May 2013

Ad Clerum :
1af o Fai 2013 May 1st
Apostolion Philip ac Iago : Philip & James, Apostles

Dilynwch Fi, medd yr Arglwydd
Follow Me, says the Lord

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

The Year of Pilgrimage

It seems incredible to me that it was a year ago that I issued my official “proclamation” of the Year of Pilgrimage and asked you all to prepare for it. Now, here we are. The Year of Pilgrimage will be officially launched with a special service at 1530hr in St Asaph Cathedral on St Asaph’s Day, Sunday 5th May. Even at this stage, I do encourage you to encourage your people to come to the service. The Pilgrim Staff will arrive at the Cathedral at the beginning of the service and during the service Diocesan Pilgrimage Shells and certificates will be distributed to your parish representatives.

In this Ad Clerum…

• Ministry and Calling Sunday
• Vacancy updates
• Getting involved with the Eisteddfod
• Exploring Faith
• Church in Wales Review
• Diary

Even more importantly, however, I hope that you will take the opportunity to use the Year of Pilgrimage to stimulate your congregation in thinking about their Christian discipleship, and how they may journey to grow. You may wish to organise a physical journey of pilgrimage, in which faith is at its centre. There are plenty of opportunities, from pilgrimages by train to pilgrimage across north Wales, to visits to the hundreds of holy places within our own borders.

You may wish to take your congregation on a journey of faith – using the pilgrimage study course – or teaching them new ways of prayer and discipleship. You may wish to embark on “Exploring Faith”. Whatever – I would like to think that every parish would make something of the Year of Pilgrimage, as every Church school seems to be doing already – and supporting them is another way in which we may support the Year in itself.

The goal of the Year is simply for the Teulu Asaff to celebrate what it is to be a follower of Jesus Christ – to find some new joy in that, or some new curiosity, for our faith is truly a journey, and our destination fullness of life.

Pilgrim’s Stamps and Passports – I am encouraged to hear of Churches who have bought stamps so that pilgrims can stamp their passports during the Year of Pilgrimage. A Pilgrims’ Passport is available for anyone who wishes to download and use on the diocesan website here. People are being encouraged to take a passport with them to every Church they visit, and to collect a stamp. I will be carrying my passport with me for Church visits throughout the year. I will also have a personal stamp to offer any pilgrims who request me for it.
If your church hasn’t commissioned one yet, then you can find all the necessary details here.

There is also the option to print a ready-made logo onto sticky labels instead of having a stamp produced which may be an easier option. There is a helpful template on the website, and with the right “Avery” label, such stickers are easy to make. The instructions for the stickers are at the bottom of the page.

Ministry and Calling SundayView or download the sermon

As if that wasn’t enough, Sunday 12th May 2013, the Sunday after Ascension, is kept by the Church in Wales as Ministry and Calling Sunday, when we are asked to give special consideration to the question of Vocation.

As you will already know, the bishops have jointly directed that a sermon written by them should be read out in every Church of the Church in Wales on Sunday, 12th May. The text is attached to this email, in English and in Welsh. You may present it in a number of formats. It may be read by yourself, or by a Reader on our behalf; but I am also making audio files available of me reading the sermon in English and in Welsh, and which can be accessed here. You will find the links there, which will need to be downloaded and saved to your computer, and then transferred to your preferred mechanism of delivery.

The sermon had also been recorded on DVD for any parishes that wish to show it. The recording will be put on YouTube and there will be links on the website to the audio versions of the sermon in both Welsh and English. All details and a copy of the DVD can be obtained from Phil Topham.

Please build plans to receive this sermon, and to use it at the main Sunday service that day.

Ember Days and Ordinations

22nd, 24th and 25th May are Ember Days, and I invite you all especially to pray for those who are preparing to be ordained on those days. On the Feast of SS Peter and Paul, 29th June, I intend, God willing, to ordain to the sacred order of deacon, Lorraine Badger-Watts and Sam Erlandson, and to the sacred order of priests, Elaine Atack and Lesley Cooke. Lorraine will be serving her title in the Petryal Group of parishes, and Sam in Llay. Elaine will continue to serve in the Cathedral, and Lesley in the Rectorial Benefice of Hawarden.

Hwyl a Helo

I am delighted to announce that I have nominated Alan Tiltman to succeed Mike West as Canon Chancellor when Mike leaves the diocese at the end of this month. As you will know, the Chancellorship in the Cathedral has a traditional link to an educational role, and Alan has provided excellent service to us all over the last nine years as Director of Continuing Ministerial Education and Development. This is a demanding and important role, which Alan has discharged with aplomb, and I am glad to welcome him to this new role. Alan will be installed at Evensong on Monday, 10th June, at 1745hr, and it would be very good to have support for him on this occasion.

I must also report that Paul Varah has indicated to me that he intends to retire from the end of August this year. Paul has served the diocese with dedication since his ordination to the diaconate in the diocese in 1985. As we know, he has not had the best of health, but has shown real determination and commitment to get on with the job. We wish this senior priest and Susan, his wife, well in retirement.

I am sorry to note that Emyr Owen has offered his resignation from parochial ministry with effect from the end of April. Emyr has only been with us for a short while, but has resigned now for personal reasons.

I am also sorry to record the death of Betty, wife of John Waring. Betty and John were faithful worshippers in the parish of Bistre since retiring there in 1994. Married for 64 years, they raised two children and have enjoyed the pleasures of an extended family of six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. John was curate of Bistre between 1967-1971 and left the diocese to serve in Blackpool and then Levenshulme in Manchester. He returned to the Teulu Asaph as Rector of Caerwys and Bodfari between 1987-1994.

Dates for the Diary

5 May 1530hr Year of Pilgrimage Inaugural Service at the Cathedral
16 May 1900hr Episcopal Visitation to Cedewain Deanery, All Saints’ Newtown
21 May 1900hr Episcopal Visitation to Mathrafal Deanery, St Myllin’s Llanfyllin
22, 24 and 25 May Ember Days. Please pray especially for all those preparing to be ordained as deacon or priest.
23 May 1900hr Induction of Martin Snellgrove as Rector of the Corwen Group of Parishes along with his Commissioning as Area Dean of Penllyn & Edeyrnion at St John the Evangelist, Cynwyd
09 June 1030hr Confirmation at St Michael’s Church, Kerry
10 June 1745hr Installation of Alan Tiltman as Canon Chancellor in Choral Evensong, Cathedral
11 June 0930hr – 1530hr CMD – Building Ministry Teams with John Daniels, Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University, Wrexham
13 June 1900hr The Licensing of John Geary as House for Duty Priest at St Mary & St Peter’s Church, Bagillt
23 June 1100hr Eucharist to celebrate Ordination Anniversaries, Cathedral
25 June 1200hr Visitation meeting with Clergy Chapter of Penllyn & Edeyrnion Deanery at Llandegla Rectory
1900hr Episcopal Visitation to Penllyn & Edeyrnion deanery, St Trillo’s Church, Llandrillo
29 June 1000hr Petertide Ordination in the Cathedral
30 June 1500hr Confirmation, St Giles Church, Wrexham
07 July 1530hr Confirmation, St John the Baptist, Ysbyty Ifan
22 July Episcopal Visitation of the Cathedral


House for Duty posts
There are three House for Duty posts in the diocese at the moment: the Border Bridges Group, the Banw Valley Group, and the Llansilin Group. There have been some expressions of interest in some of these, but I would be pleased to hear of recommendations or enquiries for ministry in these contexts. Further details are available from the Archdeacon of Montgomery.

With Mike West’s move to the diocese of Bangor, and Emyr Owen’s resignation, the Rectorial Benefice of Wrexham is facing substantial change. Having discussed the matter with the PCC at Wrexham, we share a common concern to find new ways to support the life of the churches in Wrexham, and I have decided to suspend the living for a period of review. With Mike’s departure therefore, I am commissioning a review group, led by the Archdeacon of Bangor, Paul Davies, to advise me on future structures and patterns of ministry in Wrexham. I am asking the group to report in the early autumn, to enable us to make appointments for the beginning of 2014.

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, those appointed will be appointed as part of the deanery ministry team, rooted in the particular communities which will be their primary base. Licences will be adjusted to reflect this new reality.

Notes and Queries

Bishop’s Engagement Notification
The completion of a Notification Form is vital in assisting my preparation for services and events, and I should be grateful if you could return one in good time to my office. I attach the current BEN for your use. Please delete earlier versions from your records and also note that there is a special version to use in the case of confirmation, which you will also find attached. Not all boxes need completion on every occasion, and good sense can be used, but it is particularly helpful to have guidance about vesture, and, even if I know the location well, to have a postcode to aid timings of travel.

Bishop’s Second Visitation
The Visitation papers for the Deanery of Penllyn and Edeyrnion should be returned to Esgobty by 14 May please. You will find more information about the Second Visitation here.

Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Sir Ddinbych a’r Cyffiniau, 2-10 Awst

Nodyn oddi wrth Yr Hybarch Bernard Thomas:

Mae’r pwyllgor cynllunio ar gyfer y Babell Eglwysi yn y brifwyl yn Ninbych ym mis Awst wedi cwblhau ei waith. Hyfryd adrodd bod y gefnogaeth yn Ninbych a’r cyffiniau wedi bod yn arbennig o dda. Bydd mwy na ddigon o wirfoddolwyr. Yn y gorffennol roedd pob un o’r enwadau yn gyfrifol am drefnu’r croeso, y gwirfoddolwyr a’r addoliad yn y babell ac yn cymryd un diwrnod yn eu tro. Nawr mae pethau wedi gwella ac mae pob diwrnod yn cael ei drefnu nid o safbwynt enwad ond gan y wahanol ardaloedd. Felly bydd pob diwrnod yn hollol ecwmenaidd. Yr ardaloedd yw Dinbych, Rhuthun, Llanelwy, Rhyl, Prestatyn, Abergele, Llansannan, Llanarmon/Llandegla. Mae gan bob ardal cyd-drefnwr i gysylltu â’r eglwysi a’r capeli lleol i’w gwahodd i gymryd rhan.

Ystyriwch ymweld â phabell Gytûn. Yn ogystal, bydd Oedfa’r Bore yn cael ei chynnal yn y pafiliwn am 10.00 y bore ar Awst 4edd. Rhaid cael tocyn ar ei chyfer ac mae nhw ar gael yn rhad ac am ddim nawr o Swyddfa Cytûn, 58, Heol Richmond, Caerdydd, CF24 3UR, drwy ei wefan, dros y ffôn 029 2046 4371 neu drwy e-bost . Rhaid archebu cyn diwedd mis Mehefin.

Canon Bernard Thomas writes:

The planning group has now met for the last time to plan the Cytun Tent at the Eisteddod maes. There has been a great deal of support from this locality of Denbigh and also from the surrounding area and there will be no shortage of volunteers. On previous occasions the Cytun Tent it has been the custom to give a day to each of the major denominations ( or combinations of the smaller ones) during which each tradition would organise the worship and provide volunteers for hospitality etc. Now things have changed and for the better I think. Days will be allocated not by denomination but by areas, with each day being ecumenical. The areas are: Denbigh, Ruthin, St Asaph, Rhyl, Prestatyn, Abergele, Llansannan, Llanarnon/Llandegla. Each area has a coordinator who will invite local churches and chapels to become involved.

Please consider visiting the Cytun tent. In addition, there is a service, Oedfa’r Bore on Sunday August 4th at 10am in the Pavillion. Congregations or individuals wishing to attend this can claim a free ticket from the Cytun Office in Cardiff but they must apply before the end of June. Applications can be by post to Cytun, 58 Heol Richmond, Caerdydd, CF24 3UR, via Cytun’s website at, by phone 029 2046 4371 or email

Exploring Faith
There has been some confusion about Exploring Faith within the diocese since the announcement that the Church in Wales has commissioned a review of training which could potentially have an impact on discipleship as well as ministerial training courses.

I am happy to report that Glyndwr University have given us full assurances that all registered students will be able to complete their course, and that we can continue to register students on the programme. If you are aware of anyone who is interested, or for people who would like more information, please direct them to or they are welcome to contact me on 01492516728 or

The Church in Wales Review
The Provincial Review Implementation Group is continuing to develop a strategy for prioritising the recommendations of the Review. They have asked the diocese to nominate certain roles with responsibility for working with them on the Review. The Diocesan Secretary, Mrs Diane McCarthy, will be our Review Link Officer, and the Standing Committee has nominated two Review Advocates, one member of the laity and one member of the clergy. These are: Dr Huw Lloyd, a Reader based in Llanddulas parish, and the Revd Philip Chew, Area Dean of Dyffryn Clwyd. We look forward to their work as they seek to keep the urgent vision of the Review on our agendas.

Thank you again for all your support, and for our common life. May God bless your pilgrimage through life, and the pilgrimage of your congregations as we seek to become more fully God’s people.

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