Ad Clerum :
6ed Ionawr 2014 6th January
Dydd Gŵyl Yr Ystwyll
The Epiphany of Our Lord
Y Flwyddyn o Bererindod 2013-14 The Year of Pilgrimage
Dilynwch Fi, medd yr Arglwydd: Follow Me, says the Lord
I suspect that many of you will, like myself, have heard the Archbishop of Canterbury saying on the radio that growth does not happen in our churches unless we deliberately plan for it. It is another reminder that ministry involves the onerous burden of not just keeping things ticking over, but thinking of new ways to encourage our churches to grow into mission, and to draw people to our life and faith. The Feast of the Epiphany is all about the manifestation of God in Christ Jesus. It is one of my favourite festivals, and has been since childhood, probably because, like many, I am attracted by the exotic nature of the Magi, and the significance of the passing of the twelve days of Christmas, and the changes that brings to the liturgical calendar.
The Epiphany to which we bear witness, of course, isn’t just about the kings, nor even the baptism of Christ and the first miracle that the Church encourages us to remember at this time as well, it is about the ongoing revelation of Jesus as Saviour and Lord, to which you and I are called to bear witness in our work and ministry. I wonder whether it would be a good discussion starter – a twenty minute item – at the January meetings of our PCCs, if we posed the question “How are we going to reveal something more of Jesus to our community in 2014?” Not just doing what we have always done, but what will be new in the life of our mission area that will reveal the living Christ?
We’ve got a lot to look forward to in 2014, the second half of the Year of Pilgrimage, a Clergy School at Oxford, real progress on bedding down 2020 Vision, and binding ourselves into Mission Areas. I hope that these are not chores, and extra work, but discovering new and exciting ways to sustain and enhance our revelation of Jesus, of finding friends and partnerships, inspiration and strength in each other. It is now five years since the fateful decision of the Electoral College to call me to north east and central Wales, and I can safely say that this is home, and that we feel among friends. We are the Church together. Let us pray that the Lord of Epiphany will bless and guide our efforts to grow as family and missionary people in the coming twelve months.
I enclose the Hellins Lecture poster 2014 poster for the Hellins Lecture on Monday, 27 January. Given that we have a very distinguished lecturer in the form of Canon John Gibaut, who is the Director of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and who is therefore probably the world’s most authoritative ecumenist, it would be good if all clergy would think about attending, and advertise the event well in their parishes. John is also going to lead our January CMD the following day, but he is worth hearing twice! Please would you make sure that your local CYTUNs and other ecumenical colleagues are aware of the Lecture.
Women Bishops and the Code of Practice
A reminder that there will be two open meetings on 17th and 20th February in the diocese where clergy and laity can speak to the issue of the Code of Practice that the bishops have been charged to write in conjunction with the introduction of the Canon to permit the ordination of women to the episcopate. These will be conducted along the lines of the Review Open Meeting in 2012, with the Chancellor in the chair. I will be there to listen and take notes, but the meetings will be designed for respectful listening for all points of view. Details of the meetings are set out in the Diary section. They have been deliberately placed in the north and south of the diocese to enable people from across the geographical spread of the diocese to be able to attend.
Hwyl a Helo
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Manon James as Director of Ministry for the diocese. Manon will remain in Llanddulas and Llysfaen, but take up this new 0.6 post, which encompasses leading the work of the Developing Steering Group, and organizing IME, CMD and Clergy Review training. One of the tasks that I have already asked of her is to re-envision the pattern of CMD in 2015, and to explore formal synodical sessions for the clergy, balanced with a more elective CMD programme. We watch this space, as we welcome an old friend into this enhanced role.
I am also delighted that Richard Hainsworth has accepted the invitation to become Director of Exploring Faith for the diocese, an office which he will hold in conjunction with being Vicar of Northop. Richard brings a wealth of talent and enthusiasm to these new roles, and we wish him and Laura every happiness in their move and in 2014.
It is also good to be able to announce that Alex Mayes will be completing her curacy at Bistre shortly, and beginning her first incumbency in the Kerry Group. Alex has delighted and encouraged her parishioners in Bistre, and will bring that sense of joyfulness and commitment to her ministry in Kerry and the surroundings, while working alongside Nia Morris and Terry Bryan in the Mission Area of Cedewain.
We welcome Ivor Lloyd as Provincial Assistant Safeguarding Officer for the Church in Wales with special responsibility for the north east. Many of you will have cause to relate to Ivor as he begins his work, and I am sure that we will give him a warm welcome to working with the Church in Wales in this important aspect of ministry.
Those of you who follow the ministry of old friends will be pleased to hear of the appointment of Vittoria Hancock as Priest in Charge of the parishes of Ballater and Aboyne in the Scottish Episcopal Church. We wish Vittoria every blessing as a missionary to north Britain, whatever the people of Scotland decide in the referendum (in which presumably Vittoria will now vote!).
Congratulations to Malcolm and Buzz Squires on their Ruby Wedding Anniversary.
I am sorry to report the death of Donald Postles, a faithful priest of this diocese, and of Carmen Johnson, mother of Kate Johnson and mother-in-law of Quentin Bellamy. Also of Rosemary Lees, mother of Jenny Potter and mother-in-law of Chris. We extend our condolences and prayers to all those bereaved at this time, and our hope that, in Christ, they will find strength and comfort.
The vacancies in Bala and Gwersyllt, and for a Team Rector in Rhos Cystennin will be advertised shortly, and fall to the Diocesan Nomination Board. In the meantime, expressions of interest or recommendations for Bala and Gwersyllt may be discussed with Archdeacon Bob, and for Rhos Cystennin with Archdeacon Chris.
Dates for 2014
Monday, 27 January, Hellins Lecture, Cathedral , 1830hr.
Tuesday, 28 January: CMD with Canon Prof John Gibaut, Director of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order – ‘Current Prospects for Christian Unity and the Nature and Mission of the Church’.
Wednesday, 29 January: The Licensing of Kate Tiltman as Associate Priest of Ruabon & Rhosymedre at St John’s Church, Rhosymedre, 1900hr.
Thursday, 30 January: The Induction of Nia Morris as Rector of the Newtown Group of Parishes and Commissioning as Mission Area Leader of Cedewain, All Saints’ Church, Newtown, 1900hr.
Monday, 17 February: Code of Practice Consultation, St Peter’s Church, Holywell 1900hr (Tea & Coffee available from 1830hr)
Thursday, 20 February: Code of Practice Consultation, St John’s Church, Pool Quay 1900hr (Tea & Coffee available from 1830hr)
Thursday, 27 February: Induction of Alex Mayes as Vicar of the Kerry Group of parishes, St Michael & All Angels’ Church, Kerry, 1900hr.
Monday, 17 March: Induction of Sue Huyton as Rector of Bangor-Is-y-Coed Group of parishes and Commissioning as Mission Area Leader of Dee Valley at St Dunawd’s Church, Bangor-is-y-Coed, 1900hr.
Tuesday, 25 March: The Induction of Richard Hainsworth as half-time Vicar of Northop, at St Eurgain & St Peter’s Church, Northop, 1900hr.
Thursday, 17 April: Chrism Eucharist & Renewal of Ordination Vows at Cathedral, 1100hr
Tuesday, 13 May: CMD with the Revd. Dr Beatrice Brandon, Archbishops’ Advisor for the Healing Ministry – ‘The Ministry of Healing’.
Saturday, 28 June: Petertide Ordination at Cathedral 1000hr
Tuesday, 9 – Friday, 12 September: Residential Clergy Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford – ‘Pressing on with the Gospel’.
Saturday, 11 October: Diocesan Conference in the Llangollen Pavilion.
Saturday, 27 June 2015: Petertide Ordination at Cathedral
Notes and Queries
Diocesan Train Pilgrimage, 5 May, 2014
We really need to know confirmed numbers by about the end of January at the latest. Please contact Phil Atack as soon as possible with your bookings.
Lent Prayer Cards
The prayer cards will be available for collection at the CMD day on Tuesday, 28 January for those who have already placed their orders. There are some prayer cards remaining for those who have not yet ordered and they will be available on a first come, first served basis for those who make contact with my office.
Bishop’s Second Visitation
I am looking forward to making my Visitation to the deaneries of Llanrhos and St Asaph in February and March. I am aware that there are still a few clergy and churchwardens who have failed to submit their completed Articles of Inquiry. I would be grateful if these could be given urgent priority and returned to me at Esgobty as soon as possible.
Annual Plygain service to be held at the Cathedral on Friday 31 January 2014 at 7.15p.m. Come and experience this unique tradition of Welsh Folk Carols handed down from generation to generation. Please contact Lynette Norman for more information.
I trust that you will know every blessing as we embark together on our pilgrimage of faith into 2014, and thank you once again for all your ministry and service, and for your Christmas greetings. It means a great deal to Clare and me to know we have your friendship and support,