Bishop’s Ad Clerum – August 2015

Unlocking our potential bilingual logo31af o Orffennaf 2015 July 31st

Joseff o Arimathea

Bydd wrol a dewr iawn! (Josua 1.7)

Be strong and very courageous! (Joshua 1.7)

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

I don’t normally issue an Ad Clerum in August, so apologies for surprising you.  There are however a number of appointments to announce, and I didn’t want to keep these until September.

As I’m writing for the Feast of St Joseph of Arimathea, I wanted to say that I can’t make my mind up about Jerusalem, the hymn.  The marvellous tune and rousing words speak in its favour; the English nationalism mitigate that sense of its appropriateness for worship.  The words refer of course to that ancient legend that Joseph of Arimathea brought Jesus on a tin trading trip to Britain during his childhood.  It’s actually not that far fetched: copper and tin trading between Britain and Wales and the eastern Mediterranean in well attested in the period: indeed, people from the known world were trading with the copper mines on the Great Orme from about 3000BC.  But did the events described in Jerusalem happen?

Joseph, of course, was meant to have returned after Jesus’ death to found Glastonbury, and then there’s all the Arthurian stuff which links that location into Welsh history and legend.  None of it may be historically proven, but it does remind us that we’re linked in to a common history, that Wales is part of a wider Christendom, which can’t be ignored, and whose traditions and faith we can celebrate.  I suppose I’m enough of a romantic to want to believe that it is true, so I sort of do.   I want our land to be alive in mystery and otherness – and to be a doorway to the sacred and the spiritual.

Hwyl a Helo

It is very good to be able to welcome new priests and evangelists to our diocese.  Kevin Horswell is joining us from the Diocese of Bangor to become Vicar of Mold in September.  Kevin is an experienced priest who has been Rector of Barmouth, and we look forward to welcoming his experience and enthusiasm for the Gospel.

At the end of September, I will be commissioning the new Centre for Mission in Caia Park in Wrexham.  I have already announced the appointment of Christopher Lawton to lead this new initiative, and I am pleased now to announce that he will be joined by Josh Smith, a young man and youth worker from the Diocese of Liverpool, who will share in the outreach of this new project.  They will be licensed formally as Evangelists in St Mark’s Church on September 28th.

David Ash will be joining us from the Diocese of Lichfield as Vicar of Prestatyn at the beginning of October. David has worked there as Parish Development Officer, and we look forward to the expertise and perspectives that he will bring.

There are also a couple of internal appointments.  Sam Erlandson will be moving in November to join the Ministry Team in Wrexham Mission Area, with pastoral responsibility for All Saints, Poyser Street, and Esclusham.  Lynette Norman will be changing role to take up the post of Vicar of the Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant group of parishes.  It is very good to welcome these two excellent and prayerful priests to their new ministries.

I am pleased that John Harvey will be assuming the role of Director of Spirituality in the diocese, in succession to Lynette, in September.  John’s own faith and spirituality are well known among us, and he will bring a particular flair to carrying this work forward.

I am sure that you will have read in StAR about the appointment of Karen Maurice as our new Communications Officer.  Karen brings a wealth of experience from BBC Radio and working as PR Consultant for a company specializing in offshore wind energy to her new role, and will help us now with the essential work of getting our good news out into the pews and into the world!

Matthew Burns is leaving the diocese, having secured appointment as a member of the Leominster Team Ministry in the Diocese of Hereford.  We wish Matthew well for the future, and every success in his new ministry.

I would like to offer my congratulations to Elaine (& Phil) Atack on the birth of a grandson, Benjamin Isaac (Nicholls), who was born 21st July.  We also record our condolences to Pam Powell, whose mother, Hilda Sapey, passed away on 11th July.  I am also sad to record the death of Cynthia Morgan, wife of Canon Graham Morgan.


A number of posts will be advertised in the autumn.  The following posts will be advertised in the Church Times on October 2nd & 9th:

  • Vicar of Pentre Broughton & Southsea
  • Vicar of Llay, Rossett & Isycoed
  • House for Duty Priest in Cedewain Deanery which will include the recently vacant Bettws Cedewain Group
  • Pioneer Priest (Second Curacy) in Pool Deanery (a three year fixed term post)

The closing date for applications for these posts will be October 19th.  Later in the autumn we hope to advertise for priests for the Gorsedd Group and for Llanasa & Ffynnongroyw.

If you are interested in any of posts, or if you have people whom you could recommend for them, then please contact the relevant Archdeacon for an initial conversation.


Please find here some Resources for discernment of vocations  from the Ministry Team with guidance for those recommending potential candidates to vocations advisors. The Ministry Officers team have now developed quite a network of Vocations Advisers to support and encourage those who wish to explore vocations, and to develop a clearer pathway.  All this is set out on the accompanying sheet.

Dates for your diary


3 September            Induction of Pauline Walker, St Mary’s Church, Denbigh, 1900hr

13 September          Induction of Kevin Horswell, The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Mold, 1500hr

15 September          Induction of Lynette Norman, St Dogfan’s Church, Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, 1900hr.

28 September          Commissioning of Wrexham Centre for Mission, St Mark’s Church, Caia Park, Wrexham, 1900hr.

29 September          Clergy Synod Day, Beaufort Park Hotel, Mold (half day concluding with lunch).


4 October                    Induction of David Ash, Christ Church, Prestatyn, 1500hr.

7 October                    Choral Evensong with Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission, Cathedral, 1800hr.

10 October                  Diocesan Conference, The Pavilion, Llangollen.

18 October                  Installation of Nia Morris as Cursal Canon, the Cathedral, 1530hr.

21 October                  Retired Clergy Association Service at Cathedral followed by lunch at Oriel House, St Asaph.

10 November            Confirmation for Mold & Hawarden Mission Areas, 1900hr, venue to be confirmed.

11/12 November      Area Deans / MAL Residential, Foxhill, Frodsham

26 November            Licensing of Sam Erlandson as Assistant Curate in Wrexham Mission Area, St Giles’ Church, 1900hr.

29 November            Ordination of Deacons for Mathrafal deanery.

9 December               Diocesan Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr

Notes and Queries

Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission

You will remember that I have mentioned that at the beginning of October, the Commission will be meeting in Gladstone’s Library, and, as part of their programme, I am inviting them to join me at Evening Prayer on Wednesday, 7th October in the Cathedral. I hope that many of you may be interested in putting the event in your diary, not only to ensure a warm welcome to the Commission, but also to enjoy a wonderful Evensong in the Cathedral.

The arrivals of the Commission members will take place on Monday, 5th October.  I have already approached some clergy to assist with “meet and greet” duties at Manchester airport, but I could do with some additional help, and if any of you fancy a couple of hours hosting a Syrian Orthodox prelate or a Coptic monk or some such, please do let Siân know.  We will, of course, cover any expenses.

Clergy Support Group

Recently, a couple of the clergy have raised with me the possibility of drawing together informal cells for mutual support, and I’d be very glad to facilitate the establishment of such groups.  Please email Michael at Esgobty, if you’d be interested in being drawn into the life of such a cell.  The mutual support we can give each other is a vital component of keeping our ministry and well-being fresh.

Research into clergy involvement with persons with dementia

The Reverend Bob Friedrich, is an Episcopal priest from Connecticut who is currently living in Conwy and undertaking research at Bangor University into local clergy involvement with persons with dementia.  Bob is looking for clergy volunteers to interview about their ministry to people with dementia and you will find more information about the nature of the research by following the link to the bilingual Participant Information Sheet.

In reviewing professional literature, Bob has found that there is abundant research showing the impact of spirituality on persons with dementia, but there is very little that establishes the acquired wisdom of clergy who minister to them and their carers.  Please do consider assisting Bob in his important research.  Bob Friedrich can be reached at or 07475 117077 and will be pleased to hear from those who would like to register their interest in being interviewed or who would like more information about the project.

Retired Clergy Association

The Vicar of Old Colwyn and Rector of Llanelian, also Secretary of the Clergy Retired Association, would believe me remiss if I did not draw attention to the Annual Meeting and Lunch of the Association on October 21st.  We have made it something of a tradition to suggest that parishes might like to contribute to the cost of lunch for this event for the retired clergy in their mission areas, who do so much to support ministry.

We are entering that period when many of us will be taking holidays.  I trust that whatever your plans, that the Lord will sustain you with a spirit of refreshment and hope, and that He will renew our trust in Him, as we approach a busy autumn.

In Christ,