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The Church in Wales 2021

The Church in Wales 2021

AncientBriton Blog
December 31, 2021

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!

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