Category : Church of Wales

(Church Times) Britain needs healing after ”˜dehumanising’ EU debate

The Referendum debate has been a divisive, brutal, dehumanising, victimising, bitter experience, and at times not even a debate; but now that the campaign is over, the UK must learn from its mistakes, and move towards reconciliation and healing within communities, church voices across the UK have said.

Primates, bishops, archdeacons, chaplains, and academics made their views clear this week on how the country ”” its people and Government ”” had conducted themselves throughout the campaign, and on what the next step should be both for the Church and communities across the UK.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Ch Times) Anglican Church in Wales+England contains hardly any converts, report suggests

Only two per cent of Anglicans in England and Wales are converts, a new study suggests.

The director of the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Dr Stephen Bullivant, has gathered statistics on religious affiliation from the annual British Social Attitudes surveys. His report, Contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales, launched on Tuesday in the House of Commons, deals mainly with the Roman Catholic Church, but looks at other denominations for comparisons.

His deduction is that, in a group of 100 Anglicans, 93 will have been brought up as such, five will have started life in another Christian denomination, and only two would have belonged to no religion. (The sample group was 1681 Anglicans.)

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Wales

(Law and Religion UK) Frank Cranmer–The end of banns in England?

The Revd Stephen Trott has tabled a Private Member’s Motion at General Synod, as follows:

“CIVIL PRELIMINARIES TO MARRIAGE IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND

The Revd Stephen Trott (Peterborough) to move:

“That this Synod, noting the Registration of Marriages Regulations 2015 and the growing burden and complexity of the legal requirements imposed on members of the clergy who conduct weddings in the Church of England, invite the Archbishops’ Council to bring forward draft legislation to replace ecclesiastical preliminaries to marriage by universal civil preliminaries, such as those which have been in operation in Scotland ”¦ when banns were replaced by a Marriage Schedule issued by the civil registrar.”

He has raised the issue before. I

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Wales

Archbishop Justin Welby addresses the Muslim Council of Wales

The next point I want to make I think is one that is of increasing importance in a time when there is a certain set tendency to say that religion should be privatised. To use an old expression, many think religion should be only between consenting adults in private.

Far from it, the faith communities are those who provide the glue in society in so many ways, from their social action through to the eternal values which they reflect and support, and which eternal values are themselves the foundation for British values of which we’ve heard a lot over the last few months. Because of what the Scriptures teach us, especially from the prophet Jeremiah, we are committed to seeking the welfare of the place where we live, the common good.

Christians and Muslims are not called to a ghetto-like existence, although both our faiths have from time to time acted in that way, through fear or defensiveness. We are called by contrast to be actively involved in our society not for our own good but for the common good. We are called to seek the flourishing of the society, as Jeremiah said to the Jewish exiles: “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” [

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, England / UK, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Wales

Dr Will Strange: The Church in Wales steps back from Same-Sex Marriage

…Why is this a step back from same-sex marriage in the Church in Wales? Up until September 17th there appeared to be a strong tide of opinion in the Church in Wales running towards changing our marriage discipline. To some it seemed irresistible. But things have changed. After the Governing Body and the ballot, it is not realistic to expect a Bill to be brought forward by the Bishops in the immediate future. Quite apart from the hard evidence that it would fall short of the numbers required under Bill procedure, the Archbishop’s observation is fully justified: this is a highly divisive issue which has engaged passions even more than the debate over women bishops, and in which further action would do no more than create an acrimonious stalemate.

That is not to say the debate is finished. Those pressing for change will be disappointed that they did not persuade Governing Body on this occasion and they will no doubt hope to carry the fight on. They have strong support in all three houses and the ballot revealed the important fact that they have the majority of Bishops behind them, something which had never been shown publically before or acknowledged officially.

But significantly, and surprisingly to many of us, the Governing Body of a province which is often regarded as one of the most liberal in the Anglican Communion has found its own voice and shown that it can be faithful to the teaching of scripture and to the witness of tradition. We have to pray that the province as a whole can remain so in the days ahead.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

Archbishop Barry Morgan of Wales calls for new discussion on Archiepiscopal See

The Archbishop of Wales …[this week] urged church members to put reform of the office of Archbishop back onto the agenda for the benefit of his successors.

Dr Barry Morgan, who has served as Archbishop of Wales for the past 12 years, warned that increasing demands on the job put the current model at breaking point and he appealed to the church to reconsider alternatives for his successors.

At the moment, the Archbishop is elected from among the diocesan bishops and, once elected, also remains bishop of that diocese, based in that diocese. That means the Archbishop is doing two jobs ”“ leading the Church and running a particular diocese ”“ and doesn’t have a permanent see. Several efforts at reforming the office have been made over the years but none have yet been accepted. A recent independent review of the church, however, recommended creating a permanent see for the Archbishop and that recommendation has brought the issue back onto the agenda.

Read it all and note the link to the full text his his recent Presidential address.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

(Church Times) Archbishop Morgan cautious after majority vote in favour of same-sex marriage

The Governing Body of the Church in Wales has voted narrowly in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry in the Church. But it appears that the non-binding, advisory-only secret ballot has not produced enough votes in favour to persuade the Bishops to frame new legislation.

The vote on Thursday does not constitute a decision of the Governing Body. Instead, the results ”” and the two-and-a-half-hour debate that preceded the vote ”” will be used to guide the Province’s Bench of Bishops when it meets to discuss the issue in October.

Three options were under consideration: the first would mean no change to the Church’s current teaching and practice on marriage and partnerships; the second would allow same-sex unions to be blessed in the Church in Wales; the third would enable same-sex couples to be married in church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales

Church in Wales votes yes for for same-sex marriage but not by enough to pass a bill

Same sex marriages should be conducted by the Church in Wales its governing body believes, but results of a secret ballot held were too narrow for change to be considered now.

Members of the Church in Wales Governing Body voted 61 in favour of gay marriages in church, nine in favour of blessing gay partnerships and 50 for making no change.

The result shows a majority in favour but does not constitute a decision and bishops are unlikely to draft a Bill for gay marriage as any such Bill requires a two thirds majority of each of the three houses the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales

[The Tablet] Prominent Welsh priest on why he decided to leave the Catholic Church

A prominent priest in the Diocese of Menevia has announced he is leaving the Catholic Church for the Anglican Communion.

Fr Ceirion Gilbert was a parish priest at Briton Ferry in Neath, director of youth services, chaplain to two secondary schools, secretary to the bishop’s council and in charge of the diocese’s online and social media presence. He is also a fluent Welsh speaker. He has now, however, announced he is to be received into the Church in Wales on 12 October and will continue ordained ministry in the Diocese of Llandaff.

In the letter below he explains why he decided to leave the Catholic Church.
…the church is wherever and whenever in a life or in the life of a community Christ is proclaimed as Lord, and the Paschal Mystery of sacrificial and hence life-nurturing Love proclaimed, not so much in rite and liturgy but in reality and life. The question that will be asked of us before the Gates of he Kingdom of heaven will not be what particular brand of Christianity we belonged to but, surely, the one question that takes different forms in the Gospel stories but remains essentially the same: “Have you loved? Have you been a person of compassion, solidarity, of healing and hope, as you were able, in the places and with the people whose stories touched your own?” Love one another, as I have loved you. Ecumenism is not about doing everything we can do so that “they ( non-Catholics) come back to us” (an interpretation that, sadly, seems still to be in practice that of the Catholic Hierarchy) but is rather about dismantling the unnecessary and obstructive barriers of dogma and definition, history and tradition that have decimated our common home and prevent us from seeing the clarity of that simple but immense and profound truth. We are all disciples, walking in our own ways, in our own time, with our own baggage, and yes with our own styles and differences of expression and language – but together following him, the crucified and risen one. Where he leads us, not where we think we should be going.

And it is him, his words and his life that have led me to that other “truth” that I find defines my life and my choices – and this decision, as well. What is the Church – and ministry and priesthood and liturgy and sacrament- really “for”?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

(Telegraph) Poet RS Thomas was full of interesting contradictions

RS Thomas’s poetry “reduces most other modern verse to footling whimsy”, said Kingsley Amis. It is simple in expression, powerful, and sometimes bleak, which is the feeling of his parish of Aberdaron ”“ he was an Anglican priest ”“ on the windswept Llyn peninsula in Wales. It is the last stop on the pilgrims’ route to Bardsey Island, where holy men sleep in their tombs.

I found Aberdaron last week. I had gone in search of Thomas’s places: the medieval church, in earshot of the crashing waves, where he preached to the minority in the village who were not “chapel”; the cliffs and beach; and (which took detective work) Thomas’s vicarage. It looms vast and austere on the hill behind shrubs grown wild, the walls clad in slate that has flaked off in patches, exposing the Welsh stone underneath. Two doctors bought it as a restoration job but have given up, perhaps daunted. The neighbour said I could wander down the grass-covered lane and look.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, History, Poetry & Literature, Theology

(CGM) (II) Anglican Church Decline in the West ”“ Possible Reasons

It was clear that all four denominations were declining, but that in Wales, Scotland and the USA the Anglican churches were declining much faster than the Church of England. Both the C in W and the SEC had potential extinction dates about 2040, with ECUSA possibly lasting 10-15 years longer. Indeed, although the Church of England is declining, it is only on the margins of extinction if the current pattern remains, thus unlikely to face extinction this century.

Rather than just repeat the standard reasons given for church decline, in the light of the contrasts in decline patterns, I would rather look at a different question: What does the Church of England have, that the other three denominations do not, that may have helped reduce the effects of numerical decline?

Here are some suggestions, not exhaustive, and some may be a bit controversial….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Data

(CGM) (I) A look at the attendance and membership data of 4 Western churches: Anglican Decline

The Anglican Church, once a key institution in the English-speaking world, has suffered decline for over half a century. Although in both the UK and North America there are many examples of growing and lively Anglican churches, as national denominations the trend is downwards. This decline is in marked contrast to continued Anglican growth in Africa and other parts of the world. There the church is healthy. In the West it is sick. The question is ”“ is the Anglican sickness unto death?

In this blog I explore the different patterns of Anglican decline through four denominations: the Church of England (C of E), the Church in Wales (C in W), the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC), and the Episcopal Church of the USA (ECUSA). The study is not perfect, nor is the data, but I hope it inspires debate and other studies. A subsequent blog will suggest possible reasons for their differences in decline.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology

Ancient Briton on the Church in Wales–Statistics of Omission

The video in my 24 June entry, + Richard outlines his survival strategy, gave some clues to the dismemberment of the Church in Wales as the bishops implement Abp Barry Morgan’s strategy for their survival, ie, retain all the bishops with their expensive diocesan structures, get rid of paid parish clergy and fool the laity into running the ministry areas nobody wants apart from Barry and his bench sitters.

Despite all Dr Morgan’s political posturing the secularised Church in Wales (CinW) is barely significant in Anglicanism representing less than 0.04% of the Communion. If he were to be represented in the above chart in proportion to the average number of people attending CinW services the Archbishop of Wales would be invisible. According to CinW published figures the average adult Sunday attendance in Wales is 31,048 (Table 1 here) out of a population of 3,063,456 (1%). With seven bishops supported that works out at a mere 4,435 attendees per bishop.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Theology, Wales

(Church Times) Rumours of life in Wales counter report, says bishop

Attendance in the Church in Wales has fallen in each of the measured categories in 2013, the Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Revd Andrew John, reported.

Average Sunday attendance had fallen to 37,235 in the Province – a fall of four per cent for the over-18s, and three per cent for the under-18s. Easter communicants were down ten per cent to 50,639 and Christmas communicants had fallen six per cent to 52,387. The biggest fall was in the number of confirmations: down 18 per cent to 1201.

“The trend is down across the board. There is no set of figures here that indicates a rise in physical numbers in any single category,” Bishop John said. “The report puts it bleakly. . . There are no positive indicators. Every single field shows decline compared with the previous year, and in some cases that decline is significant.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Sociology

Anglican Church in Wales joins the Keep Me Posted campaign

The Keep Me Posted campaign, which is pressing for the consumer’s right to choose how they are contacted by banks, utility companies and other service providers, has been joined by The Church In Wales.

In the face of an increasing trend for businesses to switch their customers to mainly digital communication, the campaign is calling for service providers to give customers the choice to retain paper bills without charge. Research from the campaign shows that it is often the poor and most vulnerable people in society who rely the most on traditional methods of communication.

The Church, which takes very seriously the economic, social and environmental needs of the communities of Wales, and works in areas of deprivation facing economic inactivity, poverty, debt and low skills, has recognised the barriers many people have to using the internet.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Wales, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

The Presidential Address 2014 of the Archbishop to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales

t can be said that the Bible is very clear in its directives on same-sex relationships and by even discussing them the church is giving in to the culture of the age. The church’s relation to its culture is of course an important one and Richard Niebuhr, an American scholar, wrote a very important book entitled “Christ and Culture” in 1951. He outlined five possible Christian attitudes to the question of Christ’s relationship to culture. By culture, we mean the accepted beliefs and values of our age. Is Christ against culture, calling Christians to reject the world entirely? Or is Christ allied with culture as the perfector of all that is good in society? Or is Christ above culture, drawing us out to become what God means us to become as human beings? Or are Christ and culture totally separate, and set apart, until God’s Kingdom arrives? Or is Christ the transformer of culture, rejecting the bad aspects and enabling us to bring all that is good into God’s redemptive love? As the Gospel of John puts it ”˜being in but not of the world’.

The trouble is you can find all these different attitudes to culture in the Bible if you look hard enough. The Bible, for example, sees the created world as God’s handiwork and so is to be cherished, valued and affirmed. When, however, Israel wants to have a king rather than a prophet as its leader, she does so initially because she wants to conform to the pattern and culture of neighbouring nations and against the advice of the prophet Samuel. In spite of that, the institution of kingship was introduced and came to be venerated but individual kings were castigated for their idolatry and mistreatment of the poor and “doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord”. In other words, the culture of surrounding nations changed Israel’s own culture ”“ a culture that was sometimes endorsed and sometimes criticised by the prophets.

In the New Testament, Paul in 2 Corinthians 6, seems to ask Christians to separate themselves from non-believers “Come out from among them and be separated” ”“ do not be infected by the world about you”. Yet he was the apostle, along with Peter, who in the end advocated that Gentiles did not have to become Jews first in order to become Christians, so that purity laws concerning food and circumcision did not have to be observed. That was an affirmation of the culture of the Gentiles ”“ a culture that was alien to Judaism ”“ a view that was eventually ratified by the Council of Jerusalem. St. Paul also urges disciples of Jesus to follow whatever is noble, just and true in the culture around them. The issue of faith and culture is not, therefore, as straightforward as it seems.
What then of our use of the Bible? The few texts we have in the Bible about same-sex relationships are very negative. Yet, it can be argued that homosexual relationships as we understand them in terms of committed, faithful, monogamous, long lasting relationships, were unknown in biblical times and what the texts rail against is sexual promiscuity and experimentation. In 1972 the American Institute of Psychiatrists believed that homosexuality was a mental illness. We no longer believe that to be the case yet, that view was widespread just 40 years ago.

Holy Scripture itself is far more nuanced, subtle and complex than we often realise.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint David of Wales

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant David to be a faithful and wise steward of thy mysteries for the people of Wales: Mercifully grant that, following his purity of life and zeal for the gospel of Christ, we may with him receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of Wales, Spirituality/Prayer

St Davids Cathedral in Wales Holds a vigil against violence to children

The Bishop of St Davids, Wyn Evans, said violence against the weak and defenceless, particularly when sanctioned by the state, should have no place in a civilised society.

The Bishop was speaking at a vigil at St Davids Cathedral on Monday (Feb 3) dedicated to Ending Legalised Violence against Children. The service was led by the Dean, Jonathan Lean, and Canon Dorrien Davies. It was attended by the Mayor of St Davids, members of the City Council and the Churches’ Network for Non-violence which is part of an alliance of organisations under the umbrella of Children Are Unbeatable! Cymru which campaigns for a change in the law to give children the same protection under the law on assault as that currently enjoyed by adults.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Violence, Wales

Llandaff Cathedral seeks to Tackle budget deficit

Llandaff Cathedral is planning a financial overhaul to protect the future of its ministry.

It is taking action to increase income and reduce expenditure in order to tackle a significant budget deficit.

Parishioners have already been asked to increase their weekly giving and cutbacks have been made to save on energy bills and staffing costs.

Now the Dean and Chapter are proposing slimming down the Cathedral Choir in order to save nearly £50,000 which would significantly cut down the anticipated deficit of £81,000. Seven men ”“ five lay clerks, one choral scholar and the assistant organist”“ are at risk of redundancy and will be invited to take part in consultation meetings over the next few weeks.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

([London] Times) CofE left isolated as Wales votes to ordain women bishops

The Church of England was left isolated in the UK in its opposition to women bishops after the Church in Wales voted yesterday to ordain women bishops.

The first woman could be consecrated in Wales in just over a year.

The bill was passed by a two-thirds majority in the houses of laity, clergy and bishops. A code of practice will now be drawn up to safeguard the place of traditionalists. The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said that it made “no theological sense” not to ordain women as bishops when the Church already ordained them as deacons…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Theology, Wales, Women

(Reuters) Welsh Anglicans vote to allow women bishops

The Anglican Church in Wales voted on Thursday to allow the ordination of women bishops, putting pressure on the Church of England, the last part of Britain and Ireland to hold onto the men-only rule.

Disagreements over whether women can become bishops and over gay relationships have roiled the 80-million strong Anglican Communion – the world’s third largest Christian grouping after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

The Welsh vote will intensify the spotlight on the Anglican leader, Archbishop Justin Welby, who wants to speed up plans to allow women bishops in England. Scotland and Ireland allow female bishops although none have been ordained.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Theology, Wales, Women

George Conger: Church in Wales votes for women bishops

The Governing Body of the Church in Wales has adopted a Bill to allow women clergy to be ordained to the episcopate.

Meeting on 12 Sept 2013 at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter the Governing Body amended the original Bill put forward by the House of Bishops to adopt a staged introduction of women bishops so that an adequate provision for opponents of women bishops might be codified.

However, the Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Ven. Peggy Jackson and the Rev. Canon Jenny Wigley put forward an amendment that would allow the ordination of women to the episcopate without waiting for a code of practice to be adopted.

Canon Wigley told the Governing Body the Church in Wales should have a provision for dissenters in a code of practice crafted by the House of Bishops and not have such a provision written into legislation.

However lay delegate Clare Williams from the Diocese of Llandaff argued “We can’t have a bill that doesn’t say loud and clear what provisions are going to be in place” for dissenters. The amendment was put to a vote and passed 82 to 46 with 6 abstentions.

Debate then turned to the final bill, with supporters arguing that allowing women bishops was a matter of justice, and if they were not allowed at this meeting, the issue would be raised again in five years.

The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt. Rev. Gregory Cameron, the sponsor of the original bill, rose and urged the Governing Body to vote in favor. “What we need is a Church that commits to an equal status in our standing before God. When do we need it? Now,” he said.

Read it all and note the latest 2012 attendance figures may be found here [pdf] on page 3 [and note the ski slope graph on page 4]

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

(ACNS) Two Historic churches in Wales win grants for urgent repairs

Two historic churches in Wales will be able to carry out urgent repair work following Lottery funding announced [on Aug 12]….

St David’s Church in Neath and St Barrwg’s Church in Bedwas are among the first of 35 churches across the UK to be awarded a grant through Heritage Lottery Fund’s new Grants for Places of Worship programme.

St David’s Church will receive £199,300, which will go towards its half-a-million pound appeal to renovate its tower and other work. St Barrwg’s will receive £180,300 which will enable its roof to be repaired and facilities updated so that it can be reopened and used more widely.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, Parish Ministry

(CEN) Confusion over Dean’s resignation in Wales

The first female Dean of Llandaff has resigned two months after being installed, which the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan accepted with ”˜enormous sadness’.
The Very Rev Janet Henderson, 55, became the second female to assume such a role in Wales when she became dean in March, but has now stood down.
No official explanations have been cited for the resignation, but it was initially thought an argument over the choir’s performance on Songs of Praise was to blame.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Wales

In Wales Three Bishops take up Lent talk challenge

Three Welsh bishops are taking up a tough Lent challenge which will see them give 40 talks over five weeks at eight different venues.

The Archbishop of Wales, the Assistant Bishop of Llandaff and the Bishop of Monmouth will be out and about in churches across South Wales almost every weekday night in the weeks leading up to Easter giving talks about the Bible. And they’re inviting people to make it their Lent resolution to join them for discussion.

The Bishops hope to build on the success of similar talks last year which attracted more than 1,000 people a week.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent

(Ekklesia) Savi Hensman–Equal marriage: churches sharing or burying good news?

Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, was unhappy with the decision, calling it a “step too far”. He said that, though the Church in Wales was not currently contemplating offering same-sex marriages, the law had “curtailed” the church’s freedom; “It should be left for us to opt in or opt out.”

To be fair to the government, it appears to have acted on this church’s official consultation response in June 2012, stating that “The Church in Wales is in an almost identical position to the Church of England with regard to the solemnisation of marriages” and “would seek assurances that the Government would specifically include the Church in Wales in any provisions for the Church of England under the proposed legislation.”

Given the Church of England’s influence and power, including seats in the House of Lords, the government was willing to go to considerable lengths to reduce the risk that the legislation as a whole would be blocked. Church of England official responses to proposals for marriage equality have tended to be highly negative, and to avoid recognising the diversity of views and reviews taking place of its position on civil partnerships and sexuality in general.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Wales

New TV series profiles ordinands In Wales, among them a former scientist

A scientist who gave up his job in alternative technology to train as a vicar stars in a new TV series starting next week.

Marcus Zipperlen from Penparcau, Aberystwyth, is one of a number of trainee priests who were followed around for a year by the cameras at St Michael’s College, Cardiff. His journey will be featured in Vicar Academy on BBC1 Wales starting on Monday 15 October.

Made by an independent company, Presentable, Vicar Academy shadowed several full-time students, (“ordinands”) from St Michael’s College ”“ Wales’ only theological college ”“ who came from all corners of the country.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, Movies & Television, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(ACNS) In Wales a Review team offers a radical vision for the Church

A radical new vision for the future of the Church in Wales is set out in a report launched today.

Supersize parishes run by teams of vicars and lay people, creative ideas for ensuring churches stay at the heart of their communities and investing further in ministry to young people are among the report’s recommendations following an independent root and branch review.

The Church in Wales commissioned the review a year ago to address some of its challenges and to ensure it was fit for purpose as it faced its centenary in 2020. Three experienced people in ministry and church management examined its structures and ministry and heard evidence from public meetings across Wales attended by more than 1,000 people.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

Bishops of the Church in Wales respond to the Same Sex Marriage Consultation

We regret that the consultation focuses only on the practice of registering and recognising same-sex marriage, and does not invite comment on the principle. The question of why, and whether or not it is desirable to introduce the concept of marriage for same-sex couples should also be open to public consultation and debate.

In a consultation on legislation which potentially affects everyone, it is anomalous that the questions set in the consultation document are very restrictive. Eleven of the 16 questions are presented with a multiple-choice answer consisting of ”˜Yes’, ”˜No,’ or ”˜Don’t know’/”˜Doesn’t apply to me’. Only one of them allows a more detailed explanation (number 1), and where questions invite free comment (in only 4 of the 16) this is restricted to around 200 words. Six questions are exclusively aimed at people who either are or could be in a same-sex relationship (including transsexuals and their spouses). This suggests a strangely isolated approach to the institution of marriage, which is above all an institution in society, rather than a private arrangement between individuals.

The consultation document refers throughout to an alleged ”˜ban’ on same-sex couples contracting marriages. In normal parlance, for something to be banned, it must be possible but disallowed ”“such as the ban on smoking in public buildings, or the ban on carrying liquids on to an aeroplane, or the ban on alcohol or gambling on many religious premises. (It could be argued that there is a ”˜ban’ on the inclusion of religious content in civil marriage or partnership ceremonies.) This legislation does not lift a ban; it proposes the creation of a new state, ie marriage between persons of the same sex. A more accurate description would be, as in para 1.9(iii), that a same-sex relationship constitutes a ”˜bar’ to marriage: it is a situation in which marriage cannot at present take place. It would be correct to acknowledge that the proposed legislation aims to bring into being a state which did not exist before.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Wales

Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan elected to the Crown Nominations Commission

The Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan, Primate of The Church in Wales, has been elected to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission for Canterbury, the body that will nominate the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Wales