October 2011

Ad Clerum : 3ydd Hydref 2011 October 3rd
Noswyl Sant Ffransis : The Eve of St Francis
Dewch i weld! (Ioan 1.39)
Come and see! (John 1.46)

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

I would like to thank all of you who participated in the Oxford Clergy School for your contributions to that event. My own feeling was that the Conference worked extremely well, that we were well looked after by St Anne’s College and St Giles’ Church, and that our programme was stimulating and engaging. A big thank you again to Bernard Thomas and his team for organising the event, to Alan Tiltman and to Kate Johnson, for carrying the bulk of the logistical work which allowed the rest of us to have such a happy time.

Bishop Gregory gives the clergy a tour of Oxford during Clergy School

The South West Tanganyika Link

We warmly welcome Canon John Kwetu and Sister Aneth to the diocese. They have a packed programme during their stay of two weeks. There are several opportunities for members of the diocese to meet them and offer their support: on Sunday, 2nd October, our guests will have been welcomed at a Service at 1100hr in Llansanffraid Ym Mechain, and on Sunday, 9th October, there will be the opportunity to meet them at a service in St Giles, Wrexham, also at 1100hr. They will be present at the Diocesan Offering Service itself on 10th October, at 1900hr in the Cathedral. There is also an opportunity to say farewell at the Open House Eucharist in St Asaph Parish Church at 0930hr on 13th October. Please encourage your parishioners to engage with our visitors during their stay: they have a full programme visiting deaneries in addition to the major services listed here, and there are plenty of opportunities to learn, share and develop our link.

Church in Wales Provincial Review Group

On Monday, November 28th, the Diocese will be receiving a visit from the Provincial Review Group that has been invited by the Archbishop to address the question, ‘Is the Church in Wales “fit for purpose” and able to respond to its vocation in the context of twenty-first century Wales?’ The members of the Review Group are:

Lord (Richard) Harries of Pentregarth (Chair) who was Bishop of Oxford in the Church of England between 1987 and 2006, and also Chairman of the Church of England Board of Social Responsibility from 1996 to 2001. He currently sits in the House of Lords as a cross-bencher.

Professor Charles Handy who taught at the London Business School between 1967 and 1995, and is a renowned author on the subjects of organisational behaviour and management. He is the son of a Church of Ireland Archdeacon.

Professor Patricia Peattie OBE served as the Convenor of the Standing Committee of the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church from 2005 to 2010, and has a professional background in nursing and education. She was the first chairwoman of Lothian University Hospital NHS Trust, and served also as Assistant Principal of Napier University.

On November 28th the Review Group will be meeting with me and the diocesan Senior Staff team in the afternoon. This will be an opportunity for the reviewers to learn about existing diocesan strategies or plans, and to hear the views of those with responsibilities at a diocesan level.

Following Choral Evensong at 1800hr there will be an Open Meeting in the Cathedral from 1830hr until 2000hr. All members of the Teulu Asaph, lay and ordained, are invited to attend and contribute to ensure that a wide range of views is heard. The Bishop and Staff team will not be present. The open Meeting will focus on the following questions:

1. What aspect of
a) your diocese and
b) the Church in Wales,
do you feel most positive about?

2 What major changes or initiatives would you like to see
a) in your diocese and
b) in the Church in Wales,
to make its ministry and witness more effective?

3. Given the predicted shortfall in the number of clergy what steps do you think should be taken to ensure that there continues to be ministry in every community?

4. Given the likely diminishment of the contribution of historic funds to the financing of the church (at present 30%) what steps do you think should be taken to ensure the financial viability of the church in the future?

5. Are there any other issues you would like to see the review team investigating in order to enhance the ministry and witness of the Church in Wales?

The Review Group appreciates that it will not be possible for all members that wish to participate in this process to do so via the meetings held in dioceses. Consequently it is also inviting members to make written submissions on the questions posed by the Review Group or any other matter that might be relevant to the Review. These should be submitted by Thursday 12 January 2012 directly to the Chair of the Working Group at the following address:

Lord Harries of Pentregarth
The House of Lords

Please would you make sure that your parishes are made fully aware of the work of the Church in Wales Review in general, the Review Group’s visit to the diocese on November 28th and the questions that will be addressed at the Open Meeting. It would be good to have a good turn out in the Cathedral on that evening to engage with this important instrument for the future planning of the Church in Wales.

The Hellin’s Lecture

This year’s Hellin’s Lecture will take place on Wednesday 16th November at 1900hr in the South Transept of the Cathedral. We will be welcoming Bishop Don Bolen, Roman Catholic Bishop of Saskatoon in Canada, as the 2011 Hellin’s Lecturer and the subject of the lecture will be “Pope Benedict and the Ecumenical Openings of the Present Moment”.

Please encourage as many as possible to come to this event – it promises to be very interesting.

Ave atque Vale

Mike Harrison takes retirement at the end of the month. Mike has brought a great deal to the diocese in his time with us, and has particularly been at the forefront of our engagement with social issues. Indeed, for the last twelve months, Mike has been on secondment with TCC, and co-ordinating their work.

I have already announced that Philip Williams will be retiring at the end of this month. Philip is truly a “father to the diocese” and has given much in so many areas, including his work for Christian Aid. We wish both these faithful clerics well.

We welcome David and Mary Dunn to the diocese from the Diocese of Monmouth. David and Mary have been appointed to the Benefice of Llanfair Caereinion, Llanllugan and Manafon as joint priests-in-charge. This will be a new variation on the theme of ministry by married couples, but I and they are excited by the opportunity. David is a long serving member of the stipendiary clergy in Monmouth, joined more recently by his wife, Mary, and together they make a formidable team.

Dates for the Diary

8 Octr 1500 hr The Induction of Hermione Long as Rector of Llanfyllin, Bwlch-y-Cibau and Llanwddyn, at St Myllin’s, Llanfyllin.

9 Octr 1400hr Diocesan Conference, Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse near Wrexham. Theme for the Conference will be: ‘What is Church For?’ The main speaker will be The Revd Robin Gamble, Diocesan Evangelist in Bradford Diocese, whom many of you will know from the Leading Your Church Into Growth initiative. We hope that the new location will enable easy travel for members from right across the diocese, and increased flexibility for the event itself, which will be given something of a facelift. Further details have been circulated directly from the Diocesan Office.

10 Octr 1900hr Diocesan Offering Service, in the Cathedral. Canon John Kwetu and Sr Aneth will be present. This service has not attracted large congregations in recent years, but David Lewis has produced some profound and moving liturgies for the occasion. It would be good if all clergy could think about bringing even a small party of parishioners with them on this occasion.

13 Octr 1900hr Induction of David Lewis as Rector of Hawarden at St Deiniol’s Church.

15 Octr 1400hr The Induction of Steve Willson as Vicar of Welshpool, Castle Caereinion and Pool Quay at St Mary’s, Welshpool.

30 Octr 1000hr Pool Deanery Confirmation, at Holy Trinity Church, Penrhos.

08 Nov 1900hr The Induction of Pauline Walker as Vicar of Rossett & Isycoed, at Christ Church, Rossett.

10 Nov 1900hr The Induction of Ian Day as Vicar of Rhuddlan & Bodelwyddan, at St Margaret’s, Bodelwyddan

16 Nov 1000hr for 1030hr First Roman Catholic / Anglican Joint Study Day at The Loreto Centre, Abbey Road, Llandudno. All clergy and Readers, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Free Church, serving and retired are welcome.

1900hr Hellin’s Lecture, South Transept, St Asaph Cathedral

17 Nov 1000hr for 1030hr Second Roman Catholic / Anglican Joint Study Day at the Church of St Francis of Assisi Church, Llay Chain, Llay, Wrexham. All clergy and Readers, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Free Church, serving and retired are welcome.

23 Nov 1900hr The Induction of Jackie Carter as Vicar of Penycae, at St Thomas’, Penycae. Jackie will be taking this church over from Aidan Coleman, as we reorganise the Parishes of Ruabon and Rhosymedre.

Notes and Queries

CPAS Mentoring resources

Many in our churches are looking for help as they grapple with how to be a disciple or leader in such a fast moving, rapidly changing world. CPAS is offering resources to help us bring on the next generation of Christian leaders for which mentoring is a fundamental part of the process. An easy-to-use pack with everything you need to start a church-based mentoring network is available from CPAS this autumn. More information can be found here.


The following benefices remain, or will be, vacant, and if anyone would like to explore ministry in these places, or recommend a name, then they should contact the relevant archdeacon:

The Llanrhaeadr YM Group (House for Duty).

The vacancies in Holywell, Mold, Colwyn Bay, and Henllan (House for Duty) are currently appearing in the Church press, should you wish to apply, or encourage another to consider applying. Henllan is a bishop’s appointment, Mold a Provincial appointment, and the others fall to the Diocesan Board of Nomination.

I trust that all is going well with your ministries, and I look forward to our paths crossing at many of the events set out in this letter – it’s a busy old life!