Bishop’s Ad Clerum – March 2015

Unlocking our potential bilingual logoAd Clerum Gŵyl Dewi Sant 2015 St David’s Day

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

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

Grym Gweddi: The Power of Prayer

I hope that you are joining me in remembering this prayer during Lent on every evening, at six o’clock or thereabouts, in order to invoke God’s blessing and care on the life of this diocese. It has been composed for us by the advocates and liaison officers of 2020 Vision, and refers to the origins of the name “Lent” and the religious themes that are addressed in this holy season.

Dduw’r Creawdwr, drwy gydol y cyfnod hwn o’r ‘Dyddiau sy’n Ymestyn’, caniatâ i ni gael ein hysbrydoli gan y twf a’r bywyd newydd a welwn ym myd natur.
Rho dy oleuni arnom fel y gallwn symud oddi wrth lwch tywyll ein natur bechadurus at ddisgleirdeb ein gobaith yn Iesu. Helpa ni i chwalu’r niwl a all ein hamgylchynu drwy ganolbwyntio ar ‘Seren y Bore a gyfododd, ond na fydd byth yn machlud’.
Helpa ni i fyw’r bywyd rwyt ti wedi ein galw i’w fyw, fel y cawn ddatgloi ein potensial fel dy eglwys i gynyddu mewn ffydd a nifer, drwy eglurder y weledigaeth a roddaist i ni. AMEN.

Creator God, throughout this period of the ‘Lengthening of Days’, enable us to be inspired by the new life and growth that we see in nature.
Shed your light upon us that we may move from the dark ashes of our sinfulness to the brightness of our hope in Jesus. 
Help us to dispel the mists that can surround us by focusing upon the ‘Morning Star that has risen never to set’.
Help us to be the people that you have called us to be, that through the clarity of the vision you set before us we may unlock our potential as your church to grow in faith and numbers.  AMEN.

Prayer is an essential part of Christian life, and corporate prayer even more so. As JC Ryle wrote in his magisterial work on Prayer, and its effectiveness, we do not know why God should allow himself to be changed by the number or intensity of our prayers, since he is a loving God who knows our needs before we ask them, but we do know that he has commanded us to pray, and told us that, in Christ, our prayers will be effective. Let us pray, then, that the Lord of Life will bless our diocese and our congregations with new life as we pray together this Lent.

You can find the prayer online at:

Please feel free to print copies of the prayer card and to use them as widely as possible.

You will have noticed that the heading for this section of the Ad Clerum has also been the title of the series of conferences that have been held this last weekend in the diocese: The Power of Prayer. The conferences have been great. Our American friend and guest speaker, Mark Yaconelli, has been inspirational, and the diocesan staff and a team of volunteers have been magnificent in their organization and planning. A big thank you to them.

One thing I am sure of is that those who were there will want to pray, and become better at praying. I will be joining with the organisers to think creatively about how we sustain the life of prayer in our diocese, and how we may encourage people in their life of prayer.

Neges Gŵyl Dewi Sant

I always like to say something in Welsh about Wales on St David’s Day. I wrote this last week, and when it was complete, the news overtook me, and Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg offered Wales control over speed limits and energy projects. Wow!

Mae’n Ŵyl ein nawdd sant, Sant Dewi, unwaith yn rhagor, ond eleni, credaf fod fwy o gwestiynau nag erioed o’r blaen yn yr awyr parthed dyfodol Cymru. Yn dilyn y refferendwm ar annibyniaeth i’r Alban llynedd, a’r trafodaethau dilynol yn son am “Devo Max”, mae angen dadl am ddyfodol y Deyrnas Unedig yn ei gyfanrwydd, nid yn unig yr Undeb rhwng Lloegr a’r Alban. Mae’n amser bellach cynnal dadl synhwyrol ar ba fath o ddyfodol sydd arnom yma yng Nghymru :  A fyddai annibyniaeth yn gwneud unrhyw synnwyr? Pa bwerau yr ydym ei heisiau yn yr hir dymor i Lywodraeth Cymru? A ddylai’r Cynulliad cael ei chydnabod fel senedd llawn rymus? Ni chredaf fod le i ni osgoi’r cwestiynau hyn bellach. Hoffwn ddefnyddio Dydd Gŵyl Dewi i alw am drafodaeth fywiog. Yn y man lleiaf, dylai’r hyn sy’n cael ei chynnig i’r Albanwyr fod ar gael i holl genhedloedd Prydain. Mae’n ddigon hawdd i’r Prif Weinidog daflu tamaid atom o bryd i’w gilydd, ond mae gwir angen i’r Cymry gael eu gwahodd i’r bwrdd gyda’r Albanwyr.

It is St David’s Day once again, but this year, I believe there are more questions in the air than ever before about the future of Wales. The referendum on independence for Scotland last year, and the subsequent discussions about “Devo Max” mean that there is now a debate about the future of the whole of the United Kingdom, and not just the Union between England and Scotland. There now needs to be a serious discussion about what sort of future we want for Wales: Would independence make any sense? What powers do we want in the long term for a Welsh Government? Should our assembly be recognised as a fully empowered parliament? I do not believe that these questions can be dodged any longer. I would like to use St David’s Day to call for a lively debate. At the very least, what is offered to the Scots should be on offer for all the nations of Britain. It is all very well for the Prime Minister to throw us the occasional morsel, but the Welsh really need to be invited to the table with the Scots.

Hwyl a Helo

I am delighted to record the birth of Hannah Katherine, a daughter to Matthew Wilkinson and Sarah, who was born on 10th February. We congratulate the Wilkinsons on the third clergy baby of the last few months, and I advise them to go to the Erlandsons and the Hainsworths for advice. (I’m not aware of any more births in the offing at the moment, but if any of the clergy have anything to tell me …)

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Rex Matthias as the new Canon Precentor at the Cathedral. Although Rex has only been at Mold for the last three years, he has brought considerable energy to this ministry, and we look forward to his energy and skills making a contribution to the life of the mother church of the diocese now.

It is also a great pleasure to announce that Bryn Parry Jones will be assuming stipendiary ministry, and joining the south Hawarden emerging Mission Area team after Easter this year. Bryn has been faithful in his ministry as Deacon and Priest in Connah’s Quay, and has given service to the diocese in many distinguished ways, and I am glad to welcome him to this new role and ministry.

We are very sorry to be losing the services of Phil Topham. Phil has served the diocese faithfully and with distinction, bringing new life to our channels of communication in the four years he has been with us. We wish him well as he goes to work for the Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches.

I am also sad to record the death of Peter Rimmer, former priest of this diocese. We also commend to God the parents of two of our clergy, Jonathan Skipper’s mother, Brenda Skipper, and Warwick Jaundrill’s mother, Irene Jaundrill. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of all these, praying that God will give grant to the departed rest, and comfort to the bereaved.

Chrism Eucharist

I look forward very much to keeping this feast as usual with you at 1100hr on Maundy Thursday, April 2nd in the Cathedral at the Eucharist for the Blessing of the Holy Oils together with our Renewal of Commitment to diaconal, priestly and episcopal service as well as the commitment of all the baptized to mission.

I would like to make this a genuine diocesan event, and I would stress that all clergy, serving and retired, are very welcome to this occasion, and indeed, all lay ministers and members of our congregations. It is a diocesan event. Clergy are requested to robe in alb or surplice with white stole in the Translators’ Chapel and then take your seat in the nave by 1050hr. Readers are also welcome to robe in surplice and readers’ scarf.

Lunch will follow as usual, served in the South Transept, and will be a hot main course and pudding. Again all are most welcome to stay for this, however we do need to have an accurate estimate to give to the caterers. I have asked area deans / mission area leaders to collate the numbers of those requiring food from their deanery. Please would all clergy liaise with their Area Dean indicating the number of people from their parishes who will be staying for lunch. Every Area Dean / MAL is asked to submit their deanery numbers to Siân at Esgobty no later than Monday, March 23rd.

Diocesan Consultation on Same Sex Unions

The following venues have been booked for the consultation meetings:

Tuesday 2nd June        St Asaph Cathedral, 7pm – 9pm
Wednesday 3rd June   All Saints Church, Newtown, 7pm – 9pm
Thursday 4th June       St Margaret’s Church Hall, Wrexham, 7pm – 9pm
Tea/coffee/biscuits will be available on arrival.

Comprehensive information about the Consultation meetings will be available in the April Ad Clerum.

Dates for your diary

4 March
Licensing of Danny & Mary Evans at St Deiniol’s Church, Hawarden, 1900hr.
8 March Licensing of James Aylward as Priest-in-Charge of Southsea at All Saints’ Church, Southsea at 1600hr
9/10 March Area Deans / MAL Residential Meeting, Foxhill, Frodsham
17 March Introduction to the Diocese day at Diocesan Office, 1000hr – 1530hr

2 April
Chrism Eucharist, Cathedral, 1100hr
4 April Easter Vigil & Diocesan Confirmation, Cathedral, 1900hr
13 April Licensing of Ginny Burton as Associate Priest in the Llanrwst Group,
at St Martin’s Church, Eglwysbach, 1900hr.
19 April Licensing of Glen Mansfield and Stan Walker at St Ann’s Church, Rhyl, 1530hr.
26 April Licensing of Jason Bray at St Giles’ Church, Wrexham, 1630hr.

10 May
Confirmation for Mathrafal & Pool deaneries at St Myllin’s, Llanfyllin 1500hr
2 June Same Sex Unions Consultation, St Asaph Cathedral, 1900hr – 2100hr
3 June Same Sex Unions Consultation, All Saints Church, Newtown, 19hr – 2100hr
4 June Same Sex Unions Consult’n, St Margaret’s Church Hall, Wrexham, 19hr-21hr
13 June Readers’ Day, Gresford
14 June Confirmation for Alyn deanery at St Tudfil’s, Coedpoeth 1500hr
21 June Anniversaries of Ordination Service, Cathedral 1100hr
27 June Petertide Ordination, Cathedral, 1000hr
28 June Confirmation for Wrexham Mission Area, St Giles’ Church 1500hr
5 July Confirmation for Dee Valley Deanery, 1500hr, venue to be confirmed
12 July Confirmation for Cedewain Mission Area, All Saints’ Church, Newtown 1500hr
29 September Clergy Synod Day, venue to be confirmed (half day concluding with lunch)
7 October Retired Clergy Association Eucharist & lunch, St Asaph
10 October Diocesan Conference
21 October Confirmation for Mold & Hawarden Mission Areas, 1900hr, venue to be confirmed
11/12 November Area Deans / MAL residential, Foxhill, Frodsham
9 December* Diocesan Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr
*Please note that the Diocesan Confirmation at the Cathedral previously advertised for 2 December will now take place on Wednesday, 9 December at 1830hr.

Notes and Queries

Anniversaries in Ministry
On Sunday, 21 June I would like to invite those who will be celebrating a significant ordination anniversary during 2015 to join me for a special celebratory Eucharist at the Cathedral at 1100hr – anniversaries such as 25 years and the subsequent ‘0’ or ‘5’ anniversaries thereafter. If you have a special anniversary this year that you would like to celebrate with us on June 21st then please contact my office at Esgobty by 15 May.

Real Easter Egg
The Real Easter Egg is the only one which tells the Easter story, gives money to charity and is Fairtrade. Now in its fifth year, it has just been voted the UK’s favourite Fairtrade Easter egg. This year, at least 10p from every sale of the Original egg will be donated to Traidcraft Exchange. There are three eggs to choose from – the Original (£3.99) which has a new 24page Easter storybook/3ft Happy Easter banner and a pack of Chunky Button inside; the Special (£9.99), which contains an olive wood peace dove keyring from the Holy Land, as well as a simple guide to the Easter story and a chocolate bar; and the Dark egg (£5.50) with three chocolate mini squares and a simple guide to the Easter story. For more information or to order see

I’m not at all sure that anyone noticed this offer last month: The bishop is sent a number of free samples every year of this product, and I am happy to give them to deserving parishes or causes as raffle prizes, or rewards. Please enquire at Esgobty if you are interested.

The Order of St Asaph
A reminder to consider submitting nominations for the Order of St Asaph in 2015 as we seek to recognise and honour the outstanding contribution of lay persons at diocesan level, particularly at an appropriate point on the completion of service in a particular way or in a particular role.
A nomination form is available on the website. All members of the Teulu Asaff, whether clerical or lay, are encouraged to make nominations, which can also be submitted through any diocesan council or committee. Nominations forms should be submitted to me at Esgobty by the end of April, and will be referred to the advisory committee who will meet in early May.

Pastoral Chaplains
The point has been made to me that lay people, as well as the ordained, may value having recourse to the Pastoral Chaplains. I think this is entirely appropriate. Pastoral Chaplains may be approached by any cleric feeling the need of confidential support; mediators would remind us that in situations of developing conflict, early conversations are the best at helping a situation. The current pastoral chaplains are: Noel Carter, Stephen Lowe, Chris Potter, Tony Sadler, Mary Stallard, John Thelwell, Peter Wykes. Contact details can be found in the Diocesan Directory.

Lent is moving swiftly on, it will soon be Mothering Sunday, and Holy Week and Easter after that. A sincere word of thanks for all that you are doing, especially in terms of Lent study. May God bless us and uphold us, teaching us new things in this season, and renewing our love.

In Christ,



Ad Clerum 150302 – download in Word.


Vicar of Llanfechain and Llansanffraid and Acting Area Dean of Mathrafal.

The successful applicant will be rooted in these two parishes and part of the emerging Vyrnwy Mission Area team. He/she will be Acting Area Dean of Mathrafal, with a particular brief to discern and encourage leadership in the two other emerging Mission Areas, the Banw and the Tanat, within the existing Mathrafal Deanery.

Llanfechain and Llansanffraid are keen to deepen discipleship and move forward in engaging with their communities, contributing to and assisted by, their colleagues in the emerging Vyrnwy Mission Area. The lay ministry teams in the parishes are well grounded and keen to develop further.

The role within the Banw and Tanat emerging Mission Areas will require initiative and patience, and the ability to work closely with existing parish officers and, at the outset, with the Archdeacon of Montgomery.

The Diocese has acquired a new house in Llansanffraid for the postholder.

For more information about this vacancy please contact
the Venerable Peter Pike, Archdeacon of Montgomery,
on 01686 640223 or