Ad Clerum :
Gorffennaf 1 July 2013
Y Flwyddyn o Bererindod 2013-14 The Year of Pilgrimage
Dilynwch Fi, medd yr Arglwydd: Follow Me, says the Lord
I am delighted and amazed by the diversity of the Welsh saints which we have in this wonderful country. Euddogwy is, of course, a saint of the south, a monkish bishop who is associated with the foundation of Llandaff Cathedral. We have our own small saints however in St Asaph, Derfel and Trillo, Grwst and Aelhaearn, to name but a few, none of whom have anything more than the lightest fame outside their own community. The lovely thing about the Age of the Saints is that there were so many of them – 20,000 alone buried on Bardsey if we are to believe the legend. What made for such a holy era? In the Visitation in Penllyn and Ederynion last week, we reflected upon the request in the scriptures, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” (John 12.21) The fact is that these saints were first remembered precisely because people saw something of Jesus in them, his dedication, his concern for justice and the outsider, his love, his generosity.
Wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could pray into being, by God’s good grace, a new age of the saints, when the members of the Church in Wales allowed themselves to be transformed by God into personalities, in whom the spark of something from Jesus could be seen. It would help perhaps if we encouraged one another by speaking of the occasions when we spot this in one another. Perhaps we ought to be quicker in recognising that this also is witness to the lively gospel of grace.
Hwyl a Helo
I am pleased to announce that I am appointing Tudor Hughes to the position of Canon Sacrist in the Cathedral, vacated by the retirement of John Glover at the end of last month, and Martin Snellgrove to the stall of Johannes Griffiths, which will be vacated by Paul Varah at the end of August. As we say goodbye to two priests who have dedicated the best years of their lives to ministry in St Asaph, it is good to see a new generation of dedicated priests taking up the mantle of service, and to be able to recognise the gifts of Tudor and of Martin in this way. Tudor and Martin will be installed in the Cathedral on Monday 30 September during Evensong at 1745hr.
We welcome Sherry Bloomer, a priest formerly of this diocese, and who has recently been serving in the diocese of Worcester, to a long and happy retirement in St Asaph. Sherry has my Permission to Officiate, and is happy to assist in local churches.
What is good news for one is not always good news for all. I am very pleased for Mark Chadwick that he has been appointed to the Parish of St Chad, Shrewsbury. Some might say that this is the ideal parish for Mark, aka Chad, but I think that while we rejoice in this positive move for him and the family, we will be very sorry to see him go.
I am very sorry to report the death of Mike Fearn, whom many of us will know. Mike served faithfully for many years in the diocese, and we send our heartfelt sympathies and support to Beverley at this time.
Dates for the Diary
07 July 1530hr Confirmation, St John the Baptist, Ysbyty Ifan.
22 July Episcopal Visitation of the Cathedral.
1 August 1900hr Licensing of Evelyn Davies as HFD Priest in Charge of the Border Bridges Group of parishes at St Tysilio’s Church, Llandysilio.
4 Awst Oedfa’r Bore, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol, Dinbych.
16 August The Wedding of Hermione Long and Wynne Morris in Bwlch-y-cibau. Please do remember Hermione and Wynne in your prayers as they seek God’s blessing on their married life together.
5 Sept 1900hr Induction of Adam Pawley as Vicar of Hope at St Cynfarch’s Church, Hope
10 Sept 1900hr Licensing of Jane James as Priest-in-Charge of the Meifod Group of parishes at the Parish Church of Ss Tysilio & Mary, Meifod.
24 Sept 0930hr – 1530hr CMD Day, Anglican Ecclesiology with Paul Avis, Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University, Wrexham
25 Sept 1300hr Joint Visitation meeting with Chapters of Hawarden, Holywell & Mold deaneries. Venue to be confirmed.
1900hr Bishop’s Visitation to Mold deanery at St Mary the Virgin, Mold.
30 Sept 1745hr Installation at Cathedral of Tudor Hughes as Canon Sacrist and Martin Snellgrove as a Cursal Canon.
03 Oct 1900hr Episcopal Visitation to Hawarden deanery at St John’s Church, Penymynedd
9 Oct 1130hr Retired Clergy Association Eucharist at Cathedral followed by lunch at Oriel House with the Venerable Andrew Jones, Archdeacon of Meirionydd, as guest speaker on the subject of pilgrimage. Please encourage all retired clergy to sign up for this event, and consider helping them with the cost from parish funds.
1900hr Episcopal Visitation to Holywell deanery at the Parish Church of St Mary & St David, Flint.
12 Oct Diocesan Conference in the Llangollen Eisteddfod Pavillion.
20 Oct 1500hr Confirmation at St Mary the Virgin, Mold.
04 Dec 1900hr Nicholastide Confirmation at the Cathedral.
Bishop of Monmouth
Please pray for the members of the Electoral College who meet in St Woolos’ Cathedral, Newport on 23rd July, and, if necessary, the two days following to elect the successor to Dominic Walker and the 10th Bishop of Monmouth. May God assist us in electing the man he calls to lead the Church in Monmouth diocese.
We wish to appoint an enthusiastic and energetic priest willing to work with lay and clergy colleagues in developing the worship, mission and ministry of the parish and deanery. Connah’s Quay is an urban parish with a population of 18,000. It is situated on Deeside and is just 8 miles from Chester. It is a busy parish which works well as a unit. There are two churches, St Mark’s Parish Church and St David’s Mission Church. Both are in a good condition. For an informal conversation regarding this role, please contact the Archdeacon of Wrexham. The parish profile and associated details and papers can be found by following the appropriate links on the diocesan website. The nomination on this turn falls to the Provincial Nomination Board, and the closing date for applications is Monday, 22 July.
The Kerry Group of Parishes
The nomination for this turn falls to the Diocesan Board of Nomination, and the position will be advertised in the autumn. In the meantime, if anyone wishes to explore the possibility of ministry in the Deep South of the diocese, or wishes to propose a suitable candidate for consideration, I should be grateful if they would have a word with the Archdeacon of Montgomery.
In line with the Church in Wales Review, all posts are now to be seen in the context of building up our ministry areas based upon deaneries. Although the posts mentioned here are incumbencies or priests-in-charge, those appointed will be appointed as part of the deanery ministry team, and rooted in the particular communities which will be their primary base. The texts of licences have been adjusted to reflect this new reality.
Notes and Queries
Bishop’s Second Visitation
The Visitation Citation and Articles of Inquiry for the deaneries of Holywell, Mold and Hawarden will be sent out soon in preparation for my Visitation in the autumn. Completed Articles of Inquiry from clergy, readers or churchwardens from these deaneries should be returned to Esgobty by 04 September at the latest. Further information about the Visitation can be found at http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/life/visitations2013.php
We are in the process of setting up groups for Exploring Faith starting in September. It would be helpful to have expressions of interest from parishioners wanting to start the course next year as soon as possible and I enclose a form which they can use.
It is also looking likely that we will be setting up a Welsh language group in the Bala area. This year, we are running a year 3 course (level 5) which means that those with a Certificate in Theology from within the last five years (e.g. recently trained Readers) can start the course on year 3 and gain a diploma in two years. Again, it is important to have information about likely students as soon as possible so that next year’s plans can be put in place. I enclose a current leaflet which has all the relevant information.
When the new diocesan website goes live, all the information will be on www.exploringfaith.co.uk. Please also note that Manon’s email address has changed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also always looking for facilitators who are skilled and interested in helping others learn. Please let Manon know if you are interested in doing this, or if you are aware of someone you could recommend (information is attached). Exploring Faith Facilitator
Joint Anglican and Catholic Secondary School for North Denbighshire
A formal consultation about the proposal for a new joint Anglican and Catholic school for North Denbighshire is well underway. You will find a consultation document which sets out the background to and an explanation of the proposal at the links below:
I would be grateful if you and members of your congregations could consider responding favourably to the consultation before 22nd July. It is worth responses coming from an area wider than the Denbighshire area, because the school could include pupils from all the church schools in the archdeaconry of St Asaph.
Order of St Asaph
I am grateful for the nominations which have been received, and look forward to receiving more. I should remind people, on the basis of some of the nominations received, that the Order is intended primarily for service to the diocese, and possibly not even outstanding service at parochial level. It will be for the nominating committee to decide whether in fact there is a level of parish service which is sufficiently distinguished to make the award of the order appropriate, but I don’t want too much disappointment if the committee interpret the mandate strictly. The deadline for the receipt of applications at Esgobty is Monday, 15 July.
A book of poems by Peter Walker is now published. Entitled Travelling with the Saints it is an anthology of poetry for the St Asaph Year of Pilgrimage. Details are: ISBN: 978-1847717023 Price: £4.95 Publisher: Y Lolfa, Talybont, Ceredigion SY24 5HE
Peter encourages you to order as many copies as you want/can sell/give as presents! Maybe your church would like to have some available for visitors! The book is available for order direct from Y Lolfa (www.ylolfa.com), via Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk), or badger your local bookshop and make them stock up with a few!!
CMD and Ordination
I am particularly grateful to the serving clergy who have made every effort to support CMD. It was very nearly 100% attendance. I know from the feedback that every session is not to everyone’s satisfaction, although the feedback does suggest a high degree of satisfaction, and what one cleric criticises is often praised by another. For me, the importance lies partly and simply in the meeting, for this builds up our collegial life.
It was good to see that collegial life supported as well by the many clergy who made the effort to be present at the Ordination in the Cathedral on the Feast of SS Peter and Paul. It is at times when I see us gathered as a family for worship, and to support colleagues in this way, that I see the most tangible expression of the fellowship which is so important to building up our life as a diocese.