Category : Wales

History has been made as Wales sees its first woman bishop consecrated

History was made on Saturday when the Church in Wales consecrated its first woman as a bishop in front of more than 500 people.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, consecrated Joanna Penberthy as the 129th Bishop of St Davids.

He also paid tribute to the Church’s women clergy for “daring to trust and hope” during what had been a “long and hard journey” to ordination.

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

(Church Times) Declining figures in Wales noted with ”˜a heavy heart’

Average Sunday attendance for over-18s had fallen from 30,424 in 2014 to 29,019 in 2015: a fall of five per cent. Easter communicants were down one per cent to 51,435, while the number of Christmas communicants had fallen three per cent to 49,972.

“I’d like to make clear I am not here as a doom-and-gloom merchant, merely to present the facts,” the chairman of the Representative Body, James Turner, said.

“Attendances appear to be falling, but that is not the case in nearly half of our parishes. We fear the church is losing touch with our young people, but there are indications that, through hard work and intentional investment, good things are happening around the country.

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

The Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales responds to Archbishop Morgan

We want to wish the Archbishop well in his retirement. We note the Archbishop’s final presidential address at Governing Body, and still struggle to understand how his approach to scripture is not just licence to disregard its authority. We believe that the inclusivity of Jesus, to which the Archbishop referred, was one not only of loving everyone, but also of calling everyone to a degree of repentance which would result in following him exclusively as Lord. We note Jesus gave an invitation to everyone, but warned repeatedly and frequently of consequences for those who rejected him. We are therefore delighted that one of the closing discussions at Governing Body got people talking about the need to engage in mission and evangelism. We hope and pray that these are the issues that occupy the time and energy of the Church in Wales in the years to come.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Christology, Church of Wales, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales

The Full Text of the Archbishop of Wales' Address on Same-sex Relationships and the Bible

In the New Testament too, some of the passages often cited are not about loving, committed, faithful relationships between people of the same sex, but about pederasty and male prostitution. But all that apart, and given that each of the passages purported to be about homosexuality can be interpreted in more than one way, we come to the fundamental question as to whether taking the Bible as a whole, we can come to the same conclusions about committed, faithful, loving, same-sex relationships as we did about slavery.

We are not thereby abandoning the Bible but trying to interpret it in a way that is consistent with the main thrust of the ministry of Jesus, who went out of His way to minister to those who were excluded, marginalised, and abandoned by His society because they were regarded as impure and unholy by the religious leaders of His day, either because of their gender, age, morality or sexuality. Taking Holy Scripture seriously means paying attention to Jesus’ ministry of inclusivity.

And all of that without bringing into the reckoning what we now know about same-sex attraction in terms of psychology and biology and the experience of homosexual people. And surely if God is the creator, He reveals Himself to us through new knowledge and insights so that, for example, we no longer believe the world was created in six days. As I have tried to show, in the Bible there are a number of totally different perspectives on the same issue. What was responsible for this shift was a growth in understanding about the issue in question.

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Archbp Morgan–”˜Biblical stories can reveal a new understanding of same-sex relationships’

He compared biblical interpretations of same-sex relationships with those of slavery ”“ a practice once defended by the Church. As opinions on that changed, he suggested, so may the Church’s view on same-sex relationships.

“In spite of all the passages in favour of slavery, when you examine the Scriptures as a whole and the ministry of Jesus in particular, you realise it is about freedom from all that diminishes and dehumanises people. No Christian I hope would today argue that slavery is good, but for nineteen centuries the Church accepted it and defended it. God through His Holy Spirit has led us into the truth of seeing things in a totally different way today and we are rightly horrified when we read about people who have been kept as slaves by others.

“What all this amounts to is that one cannot argue that there is one accepted traditional way of interpreting Scripture that is true and orthodox and all else is modern revisionism, culturally conditioned. Scripture itself is diverse and theological views held in some biblical books are reshaped in the light of experience by other writers”¦.

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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, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales

Warm Congratulations to Wales for making the Euro2016 Semi-finals

Wales is onto its first semifinal at a major tournament ever after coming back from an early deficit to defeat Belgium 3-1 in Lille on Friday in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals.

Radja Nainggolan’s rocket put Belgium up 13 minutes in, but Ashley Williams, Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes all scored for the Dragons, who will play Portugal for the right to reach the Euro 2016 final after eliminating the highest-ranked team in the field.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Men, Sports, Wales

(FT) Brexit: the world’s most complex divorce begins

The goal is to unwind Britain’s 43-year membership of the bloc, disentangle and sever the legacy of shared sovereignty, and then reshape the biggest single market on earth.
Three fundamental issues arise.
On substance, what political and commercial arrangements will Brexit Britain demand and will the EU accept them?
In execution, will the exit deal ”” the divorce and breaking of old obligations ”” be struck at the same time as a trade agreement covering post-Brexit trade? And if no, is a transition possible to ensure a soft landing?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, History, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Scotland, Stock Market, Theology, Wales

BRITAIN STUNS THE WORLD WITH BREXIT VOTE

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Ireland, Politics in General, Scotland, Theology, Wales

A resolution of the Roman Catholic Bishops of England and Wales on the EU Referendum

Reflecting on the forthcoming vote, we recognise the historic nature of this referendum and its implications for future generations. The outcome will have consequences for the future not only of the United Kingdom, but for Europe and for the world.

In our view, three things are essential:

Ӣ that we pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit;
Ӣ that we all inform ourselves of the arguments on both sides of the debate;
Ӣ that we each exercise our vote with a view to the common good of all.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Wales

(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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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

(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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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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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