Bishop’s Ad Clerum – June 2018

14ydd o Fehefin 2018 June 4th

Datgloi ein Potensial : Unlocking our Potential

Annwyl Gyfeillion,

Archdeacons: Hello

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of three new Archdeacons in the diocese.

We will all already know the Revd Andy Grimwood, who has served in this diocese with distinction for seventeen years.  Andy has won a great deal of respect for his lively faith, and the care taken to mentor colleagues and curates alike.  He has grown the churches in which he has served – most recently in Rhyl – and will bring a profound commitment to the Gospel to his ministry as Archdeacon of St Asaph.

The Revd Canon Barry Wilson will not be as well known to many, although he has served with distinction for many years in the diocese of Chester, most recently as Vice-Dean of Chester Cathedral.  Barry earned much respect when he led the growth of the parish of Nantwich between 2013 and 2017, and we are delighted to welcome him to his new ministry as Archdeacon of Montgomery.

The sharp eyed among you will have already noticed that Andy is going to take up the post of Archdeacon of St Asaph.  After much prayer and reflection, it has been decided that John Lomas is going to transfer responsibility to the archdeaconry of Wrexham.  John has also earned the respect of the clergy for his leadership in parish ministry over the years, and will be at the heart of a team, whose primary role will be to assist in the building of our Mission Areas.

I trust that the diocese will welcome all three clergy to their new roles in the diocese.  They will be installed together at Choral Evensong in the Cathedral on Sunday, October 7th at 1530hr.

Archdeacons: Goodbye

In preparing to welcome two new archdeacons, preparations are now also in place for the diocese to express its affection and gratitude to Bob Griffiths and Peter Pike who will enter retirement at the end of July and the end of September respectively.  Archdeacon Bob has given his entire life in the service of ministry to this diocese, while Archdeacon Peter has offered us his most experienced and mature years.  Both have brought many things and different ministries to the diocese but both are equal in their dedication and their passion for the Christian Gospel and the well-being of the Church and for St Asaph.

Two Diocesan Farewell Services of Thanksgiving have been arranged to which everyone from across the diocese is warmly invited to attend, and I should be grateful if you would advertise them widely so that as many of the diocesan family as possible can gather to mark our gratitude to their outstanding ministries.

  • For Archdeacon Bob:    Sunday, July 15th, at St Giles’ Church, Wrexham, at 1600hr.
  • For Archdeacon Peter: Sunday, September 23rd, at St Mary’s Church, Welshpool at 1600hr.

Clergy Synod in September

A reminder that our next clergy synod will take place on Thursday, September 27th, at St David’s Hotel, Ewloe, between 0930hr and 1530hr.  Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ will be guiding our thinking on the way we look after ourselves as clergy.

As usual any questions for the plenary session are most welcome and can be offered in advance of the Synod to Andrea Jones who now co-ordinates the synod planning group.  Andrea can be contacted at: Andy Jones.

Please let Siân in Esgobty know of any dietary requirements you may have for the day and any requests for absence should be directed to me at the earliest opportunity. The clergy synods are a professional commitment for all stipendiary clergy, and NSM clergy are encouraged to attend if they are available.

Hwyl a Helo

I am very pleased to welcome Hilary Murray to the role of lay interim Mission Area Leader for Penedeyrn for the coming twelve months.  Hilary, with her husband Adrian, have been faithful supporters of the life of the diocese, and indeed, Hilary currently serves as a Vice-President of the Diocesan Conference.

It is both a sadness and a joy to announce that Manon Ceridwen James will be leaving her role as director of Ministry in September to take up the role of Director of Formation for Licensed Ministry in St Padarn’s Institute.  The joy lies in Manon’s appointment to this role, which is a natural next step for her, while the sadness is that we will lose her considerable talents to St Asaph for the time being.  Not entirely – for Manon will continue to live in Abergele, and to serve as a priest in the diocese.  We wish her every success in this post.

The St Padarn’s link is maintained – in sorts – by the news that Dr Jill Duff, wife of Dr Jeremy Duff, the Principal of St Padarn’s, is due to be consecrated as Bishop of Lancaster at the end of June in York Minister.  Not everyone will be aware that Jeremy and Jill live with their family in the diocese, where they are members of the congregation at Hope.  Both living a fairly peripatetic life, Jeremy and Jill will continue to make their family home among us.  I am delighted therefore that Jill has accepted my invitation to become an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the diocese.  We’ll not necessarily be seeing that much of her, as Jill has her duties in the Diocese of Blackburn, but as there will be occasions when she is operating from home, it is fitting that we should recognize her ministry too.

Petertide Ordination

We will have an ordination of ten candidates this year, and I’m expecting the cathedral to be full on Saturday, June 30th, at 1000hr.   In your prayers this month, please remember:

  • Rocky Bateman, serving in Estuary & Mountain Mission Area,
  • Ann Chidgey, serving in Cedewain Mission Area,
  • Rebecca Sparey Taylor, serving in Wrexham Mission Area,
  • Jeanette Wilkes, serving in Pool Mission Area,

whom, God willing, I intend to ordain to the presbyterate.

Remember also:

  • Dominic Cawdell, who is to serve in Alyn Mission Area,
  • Alan Cronin, who is to serve in Borderlands Mission Area,
  • Dylan Parry Jones, who is to serve in the Dyffryn Clwyd Mission Area,
  • John Searl, who is to serve in Aled Mission Area,
  • Heather Shotton, who is to serve in Wrexham Mission Area,
  • Kathy Stewart, who is to serve in Mold Mission Area

who, God willing, I intend to ordain to the diaconate.

Please make every effort to be there to support these colleagues, even if you do not know them well.  We look forward to welcoming the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Rowan Williams as the ordination preacher. Please remember him in your prayers, as well as Peter Pike who will be leading the retreat for Bangor and St Asaph ordinands at St Beuno’s Spirituality Centre from the Wednesday.

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 North Transept.
  • The ordination candidates and their nominated supporters – in the Translators’ Tearoom meeting area.

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.  Some disabled parking will be available near the cathedral on the north side, accessed off the High Street.  Due to the limited nature it is advisable to make a reservation request to the cathedral office, as above.

Other Dates for your diary


24 June                      Eucharist to Celebrate Ordination Anniversaries, Cathedral, 1100hr.

Wrexham MA Confirmation, St Giles’ Church, Wrexham, 1500hr.

27/29/30 June           Ember Days*

30 June                      Petertide Ordination at the Cathedral 1000hr (including British Sign Language interpretation) Preacher: The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Lord Williams of Oystermouth

Later in the year

01 July                        Borderlands MA Confirmation, location tbc, 1500hr.

05 July                       Alyn MA Confirmation, Holy Trinity Gwersyllt, 1900hr

15 July                        Diocesan Farewell Service for Archdeacon Bob, St Giles’ Church, Wrexham, 1600hr.

23 September          Diocesan Farewell Service for Archdeacon Peter, St Mary’s Church, Welshpool, 1600hr.

26/28/29 Sept.         Ember Days*

27 September           Clergy Synod at St David’s Hotel, Ewloe. Speaker: Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ.

29 September          LLM Annual Convention

01 October                Admissions to the Order of St Asaph during Evensong, Cathedral, 1800hr

07 October               The Collation and Installation of Archdeacons: Andy Grimwood as Archdeacon of St Asaph, Barry Wilson as Archdeacon of Montgomery and John Lomas as Archdeacon of Wrexham, during Choral Evensong in the Cathedral, 1530hr.

13 October                Diocesan Conference

12 December            Nicholastide Confirmation, Cathedral, 1830hr

19/21/22 Dec.             Ember Days*

*Please make specific use of the prayer leaflet prepared by the Director of Ministry, and remember our postulants and ordinands, by name if possible, in your prayers, not only on the Ember Days themselves, but in the intercessions in Church the following Sunday.

Ordination Anniversaries Service

Only a few have contacted my office so far to indicate a special anniversary they would like to celebrate with me in the cathedral on June 24th.  I invite anyone who does wish to do so to notify my office by June 8th so that final arrangements can be made.

Notes and Queries 

The Theology for Life Course (formerly Exploring Faith)

Please do remind your churches of the Theology for Life course for those who would like to study theology whether it be in exploring a vocation, training for a ministry or just finding out more about how the insights of academic theology and lived-out faith might inform each other.  Theology for Life can be studied at various levels and offers a certificate, diploma or degree programme at various centres across the diocese. To find out more about the course please contact Richard Hainsworth or go along to an introductory morning on Saturday, June 9th at All Saints Church, Southsea, Wrexham, LL11 5PG, 1000hr – 1230hr.  Short videos about the course can be found here: St Padarns website.

The month of June includes Mid-Summer in the old calendar, with the Summer Solstice, or longest day.  It is a turning point of the year.  This year it feels a turning point in more ways than one, when we are in the process of saying goodbye to two archdeacons, and hello to a new team.  We are also greeting a total of less no less six new deacons, of differing ages and backgrounds, and ordaining four priests, so as my old school used to record in its yearbooks “the old order changeth”.  Yet as things change, so also the Holy Spirit renews the Church.  I hope that you’ll have the chance to rest and recuperate in the summer, and come back refreshed and renewed in September – that all of us too can be changed and renewed and ready to play our part in building the future of the Church.

In Christ,