Thinking Anglicans

Archbishop of Wales elected

The electoral college of the Church in Wales met today in Llandrindod Wells and elected Andy John, Bishop of Bangor, as the 14th Archbishop of Wales by a two-thirds majority.

Andy John has been Bishop of Bangor for 13 years and is currently the longest-serving bishop on the Welsh bench.

More details on the Church in Wales website, and a recording of the announcement of the election is here.

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Father David
Father David
1 month ago

There’ll be dancing in the Valleys tonight to be sure.

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

I wish he could be Andrew rather than Andy!
Is populism going to help people to take the Church seriously?
Strains of ‘Buddy Jesus’ methinks

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

It sure is Jezza, baby!

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
1 month ago

My point indeed!!

Rob Hall
Rob Hall
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

I’m not sure why the Bishop of Bangor choosing to be known as ‘Andy’ rather than ‘Andrew’ should be seen as ‘populism’.
I chose to be known as “Rob’ rather than ‘Robert’ in my teens, a good decade before I was ordained and have stuck with it because I feel comfortable with it. Populism has nothing to do with my choosing to abbreviate nor really with any other aspect of my ministry.
The same may well be true of Bishop Andy.

FrDavidH
FrDavidH
Reply to  Rob Hall
1 month ago

There’s a lack of dignity – especially in happy-clappy circles – when Christians shorten their baptismal names to sound trendy. Thank goodness we don’t have a Supreme Governor who shortens her name to Queen Lizzie when she speaks of her faith in the Lord Jeez.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

I’ve been Tim Chesterton for as long as I remember, and it’s nothing to do with sounding trendy. And I don’t think my ministry has been any the less effective for it. The Gospel will not suffer major damage in south Edmonton because I choose to be known as Tim.

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

But you are not, as far as I know an Archbishop.
Bill Temple, Geoff Fisher, Mike Ramsey. Doesn’t sound likely.
I am too old to be woke.
The Bishop of Winchester was called Tim though.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

Tim Dakin is not alone among bishops in choosing to be known by an abbreviated form of his name in everyday use, but in formal documents he signs as “+ Timothy Winton:”. I’m sure that their full baptismal names are used when bishops are consecrated.

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

I think that makes good sense!
It is good to hear that he got that right!

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

William Temple was sometimes referred to as Billy Temple, as reported in https://www.theguardian.com/news/1944/oct/27/mainsection.fromthearchive.

How might Cosmo Lang have abbreviated his name?

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Clifford Jones
1 month ago

Mo?

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

Cosmo’s brother Norman Lang was Bishop Suffragan of Leicester. ‘Norm’ would have served its turn there. Cosmo’s second cousin Leslie Lang was Bishop Suffragan of Woolwich. He might have been referred to as ‘Les’. Geoffrey Fisher’s brother Leonard, Bishop of Natal, could have been referred to as ‘Len’. William Temple’s nephew Frederick Temple, Bishop Suffragan of Malmesbury, was known in his lifetime as Freddy Temple.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Clifford Jones
1 month ago

As a further bit of information, Norman Lang was consecrated on May 1st 1913 in Southwark Cathedral. At that time his brother Cosmo was Archbishop of York and the Archbishop of Canterbury was Randall Davidson. Cosmo took part in the consecration but in the event the chief consecrator was not Randall Davidson but Bishop Winnington-Ingram of London. I have occasionally wondered how they figured out the order of procession.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

The late Bishop of Bath and Wells, James Thompson, was almost universally known as “Bishop Jim”. I don’t see why that’s a problem.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Jo B
1 month ago

The list gets ever longer, but that one had been added yesterday by Andrew Lightbown. I can think of at least three more current ones who haven’t been mentioned (one of them female) – but these are all informal names in everyday use.

Bishop Andy may be an exception in the CiW, but C of E bishops use their formal names when circumstances require, e.g., as in the case of Tim Dakin cited above.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Jo B
1 month ago

I seem to remember at the time I was living in Wells in Somerset with my late mother, when Bishop Jim Thompson appointed Andy Radford as Suffragan Bishop of Taunton in 1997 following the death of his predecessor Bishop Will Stewart, Andy Radford made it very clear that from the time of his Consecration in Southwark Cathedral he wished to be known as Bishop Andrew not “Bishop Andy” as he felt in an Episcopal Ministry the use of a shortened nick name version of his Christian name would not be appropriate. Jonathan

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

Seems to me that this is a prime example of straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

I feel well frapped down.
My initial note was not supposed to be a matter of great import but an expression of a preference which a few others share. It has all got a bit heavy which was not my intention.
I do think there are more important things to worry about but also value the episcopate trying to rescue what little gravitas is currently available. Perhaps I will be as woke in the next life.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

You should not feel ‘frapped down’. Some of our fellow correspondents here seem unable to see the distinction between a bishop using an informal name for everyday purposes, a matter of personal choice, and the legal requirement to use his or her proper legal style in a formal situation. A bishop of the C of E is a legal corporation (no reason, so far as I know, to suggest that one of the CiW is different). As a matter of interest I made an official Charity search earlier today for the Diocese of Bangor, expecting the Bishop to be listed… Read more »

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
1 month ago

Laus Deo

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

How do we know he wasn’t given the name ‘Andy’ at birth and baptised in that name? A number of the children I’ve baptised had the diminutive as their given name. And my grandfather was christened ‘Harry Percy’, not ‘Harold Percival’.

Besides, if the gentleman had always been known as Andy and asked to be called Andrew only on his elevation to Archbishop, it would look as if he had gone all pompous or was taking himself too seriously.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

We know very easily, on the basis that Wikipedia ought to be reasonably accurate. His full names are Andrew Thomas Griffith John. Wikipedia states that he is “called Andy”.

Names registered on birth can be altered (in England) by deed poll. It isn’t an expensive process, but seems totally inapplicable to what we are discussing.

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

He was baptised Andrew apparently

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

If God had been worried about his dignity the incarnation would never have happened.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

Good point!

David
David
Reply to  FrDavidH
1 month ago

What’s in a name? If his ministry fulfills the needs of the people of Wales then who cares what he chooses to call himself.

Last edited 1 month ago by David
RogerB
Reply to  Rob Hall
1 month ago

When Jesus nicknamed Simon ‘Rock’ I wonder if he was actually calling him ‘Rocky’ with a broad grin on His face.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  RogerB
1 month ago

Your reference to Jesus possibly calling Simon Peter ‘Rocky’ reminds me of this passage in a keynote address given in April 1994 to a conference of the clergy of Chelmsford diocese by Stephen Cottrell at the time when he was Diocesan Missioner in Wakefield Diocese: “You see, my favourite passage in the Bible is in the Acts of the Apostles. And it’s one of those little lines of Scripture which haunts my life. And it’s years and years ago since I first read it and yet it keeps coming back to me. Let me just read it to you. Acts… Read more »

RogerB
Reply to  David Lamming
1 month ago

Thank you David, that’s delightful. Especially as I now reside in the diocese of York!

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

My spell check corrects Stan to Satan. I like it. My maternal grandfather told his grandchildren to call him Stan so I thought Stan was another name for a grandfather like Pop or Grandad. It was more than a decade before I realised that it was short for Stanley. The new Archbishop has a difficult job whatever he calls himself.

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

I wish he could be an effective leader, a profound preacher, a committed evangelist, and a person of deep prayer. And if he is even some of those (which I hope, pray and assume he is), I really don’t care how he abbreviates his name.

Andrew Lightbown
Andrew Lightbown
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
1 month ago

I am with Dominic on this. If we are going to get upset other whether someone prefers Andy to Andrew we are surely focusing on the wrong things. I am a life long Andrew, but have two close friends who have always called me Andy for some reason. Being a person of prayer, a committed evangelist, and an effective teacher seem to me to be the important things.

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Andrew Lightbown
1 month ago

Yup!

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
1 month ago

Well, obviously.
My point was hardly of great moment!

Andy Rees
Andy Rees
Reply to  Jeremy Ames
1 month ago

I find it difficult to say Andrew with my surname, rees, so with a full name I’m Andy Rees. However I use Andrew as my first name. Confused? Also lots of people insist on calling me Andy including my mother. Yet my father calls me Andrew.
I’m not precious it’s just a name so people know who I am.

Father David
Father David
1 month ago

I do hope everyone had a good St. Nick’s Day yesterday the real Santa Claus. Thinking of those called Nicholas – I hear that Nicky Gumbel is retiring from HTB next year. Following in the footsteps of Sandy Miller he has had a highly successful, indeed an outstanding ministry in Brompton. His successor is to be is to be Archie Coates the present vicar of St. Peter’s, Brighton. Nicky is short for Nicholas – I am wondering if Archie is short for Archibald? It’s not only the Bishop of Bangor who favours a shortening of his apostolic Christian name –… Read more »

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
Reply to  Father David
1 month ago

Intriguing. I thought churches couldn’t appoint a new incumbent until the previous one has already left. If they can do so that is a very good thing, but it needs to apply across the board and not just to HTB!

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Father David
1 month ago

Perhaps Mr Coates could use his skills to plant churches in towns such as Barnsley, Middlesbrough or Goole? His success in the South East might be transferable? I met him once at a clergy conference during my Guildford days and was making polite conversation when a group of conservative evangelicals almost dragged him away. I was hugely flattered that they thought I might seduce him either romantically or theologically. Interesting that the patrons have entertained making an appointment almost a year before Mr Gumbel’s departure. How did the archdeacon get around the legal difficulties with that process I wonder!?!

Nigel LLoyd
Nigel LLoyd
Reply to  Fr Dean
1 month ago

I suspect that no such appointment has been made. The work has been done and the decision has been made and now they have a Vicar Designate. The actual appointment can be made the moment NG’s resignation comes into effect.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Nigel LLoyd
1 month ago

That may well be so, but it does raise the question of why a large, wealthy and influential church can have the preparatory work done before a vacancy actually arises, whilst other churches have to wait to begin the process, and then endure a vacancy of at least a year. Let’s be frank, with the level of staffing they’ve got, HTB could survive an interregnum better than most churches. I also wonder how thorough the process of examining the church before putting a profile together might be if it is being done with an incumbent still in post. The evangelical… Read more »

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Nigel LLoyd
1 month ago

One rule for them and another for the rest of us! I wonder who gave them that idea?

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Father David
1 month ago

It has long been seen as mildly humorous that the episcopal signature of Archibald Fleming (1883-1953) when he was the first Bishop of the Arctic was ‘Archibald The Arctic’. His autobiography is entitled that. I do not know whether he was known as Archie.

Andrew Lightbown
Andrew Lightbown
1 month ago

I was confirmed as young adult by Jim Thompson. I don’t remember anyone suggesting he should be called Bishop James.

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
1 month ago

Attendance in the Church of Wales is down to about 20,000 mostly elderly people. Cynics would say it needs a liquidator rather than an archbishop.

Father David
Father David
Reply to  Sam Jones
1 month ago

Seems to me that once Archie Coates is established at HTB next year he might, if Archbishop Andy invites him, seriously think about planting a church or two west of Offa’s Dyke. Otherwise if something isn’t done pretty quick “20,000 mostly elderly people” is hardly sustainable for an Archdeaconry let alone a Province.

Andrew Lightbown
Andrew Lightbown
Reply to  Father David
1 month ago

Attendance may be down to 20,000 but I also detect a lot of energy and enthusiasm coming from Wales. Aways suspicious of C of E numbers to be honest in any case.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Father David
1 month ago

We don’t have any statistics for the Church of England before 2019 (that I can find), but the trajectory is clear: https://www.statista.com/statistics/369080/church-of-england-attendance-by-service-uk/. It suggests a net loss of between 20k and 40k p/a. Therefore, even without the virus, the numbers would have been down to about 800k. If the CinW is down to about 20k, then it is still ahead of 33 English dioceses (table 8: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-10/2019StatisticsForMission.pdf). However, relative to population, it is evidently doing markedly worse than the Church of Scotland, which is also in demographic freefall, with regular attendance of 137k 5 years ago: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4tb7ehkxtt6yjwv/The%20Fourth%20Scottish%20Church%20Census%202016.pdf?dl=0.7. Bangor (like Monmouth… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Froghole
Sam Jones
Sam Jones
Reply to  Father David
1 month ago

ABOUT US — CITIZEN CHURCH

HTB already have a church plant in Wales

Jeremy Ames
Jeremy Ames
Reply to  Sam Jones
1 month ago

kyrie eleison

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Sam Jones
1 month ago

So those 20,000 ‘mostly elderly’ people can just be abandoned?

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
Reply to  Janet Fife
1 month ago

Nobody has suggested that. An acknowledgement of reality would be nice, followed by a substantial reduction in the number of bishops and senior clergy.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Sam Jones
1 month ago

I’m sorry if I misunderstood you.

‘Attendance in the Church of Wales is down to about 20,000 mostly elderly people. Cynics would say it needs a liquidator rather than an archbishop.’ This did suggest to me that the faithful remnant could be discounted or dismissed, but I’m glad you don’t class yourself among the cynics.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Sam Jones
1 month ago

I can see an argument for slimming diocesan operations and trimming paid posts but I’m not sure reducing the number of bishops is terribly helpful. What might be useful is to look more to the leaner model of Episcopacy found in Scotland rather than the (ahem) well-padded luxury version found in England. The diocesan staff in my own diocese (Argyll & the Isles) consists of the Bishop and a part time secretary. Everything else is handled by volunteers or by the clergy in local congregations. It keeps the bishop reasonably close to ground level and in touch with priests and… Read more »

Nick
Nick
Reply to  Jo B
1 month ago

The Church in Wales has – for a long time – had a far more slimmed down set of structures than the Church of England. Most archdeacons are also parish priests (as was the case in England until a generation or two ago), and most diocesan officers are similarly also parish priests. Cathedrals (which are also parish churches) are generally provided with a much smaller establishment as well.

Malcolm Gray
Malcolm Gray
1 month ago

My Father was Baptised Charles but got called Charlie, My son in law was Baptised David but gets called Davey, same number of letters so it cant be classed as shortened

Father Ron Smith
1 month ago

“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet!”

When tiny and not expected to live – I was born, in 1929, by caesarian operation – my parents decided to call their scrap of humanity ‘Ronnie’. That’s my Baptismal name. When I became a Franciscan with SSF, I changed my name to ‘Ronald Anthony’ – I was born on St. Anthony’s Day. I now prefer to be called simply – ‘Father Ron’ (confused?)

Last edited 1 month ago by Father Ron Smith
Susannah Clark
Susannah Clark
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
1 month ago

I’m very glad you survived, Father Ron. You are a real blessing. Thanks be to God. from Susannah, Susie, Suz, or when I’m with family in the Highlands, Siusaidh. People have a right to self-identify how they please, and that can be really important to their flourishing. It is disrespectful to countermand their wishes and identification. A name firms up our identity and how we know ourselves. We choose. If we need to ‘posh up’ our names because we hold formal office in the Church, I think that is a move in the wrong direction, towards status rather than down-to-earth… Read more »

Jane Manon-Thomas
Jane Manon-Thomas
1 month ago

For those of us who have lived with the steep decline experienced by the Church in Wales over the past couple of decades, while the bishops have sat on their hands, allowed real talent to drain away, and decisively withdrawn from engaging imaginatively with the cultural, political and social life of Wales, there will be no singing and dancing in the valleys at this news, I can assure you. For those of us hoping for intelligence and incisiveness from someone who would re-ignite a serious engagement with questions of faith in the public sphere, and be taken seriously in doing… Read more »

Wenlock
Wenlock
1 month ago

Rather than focus on the new Archbishop’s continued use of an abbreviation of his Christian name, perhaps we could review the manner in which he was appointed to the See of Bangor and the part played in that process by the then Archbishop of Wales, who ruled out the candidate favoured by all the Bangor electors in the Electoral College. An abuse of power and the promulgation of lies is still playing out in the Church in Wales.

Tim Chesterton
1 month ago

From time to time Andy John has written daily Bible reading notes for the Bible Reading Fellowship’s ‘New Daylight’ series. I have always thoroughly enjoyed them.

David Emmott
David Emmott
1 month ago

The Church Times says ‘He is Welsh-born and Welsh-speaking — not an essential for the job, but certainly an advantage’. I would have thought the second of these would be essential; a contributory reason for the weakness of the C in W must be the historic dominance of a mainly anglophone leadership over many centuries.

Barrie McKenzie
Barrie McKenzie
Reply to  David Emmott
1 month ago

Unlikely, seeing as only 8% of Welsh people speak the language fluently

Manon Ceridwen James
Manon Ceridwen James
Reply to  Barrie McKenzie
1 month ago

More like 19%. The percentage who have some knowledge is something like 30%.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
1 month ago

Didn’t we ‘ave (have) a luvverly (lovely) time … Bangor- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_Trip_to_Bangor_(Didn%27t_We_Have_a_Lovely_Time)

I found this too, at approx 1m11s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMNssdX_2gk- The Barron Knights showing leadership at this time.

And wishing +Banger with what is ahead.

One could perhaps laugh, or cry.

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