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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Church in Wales: The Llandaff dimension


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

Following the shock resignation in May 2013 of Landaff's first female Dean, the Very Rev Janet Henderson, the Bishop of Llandaff, Archbishop Barry Morgan decided to run Llandaff Cathedral as acting Dean in addition to his other duties before turning to the Archdeacon of Llandaff, Peggy 'the pilot' Jackson for help by keeping an eye on things for him. Llandaff Cathedral has been in sad decline ever since leaving the new Dean with a can of worms. With its splendid new £1.5 million Nicholson organ to accompany a severely depleted Cathedral choir (when there is one), a shrinking congregation who are constantly pressed to give more for less and a take it or leave it attitude to members with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry (see below) things just go from bad to worse. Janet must breath a huge sigh of relief if she keeps an eye on things from afar.

Jackson plays a key role in aiding the Archbishop's mission to fragment the Church in Wales and rupture it from its historical roots by making it unrecognisable as part of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church other than reciting her creeds. Singing from the same sheet as Dr Morgan, Peggy Jackson's views on introducing women priests and bishops contrary to the teaching of the Apostolic church were well known to him. In a GRAS Newsletter written while still a member of the Church of England the then Canon Jackson set out her vision for her church:

 "New individuals with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry will simply have to make personal decisions and individual choices, to find accommodation as best they can – just as many already have to do over a host of other current issues, some very uncomfortable, where people find themselves representative of a view which is not that sanctioned by the ‘church’ as a whole, and upheld through Synod and Parliament."  

Note the distinct lack of Christian charity in that statement. However, the 'church as a whole' Jackson referred to was not the Body of Christ but the tiny minority she represented, not just in the whole of Christendom but in the Anglican Communion itself. No wonder she appealed to Dr Morgan who believes that Church doctrine evolves to meet the demands of culture - report here.

Contrast his view with the view of Pope Francis who said We cannot use Church doctrine as we please - report here.

According Wikipedia, Pope Francis speaks for Catholicism's 1.2 billion members. The average adult attendance in the Church in Wales for whom Dr Morgan claims to speak is just 31,048.

Of Anglicanism's 85 million members the Church of England accounts for just one million regular worshiping members but that did not stop Canon Jackson from ignoring the views of the majority of Anglicans and of the wider Catholic and Orthodox Churches when writing of the views 'sanctioned by the church'. The Church, East and West, has severely criticised errant Anglicans for their unilateral actions but all pleas have been ignored along with Christ's prayer for unity.

The published figures demonstrate that it is utter deception to represent individuals with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry as the minority. But that deception is a characteristic of the Morgan-Jackson/Wigley partnership as they guide the Church in Wales along their chosen path with no regard for the souls of the faithful. This is what Jackson wrote in 2009 when involved in the ordination of women campaign in the Church of England:

"What, then, should a Code of Practice do, which does follow the mandate of General Synod last July? 

It should:-
- honour and reassure loyal Anglicans that they will not be required either to leave, or to act
individually outside the dictates of personal conscience
- offer special and specific care to those people and parishes, around whom the mind of the Church on this issue has changed. The intention of this care is that they would not be lightly brought to a position of feeling that there is no continuing place for them in the Church. It could not, however, be allowed structurally to undermine the very decision itself.
"

The sting is in the tail. To appear charitable to one's opponents while deliberately setting out unacceptable conditions is a clear act of deception in my book. Dr Morgan used the same tactics while suggesting that he had looked at other Provinces for guidance in drawing up a Code of Practice for the Church in Wales. He didn't spend much time looking at the arrangements being made in the Church of England to 'honour and reassure loyal Anglicans'. The Church of England is following an honourable path to reach an acceptable settlement. Not so the Church in Wales where 'winner' takes all in Barry's book.

The other half of the Jackson/Wigley partnership is the Area Dean of Llandaff, Canon Wigley. This introduces the Methodist dimension in Dr Morgan's plan to turn the Church in Wales into a nonconformist organisation while still claiming to belong to the Apostolic Church. 

The Archbishop of Wales and Canon Wigley, Peggy Jackson's GB accomplice

Canon Wigley's husband is the Rev Dr Stephen Wigley, Chair of the Wales Synod of the Methodist Church which is involved in the Church Uniting in Wales (CUW) scheme, a set up which, along with the Church in Wales Review, appears designed to ensure the future of the bishops of the Church in Wales in a new nonconformist  organisation. Dr Wigley is well placed to become the first Methodist 'bishop' of CUW so he could be interchangeable with the CinW diocesan bishops and offered to loyal Anglicans with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry! But for now, to the Deanery -

Announcing his former Chaplain's surprise elevation, Dr Morgan said "he has been a great help to me and I know he will bring those gifts of tact, strength and commitment to what will be a demanding new role for him" giving rise to suspicions that the new Dean would not be his own man. Compared with other Deans he was not an obvious candidate but many wished him well for taking on the challenge when others steered well clear of the post after Janet Henderson's resignation two months into the job. Dean Capon has not had an easy time and has come in for some criticism. One commentator on this blog suggested that the Dean reads what is written here and has been upset by some comments. I regret that but people in public life are accountable for their actions because of the effect they have on others. I can assure him that no personal criticism is intended and that only those comments which have a genuine bearing on the topic in hand are published here. I am sorry if some comments appear to be insensitive and would therefore urge commentators to be careful to avoid causing unnecessary offence while making salient points.

That being said, what matters most to the author of this blog is Mother Church and the faith of loyal Anglicans who have been cheated out of their inheritance for a feminist ideology which fought under the banner of equality only to bin it in Wales as soon as Barry and his pitiless bunch achieved their goal. For many Anglicans their faith is all. I have witnessed many sad cases where women have felt ostracized for 'keeping the faith'. To deny them the opportunity to worship as they wish is far crueler than any perceived offence to anyone who would seek to deny them what was promised when the ordination of women became a cause. The source of this distress points to Dr Morgan and his appointees.

Not to be ignored in that regard is Barry's propaganda tool the Ass Bishop of Llandaff who believes that women's ordination is "a much needed countersign to a world where women are brutalised in war zones, where gays fear for their very lives in Uganda. Otherwise a homophobic theology encourages homophobic violence; misogynistic theology encourages misogynistic violence". From what is happening in the world, the reverse could be said to be true.

As Christianity is influenced more and more by secular trends a religious vacuum is being exploited by Islam which according to some estimates will, in a generation, become the dominant religion in what is supposed to be a Christian country. Christian values of fairness, justice and charity are ignored by Church leaders at their peril. The ordination of women has not prevented women from being brutalised in war zones. In fact we now constantly read about women being buried alive or raped and sold into slavery.

Meanwhile the Church in Wales continues on its downward spiral mirroring the fate of the Episcopal Church of the United States which the Archbishop tries to emulate and members of the Llandaff diocesan conference play snakes and ladders. A sad end to true Anglicanism in Wales.

Photo: Church in Wales

83 comments:

  1. Llandaff Pelican4 October 2014 at 17:55

    If the former Golf Caddy is upset, perhaps it might be helpful to amplify your point about being a public figure (as all ordained people are). You cannot have fame, success or authority on your terms only. Everyone in public life is accountable (not a word you will hear from Byzantine Barry's lips with any frequency) and our actions have consequences. He accepted the post. He must be prepared for criticism when his actions, and his woeful lack of experience and qualifications, are at the root of his ineptitude. More to the point, he needs to earn the trust and respect of those he is there to serve; and colluding with his Lord and Master over the demise of the choral tradition is not the way to win friends and influence people in Llandaff.

    As for Peggy the Pilot... who would take seriously someone who applied for all those archdeaconries in the C of E, failed to get appointed, whinged to Byzantine Barry at the Modern Churchpeople's conference and, hey presto, landed the Llandaff job on a plate. We sit and listen to her at the annual visitation, smile benignly, answer her letters, and get on with the task of mission irrespective of whether she is playing snakes and ladders or not. Meanwhile, as you say, 31,048 and falling. Not even the Methodists across the UK have had a 10% decline in membership over a 12-month period. But that's how many we've lost from our electoral rolls. If we were Tesco or Asda, the board would have sacked the Chief Executive. Now, there's a thought...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a heads up Llandaff Pelican.
      The word on the Cathedral Green is that Bazza & his golf caddie are working their way through the list of those ordained by +Roy as a means of trying to identify who you are.

      Delete
    2. Llandaff Pelican7 October 2014 at 08:33

      Let's hope they do. I'll be delighted to have my day in Court and face Byzantine Barry with a range of questions which have been aired on this blog. He won't be able to keep that out of the public media!

      Delete
  2. Was not Enoch Powell- a confirmed AnglIcan - wise and right?
    How can one grow spiritually in this political mess of the Church in Wales? Although ++ Barry ( thinks) he spouts Christianity,I do not sense that anymore : his obsession seems to be one of building an empire to call his own.

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  3. Llandaff Pewster4 October 2014 at 22:22

    "The average adult attendance in the Church in Wales for whom Dr Morgan claims to speak is just 31,048."

    Morgan the Organ can claim what he likes but he certainly does not speak for me so that's 31,047 at best.
    I wonder how many readers and contributors to this blog will also choose to reduce the count?

    The ordination of women a "cause"?
    More like a curse.
    The pie charts, histograms, graphs and statistics since 1994 head in one direction only.

    ReplyDelete
  4. AB, in the same press statement:
    "He is perceptive and energetic and can be firm and resolute when facing challenges and opportunities."

    Bazzaspeak for "He's the only mug I could get".

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a complete and sad fabrication - I can't believe that you went to the trouble to pen this. Travesty of what the breadth of the anglican church is meant to represent that you can be so dismissive of the liberal view.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @fart – the evidence is in the numbers. Where the liberals take over, the numbers collapse. The pattern has been repeated time and time again – Australia, England, Wales, the USA. Can you give an example where the liberals are in charge and there has been growth?

      Delete
    2. @fart is obviously finding it difficult to name an Anglican province or diocese under liberal control where there has been any growth. Perhaps the answer is in the silence?

      Delete
    3. Of course the stinker is finding it difficult, no such province or diocese exists.

      Delete
  6. @AB
    "giving rise to suspicions that the new Dean would not be his own man."

    If the glove puppet was his own man he wouldn't be copying Bazza's MO so precisely.
    Bazza fails to provide any explanation for Henderson's departure.
    Capon fails to provide any explanation for Moorhouse's departure.
    Bit of a pattern maybe?

    The Dark ++Lord felt it necessary to cover for his glove puppet at the 11 o'clock this morning by preaching for him, exchanging one lot of insipid drivel for another.
    Who knows, another absence leading to another resignation?
    Here's hoping so.

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    Replies
    1. Simple Simon has identified one similarity in the respective Modus Operandi, but here's another.

      In early January 2013, bully boy Bazza calls a secret meeting with Turk, Moorhouse, Helen Walker from the RB and his glove puppet to discuss the pending Employment tribunal threatened by four of the men in the Cathedral choir.
      The glove puppet was only present to take minutes but Bazza refuses to issue the minutes to the attendees telling them that they were for his "personal use only".

      Present day.
      One now hears that Fabric Committee minutes concerning the state of the Prebendal House were not to the glove puppet's satisfaction so he refuses to sign them off and issue them too resulting in the article appearing in the South Wales Echo on September 5th.

      Definitely a pattern with Darth ++Insidious and his apprentice Darth Caddie.


      Delete
    2. I may not be gasping to become President of The Capon Fan Club, but I do feel in this discussion that, whatever his lack of qualifications and experience for the job, however much he is blindly replicating Barry Morgan's contempt for transparency and accountability, and however much he completely bungles-up the Cathedral for the future, the ultimate responsibility lies with the occupant of Llys Esgob. To say that others ran a mile from the job could be true (I have no way of knowing); but we could all come up with half a dozen names (each) of experienced senior clergy in the Diocese - and beyond it - who would have been head and shoulders above The Capon, who would have commanded more respect and authority to sort out the mess - and, more importantly, brought the majority of people with them. The problem is that Morgan just cannot cope with senior colleagues who challenge him and tell him he's wrong. He is profoundly threatened by people who are more able, and who might point-up his tired, shallow and well-worn twaddle. If his theology is stuck in the 70s, his skills and insights for leading an institution goes back to the private mines of the early 20th century. And you thought he was he was archetypically South Wales Labour? The man is a national embarrassment and his conceited nihilism, which makes him believe he is untouchable, will see him (and those who allow themselves to be manipulated by him) being thoroughly discredited - like all dictators.

      Delete
    3. @ Ritual Notes – you are quite right in your analysis. However, it is so depressing that none of those senior clergy are prepared to take him on, and for the future good of the CinW, to force him into retirement. The Chapter of Llandaff are gutless, and the Bench are impotent and lacking in moral fibre and backbone. None of them are prepared to oppose him. Unless something is done very quickly to remove the archbishop and reverse his disastrous and divisive method of management, the membership of the CinW will drop off into oblivion. In fact, the CinW membership figures are now so low it may be that at the next National Census the statisticians could declare that the CinW is no longer a church but rather a sect. So the CinW would become the Anglican Sect in Wales – the ASinW (that has a certain ring to it!).

      Delete
    4. The ears in the walls report that Darth ++Insidious and his glove puppet have decided to adopt the Bonaparte MO by not taking or publishing minutes for any meetings about any subject so they can manipulate and massage the truth at any time.

      Delete
    5. Llandaff Pewster9 October 2014 at 10:16

      Another similarity between the MO of the glove puppet and Darth ++Insidious is appointing people without producing a job description, advertising the post, shortlisting or interviewing.

      On Sunday, Bazza's golf caddy announced that Christopher Gower (former organist of Peterborough Cathedral who retired in 2004) is to be brought in after half term to cover for the absence of Moorhouse.
      Rather than drag someone out of retirement the decent thing to do would be to offer the job to their previous Assistant Organist who they made redundant last December.
      But of course the words decent and Llandaff rarely appear in the same sentence nowadays.

      Delete
    6. Why on earth would someone (who must be in their 70's by now) be willing to come out of a nice retirement and risk having their reputation tarnished by being associated with the shambles in Llandaff, ++Bazza and his puppet?
      Does he have any idea that he'll be lucky to have ten boys, no men, no budget and no assistant organist to play while he conducts?

      Delete
    7. Christopher Gower? Well, the future is in safe hands then (not!). Gower succeeded the legendary Dr Stanley Vann at Peterborough Cathedral. Dr Vann had built up a world class choir at Peterborough to rival even King's & St John's at Cambridge. During Gower's long occupancy of the organ stool, the standard of the choir slipped and slid and kept sliding. Sounds like the dean at least has the good sense to realise that, until someone builds the choir back up to a decent standard, no-one is going to touch Moorhouse's job with a barge pole. Unfortunately, I'm far from convinced that Christopher Gower is the person to do it. As you suggest, age, lack of energy, lack of proven track record... Perhaps the real reason is that he represents a break with the past.

      Delete
    8. If you Google "Llandaff Cathedral Christopher Gower" you get

      [PDF]Issue 20, August 2014 - Friends of Cathedral Music
      fcm.org.uk/.../Cathedral.../CathedralVoiceCopies/Cathedral_Voice_Aug_...
      been distributed to cathedrals and churches both at home and abroad. ... Llandaff cathedral (see issue ... Australia. Christopher Gower, who is chairman of FCM.

      It seems he's been to Llandaff before.

      Delete
    9. That's not the issue of real interest but the one to look at is Issue 19 dated February 2014

      Delete
    10. @Teilo
      I see what you mean.

      "The cathedral had a significant financial deficit and extensive cuts had already been made in other areas of its operations, but there still remained a gap of £80,000 that had to be met in its annual budget."
      According to the Cathedral accounts the deficit for 2013 was actually £94,567.

      Delete
    11. From the same issue,
      “Christopher Gower, Sue Irwin (member of our Budget Committee) and the Clerk of The Ouseley Trust (Martin Williams) went with me to Cardiff where we had a full, frank and confidential meeting with representatives of the Chapter. It became abundantly clear that any offer of the kind we had been contemplating would not have been helpful partly because it would have created an even longer and more uncertain future for all concerned, but also because there could be guarantee that adequate long-term funding would be secured by the end of the period for which it might have been provided.”

      Presumably this "confidential" meeting took place before the choir redundancies were announced so is this code for the Llandaff Chapter could not be trusted to get their act together?

      Were the Friends of Cathedral Music, Professor Toyne and Christopher Gower in on the scheme hatched by Bazza to rid himself of the difficulties of the lay clerk with a free church house, the requirements for proper contracts of employment and pension payments for the lay clerks and the on-going employment tribunal by making the back row redundant last December?

      Are they now in on the latest scheme to shaft Sachin Gunga a second time?

      For the sake of the reputation of the Friends of Cathedral Music, one hopes they do their homework and due diligence and steer well clear of becoming involved in Llandaff as long as the current regime is in place.

      Delete
    12. I Have read and re-read the following passage of the same article and am drawn to this section over and over again.

      “ recalling our success in working with The Ouseley Trust in 2006 to rescue the choir of Tewkesbury Abbey when it was under threat of unexpected closure, we decided to work together again to see whether we might be able to provide a short-term funding package (possibly of up to two years and preferably in partnership with other bodies) to cover the salaries of the redundant posts.”

      On the basis (put forward by Peggy the Pilot) that Llandaff Cathedral needed to save £45k per annum from the Music Department budget) the FCM seem to be offering to provide up to £90k to cover the salaries of the ‘redundant posts’, in partnership, for ‘possibly’ ‘up to two years’.

      So what happened?

      Did Peggy and the Chapter (read Darth ++Insidious) refuse the offer of this help?

      The rigged and sham "consultation" process was supposed - on the face of it - to be run for the purpose of finding ways of saving the Cathedral Choir. Here is written confirmation that the choir could have been kept running for up to 2 years (or even longer if a reduction in size of the back row had been accepted) during which time more permanent long term arrangements/solutions could have been researched and put into place.

      If anyone needed evidence that the real reason for getting rid of the Cathedral Choir were nothing to do with money, then here it is.

      Delete
    13. Llandaff Pewster16 October 2014 at 21:56

      Does that mean that the bitching Moorhouse has done (about his life's work having been destroyed) for the last 9 months was all for nothing?

      Delete
    14. Is it revealing that the Friends of Cathedral Music seemed indecently hasty in publishing PR, media statements and conducting interviews last December over the demise of the Llandaff Cathedral Choir but don't appear to have issued any publicity about Christopher Gower becoming involved at this late stage?
      Why might that be?

      Delete
    15. Another quote from the same article in Cathedral Voice issue 19.

      “Put bluntly, the proposal looked as unsustainable as the plan it was hoped to avoid. Clearly, throwing good money after bad was not a viable option”.

      Was Peter Toyne and the FCM suggesting that Llandaff Cathedral choir was a waste of money?

      If so, why would they or Christopher Gower even consider getting involved in the Llandaff disaster now?
      Gower and his pals would do well to steer well clear.

      Delete
    16. Did nobody spot this titbit?

      “Nevertheless, we were assured of the Chapter’s clear commitment to the cathedral’s choral tradition, and its determination to pursue vigorously its sustainable development by identifying a robust long-term strategic plan (even though the announcement of the redundancies appeared at first sight to indicate otherwise).”

      ‘commitment to the cathedral's choral tradition'?
      'determination'?
      'pursue vigorously'?
      'robust'?
      'long-term strategic plan'?

      In Llandaff?
      Do Prof Toyne, Gower and the rest of the FCM surely realise now that any such assurances were meaningless verbiage, soundbites for the gullible?

      The smart money on The Green is on a 'no show' by Gower.

      Delete
    17. Perhaps the best for last.

      “We agreed that if the redundancies were finally implemented, FCM would stand by to help them formulate and implement such a plan as soon as possible and, if and when appropriate, would welcome an application for financial help.”

      See http://www.fcm.org.uk/Grants/Guidelines_for_Grant_Applications.html point 6.
      ‘The accounts of the institution on whose behalf an application is being made must be submitted with the application, together with the accounts of any choral fund and any 'Friends' association. Applications, which are not supported with accounts, will not be considered.’

      His ++Darkness is hardly going to want to throw open (to independent professional assessment) copies of accounts from the Cathedral, the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral and the Llandaff Cathedral Choristers Association.
      How would he explain the Friends withdrawing the annual £25k support from the choir two years ago?
      Or the Friend's repeated refusals to let His ++Darkness get his grubby mits on their £430k?
      Not forgetting the small matter +Bazza's private 'discretionary' slush funds.

      Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Toyne's proposals came to naught at the 'confidential' meeting last year.

      Delete
    18. Llandaff Pewster20 October 2014 at 12:35

      @Urban & @1662
      The smart money on the Cathedral Green wins and last week's prediction has proven to be correct.

      Only 2 Sundays after announcing from the Lectern that Christopher Gower will be coming to Llandaff to sort out the Moorhouse mess, yesterday Bazza's glove puppet chose to share the sad news that Mr Gower - somewhat like Janet Henderson before him- has had second thoughts.
      He will not after all be gracing us with his presence due (it was claimed) to him being far too busy with his other job to put in the necessary hours. One imagines that Mr Gower could and would have worked out his availability before agreeing to get in to bed with Bazza and Capon.

      Having had a week to come up with an excuse, one could be forgiven for thinking the glove puppet and His ++Darkness might have been a bit more creative and a bit less transparent.
      They might be confusing the silence that greets such announcements for blind acceptance, but the remaining pew-sitters can detect Bazza bullsh*t from a distance.

      Apparently the glove puppet has found a replacement for Gower and persuaded Jonathan Bielby MBE (ex 40 year veteran of Wakefield) to come out of retirement for a couple of months.
      Did anyone see the post advertised and the job description this time?
      Will Mr Bielby insist on having his own choice of assistant organist -ooops, sorry, "Organ Scholar"?

      Delete
    19. Whispers around the Cathedral Green say the Friends of Cathedral Music have also quietly withdrawn their support from Llandaff.
      Was the Llandaff shambles simply too hot for them?
      Did other Cathedrals (whose bids for financial support from the FCM were unsuccessful) complain about Llandaff being given support and assistance without the prerequisite grant application and scrutiny of accounts?
      Can we look forward to reading a full report of the plots and plans from Prof Toyne in issue 21 of Cathedral Voice?

      Mr Bielby might be wise to do a sharp about turn too.

      Delete
    20. The speculation doing the rounds concerns Prof Toyne, Christopher Gower and their friends at the FCM asking for written contracts to confirm their involvement, the limitations thereof etc.
      Needless to say, as any redundant member of the former back row of the Cathedral Choir could have told them, getting a written job description or contract from Bazza, Lucy and the Chapter is like getting blood out of a stone.

      Delete
    21. There's no mention of Christopher Gower or the FCM rescue plan in this month's edition of The Bell.
      Although Jonathan Bielby MBE receives an honourable mention the "music" scheme for November is somewhat like Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard.
      Of greater significance are the figures for the total communicants at Llandaff Cathedral in September for the last three years.
      2012=1878, 2013=1640 & 2014 = 1429.
      There's a bit of an obvious trend.
      Meanwhile "Fart" continues to be strangely silent.
      Could our 'friends' in non-jobs at the Llandaff Diocesan Board of Finace please explain how their efforts to provide parishes with support has worked in Llandaff following their outstanding "Sneak a Peek" effort?

      Delete
    22. Episkopos, "Fart" silenced himself by ending up in the Spam tray. He changed his name but linked it to a commercial site contrary to Blog rules.

      I should also remind contributors that 'anonymous' comments without pen names are not published. See "Introduction" in the right hand column.

      Delete
    23. Llandaff Pewster23 October 2014 at 17:42

      The November Bell makes no mention of the golf caddie's hush hush new assistant organist- ooops sorry, "organ scholar".
      Perhaps Mr Gunga's solicitor sent the Dark ++Lord and his glove puppet a nice letter on headed notepaper.

      Delete
  7. Anglicanism appears more and more to be the struggle between the Faith received, the Faith perceived, and the Faith deceived.

    The Faith received is known and recorded; The Faith perceived includes those sincere Christians who believe after study and prayer that new developments are compatible with the Faith received, and seek to demonstrate this. The Faith deceived are the most strident and most damaging category. Their arguments prioritise above all else their personal preference, 'sense' or agenda, rather than seeking to discern change which is compatible with the Faith received.

    Traditionally the "breadth of the Anglican Church" is supposed to reconcile the first and second categories to find a way forward together. However the third category simply drives a wedge between the first two categories with its (at best) 'like it or lump it' approach, but also the undeniable result of this attitude; as @1549 wrote, "the evidence is in the numbers".

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  8. Llandaff Pelican5 October 2014 at 19:19

    1549 is right in the sense that the rate of decline has been most acute in the European (State) protestant churches (German & Scandinavian Lutherans, French Reformed, Swiss Reformed, Church of Scotland, Anglicanism in the British nations - and, of course the 'Free' churches in Wales which have all but been wiped off the map). Two English Anglican dioceses have registered growth in recent years - Europe and London. That may have a lot to do with immigration; but it is significant that both have been led by orthodox bishops who celebrate the riches of the catholic tradition. Roman Catholicism is growing in Britain, as is Eastern Orthodoxy (again, immigration cannot be ignored). But... it is those churches which have relied on a rather arid, rational and colourless approach to worship, and which have been eager to engage in a selective and philistine repudiation of tradition and history, which have fared worse. Byzantine Barry has a phobia about Catholicism (except when he gets a ticket to sit on the front row of a Papal event at Westminster Abbey). He is a classic manifestation of 1970s secular humanism dressed up as Christianity, which marginalises revelation in favour of self-reasoning, cultural relevance and the kind of amnesia which insists that Christianity began in... well, 1549!

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    1. @ Llandaff Pelican re: 1549 ah, you've rumbled the irony of the pseudonym!
      There is another aspect of the 1970s secular humanism which the likes of His Darkness promote, that is described as 'intolerant liberalism' - the inability to accommodate another view than their own.

      Delete
    2. "Byzantine Barry has a phobia about Catholicism" - rubbish, the +Barry I encounter just has no truck with a version of Catholicism that is simply a veil for bitterness and hatred of women and bitchy about those people who get on because they are talented (e.g. Dean Gerwyn). And let's remember, Bishop Roy ordained women and changed his theology drastically in later years. If he were Archbishop then I am sure he would have gone the whole way and voted for women bishops - if you remember, what made him change his mind about women was that he had so much mail from parishoners after he blocked it that it made him wonder whether he had be wrong. He had the grace to change his mind. It is also said that those of the Catholic persuassion were vile to him afterwards and that he found true friendships amongst liberals. I admired the man because he showed true theological integrity even in the face of the kind of vile bitterness that we read here.

      Delete
    3. Dear Fart, I have heard the archbishop refer to Catholics in the most unflattering and contemptuous terms. If you have heard differently then it just illustrates how he speaks with a forked tongue, which is quite appropriate for a player of snakes and ladders.
      As for your references to Bishop Roy – I suggest that you read the obituary written by Martin Williams instead of the bilge put out by the archbishop’s PR team.

      Delete
    4. Here's the link to the aforementioned obituary.
      http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2013/23-august/gazette/obituaries/obituary-the-rt-revd-roy-thomas-davies

      +Roy was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the feminazis when they didn't get their own way.

      Delete
    5. The glove puppet "talented"?
      Only days after @fart damns him with faint praise about his preaching, the bully boy steps in at the very next 11am Eucharist to preach in his place.

      Is this the latest gimmick from Llandaff DBF think tank, a new tacky TV show-"Gerwyn's Got Talent"?

      The only talent demonstrated thus far is his ability to empty the Cathedral pews in Llandaff faster even than Darth ++Insidious and Peggy the Pilot.

      Delete
    6. I wonder through whose “Ass” ‘fart’ is speaking? Are we to be entertained by a future volume entitled ‘A Diary of Assistant Episcopal Flatus’?

      Delete
    7. The equally odious and malodorous "fart" seems content to be one of His ++Darkness' rapidly diminishing crop of mushrooms that are kept in the dark and fed his sh*t.
      Perhaps "fart is" the glove puppet's pseudonym.

      Delete
  9. I am the mouthpiece of only myself and my own observations. I am neither employed by the church nor do I wish to be. Nevertheless, what I read here on this blog concerns me because I understand that it causes deep injury and hurt to those dragged into the public domain. As for Llandaff Pelican, whoever you are, you should be ashamed to draw a stipend from the church. How dare you talk as you do - a priest - talking about a fellow priest (Dean Gerwyn) in the way that you do. You ought to feel thorough shame but then you seem incapable of that. They do say that the most incredible trait of a sociopath is their complete lack of conscience, lack of empathy, remorse, guilt or shame. Shame on you for the way you speak of Gerwyn, shame on you.

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    1. Llandaff Pelican8 October 2014 at 15:11

      Thank you for once more sharing your opinion with us, Fart, and (true to form) jumping to highly presumptuous conclusions. I think those I serve in my parish would be quick to challenge you over the bulk of your latest invective. Now, once again, it was you who first appeared on this blog, taking the moral high ground, and arguing for a more robust theological discussion. You have completely failed to raise the tone of the discussion in any respect - nor have you stated to AB or other contributors to this blog how anything written here is factually incorrect. If what is written here outrages you, and you cannot counter it factually, may be your literary (if I can call them that!) tirades would be better directed towards the source of all this discontent: Byzantine Barry himself! PS the post code is CF5 2YE.

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  10. AncientBriton, perhaps the time has come to ban the use of malodorous noms de plume? It gives great offence to see it time after time on your otherwise excellent website.

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    1. Unlike the establishment Anglicanus I like to give all the opportunity to participate fully so exclusion goes against the grain. As for the malodorous nom de plume I sense the lingering odour of previous comments under an even more ridiculous pseudonym defending the indefensible all pointing to one of Barry's closest admirers.

      "I am neither employed by the church nor do I wish to be" looks like a legal technicality based on an Employment Tribunal case.

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    2. F++t - you should not try and dabble in psychology/psychiatry : I presume you have been on the 'net to look up the definition of sociopath.
      I read that Llandaff Pelican displays a conscience for the Church, has great empathy for the excluded traditionalists and feels shame for the destruction of the Apostolic Church within the Church in Wales.
      Why should Llandafff Pelican or indeed any of us feel guilty ? The boot is on the other foot!
      Ps. I looked up 'fart' on the Internet : it is a boring or contemptible person .

      Delete
  11. Looking in from outside, as is my custom, I sense the hurt that the unfortunately-named 'Fart' is feeling for others: not simply the dean of your cathedral; but those who share the archbishop's view. That is commendable - but only up to a point. They are the majority and have gained all that they have campaigned for over the years. Most of those contributing to this blog are those who are feeling the pain of being a discriminated minority, who are being denied what seem like perfectly reasonable arrangements (to people like the archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England General Synod). And all this against the archbishop (of Wales') rhetoric about inclusivity. It also strikes me that there is a singular reluctance by your archbishop (and the wonderfully-named 'Peggy the Pilot') to engage in dialogue or other forms of empathetic engagement with those feeling hurt. Ultimately, as I have said before, this is a sign of inadequate leadership skills. Such a malaise is so destructive for an institution experiencing decline on this level. So, I do want to say to 'Fart' be careful whom you accuse of being a sociopath; and be careful about pointing fingers when it comes to citing lack of empathy. It cuts both ways.

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  12. Another day goes by and 'fart' still hasn't named an Anglican province or diocese under liberal leadership which has shown growth in membership. Could it be that the particular form of intolerant liberalism we see replicated across Anglicanism only yields decay and destruction?

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  13. Llandaff Pewster10 October 2014 at 22:17

    The word on the Cathedral Green is that the glove puppet let slip to the meeting of the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral earlier this week that Christopher Gower will also be bringing an assistant organist with him, but that everyone must be VERY CAREFUL to refer to the new appointee as the new “Organ Scholar”.
    It appears there are considerable concerns in Bazzaland that someone might put two and two together and realise that employment law exists precisely to prevent one person being made redundant and another employed doing the same job a few months later.
    Perhaps Bazza and his puppet fear that if Mr Gunga gets to hear about it another Employment Tribunal may be launched?
    After all, has a job advertisement and job description been?

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    1. Knight on the Green10 October 2014 at 23:38

      You are quite right in every detail there Llandaff Pewster. Another Employment Tribunal is on its way. How much money has His Grace cost the Church in Wales over the years in such litigation? We have a right to know!

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    2. Deliver us from evil11 October 2014 at 14:29

      It has been well publicised that His ++Darkness spent hundreds of thousands on legal matters in Bangor and that Llandaff Cathedral’s accounts show it is virtually bankrupt.
      Bazza has been making claims on the Cathedral's insurance policy to pay for his Employment Tribunal troubles. So if Moorhouse has started one claim and Gunga was to start another, it’s highly likely that increased premiums will be accompanied with yet more requests for the fewer and fewer remaining pew-sitters to dig deeper and deeper.

      All because Bazza (advised by Lucy?) believes he can ignore employment law much the same as he ignores canon law.

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    3. And no one in the Chapter or on the Bench is brave enough to stand up to him? We deserve to have women bishops in this province, if only because the current members of the Bench are so obviously b*ll-less!

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  14. Llandaff Pelican12 October 2014 at 08:53

    Here are one or two questions which spring to mind and have, so far as I can see, been kept well out of public discourse. When did the discussions with Christopher Gower begin (the timing of the announcement of his arrival seems almost indecently quick)? How much is Gower being paid? Does he have a contract? Was he the subject of a competitive interview? If so, was he the best candidate? And the 'Organ Scholar' - was this post advertised and the subject of a competitive interview? How much is the "Organ Scholar" being paid? Was there an external advisor? Who was it (and please don't tell us it was Professor Toyne)?

    To my mind this whole shambles adds up to Constructive Dismissal and it pains me deeply to think that yet more of the C in W's limited resources are going to be squandered on another of Byzantine Barry's lawsuits, which do not serve the mission of the church, but are purely about getting him out of the s**t.

    Those with longer memories will recall a similar attempt was made to do something similar with Dr Michael Smith, after a spurious allegation was made about 20 years ago. A judge issued a report and hammered the Dean and Chapter for their behaviour. Dr Smith was allowed to read the report, accompanied by a member of the English precentors' conference, but could not remove it from the Cathedral library, make copies, or quote from it. I can feel a Freedom of Information request (or two or three,,,) coming on.

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    1. Llandaff Pewster14 October 2014 at 01:10

      The ears in the walls of the Cathedral suggest that Mr Gower will, at the very least, be enjoying free Cathedral accommodation either as Moorhouse's new neighbour or opposite in the house last occupied by Father Julie.

      However, as yet the ears in the walls are unable to confirm or deny whether the glove puppet will be informing HMRC of the arrangement.

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    2. And who conducted the auditions for either Gower or the new assistant organist (or as the glove puppet insists, the new "organ scholar")?
      His ++Darkness, his golf caddy, Peggy the Pilot and the chapter are certainly not qualified appropriately in musical matters.
      Who is left in Llandaff that might be?

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    3. Mr Gower would be wise to check with his accountant about "free" accommodation in Llandaff.

      An old pal of mine tells me that i) the commercial rent for the empty house on the Green next door to the Canon in Residence would be in the order of £2000+ per calendar month and ii) that HMRC tax significant benefits in kind at 40%.
      Assuming my pals figures are right, Mr Gower's monthly tax bill for staying on the Green would be £800 a month, so the only way it could be "free" accommodation would be for the Cathedral to pay him about £1000 a month as well (£230 a week of pew-sitter collection money).

      This weeks prediction is that Mr Gower will not be coming to Llandaff after half term at all.

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  15. Beleaguered of Bangor12 October 2014 at 20:44

    If Richard Moorhouse reads this (if he doesn't someone should prompt him), he really should contact Dr Gillian Evans, the former medieval history don at Cambridge. It must be 20 years ago now, but she issued a stinging rebuke to Barry when he was Bishop of Bangor about his... well, let's call them inconsistencies in his account, when he was embroiled in yet another lawsuit up there (total cost of which has never been disclosed). Dr Evans has earned a reputation for challenging lack of transparency in the machinations of the academy, and may have some helpful advice for Mr Moorhouse about how his legal team can cite examples of Barry's past form.

    Meanwhile, up here in the frozen North (I refer to the Dean, of course, not the meteorology) the music in the cathedral is far worse than it ever was under the long-suffering Andrew Goodwin. News reaches me, this afternoon of another likely defection to the C of E (all down to Gladys Puw's bullying - again). Meanwhile, Fred (sorry, the Ven Professor Mike) West thinks he's going to save the world and have everyone implementing the Bishop's (sorry... that should be the Dean's) Master Plan to prevent the whole Diocese disappearing down the toilet. If it wasn't so sad and pathetic, it would be quite funny.

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    1. Beleaguered of Bangor, your reference to the formidable Professor Dr Gillian Evans of Cambridge is interesting. The only time she became embroiled in a rebuke against His Darkness was during the Clifford Williams case of 1997, referred to as the 'Provincial Court'. She also appeared on BBC Wales 'Week in Week Out'.

      If this be the 'Law Suit' which you refer to then may you remind readers that these were unlawful, non- judicial proceedings, fraudulently conducted in public, under the seal and guise of the Royal Courts of Justice,that is, within the confines of HM Court buildings, as quasi criminal, involving three senior members of the judiciary. All within 'law term'. Reported costs at the time, £250,000 in one week alone, rising later to the region of £350, 000.

      Later, Barry fled, to be with his beloved Llandaf. Well done Cliff. we owe you one lad, Now hows that for a lifetime achievement.

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    2. Beleaguered of Bangor13 October 2014 at 17:43

      As Michael Cain might have said "Not a lot of people know that." It's very good to have some context - and figures. Let's see if any 'miscellaneous' costs show up on next year's C in W accounts to the tune of half a million plus. We'll then know what it is, won't we?

      Delete
    3. You appear to assume that we've all arrived on the last tide Beleaguered of Bangor. "Not a lot of people know about that", my foot. Are you another of 'Andy Crap's' import into the diocese of Bangor? Siarad Cymraeg, yes?

      I repeat what has previously been disclosed on this bog, namely, that a 'D' notice restriction was placed on 'certain aspects' of the Provincial Court 1997 in order to cover up the activities of three senior members of the judiciary, one a liberal peer and deputy High Court Judge, also the Lord Chancellor of the then, corrupt Blair government..
      Could it be, that another reason for doing so was that the former Vicar of Benllech had uncovered a clergy pension fund not managed at the time by a broker, but instead managed by 39 Cathedral Road Cardiff?

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  16. BINGO! Guess who is a Vice-President of Friends of Cathedral Music? None other than Ian Hislop, the Editor of the august Private Eye. I suggest that we write to him (strobes@private-eye.co.uk) alerting him to the whole Barry Morgan-Christopher Gower saga and the potential for him to be associated with this highly unsavoury episode. Interestingly, one of the Council is a June Capon (no relation we assume?). I cannot believe that FCM's President, Dr Christopher Robinson (formerly St John's College, Cambridge), and other figures such as Dame Emma Kirkby or Professor James MacMillan would be comfortable with FCM's name being associated with this - especially if a Constructive Dismissal case is pending and Gower, as grants secretary, is in receipt of non-cash emoluments for starters.

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    1. STOP PRESS! A musical friend of mine was at an English cathedral, last Sunday, and was reliably informed that the Friends of Cathedral Music have got jumpy about all this and Jonathan Bielby is now being lined up to sort out the mess in the choir stalls. Bielby was at Wakefield Cathedral for 40+ years and, I'm told, left the choir in a rather tired state. The good news is that he's very anti-clerical and won't take any nonsense from trendy deans and dictator-like bishops. Could be a winning combination!

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    2. Llandaff Pewster30 October 2014 at 15:46

      Reports from elsewhere suggest there have been ructions going on internally for the last couple of weeks within Friends of Cathedral Music over the Llandaff connection.
      Was the Wakefield Cathedral Choir "in a rather tired state" or Jonathan Bielby himself?

      Good news is always welcome at Llandaff especially as there is so little of it, but the underlying problem remains the losing combination of bully boy Bazza and his ineffective golf caddie. Nothing will really improve in Llandaff until Darth ++Insidious and his minions have departed.

      Speculation around The Cathedral Green this week concerns a planning application for Bazza's latest property development scheme in Whitchurch.
      Anything that draws the gaze of his ++Darkness away from Llandaff has to be a good thing.

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    3. It seems the Wakefield choir was in a tired state - but nothing could be more tired than those poor choristers in Llandaff. Word has it that Bielby will want to be paid on time, and was taught to be financially tenacious by his old mentor, George Guest. So I hope the dean/golf caddie has got his general current account well topped-up. If this story is true, I think you may have someone, at last, who will even outshine Dr Michael Smith on the 'No Compromise' stakes!

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    4. No less than two guest choirs today performing in Llandaff Cathedral.

      Disgraceful and shameful.

      Delete
  17. Beleaguered of Bangor14 October 2014 at 17:02

    I'm pleased to say I'm not one of Andy Pandy's imports (I prefer the noun to your adjective, Enforcer). I'm just someone who finds myself up here for work purposes and exasperated by the nonsense which passes for Anglicanism throughout the Diocese of Bangor. The decent clergy have all abandoned ship. I have to cross the border into St Asaph to get anything resembling well-ordered and intelligent worship on Sundays. So I only know what I pick up - or remember from an earlier period in the Slough of Despond. That's why I was grateful for your background information. No inference of naivety (by you or anyone else) intended.

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    1. Ah.... but not all have abandoned the ship I can assure you, and am a bit suspicious of your leanings towards the 'Tree Eating' bishop. However, in accordance to God's command to Moses, "Keep taking the tablets".

      Delete
  18. Beleaguered of Bangor15 October 2014 at 09:10

    No leaning towards any Bishop, Enforcer (tree-eating or otherwise). It just so happens that I can find something recognisably and intelligently Anglican in St Asaph Diocese. Though I have to say (call this a leaning if you like) +Gregory's public utterances are coherent, thoughtful, and seem to be the outcome of a quality mind. This evidently rubs off on some of his clergy. Is there anyone left in Bangor with any kind of mind?

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    1. Next time you happen to bump into the tree eater, would you ask him on what he spends his £16k discretionary fund that first appeared in the St Asaph DBF accounts in 2012 and why he set it up at all when the existence of such funds go against the C of E guidance ?
      Please let us know his answers.

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    2. Since the topic of 'discretionary' funds has come up once more, has anyone else noticed that apart from Llandaff DBF, the other 5 dioceses have yet to have their 2013 annual accounts published on the Charity Commissioners website.

      Are they being tweaked before publication?

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  19. With one or two honourable exceptions, the clergy of Bangor Diocese fall into three categories:

    1) Those who are going out of their minds;

    2) Those who have gone out of their minds; and

    3) Those who never had a mind to go out of....

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    1. Beleaguered of Bangor16 October 2014 at 16:09

      Which category, do you think, describes the Bishop and his line manager, the Dean?

      Delete
    2. I will give 1922 the benefit of the doubt and assume that he means that the good, solid, sound but evangelical leaning members of the clergy, struggling against the boy bishop and his non-Welsh speaking liberal imports, fall into the 'going out of their minds' category. These hard working and struggling servants of God exist and deserve our gratitude and respect.

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    3. Beleaguered of Bangor17 October 2014 at 15:21

      Interesting you should say that, Ed, because Andy is supposed to BE an Evangelical. Standing in the pulpit with his floppy Bible in his hand like a talisman, yet utterly devoid of substance and imagination. He's hardly an inspiration. Interesting, too, in that an advert for the vicar (sorry... Mission Area Leader) of Conwy appeared in today's Church Times. I am reliably informed that the previous incumbent, a scholarly, gentle and traditional evangelical, was repeatedly on the receiving end of Andy Pandy's bad-tempered outbursts (written and verbal) and was given a pretty rough time. All this on top of his failing eye sight. There's no doubt that a combination of Barry and the Dean were stoking Andy Pandy's insecure ire. By the way, Bangor Watchers, beware; be very aware of the forked-tongued, double-speaking, indiscrete Dean-Emeritus. He may have been the king-maker in all the shenanigans of the 2008 episcopal election; but (in some circles, at least) he's not Andy Pandy's number 1 fan. But, if you speak ill of said Bishop, it will be reported straight to Ty'r Esgob!

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    4. Ha ha! Not the definition I would use of an Evangelical: "floppy bible in hand, utterly devoid of substance and imagination"! I would suggest two things:
      1) Just because somebody claims to be (or is accused of being) an Evangelical, that does not make them an Evangelical.
      2) You have not been to many evangelical services, where, although the bibles may be floppy, the pastor / preacher / whole service is rarely devoid of imagination and never devoid of substance!

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  20. Lead Me Not Into Temptation27 October 2014 at 18:02

    Yet more change for the sake of change.

    http://www.llandaffcathedral.org.uk/documents/Week141026.pdf

    Monday 3 November 7.30pm
    A TIME TO REMEMBER
    This year at the All Souls Service we are changing the format.
    The service will be a Requiem and those wishing to remember the Faithful Departed will have an
    opportunity to place candles as an act of remembrance. I have decided to do this rather than have
    the faithful departed named individually – it will be a reflective service of music and readings.
    I hope it will be a special time for any of us who have lost loved ones to express our love and thanksgiving for them.
    The Dean

    Was anyone consulted by Bazza's golf caddie about this?
    I rather liked individuals being named as it served to remind me of all those family, friends and acquaintances, especially as my own memory is fading in my dotage.
    One suspects the provision of an "opportunity to place candles" is nothing more than a stage managed attempt to divert attention from the lack of a proper Cathedral choir to sing a proper Requiem Mass.

    A candle inscribed with the words "Cathedral Choir" might be well "placed" where the glove puppet would find most uncomfortable.

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    1. Llandaff Pelican30 October 2014 at 17:47

      Now we see the theological and liturgical chickens coming home to roost. What sort of nonsense is this from The Capon? The Bible is clear that our names are the one thing that mark us out as unique. This is why the Church has, historically, laid such emphasis on the importance of naming the dead in its funeral and funeral-related liturgies, as a sign of our uniqueness before God - in life and death. On All Souls' Day were are not remembering a general mish-mash of humanity, blurred in a glow of candle-light, we are remembering unique individuals (my mother, your father, her sister...). Leaving aside the profound psychological need that people bring with them to Mass on this day to remember specific loved-ones, this is the most cack-handed way to de-personalise the commemoration of the faithful departed. The Capon didn't learn to abandon the use of names at St Stephen's House. May be he's been reading too much Tom Wright... or (let me guess) an instruction has come down from on high along the lines of 'Keep it short because I've got a do at the golf club'!

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    2. Isaiah 43.1 I have called you by your name: you are mine.

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