Bishop’s Ad Clerum – October 2015

1af o Hydref  2015 October 1stUnlocking our potential bilingual logo

Bydd wrol a dewr iawn! (Josua 1.7)

Be strong and very courageous! (Joshua 1.7)

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

I am very grateful for an extremely good turn out at Synod yesterday, and I hope that you found the day enjoyable and useful.  For me, it was not just another meeting, but part of our attempt to grow as the Teulu Asaff.

I am more convinced than ever that the Church needs to develop a living koinonia, which witnesses to modern society that fellowship, and living in a community of mutual respect and affirmation, is both important, and, in Christian terms, the fruit of the Kingdom of God being recognized and established in our midst.  A natural part of that is reminding ourselves as clergy to support and encourage one another, and to model the sort of society we want to see in others.

Christians do not have a monopoly on creating a good society – and sometimes we manage to do exactly the opposite of course – but we believe that the Church is not just about individual salvation, but also about creating an harmonious society in which all can flourish and grow into the fullness of eternal life.  As God is relationship in Trinity, so he has made us in his own image.  It is no coincidence, therefore, that the vision of heaven at the end of time centres around a heavenly city, and that Old and New Testaments speak so profoundly about the life of “the people of God”.  God made us for relationship, and we find fullness of life and potential in the connections that we live out.  I suppose that this was part of what Brene Brown had discovered in the video piece that was shared with us.  I would hope that all our church communities would be flourishing, vibrant and attractive, modeling a society in which all are valued and to which all contribute.

We are called therefore to model together, both as a diocesan family, and in the life of our congregations and Mission Areas, what it is to live in a connected and life-giving way.  So for us to be together, to have the opportunity for honest conversation, and to support each other in fellowship, is a significant and important sign of our common life.

I do want to make these synodical times a really valuable and fruitful time together, so do please give your honest feedback to Manon through the forms provided on the website.  We are learning to do a new thing in this, and the format needs to develop so that we really are achieving all that we could.  Honest feedback will enable us to make these times something worthwhile.

Diocesan Conference

The Diocesan Conference will be held at The Pavilion, Llangollen on Saturday, 10 October when the theme will be Being Church 24/7 :: Eglwys Sul, Gŵyl a GwaithFormal business will start at 1030hr and finish by 1600hr.  Lunch will be provided and as usual there will be a wide variety of stalls to visit on arrival, during lunch and at the end of the afternoon.  The keynote speaker for 2015 will be Mandy Harvey from the Cinnamon Network.  Mandy is part of the leadership team of Parklands Church, Swansea, and is the Coordinator for Swansea Hope, helping to introduce many of the inter-church social action projects in the city.  Mandy is passionate about building good relationships between Churches, with secular organisations and with other faiths.

Renewal of Permissions to Officiate

We are now beginning the process of renewing the certificates for those holding Permission to Officiate.  This affects clergy whose current certificates expire on 31 December.  Please find a renewal application form for those who wish to continue offering this ministry to the diocese.  Completed application forms should be returned to Esgobty during October and November so that, subject to my approval, new certificates can be issued before Christmas.  These will be valid until 31 December 2018.   Completed application forms should be accompanied by the existing PTO certificate, countersigned by the Mission Area Leader / Area Dean.

Those who have taken up my PTO in recent months will already have received certificates for the later date, and therefore are not required to take further action.

I should be very grateful for the assistance of clergy in reminding priests who hold PTO in their area of their need to renew by the end of the year and to provide them with any assistance they may need.


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

  • Vicar of Pentre Broughton & Southsea
  • Vicar of Llay, Rossett & Isycoed
  • Vicar of Llanasa & Ffynnongroyw
  • House for Duty Priest in Cedewain Deanery which will include the recently vacant Bettws Cedewain Group

The closing date for applications for these posts will be October 19th.  The recruitment packs can be accessed at

Dates for your diary 

Please note these dates in your diary, commend them in prayer, and be encouraged to join us where appropriate.


 4 October                   Licensing of Gwenda Cooper as Associate Priest for Colwyn & Llanelian, at St Elian’s, Llanelian, 0930hr.

                                      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.

Later in the Year

10 November            Confirmation for Mold Mission Area & Hawarden Deanery, St Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.

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, Llanfihangel yng Nghwynfa.

9 December               Diocesan Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr

Dates for 2016

20th January              Clergy Synod, all day meeting, location to be confirmed

24th March                  Chrism Eucharist, 1100hr as usual, with lunch afterwards.  Please encourage your laity to put this date in their diaries also.

25th June                    General Ordination, 1000hr in the Cathedral

28th September          Clergy Synod, all day meeting, location to be confirmed

8th October                 Diocesan Conference

I have invited the parishes/deaneries/mission areas to consider during the autumn their requirements for confirmation services next year.  Thank you to those who have already responded.    Please would those who have not yet done so let me have a selection of preferred dates by November 30th so that I can plan a confirmation schedule for the year ahead.

Notes and Queries

Advent Calendar

The Real Advent Calendar is a fun way for parents, grandparents and Godparents to share the Christmas story. The calendar comes with a free 32-page Christmas story activity booklet illustrated by Sophie Allsopp and designed to be used every day in Advent.  Behind each of the 24 windows there is a Fairtrade chocolate star and a few words from the Christmas story. As well as celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, the calendar makes a charity donation, from every sale, to Traidcraft Exchange and the Funzi & Bodo Trust.

If you would like to order Advent Calendars and collect them at the Diocesan Conference please contact Lis Perkins at  JUST SHOPPING (Tel: 01248 712389/07874 902629

No minimum quantities apply but please order by 3rd October at the latest to guarantee delivery on 10th.  Lis can also supply the Divine’s version of the Advent Calendar.  Both retail at £3.85.

The Real Advent Calendar is also available on-line, from larger Tesco stores and select retailers. Supplies are limited so buy early. Details of where to buy are here.

 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 Solemn Evensong on Wednesday, 7th October in the Cathedral. I hope that many of you may be interested in putting the event in your diary, and advertising it to your congregation, not only to ensure a warm welcome to the Commission, but also to enjoy a wonderful Evensong in the Cathedral.

Recent Bereavements

I am very sorry to report the deaths of Richard Hughes’ sister, Jean Fayle, of Grace Durnell, the widow of John Durnell, and of Helen Jenkin Jones, the widow of the Venerable John Jenkin Jones.  May they rest in peace.

Officer for Non-Stipendiary Ministers

I am pleased to say that Canon Trish Owens has agreed to take on this role in the diocese, acting on behalf of our non stipendiary clergy, and representing their concerns.  Trish will be calling all NSMs together for a meeting, and will be charged with strengthening the ministry our NSMs offer, and ensuring that we affirm and support their place within the ministry of the diocese.

Retired Clergy Association

A reminder that the Annual Meeting and Lunch of the Association will take place in St Asaph on October 21st.  The speaker will be from the South West Tanganyika Link Association. 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.

Tymawr Convent – Society of the Sacred Cross

Tymawr Convent, situated just outside Monmouth, is the Church in Wales’ only religious community, and offers space to those who seek a place of quiet reflection and prayerful silence.  Please see their leaflet for more information.

In Christ,

Bishop Gregory's signature 2015