Highlights - April 2023
Members of the Church in Wales’ Governing Body met at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, on April 19-20. The meeting was live-streamed and you can watch the recordings of each session, together with a short summary, below.
19 April - Holy Eucharist
Worship was coordinated by the Archbishop’s Chaplain, the Revd James Tout.
Holy Eucharist and Evening Prayer on Wednesday took place at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno, while Morning Worship on Thursday was held at Venue Cymru.
Cross of Wales
During Holy Eucharist, the Archbishop blessed the Cross of Wales, a gift from His Majesty King Charles to the Church in Wales to mark its centenary. The Cross, which includes a holy relic, was to lead the procession at the King’s Coronation in May.
During Evening Prayer, a Sacred Synod meeting was held to confirm the election of Bishop Mary Stallard as Bishop of Llandaff.
Due to the outbreak of violent fighting in Sudan, the Archbishop asked for donations to be made to the Church of Sudan, instead of the Bevan Foundation.
19 April - Session One
Welcome to visitors
The Archbishop welcomed Sion Brynach, the new CEO of Cytun, Rita Kelly from the Church of Ireland, Revd Canon Dr Jenny Hurd representing the Methodist Church, Geoff Williams, President Elect of Welsh Independents, Brian Huw James, from the Presbyterian Church of Wales and the Revd Andrew Sully, representing Christian Aid Wales
Members were asked to stand in tribute to two members who had died since the last meeting. His Hon Judge Michael Evans KC, who died in November, had served as Chair of the Standing Committee, Chair of the Legal Sub-Committee and Chair of the RB staff pensions trustees.
The Very Revd John Rogers, who served as Dean of Llandaff from 1993-99, died in February.
The world faced a climate emergency and we all needed to reform to limit global warming, said the Archbishop of Wales in his Presidential Address.
The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, published in March, made for a “sobering read” said Archbishop Andrew John.
He warned churches not to fall into the trap of thinking there was little they could do, calling on them instead to be “prophetically active” – in their personal choices, their ministry and their advocacy at governments to call for change.
The Archbishop announced that the Church would hold an Environmental Summit next year to bring together key stakeholders with the aim of making Wales “an exemplar of good practice”.
Members were given the opportunity to respond to the address.
19 April - Session Two
Standing Committee Report
Tim Llewellyn, Chair of the Standing Committee delivered the report. Its two recommendations – to appoint Sue Rivers to the panel of Governing Body chairs until the end of December 2028 and for the report to be approved, were agreed unanimously.
Monmouth Review Implementation Group report
Presenting the report, the Group’s chair, Tim Llewellyn, said 19 of the 28 recommendations had been fully implemented. He highlighted the Dignity Charter and appealed for it to be promoted within all churches.
There were three questions. You can download them and the answers here
Bench of Bishops report
The Archbishop presented the Bench report and took questions.
19 April - Session Three
Report of the Electoral College Review Working Group
The report was presented by the Dean of St Asaph, Nigel Williams, chair of the Working Group. The motion that the Governing Body commend the September 2022 report was passed.
19 April - Session Four
Report of the Standing Committee on Governance and Legal matters
Tim Llewelyn, chair of the Standing Committee, introduced the reports from September 2022 and the April 2023. All the recommendations were approved.
Private Members’ Motion.
Tim Llewelyn proposed an amendment to Chapter V of the Constitution relating to a Bishop’s absence due to sickness. The motion was seconded by Hazel Evans (St Davids) and approved.
Times and Seasons part IV
The Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, presented part IV of the Times and Seasons liturgy, which focuses on the cycle of creation. The motion to welcome the resource, produced by the Standing Liturgical Advisory Commission, and to commend its use, was passed. Members were invited to make an act of commitment to environmental responsibilities.
20 April - Session Five
The developing relationship and deeper partnership between the Church in Wales, the Church of England and the National Society was outlined by the Bishop of Llandaff, Mary Stallard, Liz Thomas, the Provincial Director of Education, the Revd Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England and General Secretary of the National Society and Andy Wolfe, Executive Director of Education in the Church of England.
20 April - Session Six
Annual Report from St Padarn’s Institute
The report was outlined by the Revd Dr Mark Griffiths, Dean for Discipleship, and the Revd Dr Manon Ceridwen James, Dean for Initial Ministerial Training. The motion to note it was seconded by the Bishop of Monmouth, Cherry Vann, and it was passed unanimously.
Net Zero annual update
Climate Change Champion, Dr Julia Edwards, and Head of Property Services, Alex Glanville, outlined a 10-point plan for churches to progress towards net zero. They also launched the Carbon Footprint Tool with a live demonstration by Dan Priddy from St Michael’s Church in Aberystwyth.
Anthony Griffiths, Director of Safeguarding and Head of the Provincial Safeguarding Team, updated members on case work, training and ongoing challenges and priorities.
Representative Body update
Professor Medwin Hughes updated members on the Clergy Renumeration Review, the Church Growth Fund allocation group and the Distribution of Funds Review Group. Further details of the RB’s work will be included in its annual report in the September meeting.
Report from the Anglican Consultative Council meeting
Canon Brianna Rouse and Bishop Mary Stallard described the ACC meeting they attended in Accra, Ghana, in February, on behalf of the Church in Wales.
Farewell to Canon Steven Kirk
Archbishop Andrew thanked and paid tribute to Canon Steven Kirk, retiring after 30 years of almost continuous service as a GB member. Good wishes were also extended to the Revd Canon Chris Smith, a former Archdeacon of Morgannwg, who had retired from ministry in 2020.
Governing Body will next meet on September 5-6 at the International Convention Centre Wales in Newport.