The Governing Body (GB) of the Church in Wales, similar to the General Synod of the Church of England, met in Llandudno on the 18th and 19th April. I was there for the Church Times and produced a number of reports, including:
- Church seeks Welsh-speakers to fill language gap
THE Governing Body (GB) of the Church in Wales met on Wednesday and Thursday of last week at the Venue Cymru in Llandudno. Among other matters, it considered a report from a group set up to “consider what good practice in the provision of services and other ministry bilingually might mean”. The report says that “the Welsh language is an important qualification for all those who are preparing for ministry in the Church in Wales.”
Candidates for holy orders should be asked specifically about their commitment to learn Welsh and to familiarise themselves with the importance of its culture.
- Dr Morgan: ‘We need to welcome gay couples’
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, acknowledged that he was “entering a minefield” when he chose to speak about same-sex marriage in his presidential address. “There are no easy simple answers to complicated ethical problems, nor is there a straightforward single Christian perspective on it, in spite of what some people may think.” He was “trying to open up discussions”.
He acknowledged that many individual Christians and churches “insist homosexual relationships are against God’s law as revealed in Scripture, and contrary to nature, and that we ought not to be even considering the matter, let alone the civil marriage of people of the same gender”.
- Panel to report on ‘opportunity’ for the gospel
An independent three-member panel, chaired by the former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, is undertaking a review of the structure of the Church in Wales. The panel, which also includes Professors Patricia Peattie and Charles Handy, has spent the past year meeting people throughout the province, and held two sessions — small groups, and an open forum — during the GB meeting.
- The Welsh seek clarification on Communion
The Church in Wales has put off its decision whether to subscribe to the Anglican Communion Covenant, pending clarification about its current status.
The Covenant was rejected by the majority of Church of England diocesan synods, and cannot return to the General Synod, “if at all”, until 2015, the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, told the Governing Body.
- No flying bishop for dissenters
Members of the GB took part in small-group discussions, before completing anonymous questionnaires, as the House of Bishops began a consultation on whether to introduce women to serve as bishops.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said: “We will have to weigh up the responses. . . There is no point in bringing forward legislation if it is going to fail, because that is damaging to everybody, not least to women.”