|Note: The image of the Archbishop of Wales is disproportionate to average Sunday attendance to ensure his visibility.|
In the 2011 Census, Christianity was the largest religion, with 33.2 million people (59.3 per cent of the population) here
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.
When it suits them the CinW hierarchy refer to other provinces such as in the Church of England as examples of good practice as they did in support of their women bishops legislation. Archdeacon Peggy Jackson referred to CofE proposals when she conned the CinW Governing Body into accepting the Jackson/Wigley amendment which gave Barry Morgan a free hand to do exactly as he planned. Having secured the vote to appoint women bishops, he made no alternative sacramental and pastoral provision in the CinW Code of Practice, contrary to proposals in the Church of England and his bench sitters went along with him.
Following the CinW example I have been looking at the Church of England's Statistics for Mission 2013. The population of Wales is about the same size as the population of the diocese of Chelmsford but with a greater average Sunday attendance. They manage with one diocesan and three assistant bishops. Alternatively, based on population density, Wales with 381 people per sq mile, is similar to the diocese of Lincoln. They manage with a diocesan bishop and one assistant.
In the Table below I have included the diocese of Oxford, occasionally referred to in this blog and said by some commentators to be Dr Morgan's favourite diocese. These three dioceses together have 11 bishops with an average 90,000 souls regularly attending Sunday services or 8,182 attendees per bishop, almost double the number the bishops in Wales have in their charge yet the number of dioceses and bishops appears to be the only area off limits in their 2020 Vision strategy. A strategy which is being implemented under the heading "Serving community, inspiring people, transforming church". Serving and inspiring, no; transforming the church, yes, but not in a manner recognised by the vast majority of the world's 80 million Anglicans of which Wales makes up a mere 0.039%. Yet Dr Morgan would have his Church members believe that it is he who holds the keys.
|Diocese/||Population||Pop Density||Average Sunday||Number||Attendees|
|COUNTRY||per Sq Mile||Attendance||of bishops||per bishop|
Canterbury Ave. Sunday attendance 622,000
York " " " 227,400
CinW " " " 31,048
In Wales it has been not so much a case of Statistics For Mission but the consequences of omission. Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age".
Rather than "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you", the Church in Wales has become obsessed with a mission to reflect society, misusing the Bible in the process. Questions such as, What did Jesus say about women priests/homosexuality/gay marriage, etc, etc? are posed to provide the predictable answer, "Nothing", ignoring what has been commanded. A faith based on what wasn't said rather than what was said is doomed to fail. *
The same mistakes have been made in the Church of England, also in steep decline as they too follow the path set by the US Episcopal Church (TEC) but the rot has been more severe in the Church in Wales. Read the Rev Dr Peter Mullen's "The meaning of TEC" for his assessment: "those modernising more rapidly are also failing faster".
If Wales were a Church of England parish rather than a separate province the faithful would still have the benefit of alternative Episcopal oversight. But the bench of bishops seem determined only to feather their own nests at the expense of everyone else.
Clerics who have seen the light are already departing for the Church of England. Ideally the 2020 strategy would be for the province to return to the Church of England where honouring promises ameliorates the sins of omission. That would give all an equal chance of survival since equality is the name of the game.
* Postscript [12 July 2015]
A further example of what wasn't said from York Synod:
"Elliot Swattridge, who represents the Church of England Youth Council on the Synod, said: "When Jesus instituted the first celebration of the eucharist during the last supper his words were simple: 'Do this in remembrance of me’.
"In this characteristically simple statement he instructed the entire body of his disciples to participate in not only receipt but also the administration of communion.
"Note that Jesus did not state 'do this but never administer it unless you have been ordained'. Neither did he state 'do this but only of you are over 18 years of age'."
Therefore, children and worshippers who have not been confirmed should be allowed to administer the sacrament at Eucharist services! Story here.