Sunday, 25 November 2012

Wales - female Dean of Llandaff - stealing a march?

The announcement has been made today that the next Dean of Llandaff is to be the Ven. Janet Henderson, currently Archdeacon of Richmond in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds and originally hailing from Neath in South Wales.
Given the clearly stated aims of the Archbishop of Wales, this appointment comes as no surprise.
Unfortunately, that post on the Archdeacon's blog [here] which gave her opinion on the General Synod's vote last week is sadly now unavailable. 
So as a sample of the sophistication of her 'theological' views, and an indication of her likely attitude in any future discussions about women bishops in the Church in Wales, this will have to do - from a post of February this year:
"....It must also be asked whether the often-used defence that objections to women bishops are on 'theological grounds' holds water. There were theological arguments for slavery and apartheid but I think few would argue, today, that they are worthy of serious support, never mind special protection for those who support such arguments. I couldn't help thinking what an odd impasse we have got ourselves into when I recently saw a photo of the Queen (the Governor of the Church of England) with four female Commonwealth Prime Ministers!"
Thanks to Ancient Briton for the news [here]


  1. That the page has been removed says much. Shades of Dr Miranda Threlfall-Holmes who also removed an intemperate post. Is there no level to which these revisionists will not sink?

  2. Father,
    Is this the post? : Google has a cached copy:

    or here for IE,+23+November+2012+inevitably+synod+in+my+opinion,+reaping+the+fruits+of+the+Act+of+Synod,+passed+in+1993,+which+created+two+entirely+separate+.&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

    1. I tried the links but neither worked for me. Never mind I have found a copy of the entry and will post it tomorrow on AncientBriton - perhaps with a few other awkward bits.

    2. Would you believe it, the link is back. A face saving operation?

  3. Julia Mathias-Jones25 November 2012 at 23:51

    I look forward to reading the old post! However her most recent post (23rd Nov) is interesting!

    Paragraph 1 - "To aim for two such separate integrities in the long term is, and always was, nonsense. People with split personalities are unwell and, we see now, the church is very unwell indeed. The debate on Tuesday was no more than the logical conclusion to the fact that we have spent 20 years encouraging people not to change their position on this issue, not to listen to each other, and not to work together, but to feel safe in which ever set of beliefs they hold" Ok, so she seems to think maintaing two integrities is damaging.

    Paragraph 2 - "Listening to the debate on Tuesday, I did find a coherence in the traditionalist Anglo Catholic position; I see its logic even though I don’t agree with it and I believe there is room for further discussion about pastoral provision and, perhaps more importantly, an appetite for this" So now she wants to work with us to maintain two integrities, I'm confused!

    Paragraph 4 - "The next Archbishop of Canterbury faces an uphill task. He needs to ensure that the separate camps into which the Act of Synod has led us are dismantled or modified and their members brought together to talk until there is real change in thinking and behaviour (mediation and repentance should be helpful concepts here). He also needs to review the basis on which Synod members are elected and ensure that they are held more accountable to represent the ordinary church members who have elected them. This is particularly true of the House of Laity but also includes the need to make processes within the House of Bishops more accountable and transparent. He needs to ignore the mantra that this issue cannot be debated again in the lifetime of this Synod and work to find a way through the legal processes that will allow an amended measure to be brought back for Synod’s consideration as soon as it is ready. The rest of us need to be freed up to engage openly in honest theological debate, not told that there are some positions that must be so respected that they are beyond reproach. One of the most difficult aspects of the past 25 years of ministry has been repeatedly being asked to refrain from saying certain things because of ‘tender consciences.’ How can we make progress or establish trust under such circumstances?" I love this, lets change all the rules to get what we want!

    All this sounds familiar, mixed messages and rule changing. Sounds like the sort of thing we have previously heard from the man that appointed her!

    1. Merddyn Llewellyn26 November 2012 at 07:58

      Talk about massaging the figures! The good lady Dean-designate writes ‘in the last 25 years since I was first ordained’ – trying to grab herself a silver jubilee. It was 24 years ago that she was deaconed and 18 years ago when she was priested. All smoke and mirrors – she will fit in well at Llandaff.


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