Thinking Anglicans

Welsh bishops' correspondence about See of Llandaff revealed

The Church Times reports a further development in the saga surrounding the choice of a new Bishop of Llandaff: Emails reveal Welsh Bishops’ anxieties over potential appointment of gay dean Jeffrey John .

We reported on earlier episodes of this matter from 24 February onwards, most easily found by using this link.

The letter from the Welsh bishops objecting to the earlier leader in the Church Times criticising them can be found here.

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Ken PowellStanley ShawFr John E. Harris-WhiteMichael MulhernJo Recent comment authors
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Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Grotesque emails which are evidence of nasty politics, particularly the ‘lucky escape’ cheap jibe. This process was probably unlawful and certainly discriminatory. Bishops hiding behind the advice of second rate advisers. The outcome is Jeffrey John lost to the Church in Wales but also June Osborne inexplicably lost to the Church of England.

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

Since these emails were redacted, I wonder what else was said that we ought to know? And I really don’t understand this animus against a celibate gay man, when we have non-celibate gay bishops. The Church seems to prize dishonesty above all else. In which case we’re damned, since we follow a God who requires us to be truthful.

Peter S
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Peter S

Quite apart from the issues raised by the contents of this email correspondence, I find it extraordinary that bishops would be so stupid as to write this stuff down at all. Surely if you’re going to say this sort of thing, you’d do it on a phone conference, not on email?

Nathaniel Brown
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Nathaniel Brown

Yet another example of UK bishops seeing LGBT people and passing (rather smugly) by on the other side of the road – and yet another reason to thank God for the prophetic role of the Episcopal Church. Note: my parish in Seattle marched in the Pride parade, along with quite a few others, to demonstrate that we are indeed Open and Arrirming, and that at Christ’s table, ALL are welcome.

James Byron
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James Byron

Having initially been under the mistaken impression that this was a free and fair election, can but agree that this is sordid. Given his views on liberals, I’m no fan of John, but he was clearly the preferred and best candidate, and has been treated appallingly. If there’s some way he can take action, can but wish him good luck, and pray he succeeds.

Daniel Lamont
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Daniel Lamont

Given the recent decision of the Scottish Episcopal Church to change its marriage canon, it is not right to lump the Scottish Bishops in with the English and Welsh ones. Generalising about the UK in general and matters ecclesiastical in particular is usually a mistake. However, it is only fair to point out that a group from Southwark Cathedral joined the London Pride March

Thomas M.
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Thomas M.

It is horrible. Having been on both sides of the process — As an elector and as a candidate — I can attest first hand that arm-twisting is part and parcel of any election — on both sides!! And, it even starts long before any election, during the interviews and initial vetting. Nothing new here! It seems to me that it is naive not to expect the bishops trying to “inform” the minds of their delegations, about what may be convenient or expedient for the occasion. Yes, there may be bishops that remain silent and keep their own counsel. But… Read more »

Revd Dr Charles Clapham
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Of course there will be information and facts not yet in the public domain. But it is very difficult to square these emails with the angry (and self-justifying) letter from the Welsh Bishops to the Church Times. Extremely hard to avoid the conclusion that Jeffrey John was entirely right in his concerns, and that the Bishops (especially John Davies) were both cowardly in their initial response to his candidacy, and dishonest in their subsequent comments. These are strong words, I know. I But necessary and (it would appear) entirely justifiable. Well done to Jeffrey John on pursuing this.

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

These emails demonstrate incontrovertibly that Bishop Davies and others actively conspired to prevent Jeffrey John’s election. Now if +Davies wishes to continue with his stance that JJ’s sexuality was not an issue, then perhaps he should explain what WAS the issue.
Is it that JJ is too uppity?
Is it that his public association with various campaigns for GLBt+ justice make him too divisive?
Is it that +Davies just doesn’t like the guy?

I suggest that none of those reasons is sufficient to obstruct the candidacy of someone who clearly was the preferred candidate within the diocese.

Fr John E. Harris-White
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Reading these various comments, I am very conscious that behind all this unseemly wrangle by e mails there are two people, and the people who make up the diocese of Llandaff. First there is JJ as we all know him as today. He and his partner continue to do a good work in their posts in the Church ofEngland, and deserve our support, love and prayers. Secondly their is June Osborne soon to be consecrated Bishop in the Church of Wales, and to be enthroned Bishop of Llandaff. June and her family deserve our support. love and prayers as June… Read more »

Jo
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Jo

If John’s sexuality isn’t at issue, presumably the Welsh bishops are worried that he might not co-operate with their cosy little stitch-ups.

Michael Mulhern
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Michael Mulhern

That two senior bishops were prepared to go to considerable lengths to deliberately lie after Jeffrey John failed to be elected Bishop of Llandaff is extraordinary – isn’t it? Or have we simply become jadedly accepting of this kind of behaviour by bishops who are becoming adept at covering up? Certainly, if I were a parishioner of the Church in Wales, I would be very unhappy about either of these two bishops becoming Primate. If I were June Osborne, I would be wondering what the hell I had let myself in for.

Fr John E. Harris-White
Guest

Jo, Got it in one. Good on you.

Fr John Emlyn

Stanley Shaw
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Stanley Shaw

Given that the consecration is on Saturday, as long as neither the Bench of Bishops or Dean Osborne develop a conscience, there is little hope of justice being done. It just proves that corruption wins every time when good men and women keep silent. How sad that none of the Electoral College, having now seen the emails, has chosen to speak out

Ken Powell
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Ken Powell

Jeffrey John is well known and liked in the diocese of Llandaff and would have been an excellent choice for bishop. He is an Anglo-Catholic, in the best Llandaff tradition (Rees, Morgan, Simon, Rogers etc). Obviously the bishops were simply nervous about his sexuality, which should not have been an issue. Barry Morgan was a disaster and now we have a woman (in itself a contentious issue) who is not Welsh, has no experience of urban ministry and is, in short, the worst possible choice for the job. All this reflects so badly on the Welsh bishops. They have imposed… Read more »