Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Midweek meetings

Robin Samuel came over to church at lunchtime, for another preparatory session towards organising a Cardiff climate change conference this autumn. We still have to confirm a venue, and not being able to do so means advance publicity is delayed. I hope this doesn't mean having to push the conference forward into October.

Then, I cycled over to Roath Church House for our bi-monthly Chapter meeting, attended for the first time by our new Archdeacon, who had us all talking a bit about any 'good news' we were pleased to share from our parishes. It was cheering that everyone had something positive to say. Many spoke modestly of signs of growth.

The reception given to the discussion paper about how to modify the role of the Archbishop of Wales in the light of changing work-load and new responsibilities was somewhat mixed. Some think it's the best effort of its kind of the three attempts over the past quarter century to propose changes in the organisation of the Province's leadership. Others are doubtful of the value of the move, concerned about the long term pastoral impact of making Llandaff Diocese a permanent archiepiscopal see. All felt it was important the matter was widely discussed by the whole Church in Wales.

Whichever diocesan Bishop becomes Archbishop, there'll be conflict of interests between oversight of the Diocese, and duties away from Province. and Diocese. Development of international archiepiscopal collegiality risks creating an Anglican curia, with or without a patriarchal head. It took us long enough in Anglicanism to develop effective synodal governance with laity and clerics shaping church life together. The many meetings of Archbishops have not prevented arrival at the brink of schism. On sheer performance grounds, I'm doubtful that all this additional international work load is justified - to say nothing of carbon footprint and lifestyle issues.

Anyway, back on earth this evening, two dozen church members and friends gathered to receive the body of Peggy Theophilus into church for an over-night stay before tomorrow's funeral. Her old friend and former assistant Curate of the Parish Fr Paul Bigmore celebrated a Requiem Eucharist, and the choir sang a hymn Paul wrote and dedicated to her, a few years ago. During the day, much flower arranging was done, and everything looked beautiful in the rays of the setting sun. It's just what would have given her great delight to behold.

Afterwards, Clare and I took Owain out for a 'new job' and birthday celebration gastro-pub supper, followed by one of mum's special gateaux and a bottle of Cava. It's great to hear him chatting enthusiastically about the challenges of his new role with the British Council.

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