Bishop’s Ad Clerum – June 2017

1af o Fehefin 2017 June 1

Iestyn Merthyr : Justin Martyr

Adeiladwch fy Eglwys, medd yr Arglwydd

Build my Church, says the Lord.

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

I find it strange to be writing to you in the week after the events in Manchester, and more killings in Egypt, and on a feast day of one of the most famous martyr saints of the Church. In fact, the entire week was filled with instances of violence and innocents’ death, successively in Baghdad, Manchester, Marawi, Yemen, Egypt and Afghanistan.

In God’s eyes, every one of these lives is equally precious, be they Christian, Muslim, humanist or agnostic. For we are each of us made in the image of God, and each of infinite value.  It is inevitable that we should mourn the loss of those closest to us: the son of a friend of my mother-in-law is the closest tie I have to events in Manchester so far.  However, we cannot forget any of the lives lost when it comes to our prayers, for humanity must stand together: in solidarity with the bereaved, and in repudiation of any violence which claims God as its inspiration or author.  The motto which Newman chose from Augustine was “heart speaks to the heart (cor ad cor loquitur)”, and this can only be such a time, when our heart reaches out to those killed, harmed, maimed, or devastated; when our hearts cry out with the martyrs to the throne of God beseeching his mercy upon our world.

What begins in the heart must stir up the spirit and strengthen the will, calling us all to be actors in building solidarity, in reinforcing the ties that hold us all together, to witness that “Good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death. Victory is ours, through him who loves us”. I trust that we can all find practical ways to express this belief in our communities, and that we will be known as advocates for it:  and our hope is not in vain, for so the resurrection of Christ teaches us.

St Johnstide Ordination

We are now in the run up to the Ordination, this year falling on the Festival of the Nativity of St John Baptist. I should be grateful if you would make every effort to join us at the Ordination on 24th June in the Cathedral, and to hold in your prayers our candidates for ordination:

Our candidates for the Priesthood:

  • Dorothi Evans, serving in the Valle Crucis Mission Area, rooted in Corwen
  • Juliet Fraser, serving in the Aber-Morfa Mission Area, rooted in Rhyl
  • Anne Hooper, serving in Estuary & Mountain Mission Area, rooted in Halkyn
  • Yvonne Pryce, serving in Alyn Mission Area, rooted in Gwersyllt

Our candidates for the Diaconate:

  • Rocky Bateman, to serve in the Estuary & Mountain Mission Area, rooted in Holywell
  • Ann Chidgey, to serve in the Cedewain Mission Area, rooted in the Kerry group of churches.
  • Alexis Smith, to serve in the Pool Mission Area as a Pioneer Minister
  • Rebecca Sparey-Taylor, to serve in the Mission Area of Wrexham
  • Jeanette Wilkes, to serve in the Pool Mission Area, rooted in Welshpool

Please make an effort to support these colleagues, even if you do not know them well. We look forward to welcoming Canon Richard Lowndes, Director of Ministry and Discipleship in the Diocese of Llandaff, to the diocese.  Richard will be leading the retreat for Bangor and St Asaph ordinands at St Beuno’s Spirituality Centre, and then preaching for us in the morning, and Bangor in the afternoon.

All diocesan clergy attending are asked to robe in alb or surplice with white stole. Robing arrangements are:

  • Readers and clergy – in the main hall at St Asaph VP School (located opposite the Cathedral car park).
  • The Cathedral Chapter – in the Cathedral Song School.
  • The ordination candidates and their nominated supporters – in the North Transept.

The Dean will appreciate notification of your attendance in order to plan appropriate seating for robed clergy. Please would you kindly inform the cathedral office of your intention to attend:

As usual, overflow car parking has been arranged at Ysgol Glan Clwyd but due to construction work parking will in the area further up the Upper Denbigh Road where a new entrance has been created.

Hwyl a Helo

I am pleased to announce that Deb Swann is to be Rector and Priest-in-Charge of the OnnyCamlad Benefice in the Diocese of Hereford. We wish Deb well in her new ministry.

Congratulations to Phil Bettinson and Megan, on the birth of their first child Joseph Jon (JJ) Keith Bettinson, who was born on 24th May.  In other news, Val Rowlands has become a grandmother for the third time. Her daughter Bethan gave birth on 2nd April to Erin Mair (her first child). Best wishes and prayers to all new parents.

You will all be aware of the very sudden and unexpected death of Bishop David Thomas. David was of course Assistant Bishop in this diocese as well as the others in the Province in his role as Provincial Assistant Bishop, and I know that he is held in much respect and affection by many of our clergy and laity, serving and retired.  His funeral takes place in St Mary’s, Abergavenny, on Monday, June 5th at 11-00 a.m. Inquiries about attendance and robing should be directed to

Dates for your diary

The diary includes all those dates which are part of our common professional life, giving as much notice as possible. The visitations are a professional commitment for all serving clergy, and you will receive a citation to attend at an appropriate interval before the date.


4th June                       Licensing of Daniel Stroud, St Mary’s Church, Cilcain, 1530hr.

11th June                     Episcopal Visitation to Denbigh & Dyffryn Clwyd Mission Areas, 1530hr, Holy Trinity, Trefnant.

18th June                     Ordination Anniversaries Eucharist in the cathedral, 1100hr

Episcopal Visitation to Elwy Mission Area, St Asaph Parish Church, 1300hr.

19th June                      Licensing of Lara Stroud, St Mary & St Peter’s Church, Bagillt, 1900hr.

24th June                      St Johnstide Ordination at the Cathedral, 1000hr.  (Including British Sign Language interpretation)


2nd July                         Episcopal Visitation to Borderlands and Mold Mission Areas, St Matthew’s   Church, Buckley, 1500hr.

16th July                       Episcopal Visitation to Offa and Maelor Mission Areas, 1530hr, St Mary’s, Ruabon.

30th July                        Licensing of Andrea Jones as Rector of Hawarden and Vicar of Sandycroft, St Deiniol’s Church, Hawarden (time to be confirmed)

3rd September           Episcopal Visitation to Pool & Cedewain Mission Areas, St Beuno’s Church, Berriew, 1530hr.

10th September        Episcopal Visitation to Aled and Aber-Morfa Mission Areas, 1530hr, St Paul’s, Colwyn Bay.

17th September        Episcopal Visitation to Estuary & Mountain and Bryn a Môr Mission Areas, 1600hr, St Mary & St Peter’s, Bagillt.

19-22 September    Clergy Residential Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford.

3rd October                 St Asaph Archdeaconry Confirmation, St David’s, Penrhyn Bay, 1900hr.

7th October                 Diocesan Conference, St Joseph’s School, Wrexham.  (including British Sign Language interpretation)

8th October                 Episcopal Visitation to the emerging Penedeyrn Mission Area and the Valle Crucis Mission Area, 1530hr, St John the Evangelist, Llangar, Cynwyd.

9th October                 Episcopal Visitation to The Dean and Chapter, St Asaph Cathedral.

Admission of Members to the Order of St Asaph during Choral Evensong in the Cathedral, 1800hr.

15th October               Montgomery Archdeaconry Confirmation, 1530hr, Ss. Tysilio and Mary, Meifod.

7th November            MAL Consultation at Foxhill Retreat Centre, Frodsham.

19th November          Episcopal Visitation to Aberconwy Mission Area, 1530hr, All Saints’ Church, Deganwy.

13th December          Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr.


30th June                      Petertide Ordination at the Cathedral 1000hr (including British Sign Language interpretation)

Notices and Queries

2020 Vision Sunday

Trinity Sunday this year (11 June) has also been designated as 2020 Vision Sunday where churches and Mission Areas are asked to engage with 2020 Vision and the principles and theology behind it.  A collect, post-communion prayer and some intercessions have been put together so if you could use this in your worship on Trinity Sunday, it would be much appreciated: 2020-Vision-Sunday-2017

 Clergy School Music Group

We’re seeking clerics who have musical gifts in playing instruments or just enthusiasm to sing so that our worship in Oxford can be enhanced by your contribution. If you are such a person please contact the Rev Dot Gosling on 01745 888797 or email:

Data Protection Issues

As Mission Areas are completing the process of their first Annual Vestry Meetings, and information is being shared across the Mission Areas and with the Diocesan Office, this seems an appropriate time to remind everyone of their obligations to protect people’s personal details under the Data Protection legislation. Everyone who deals with personal information has a duty to keep that information private, and not publish it externally – whether that be on the Mission Area website, or on church notice boards, or anywhere else – without the express written permission of that person. It is also recommended that emails being sent, or computers which hold information – such as the Electoral Roll – should be encrypted or, as an absolute minimum, should be password protected.

If anyone has any questions, they should enquire at the Diocesan Office or email the Registrar, who will be able to provide further guidance.

Gair Y Dydd

Gair Y Dydd is the only daily devotional material available through the medium of Welsh. Each booklet covers a three month period and offers Scripture, commentary and prayer on a daily basis. It is produced by the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Independent and Baptist churches within Wales and printed by Wasg y Bwthyn in Caernarfon. The Editorial board is currently chaired by the Venerable Hywel Jones, former Archdeacon of Cardigan and the Bench of Bishops are supporting the ongoing costs of publication. The Board are looking to increase contributors especially from the Church in Wales.  Are you able to write and contribute to this worthwhile resource?

For more information please contact Pryderi Llwyd Jones: 01766 523794 / pryderi

Motoring Scheme from Newgate Finance

As you will be aware, the Church in Wales’ car loan scheme has been discontinued. In order to assist those with in church associated roles to purchase a vehicle, I share the details of Newgate Finance that may be able to help:  Their offers are open to stipendiary and non-stipendiary clergy, parish and diocesan staff, as well as teachers in church schools – plus the families of all these groups.  Newgate Finance, has been supplying cars to clergy of all denominations since 1997.   I draw this service to your attention by way of information not recommendation.

My continued thanks to you all for your hard work in the service of the Gospel. As we move towards the celebration of Pentecost, may God enrich our discipleship with the renewed gift of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ,