Bishop’s Ad Clerum – September 2014

Unlocking our Potential Logo CROPPEDAd Clerum :
1af o Fedi 2014 September 1st

Bydd wrol a dewr iawn! (Josua 1.7)
Be strong and very courageous! (Joshua 1.7)

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

The Middle East

I sat at my desk in mid-August and thought: When will the guns fall silent? Will the innocent deaths and the persecution of Christians come to an end? I don’t know about you, but I have been appalled by the news over the Summer. Amidst all the ongoing concerns (Syria, Egypt, South Sudan, Nigeria) two very distinct events stuck out for me in which my powerlessness grieved me: the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, and the Islamic State onslaught in Iraq.

First of all, on Gaza: I have to say I want to be a friend of Israel. I admire and respect the Jewish people, and what the Israelis have done to build a homeland in the ancient land of their birth as a nation is impressive. They deserve and require security. However, the problem is that theirs is a “twice-promised land”, and a peaceful future will only ever be achieved if each side will make space for the other. I was horrified by what happened over the Summer. I have no time for terrorism, and Hamas’s tactics I find it easy to dismiss. However, if Israel wants my support, it has to learn that the way to peace doesn’t come through killing your opponents’ mothers, wives and children. What Israel has wrought in Gaza is simply unacceptable. Of course, Hamas aggravated and manipulated the situation, but I expect a democratic nation to live by a higher standard. An onslaught on the innocent in Gaza, whatever the provocation, and each one progressively more aggressive than the last, must not happen again.

The barbarity of the Islamic State, an organisation which believes that it is the legitimate successor to the Muslim prophet, Mohammed, appalls me. My heart and soul go out to my Christian brothers and sisters who are being crucified, beheaded, and raped in Iraq, and not only them, but every minority that does not conform to the self-styled caliph’s orders. I want to send them my prayers and my solidarity. Worse, there are young British muslim men who seem to see fighting for ISIS as an attractive proposition. I see a glimmer of hope in the fact that most Muslims in this country are standing with us in condemning what is happening, but again I feel largely powerless.

Am I a voice for the diocese when I write in this way? Are there ways in which we could make a difference? One of the callings of the Church, under God, is to speak the truth to power. We need to be speaking as individuals and as an organization to our politicians, MPs and AMs to goad them into further action. We need to be active in assisting organizations like Amnesty, Christian Aid, Open Doors and others, so that our fine thoughts can be turned into practical assistance. Nowadays, an internet connection means that it is very easy to sign epetitions and the like. Seek these out and add your voice. And we need to pray.

The ancient church had a prayer in the language that Jesus used: “Maranatha”. It is Aramaic and means “Come, Lord”. Please find opportunities to share my/our concerns over these issues and to pray publically with your people thus:

In our midst and in our distress: maranatha.
In Iraq and in Syria: maranatha.
In Israel, Palestine and Gaza, maranatha.
In all places of need and for all who live in fear, maranatha. Amen.

Hwyl a Helo

News has reached us from the Diocese of South West Tanganyika that their Electoral College has elected Canon Matthew Wilfred Mhagama as their new Bishop. Bishop-elect Matthew trained for ministry at St. Mark’s College Dar-es-Salaam when Michael Westall was Principal and his initial ministry was in the Diocese of Zanzibar. When Michael Westall was appointed Bishop of South West Tanganyika, he invited Matthew Mhagama to serve as his chaplain. He returned to the Diocese of Zanzibar in 2006 and is currently studying in Ethiopia. He is married with two children. Please remember Bishop-elect Matthew and the Diocese of South West Tanganyika in your prayers and especially for the preparations for his consecration as bishop. This will take place on October 12th and we are grateful to Bishop Stephen who will be representing us.

I have started to offer a new type of recruitment to ministry, as outlined in a previous Ad Clerum. Pioneer Second Curacies are designed for clergy in their earlier years of ministry to be given the opportunity to exercise an innovative and creative ministry beyond the staple fare of parish ministry, and before taking up a standard parish placement or other calling in the context of the new Mission Areas.

I am pleased to announce two appointments to such ministries: Phil Bettinson will be moving from his curacy in the Bro Famau Group this month to a Pioneer Ministry in Wrexham Town Centre, working alongside the team in Wrexham, and specifically working to find ways of drawing the town and its centre into the life of the Church. Dot Gosling is joining us from the diocese of Chester, where she has been Senior Lecturer in Children, Youth and Families work in the university, to be Pioneer Minister in the Dyffryn Clwyd Mission Area, with responsibility across the mission area for building up the work with young people and families. I welcome both these priests to their new ministries, and hope that the opportunity to do something new and flexible in support of 2020 Vision will assist us in “Unlocking our Potential”.

There are a couple of changes to the list of those retired clergy who have permission to officiate. I am glad to welcome David Francis back to public ministry after a short break, and he now has my permission to officiate. Kenneth Bullock has decided to relinquish my PTO. We are grateful for his twenty three years of faithful ministry in the Llandudno area since his retirement to Penrhyn Bay.

During the summer, we suffered the second loss of a brother serving in our midst. The death of Mike Powell in mid-July was an unexpected blow, as a diagnosis of the reoccurrence of his cancer came only shortly before his passing. Mike came late to priestly ministry, but made up for it with his good humour and passionate dedication to the well-being of the Church. Our thoughts and prayers continue with Pam and the family.

I was also sorry to learn of the death of John Durnell at the beginning of August. John retired to Hirnant after his ministry in Lichfield diocese and the ministry he offered in retirement was much appreciated especially in the Cain and Tanat valleys. We remember his wife, Grace, and the family in our prayers.

I am sure that many of you will have heard of the death of Bishop Cledan Mears in mid-July. Cledan began his ministry in the Diocese of St Asaph in 1947, and we offer thanksgiving to God for the life, ministry and witness of this faithful servant of God.

There is good news, however, with the news of the birth of a daughter, Hannah, to Adam & Rachel Pawley. There are congratulations due as well to Richard & Laura Hainsworth, on the birth of their son, Jacob. Our diocesan family grows in more ways than one, and I send my felicitations to all our young clergy and their spouses who are adapting to the advent of the pitter patter of tiny feet resounding in their parsonages.

Datgloi ein Potensial: Unlocking our Potential

The first edition of the Tool Kit will now have been received in every parish. This is an initiative to bring 2020 Vision to every parish, to explain some of the basic thinking behind the proposals, and to encourage PCCs and Deanery/Mission Area Conferences to make 2020 Vision their own, contributing their own ideas and initiatives. I would like every cleric in the diocese to take the pack seriously; to ensure that it gets a good airing in the parish and deanery/mission area conferences, and to respond to the questions. Those who like the Review Process will get their chance to play a part; those who are more critical have a chance to have your say and shape it all more to your liking, so there’s no reason not to participate really!

CMD & Training Together

In 2014
This year we have been offered three courses by the Province run by QA training, all coming up soon at the Ramada Hotel in Wrexham. The information can be accessed here:

‘Make Meetings Work’ Course Overview
Leading Successful Change Overview

The dates are:
Tuesday, 14 Oct Making Meetings Work, 0930hr – 1630hr (coffee available from 9am)
Friday, 17 Oct Leading Successful Change, 0915hr – 1600hr (coffee available from 9am)
Monday, 1 Dec Leading Successful Change, 0930hr- 1630hr (coffee available from 9am)

There is room for ten people at each session. Several clergy as part of their ministry development review have asked for input on leading change and managing meetings therefore they are being offered to the clergy first on a first come first served basis. Could names be passed on to Manon on as soon as possible please in order to secure a place.

The remaining CMD courses for this year are:
Tuesday, 21 Oct Doing Church Differently Fresh Expressions, Church in a Circle and other ideas with trainers Guy Elsmore and Martin Batchelor at the Beaufort Park Hotel, Mold.

Tuesday, 11 Nov How to deal with conflict with trainers David Miller and Gaynor Jones, 1000hr – 1600hr at Gladstone’s Library.

Information will be in StAR and your place needs to be booked with Sian Connelly at the diocesan office as they are available on a first come first served basis. Next year we will have to move to bigger venues as these courses have proved popular.

In 2015
As from 2015 all `in service’ training for those in ministry and / or leadership within the diocese will be part of Training Together and open to all members of the diocese. As clergy we will continue to meet in regular synods (twice a year) however it is expected that all clergy will attend two ‘optional’ courses each year arranged by the diocese. Information about all the courses will be in a prospectus which is being prepared at the moment and will include all kinds of training from the more practical shorter sessions that used to be part of Training Together (e.g. on being a member of the PCC, media matters etc) to day-long sessions on ministry skills or theology. We ask that each cleric ensures that they are booked on to two courses per year and notes this on their annual Ministry Development Review form. Your place will need to be booked with Sian Connelly at the diocesan office on

Finally, we are grateful for all the suggestions for CMD, and please do send on ideas for themes, venues and speakers to Manon. You have already received details of some of the training sessions in 2015 and you will find the full complement of courses in the forthcoming Training Together Prospectus which will include courses on chairing meetings, church financial planning, communication, along with a session by Christian Copyright Licensing.


There are a number of new vacancies being advertised in the diocese this September. With this Ad Clerum comes adverts for:

In Hawarden Mission Area:
• A full time Priest for Broughton and Sealand in the Rectorial Benefice of Hawarden, working alongside David Lewis.
• A full time Pioneer Priest , (three year fixed term) partnering with community organisations in developing outreach and mission in Community First areas in industrial Deeside.
• A half time post working in south of the Mission area with pastoral responsibility for Pentrobin and Llanfynydd.
• A half time post working in the north of the Mission Area with pastoral responsibility for the community of Ewloe.

Later this month, we will be advertising for a team member to join the new Mission Team which is being developed in Wrexham; this time with responsibility for St Giles’ Wrexham. We’re looking for a creative and energetic and visionary priest who can work to build up St Giles as an outstanding civic and cultural centre for mission outreach to the town.

We are still looking to fill some of the posts becoming available in the diocese:

• House-for-Duty appointment in Llansanffraid Glan Conwy in the Llanrwst Group, working alongside Sarah Hildreth.
• Vicar of Guilsfield, Buttington and Pool Quay in the Archdeaconry of Montgomery

Please contact the relevant archdeacon if you wish to express an interest in any of these posts, or if you have a recommendation to offer.

Dates for your diary


Monday, 1 Sept Induction of Paulette Gower as Vicar of Gwersyllt, at Holy Trinity Church, Gwersyllt, 1900hr
Sunday, 7 Sept Induction of Kate Tiltman as Vicar of Ruabon and Rhosymedre at St Mary’s Church, Ruabon, 1500hr
Tuesday, 9 – Friday, 12 September: Residential Clergy Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford – ‘Pressing on with the Gospel’.
Monday, 15 Sept Induction of Matthew Wilkinson as Vicar of Chirk, at St Mary’s Church, Chirk, 1900hr.
Tuesday, 30 Sept Licensing of Dot Gosling as Pioneer Priest in Dyffryn Clwyd Mission Area, at St Peter’s Church, Ruthin, 1900hr. The Mission Area will be formally commissioned at this service.


Wednesday, 01 Oct Retired Clergy Association Eucharist & lunch, St Asaph, 1130hr
Sunday, 5 Octr Confirmation at St Aelhaiarn’s Church, Guilsfield, 1100hr
Saturday, 11 Octr Diocesan Conference in the Llangollen Pavilion 1030hr-1700hr
Wednesday, 12 Nov Induction of Val Rowlands as Vicar of Llandyrnog & Llangyfan and Vicar of Llanrhaeadr & Nantglyn at St Dyfnog’s Church, Llanrhaeadr yng Nghinmeirch, 1900hr
Wednesday, 19 Nov Induction of Elaine Atack as Rector of Bala at Christ Church, Bala, 1900hr
Sunday , 23 Novr Confirmation, St Matthew’s Church, Buckley 1530hr
Tuesday, 25 Nov Area Deans / MAL training day, St Margaret’s Church Hall, Wrexham, 0930hr – 1600hr
Wednesday, 10 Dec Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr


20 January Clergy Synod Day, Beaufort Park Hotel, Mold
09/10 March Area Deans / MAL residential, Foxhill, Frodsham
02 April Chrism Eucharist, Cathedral, 1100hr
13 June Readers’ Day, Gresford
27 June Ordination, Cathedral, 1000hr
29 September Clergy Synod Day, venue to be confirmed
07 October Retired Clergy Association Eucharist & lunch, St Asaph
10 October Diocesan Conference
11/12 Nov Area Deans / MAL residential, Foxhill, Frodsham

Confirmations in 2015
Deanery/MA Date Time
Cathedral Saturday, 04 April 1900hr
Mathrafal Sunday, 10 May 1500hr
Pool Sunday, 17 May 1500hr
Alyn Sunday, 7 June 1500hr
Wrexham Sunday, 28 June 1500hr
Dee Valley Sunday, 5 July 1500hr
Cedewain Sunday, 12 July 1500hr
Joint Mold/Hawarden Wednesday, 21 October 1900hr
Cathedral Wednesday, 02 December 1830hr
Penllyn & Edeyrnion tba

The following deaneries will use Cathedral service provision.

St Asaph
Dyffryn Clwyd

I would appreciate it if area deans/ MALs hosting confirmations would confirm venues with my office as soon as they are able.

Please would you kindly note that the Nicholastide Cathedral Confirmation in December 2014 has had to be rescheduled and will now take place on Wednesday, 10 December at 1830hr.

Notes and Queries

Advent Calendars
It is hard to think that it is nearly time to start thinking about Christmas again. I’ve already received my chocolate Advent Calendar, a sample of “the Real Advent Calendar” that has been produced once again. Further details are available at, and I am told that Tesco will be stocking them in good time for Christmas.

Animal Welfare Sunday
Animal Welfare Sunday falls on October 5th this year and the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) has produced some new resources. The materials are available free to download from the ASWA website: You will find resources including fact sheets and theological material relating to a variety of animal welfare subjects, resources for sermons and study groups, along with material aimed at Messy Church, Sunday Schools and Youth Groups.

Back to Church Sunday
Back to Church Sunday falls on 28 September and is an initiative that many parishes have found helpful in recent years. I attach a Back to Church Sunday Generic flyer produced by Phil Topham and Martyn Walsh for you to distribute in your parishes should you wish to do so. This generic version includes a gap for local information. You will also find other resources at as this helpful tool for evangelism offers the potential to create a ‘Season for Invitation’ running through until Christmas.

Night Out
This venture, funded by the Arts’ Council of Wales, allows community groups with access to churches and church halls to put on professional shows at their venue by helping with the cost of employing the entertainers. This allows local organisations to employ professional artists without the fear of not selling enough tickets to cover the costs.
The main requirement is that venues are reasonably accessible to disabled persons or that there are plans in place to make them more accessible. There are no size limits for a venue and no need for special staging or lighting. Each venue must be registered by a promoter – usually a priest or nominated member of a PCC will be the main contact. To register click this link and complete the fairly straightforward form:

Retired Clergy Association
The St Asaph Retired Clergy Association meets for the Annual Eucharist at 1130hr on Wednesday, 01 October at the Cathedral. Following the Service lunch will take place at Oriel House Hotel at 1300hr. The Bishop’s special guest speaker on this occasion will be The Right Honourable the Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas PC AM. Within the next day or so the retired clergy, their spouses and clergy widows will be receiving their letter of invitation from Canon Quentin Bellamy. In recent times parishes have been invited to “treat” their retired clerics to the cost of the lunch (£10 per head) as a small token of esteem which is greatly appreciated. Please put this proposal to your PCCs for consideration.

Ty Heddwch (House of Peace) is a small rural retreat lodge just south of Denbigh, where clergy or lay personnel are welcome to spend a time of quietness and space free of charge. There is also a separate bed and breakfast lodge available for a donation to cover costs. Ty Heddwch is a member of the Christian Retreat Association. A comment from a Vicar who spent a weekend: ‘A wonderful break away from it all bar the Creator! a good time with God, with the added bonus of spectacular surrounding countryside.’ For further information or to book, please contact Dr Christine Simons (Churchwarden at St Peter’s Church, Ruthin), on 01745 550555 or

I look forward to being together in Oxford before very long. The Organising Committee have put together an excellent programme for us, and there will be plenty of opportunity for intellectual sitmulation, prayer and reflection, stirring worship and the simple joy of fellowship.

My thanks to you for all your continuing ministry and fellowship in the Gospel,

Bishop Gregory Signature







Ardal Genhadaeth Penarlâg
Hawarden Mission Area

These are exciting and challenging times in the Diocese of St Asaph as we move towards a fresh and creative model of Church centred around Mission Areas. In Hawarden Mission Area, church communities are developing links to allow themselves to be stronger together and prepared for growth. We now have the following opportunities to join the team:

Priest – Full Time
A key member of the leadership team with pastoral responsibility for the communities of Broughton and Sealand – home to the major industries of North East Wales including ‘Airbus’ and an expanding major Retail Park.

Pioneer Priest- Full Time (for 3 years – fixed term)
A brand new opportunity for pioneer work, partnering with community organisations in developing outreach and mission in Community First areas in industrial Deeside.

Priest – Part Time (3 days a week + Sunday)
An opportunity to join the young and dynamic team in the south of the Mission Area with pastoral responsibility for the semi-rural communities of Pentrobin and Llanfynydd.

Priest – Part Time (3 days a week + Sunday)
Working in the north of the Mission Area with pastoral responsibility for the community of Ewloe, you will join a dedicated ministry team focused along the Dee Estuary.

For full details, visit
or contact Diane McCarthy, Diocesan Secretary:
Telephone 01745 532591
For an informal conversation, contact The Archdeacon of Wrexham,
The Venerable Bob Griffiths Telephone 01978 790362
Closing Date – 12 Noon – Monday 29 September