pot, kettle and black were three words that sprang immediately to mind on reading this tweet from the archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Andrew John.

"Turn from sin and be faithful to Christ"!

The archbishop cannot be unaware of the reaction of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) to the Church of England's decision to follow the Church in Wales and allow clergy to bless couples in same-sex marriages "contrary to the faith and order of the orthodox provinces of the communion whose people constitute the majority in the global flock." 

If the bishops of the Church in Wales were to take their archbishop's advice, that would indeed be a significant start to Lent. 

Saturday 18 February 2023


Rev Dr Ian Paul, pictured at Manchester Cathedral.     Source: Christian Today

Anglican theologian and blogger, the Rev Dr Ian Paul recently spoke to Christian Today about the significance of the Church of England General Synod's decision to back same-sex blessings, his plea to the bishops, and why he has no plans to leave the Church of England. 

This is a continuing dilemma for many Anglicans in the Church of England, the Church in Wales and the Scottish Episcopal Church, particularly so for Anglicans conscious of Jesus' prayer that 'all of them may be one'.

Innovation after innovation are driving Anglicans ever further from the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches and most Anglicans.

From the ordination of women to their admission to the episcopacy. From same sex blessings to the goal of same sex weddings in church. Each in turn has been claimed to be the last straw. Some Anglicans have been able to make accommodations to allow them to continue while for others it has been the end of communal worship.

Previously the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches warned of the consequences for the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of which Anglicans claim membership if Anglicans unilaterally decided to ordain women to the priesthood and admit them to the episcopacy. See Metropolitan Hilarion on Renouncing the Faith.

Similar pleas were made at Synod over same sex blessings by ecumenical representative Archbishop Angaelos of the UK Coptic Orthodox Church and Archbishop Sami of the Anglican Province of Alexandria. Both pleaded "not to go down this route because it would only damage relationships in the Communion, and ecumenical relationships with other Churches." Their pleas were ignored by the archbishops of Canterbury and York.

The irony is, of course, Dr Paul is right. The bishops are wrong. It is they who should exit from the Church.

Postscript [21.02.2023]

Global Anglican church leaders oust Archbishop over same sex blessing reform

Wednesday 15 February 2023

Drakeford should follow Sturgeon and resign

Queues on the A494 in Deeside (Image: North Wales Live/Hadyn Iball)                                                                                                               Source: Daily Post
Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, eagerly jumped on the Scottish gender recognition band wagon suggesting that Wales should have its own self-identification system.

Proposed plans to make it simpler for someone to legally change their gender were subsequently unveiled by the Welsh government despite much criticism of Nicola Sturgeon's stance.

More recently the Welsh government announced that major road building projects in Wales are to be scrapped in a move to 'put environment first'.

That is reminiscent of the First Minister's decision to scrap the M4 relief road around Newport in South Wales leading to "permanent tailbacks on the M4".

Described as a 'Kick in the teeth' for North Wales the latest move has again attracted some well deserved criticism that citizens have been ignored.

The best thing the First Minister of  Wales could do is to once again follow the lead of the Scottish First Minister and resign taking his crackpot obsessions with him.

Postscript [20.02.2023]

Third Menai crossing and Deeside 'Red Route' axed as major road-building plans scrapped in Wales

The M4 in south Wales: A 'joke' of a road that seems destined to remain a problem

Thursday 9 February 2023

Living in sin and faith

Church of England General Synod: Bishop of London's Living in Love and Faith Presentation February 2023                              Source:The Church of England

The General Synod of the Church of England has backed plans put forward by its bishops to bless gay couples. 

The motion was brought by the Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, following six years of work on questions of 'identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage' known by its fully loaded title Living In Love And Faith.

For opponents of the motion it could have been more accurately described as living in sin and faith.

There was no justification of the bishops proposals based on scripture, tradition or reason. Only alleged experiences of victimhood, one of the six ways homosexual activists manipulate public opinion.

If true, there has been a remarkable turnaround, particularly in Synod membership.  

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said priests would have the option to bless gay couples, but could choose not to. He told the Synod, "No-one has to offer these services and no one will be disadvantaged if they don't." 

This is very reminiscent of the step by step approach that led to the ordination of women. Revisionists do not give up. They bind their time, wearing down the opposition until they reach their goal. When the dust has settled the Church of England will surely follow the example of the Church in Wales and push for same sex marriage in Church.

As for Cottrell's assurances, Synod has only to look to the experience of Anglicans in the Church in Wales where similar assurances amounted to nothing. There has been no outcry about the shoddy treatment of traditionalists or protests of discrimination against those forced to leave.

Women and the Church (WATCH) will continue their war of attrition with their constant allegations of sexism and discrimination until they completely wreck the Church that nurtured them.

Wednesday 8 February 2023


Transgender couple who expect to welcome their baby soon,                               Source: BBC News 

She wants to be 'he'. He wants to be 'she'. He and she want a baby but 'she' doesn't have a womb so he ('she') has to carry the baby.

One would have thought the pickle the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, found herself in before deciding that a female prison wasn't the ideal location for a transgender rapist would have put the breaks on accepting individual whims. 

Not in Wales. The Welsh government has unveiled new proposals to follow Scotland and make it simpler for someone legally to change their gender.

The chaos is set to continue as Church of England bishops announce that they are launching a major 'project on gendered language' so that God could be referred to in 'non-gendered' terms in Church of England services, for example, 'Our non-gendered parent who art in heaven', the sort of language favoured by feminists in Women and the Church (WATCH) who have welcomed the start of "another project in the Church of England to look at the development of more inclusive language in our authorised liturgy."

Also back in the ring is patron of Humanists UK, Sandy Toksvig, who says, "I can't let the Church of England hurt LGBT people". She told the BBC: "Here's the thing about 'equality', it is not a word that you qualify, you either have it or you don't have it."

Whilst it is understandable that feminists in the Church will seek to bend scripture and twist theology for their own ends, non-believers such as humanists who have no interest in theology or the Church should mind their own business. 

Bishops of the Church must stand firm as doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving themselves.

Thursday 2 February 2023

Ageing Christians

About a quarter of the young adults who dropped out of church said they disagreed with their church’s stance on political
and social issues. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.  Source: The Guardian

The above image is from a Guardian article Losing their religion: why US churches are on the decline.

Where the US episcopal church (TEC) has been the Church of England has been quick to follow and the Church in Wales even quicker. Consequently the latest 2021 census figures confirm what has been apparent to all but the Church hierarchy for some time. 

Christian Today has summarised a data set from the 2021 Census which reveals that "Christians are the oldest on average among people of faith in England and Wales. The average age of a Christian is now 51. By contrast, those describing themselves as Muslim had the youngest average age of 27 years old, followed by those who reported "no religion" - 32 years old."

People of faith are lumped together as though there is little difference between them. That was the position of the newly elected bishop of Llandaff when she responded to a question put to her by the Secretary General Muslim Council of Wales Abdul-Azim Ahmed on the BBC's 'All Things Considered' on the census results and the 'growth of minority religions across Wales' in particular.

Bishop Stallard said that she had always been helped and encouraged by people of faith of diverse traditions. She had spent a lot of time as a student studying Hinduism and Buddhism and had been encouraged in her faith by a Muslim sister. A great comfort for persecuted Christians living at the sharp end around the world!

Presumably the bishop had so little time for biblical study that she skipped over "I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" and the the Great CommissionThen Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

The Bible counts for little in new Anglicanism other than to provide an opportunity to take passages out of context to provide some phoney legitimacy to the latest hot issue such as Living in Love and Faith (LLF) which many bishops are eager to endorse without any theological reasoning, probably because there isn't any. 

By contrast a small group of bishops has published a 'short theological summary of the doctrine of marriage as the Church of England has received it'. 

Hooray for them but too little too late as the census figures indicate. Without younger people replacing the aged Anglicanism will surely perish.