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The Church in Wales: jumped or was pushed?

22 May 2020

Email if you have any answers to the questions, below: questions@churchtimes.co.uk


The Church in Wales was disestablished 100 years ago. Did she jump or was she pushed?

Your answer: The fact that it used to be called “The Church of England in Wales” might be seen as good enough reason alone for it to break away from the imperial master.

As with so many questions, this one cannot reasonably expect to be answered definitively, cast as it is as a binary choice; it probably depends where your sympathies and prejudices lie.

Lloyd George certainly understood the mood of his people, who, we are told, “objected to paying tithes to support the Church of England — even if they went to chapel”. Perhaps it was inevitable that disestablishment would come eventually for the Church in Wales; and perhaps that is true for the Church of England, too?

As I understand it, however, the separation of Church and State is the most beneficial, and theologically defensible, arrangement for both parties. Of course, they should dance with each other, in every sense. but they don’t need to be “married”.

(The Revd) Alec Mitchell
Ynys Mon/Anglesey


Our vicar is live-streaming two communion services every Sunday morning. . . Is it appropriate that the vicar’s wife should receive communion twice every Sunday morning, when the rest of the congregation will receive no communion for months? [Answers, 15 May

Your answer: That the vast majority of us are not able to receive communion is no reason that the vicar’s husband, wife, civil partner, children, lodgers, or guests shouldn’t receive. There’s so much more I could say about generosity of spirit, but quarantine has made me commit myself to being a kinder, gentler person.

Susan Patterson
London SE19


Your question: In films and TV mini-series, Catholic marriages, whether in the centuries before or soon after the Reformation, are pictured taking place before the altar in the nave of the church or cathedral. Yet I always understood that marriages took place at the church door, and only afterwards did the group enter the church to celebrate the mass. Were there different customs in England and on the Continent, and for different classes in society?

A. B.


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