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Church in Wales Governing Body: Questions, Centenary appeal, and other news

20 September 2019

Adam Becket reports from the meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales in Swansea on 11-12 September


The Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt Revd June Osborne

The Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt Revd June Osborne


RESPONDING to a question about the selection of the next Bishop of Monmouth, the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, said that the electoral college would be meeting this week to decide. He said that a guide to the electoral college procedure had been put on the Church in Wales website.

The Revd Dean Roberts (Monmouth) said that the diocese had been through an “interesting” year, but was looking forward to having a new bishop in post.

In response to a question about the suitability of the Church in Wales’s support for Pride Cymru, the Bishop of Llandaff, the Rt Revd June Osborne, said that she was unequivocal in her support for it, and for the Faith Tent there. “We are the Church that believes it has to minister to the whole community,” she said. At Pride Cymru, the Church was seeking to “engage with a section of society which, if we are to be honest, the Church has not always treated well in the past”.

The Revd Josh Maynard (St Davids) said that the “storyteller” at Pride Cymru was not a Christian, as Bishop Osborne had said. He said that an event supported by the Church in Wales should be held to a standard of holiness.


Standing committee

LIS PERKINS, who chairs the Governing Body’s Standing Committee, introduced the report. Ms Perkins said that the committee would consider having an overnight meeting so that members could more easily get to and from the venue. One issue discussed at the committee would be a restructuring of the Governing Body.

She said that the committee felt that it was important that life events would be discussed in the context of mission and evangelism.

The Standing Committee had suggested 14-15 April 2021 in Cardiff, and 8-9 September 2021, tbc, for Governing Body meetings.

The Standing Committee would continue to look at resolutions from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC). Church governance was another topic, Ms Perkins said, and a joint meeting of the committee and the Representative Body would be set up in the spring of 2020. Centenary celebrations would be held next year, and Ms Perkins asked that people be made aware of the centenary services that would happen in six cathedrals.

The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, thanked everyone involved in the preparatory work for giving evidence to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) earlier this year.

The Archdeacon for New Christian Communities, the Ven. Mones Farah, said that he found it disappointing that the centenary celebrations were not going to happen for people outside the Church, and said that bigger events could have opened up the Church for more people. He said that, at the moment, it was an “in-house thing for in-house people”, and that it should be extended.

Terri Hatfield (St Davids) said that there would be a £12,000 charge for screening the Governing Body, which would be hard to justify.

The report was received overwhelmingly.


Centenary Appeal

CANON Carol Wardman, the Bishops’ Adviser for Church and Society, introduced the Centenary Appeal Fund for the Church’s centenary year of 2020. She said that there would be two main beneficiaries of the appeal: South Sudan, through Christian Aid, and Housing Justice in Wales. There was a “colossal need” in South Sudan, and it had a very active Anglican Church; the Province of Sudan had been founded in 2020, and its first bishop was from Swansea, Canon Wardman said.

Referring to Housing Justice, she said that homelessness was always a front runner. The Church wanted to learn through the project, besides raising money: £10,000 a year for each project, for five years — £100,000 in total.

She said that £20,000 a year was a modest target, and she expected it to be exceeded. “Watch the presentation, get the texts going, and let’s see how far we can get to beating the target.”


Report of University of Wales, Trinity Saint David

The Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Trinity St David, Gwilym Dyfri Jones, said that last year had been one of the hardest for the higher-education sector. “We aim to install in students an excitement about learning, a curiosity about life, and an ability to learn for themselves,” he said.

Its collaboration with St Padarn’s continued to thrive, Mr Jones said. He told the Governing Body that the Archbishop of Wales had been awarded an honorary degree.

The report of the University of Wales, Trinity St David, was taken note of.


Annual Report of the Widows, Orphans and Dependants Society

THE Archdeacon of St Asaph, the Ven. Andy Grimwood (St Asaph), introduced the report. He said that it was heartening to hear of the impact that the Society had had on the families and beneficiaries.

The report was taken note of.


The Bill to Amend the Cathedral Schemes

THE Bill was carried: 5 bishops for; 29 clergy for, 50 laity for.

The Bill was promulgated.


Bill to Amend Chapter IX of the Constitution of the Church in Wales (Review of the Disciplinary Tribunal)

THE Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, moved that the Governing Body go into committee, but this was postponed until the next meeting of the Governing Body.

The Bill was not passed for immediate debate but was left for the next meeting in April. It was referred back to the select committee, after the Governing Body voted unanimously.

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
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4-8 July 2022
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From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

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