Diocesan press releases

Assembly Members back the place of faith in public life

Two Welsh Assembly Members have told a Church in Wales magazine why their Christian faith is important to them in their public role.

Darren Millar, Conservative member for Clwyd West and Ann Jones, Labour member for the Vale of Clwyd have written for the Diocese of St Asaph’s magazine, Teulu Asaph.

The edition, which asks what place faith has in public life, encourages readers to let their Christianity inspire them to be active citizens, serving their local community.

Ann Jones, who opened the new tearoom at St Asaph Cathedral earlier this year, wrote: “The teachings of the living gospel that I aspire to uphold, have shaped and continue to shape my thinking and hopefully my actions throughout my role in public life.  In fact, it was the message coming from the gospel that inspired me to look to stand for public office….I believe it is my responsibility to shout up and out about the inequalities that we face in society whether it is about the increasing numbers of families relying on food banks, homelessness, domestic violence or the rights of everyone to be treated with dignity and respect.

“I hope my faith will then show through by my actions and my actions will benefit people of all faiths and none alike.”

Darren Millar, who addressed the Governing Body of the Church in Wales in Llandudno earlier this year, wrote: “For me, representing the people of Clwyd West in the National Assembly is a vocation that steps beyond just the political.  It is something I have come to view as missional.

“No area of society or culture is off limits … but I know of very few who intentionally view public service, for example, as a mission field.

“I would love to see churches work at redressing the balance….If the big picture remains too challenging for some, my desire would be to at least see churches motivating their congregation to pray, encourage, and support those people of faith currently serving in the public sphere.”

Teulu Asaph is produced every two months and reflects news, events and opinions within the Diocese of St Asaph which covers Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and parts of Powys and Gwynedd.  The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, who writes a regular column in the magazine, said: “…most of the work of the Church is done by Christians who take decisive action on behalf of the well-being of others through channels which aren’t particularly Church – by engagement with charities, schools and associations that aren’t necessarily remotely Christian in their foundation.

“There are a thousand ways in which we may serve, and God lays on each of our hearts different concerns.”

This edition of Teulu Asaph also includes an article by an American youth worker and author, Mark Yaconelli who spent six months in north Wales in 2016.  He writes on the impact of President Trump on Christians in the USA saying: “In America, it is an unsaid requisite that politicians publicly profess faith in Jesus Christ if they hope to become elected. This public wedding of Christianity and political power has often confused and abused the Christian message leaving both our political system and the Christian church morally suspect.

“At no time has this been truer than in the presidency of Donald Trump….  I honestly would have a difficult time finding a political figure whose values, practices, and attitudes are in more direct contrast to the life and teachings of Jesus.”

Other articles in this edition, includes details of the fundraising being undertaken by Churches to support the work of the Alzheimer’s Society in Wales, a Vicar in Wrexham who is running 2,018 miles in 2018 and the appointment of a new education officer for the diocesan schools’ team.

Teulu Asaph is distributed to all 228 churches in the Diocese of St Asaph and you can read it in full on line at https://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/news/teuluasaph/

The Diocese of St Asaph is part of the Church in Wales, an independent Province within the worldwide Anglican Communion of Churches.  It looks after 51 schools, including one shared faith secondary school.