Tommy Tubby Again

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Today I am re-posting something I first published over two years ago.

It’s one way I can pay tribute to all those who have fought and suffered and died in all the wars throughout the centuries. I hope it may inspire a wave of prayer, not just against war but against the greed and sheer insanity that causes wars.

My father enlisted in August, 1914 aged 20. The reason for today’s post is because, 100 years ago today, it was my father’s 25th birthday.  It was also the day that he won the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

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(*I’ve added the words in italics to bring the old post up to date.)

“It’s always been a very sobering moment when I’ve told someone that my father fought in the First World War and they ask “Did he survive?”

Had he not survived I would be at least twenty years older than I am, and to be taken for 50 when you’re only 30 is certainly sobering, at least until you can get to a mirror, at which point you realise it’s their maths at fault not your face! [Of course, at 80, it doesn’t matter a scrap.]

The TV programmes about the Somme have been more than I can cope with, even though my father wasn’t there. This time 100 [98] years ago he was in France but further north and before the battle ended he was in Salonika. Then he went to Egypt, fought his way, literally step by step, to Jerusalem, was wounded so never got to Jericho and then returned to France for the last few months of the war.

Over the last two years, watching programmes about WW, and in conversations with friends, I’ve heard the word “damage” used over and over again, as if that needed to be emphasised. One only has to watch the News to know what sort of “damage” any sort of war causes. And, yes, my father was left damaged; by the time he was demobbed he was extremely deaf, though he rarely mentioned the fact. He had also won the Distinguished Conduct Medal, but he didn’t mention that, either.

But, and it’s a very big but, he would have been horrified if he thought anyone had believed him to be “damaged”.

Most of his friends and colleagues were also old Tommies. They were staunch, loyal, generous and utterly dependable. There were one or two ‘Eeyores’ among them, but most of them had a great sense of humour and also, perhaps surprisingly, a great sense of fun. They had been through unimaginable horrors and having learned to cope they continued to cope. In 1939 they took “Keep calm and carry on” in their stride.

I often wonder what my father would make of Now.

I have no idea if he would have voted to Leave or Remain but he would have been disgusted by the sheer nastiness the referendum provoked. Surprisingly, for someone of his generation, he was not racist, though he was slightly anti-semitic, and loathed Picasso and the Pope. He had learned to have great admiration for the Arab camel drivers in the desert, and though he and his comrades complained about the filth the Turks left behind them he respected their courage as soldiers.

As a cricket lover one of his heroes was W G Grace, whom he watched play many times. Another hero was Leary Constantine, [the West Indian all rounder who ended up High Commissioner of Trinidad and a life peer.]  Anyone who could play that beautiful game so elegantly had to be all right.

Then, take football. (Easier for the Welsh than the English at the moment.)[I can’t remember what that refers to.] If they camped in one place in the desert for more than a few days one of their first off-duty tasks was to clear space for a pitch. He was most generous so I don’t suppose he would have grudged Wayne Rooney his pay. I’m the family member who thinks it ridiculous that Rooney earns three times my school teacher son’s annual salary—in a week. [I believe Rooney is a bit of a has been now. Don’t know who the latest overpaid youngster is.]    However, he would have assumed that high pay demanded equally high standards of play and behaviour, to say nothing of some sort of repentance and recompense when you let your country down.

The old are set in their ways and we must move with the times. Of course! Where would I be without my iPad and iPhone? If only we could hold on to some of the old-fashioned standards and values that helped to make men like my father. They deserve more than mere remembrance.”

 

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My father’s DCM and the two identity tags he wore throughout the First World War.

 

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Storm in a Teacup?

More like a hurricane in an eye bath.

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Should she have gone to Spec Savers?

This is Ruth Davidson. She is leader of the Scottish Conservatives and therefore an important and influential person. Her words carry a lot of weight. This is what she says:

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Daily Telegraph headline

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This is the sort of cross Christians can choose to wear if they so wish. This is the cross – not a crucifix – I normally wear around my neck. It is a symbol of my religion and, apart from occasionally getting entangled in bushes when I am gardening, it doesn’t impede me physically in any way at all.

 

 

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This is a burqa.

 

It is not a symbol of religion, according to Taj Hargey, Imam at Oxford Islamic Congregation. In a letter sent to The Times, Dr Hargey said there was “no Koranic legitimacy” for the burka, adding it was “a nefarious component of a trendy gateway theology for religious extremism and militant Islam”.

 

 

I would think it would certainly be a serious impediment to almost everything that one does in the normal course of outdoor life — which is when it is worn. Walking must be difficult and running impossible. Sight must be severely restricted. Hearing must surely be impaired. Imagine never feeling the sun on your face or the breeze in your hair. Inevitably, hidden inside something more nearly resembling a tent, the wearer must feel isolated, invisible and yet conspicuous in equal measure.

Several  countries around the world have already decided that this particular garment is an affront to human dignity and have banned its use in public. Boris Johnson hasn’t suggested banning the burqa — quite the reverse. He doesn’t think we should. Given how very few there are in Britain there doesn’t seem much point. All he did was make a very British funny comment likening a person in a burqa to a letter box. But Boris got one thing wrong.  You couldn’t post a letter in a burqa – it doesn’t have a slit. He meant the niqab.

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Fortunately, it’s August and the Silly Season in the media, otherwise I would be seriously worried about the sanity, to say nothing of the sight, of many of our leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

Get the L out of here.

 

 

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I’ve always been grateful to God for giving me a sense of humour. It has been my salvation so many times. Recently, I have begun to appreciate even more my sense of the absurd. In fact, I am coming to the conclusion that it is through a sense of the absurd that God is going to show us the dire straits we’ve got ourselves into. Some people have made the fatal error of taking themselves and their perceived needs too seriously. What is worse, they have done infinite damage by convincing those in places of power and influence that they must also have due respect for all this nonsense.

Remember when the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less, stood up and assured us that any sort of coupling, between any sort of gender, to create any sort of “family” unit, was as good as any other because that was the way the world is now. Untold studies and statistics have proved that children brought up by a man married to a woman in a long term relationship do better than any other arrangement. That is just a simple truth but very few people thought the Archbishop was being absurd.

Here are two pieces of news that have helped to convince me of God’s sense of the absurd.

Stonewall, the gay rights organisation, explain why they exist.

“We’re here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone. We believe we’re stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain – in some of our greatest institutions – so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves.”

Unfortunately, yesterday’s Times explained how the organisation has managed to upset the Lesbians.

“Lesbians have accused Stonewall, the gay rights organisation, of erasing biological women by saying that ‘male-bodied persons with penises’ can be lesbians.
The Lesbian Rights Alliance (LRA) has sent an open letter to Stonewall demanding that it take the L out of LGBTQ because it makes ‘lesbians invisible and erases lesbians through its promotion of the Trans Agenda’.
“The 135 signatories say that Stonewall supports the absurd idea that male-bodied persons with penises can be lesbians’.”

Well, it is absurd. But there’s so much that’s absurd about LGBTQAI brigade statements. Those 7 letters could have another 64 initials added to them to include the 71 different genders that are supposed to exist at the moment. Once one gender, such as the Lesbians, break away that will be the start of chaos. I foresee a time when there will  be a ‘Pride’ march every week to cater for every category. There’ll be a Bi-gender march, not to be confused with the Non-Binary march, and a Trans-sexual female march which is not the same as a Trans-gender female march. In addition, Agenders, and Androgynes appear to be quite separate from the Androgynous, to say nothing of the Two-spirits or the simply Other.

What worries me is that this nonsense isn’t limited to the 2% of the population who claim to belong to one or other of the 71 different genders. If you don’t believe me look at this from yesterday’s Guardian. Even the most respectable and dignified of organisations can’t seem to see the absurdity of what they are doing.

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‘“A Freemason who after initiation ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason,” says new guidance issued by the Freemasons’ governing body, the United Grand Lodge of England. Those who have transitioned from female to male can also apply, the guidance makes clear.’

How can any journalist write that and not question the logic? Why would anyone who had loaded his body with hormones and had his penis chopped off, in order to become a woman want to join a men only organisation. Doesn’t that strike you as really, truly mad?

How (not) to spend £10 million

On 23rdJune, under the title “Golly! What a lot of jolly lolly!” I published a blog of gratitude — well, sort of – to the six bishops of the Church in Wales who want to give their congregations £10 million to spend on Evangelism. The money is designed for people not buildings. The number of churches being closed down completely, or doing additional duty as village shops, post offices, play centres or holiday lets is increasing all the time. So, if churches are empty then we need people to fill them. I still regret that my little church can’t have a couple of thousand to turn a broom cupboard into a toilet but that is being selfish.

Ten million to evangelise — think Billy Graham — seems almost too good to be true.

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Most things that sound too good to be true generally are. Not that I’m saying the bishops have been lying. The money is probably there. It’s just that, after several weeks of cudgelling my brains, I’m beginning to suspect it may be difficult to spend, other than by doing it all officially or by hiring yet more inadequate clerical managers.

What is Evangelism?

Simple answer — The commitment to or act of publicly preaching the Gospel, with the intention of spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ.

And the first step must surely be to turn to Christ’s own Advice Manual, the gospels themselves, to find out how to set about it.

Sadly, on this subject the Gospels are useless. Certainly, Jesus gives clear instructions when he sends the twelve disciples out in Luke, 9. The trouble is, he specifically forbids them to take any money with them.

Verse 3  “And he said to them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bread, nor money;”

Not much help there, then. But in Luke, 10 he sends out 72 people. A big band like that should need more detailed organisation and must surely involve costs.

Verse 4 “Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals . . .”

That couldn’t be much clearer, could it? Not even a phone!

However, in verses 2 and 3 Jesus shows that he understands some of the problems we face. He says “the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.” And he also adds a stark warning. “I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”

 He was certainly right, there. A gentleman called Allan Coote can confirm this.

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Allan Coote, a London bus driver, reads the Bible outside St Paul’s Cathedral

If you stand up on the steps of a great cathedral and start reading from the Bible it’s quite likely that the police will be called. You might think it was because you had offended an atheist or someone from an alternative religion but if it was outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London it’s the Dean and Chapter who are the wolves.

This year, Mr Allan Coote, who believes his voice is a gift given for the purpose of being heard, has started to read the Bible outside St Paul’s Cathedral. So far, no member of the public has complained about Mr Coote, but that hasn’t stopped cathedral staff, who explained they were “just following orders”, calling in the police numerous times.

On one occasion the police officer concerned was heard to say “I am of the opinion that this chap isn’t causing any breach of the peace. This chap isn’t impeding anyone. I’m happy for him to stay. This chap is reading from the Bible. I feel it would be remiss of me to move him on in a place of worship.” Thank God our police still have common sense even as it becomes increasingly clear that many clergy are losing all their sense, not just the common sort.

I can’t believe it makes any difference if you hear the Sermon on the Mount read by a bus driver with a booming voice — Allan— outside the cathedral or a robed cleric inside, except there are many more people outside.

The Dean has compromised. He says they have a policy of ‘limited disturbance’ and they will let Allan read the Bible for 30 minutes a week. I wonder what St Paul himself would think about such a pusillanimous statement. It is entirely lawful to preach the Gospel and hand out Christian literature on the streets to the general public. But Allan Coote wasn’t even preaching; nor was he impeding anyone. He wasn’t even reading controversial bits which some might consider insulting or threatening. He was simply reading the Sermon on the Mount.

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Father Mark Morris, erstwhile Chaplain of GCU

If he’d been in Glasgow during the Gay Pride March and had been reading 1st Corinthians 6.v9 he would have been asking to be arrested. Look what happened to Father Mark Morris, the Catholic Chaplain at Glasgow Caledonian University. After the march, he held something called ‘A Rosary of reparation for the gross offence to God which is Pride Glasgow’. This was in his own Roman Catholic church, well away from the GCU campus, and to a mainly elderly and completely traditional congregation. The university, while adamant that it supports inclusivity and diversity, immediately sacked Father Mark. First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, supporting this decision, said that, “As a society we must champion equality and fairness at all times.” I presume that means she also champions the motto of the City of Glasgow**.

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Front of St Asaph Cathedral. No people to be offended but no people to hear, either!

So, to get back to spending £10 million. Suppose I start by reading the Bible outside St Asaph Cathedral and then move into the streets of the city. Bishop Gregory wants people to concentrate on ‘being the church’ rather than merely ‘going to the church’ so I could argue that is what I am doing. Then, with luck, I will get arrested, and some of that £10m could be spent on bailing me out and paying the fine when I’m convicted. Photos of this eccentric octogenarian would surely appear in the North Wales Weekly and the Daily Post, thus giving much needed publicity to this endeavour at Evangelism. Are there any other octogenarians willing to join me?

**The city motto, “Let Glasgow Flourish”, is a truncated version of the original words attributed to St Kentigern, later called St Mungo. Originally the motto was “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word and the praising of thy name.” Glasgow Caledonian University doesn’t seem to know that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Wolf Whistle a Day . . .

Keeps a girl bright and gay*

*Gay meaning “merry and lively” as it did when I was young. At college I had a friend who had been christened Gay. I wonder what happened to her.

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That was today’s front page of the Daily Star. I’ve never really trusted them since they told me that knitters and bird watchers were ashamed to admit to their hobbies. I do both avidly and don’t care who knows it. But after ‘up-skirting’ I’m afraid what The Star says may be true. 

I am not ashamed to admit that I was always delighted to get a wolf whistle as I walked passed a building site, nor did I get offended or feel degraded by the sight of a “builder’s bum”.

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Offensive? Degrading?  Not really.

I suppose I’m lucky. I’m too old or too stupid or too much of a mis-fit in modern society to recognise most hate crimes. That’s why I thought making ‘up-skirting’ a crime was equally bonkers. Well, I did, once I’d found out what the word meant. Should it come into law it could carry a two year jail sentence and life on the sex offenders’ register.

I would have thought taking photos up women’s skirts was already an offence under existing sexual harassment laws.

Where I live, if I’d been burgled two years ago, the criminal had only a 16% chance of being caught. With so many extra hate crimes being added to the statute book the police will now have even less time to investigate minor annoyances such as robbery, burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft or arson. That worries me much more and would cause me infinitely more distress.

The reason I’m not very sympathetic is because it seems so incredibly infantile. I can remember male people looking up female people’s skirts but that was in the school playground when I was seven. It was the sort of stupid thing boys did. There were various responses. You could burst into tears and tell teacher. You could be outraged and tell teacher. You could push him over and get your mates to stand around and laugh. On the whole the third option worked best.

Will de-bagging become the next hate crime, I wonder.

I used to live next to a big teaching hospital. At wild parties the female nurses took great delight in de-bagging innocent young male doctors. One night, a naked junior registrar escaped into his car but on a sharp corner lost control, shot through a fence and landed up in our garden. It was on a private road so the police couldn’t charge him with any motoring offence so they arrested him for indecent exposure. I assume that is still a crime but is it a hate crime?

 

 

 

 

What am I Missing Here?

Please can someone tell me what is going on here.

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Darth Vader I know but who are the rest of the front row?

 

And who are these?

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I know I’m old but I am not senile. Yesterday I went to church. I have enough long term memory to say much of the service by heart and I have enough short term memory to remember the sermon. It was very good and with a fresh slant* on the gospel reading – Mark 5. (Two wonderful stories of the woman with the haemorrhage and the raising of Jairius’s daughter.)

I think, in this ordination photoshoot, the things that aren’t clergy are from Star Wars but I don’t understand why? There’s something in Star Wars about the Force being with you but if you’ve just been ordained shouldn’t a very different kind of Force have just been bestowed on you.

This sort of thing makes me feel that I’m mis-fitting more than usual. If anyone can explain the significance of all this I will be most grateful and will publish the comments to aid other old-timers who grew up believing ordination was a very serious, spiritual commitment.

*It was a bi-lingual service – English and Welsh – and the preacher brought in the fact that Jesus was probably tri-lingual and that Mark very deliberately used the Aramaic for Jesus’ command to the child.

Golly, what a lot of Jolly Lolly!

There’s a lot of lolly floating around the church in Wales these days. Of course, there’s been a lot of comment, too, about the spending sprees and the jaunts and about those who know the right pockets to pick. These comments have been going on for a long time. Too long. I  wish the Bench of Bishops had reacted sooner and also been a bit more effective in their support of the needy people in the pews.

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Back in March these six Welsh bishops went to Rome for the week of Christian Unity

Bishop Joanna of St Davids and Bishop June of Llandaff also flew to the United States, apparently, for some mentoring by Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori.

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I presume +June and +Joanna were seeking instruction in how NOT to do things

+Katharine, you remember, was the Presiding Bishop in the Episcopal Church of America before +Michael Curry. She certainly knows all about spending money, having used up $30 million in legal fees suing any Bishop or church congregation that dared to challenge her definitely dodgy theology.

The senior clergy from Llandaff, pictured below, went to Devon for a retreat in May.  Later, +June announced her first Clergy School — a five day “pilgrimage” to Santiago de Compostela in May, 2019.  This will be for any clergy from the diocese who wish to take part (possibly 100) but, instead of walking, the pilgrims will be flown out on a chartered plane.

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Senior Llandaff clergy enjoying spiritual refreshment.

The Diocesan Secretary of St Asaph, the Youth Officer and one of the Archdeacons went to Helsinki recently. Helsinki, in Finland? Yes, indeed. It’s supposed to be a fascinating city in the midst of most beautiful scenery.

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Helsinki, capital of Finland

The Church of Finland isn’t actually Anglican; it’s Evangelical Lutheran, but it’s undeniably successful.  More than 80% of Finns, some 4.4 million people, are members of the Church of Finland. Those numbers must have made Bishop Gregory’s eyes water!

There’s also plenty of money sloshing around for new appointments, like several more Archdeacons and, most recently, an Education Director. Mrs Elizabeth Thomas, formerly head of Bassaleg School in Newport, will have 150 schools and 26,000 pupils, though it wasn’t clear from the notice of this appointment whether it was the schools, the children or the Bishops she was educating.

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Finally, and most wonderfully, the Bishops have announced an Evangelism Fund of £10 million for Mission. Ten million pounds to “grow” Christians across Wales “in vibrant and exciting ways”. +Andy was given the job of announcing the news at Pentecost. No wonder he is smiling.

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Andy John, Bishop of Bangor

Recently, a gentleman called John Pocket wrote a letter to the “Western Mail” complaining, as I have been doing, about all the jolly jaunts and other expenditure. It must have struck a raw nerve because a spokeswoman for the Church in Wales issued a statement. First she gives a short paraphrase of what she says are Mr Pocket’s views.

“Mr Pocket’s complaint seems to be: We shouldn’t be spending more on organisation. We shouldn’t invest in the resourcing and development of our leaders. We shouldn’t treat our people well. Failing to invest in our people and facilities would be an indication that we have no expectation for the Church in Wales.”

I’ve read the whole letter and I don’t think that’s quite the right tone; he certainly never suggested that long suffering clergy should be treated badly. And the “our people” she talks about are “them” not “us”, the pew sitters. She goes on to explain why the CiW is spending all this money.

“We believe in effective support for hard-working clergy. We believe that effective Christian leadership is resourced by times of spiritual refreshment — hence the retreats. We want to attract and retain exceptional staff, work efficiently and effectively and gain all the team-working benefits that an open-plan office brings. We are organising ourselves with an expectation of growth.”

The fund will provide grants of between £250,000 and £3 million, for diocesan projects that “will focus on people rather than buildings,” the Church in Wales said.

It’s time I confessed to something. I haven’t been blogging for over three months. It’s hard to blog positively when you are indulging the vices of envy and greed and the truth is I just hadn’t appreciated the worth of all these jollies and other initiatives.

I have been much more aware of how desperately the Faithful Few of pewsitters need money. I had equated the bishops and the senior clergy, who have been benefitting from all this largesse, with the Pharisees. There they were, I thought, self importantly going on retreats to learn how to do church better, seeking to appoint more and more people as directors of this and that while tiny congregations struggled on apparently disregarded.

The village church to which I have recently returned has 19 people on the electoral roll, only two of whom are in paid employment. Those 19 people have to fund a Parish  Mission Share of £15,000 per annum. That’s before we can begin any repairs or maintenance on our listed building.

Our Vicar is on indefinite leave. The Mission Area has the task of organising substitutes, but, for all their committees and organograms  that doesn’t always work out well.

Sometimes we have a Priest and Communion and sometimes we have a Lay Reader and Morning Prayer. Sometimes we prepare for Communion and only a Lay Reader turns up, and sometimes a Priest turns up unexpectedly and then we have to rush around preparing for a Eucharist. Sometimes we get a Priest and a Lay Reader, which is overkill, and sometimes no one turns up at all.

Actually, when that happens it’s fine. We organise an excellent Matins left to ourselves. In place of the sermon we have plenty to talk about; mainly how on earth are we going to raise enough money to pay our Share, let alone find anything extra for outreach, or attracting teenagers, or restarting something for children; to say nothing of funding a loo. The loo in the car park of the pub across the road is rather too far away.

So, it seems that all this effort and the £10 million is actually for us.

Or is it?

The announcement sounds more like management speak than Holy Spirit. Once again the bishops  are in danger of letting advisers and “experts” decide how the money should be spent — on expensive projects that will sound good and make great photos for the same old snouts. I hope I’m wrong.

Our village church doesn’t need anything like £250,000, let alone up to £3 million at one go. We need modest amounts of funding and some informed enthusiasm, advice and support.

Then we and the Holy Spirit can work miracles.

 

At Last. Common Sense from a Bishop!

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The Bishop of David’s celebrates St David’s Day

Every year on St David’s Day, the Bishop of St David’s sends a message to members of the Senedd. [For overseas readers: the Senedd is the Welsh Assembly of politicians who make decisions (frequently daft) about matters specific to Wales.] Here, in italics, is the text of the Bishop’s message.

“Like St David, we live in difficult times”.

Too right, particularly in the Church in Wales. As Bishop Joanne will know only too well, out of a population of 2.1 million fewer than 30,000 attend church regularly.

“In Wales, we are facing an uncertain future over which even our politicians in the Senedd and local government have a limited amount of control.”

Perhaps it’s no bad thing the Welsh politicians have limited control.  I’m worried about their interference in family life and education. Too often it seems politicians, not teachers, decide what children must learn. Even more worrying, parents find they have little say when they are unhappy about some adverse effect on an individual child. It seems impossible to ‘opt out’ any more. 

“As ever, it is the voices of suspicion and bigotry that shout the loudest.”

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At times like these, it is important that we hold onto our core Welsh values of community, common sense and honesty.”

 At last, a bishop calling for common sense—a value that I have elevated in frequent years almost into a virtue. Surely honesty should be a core value everywhere and always?  Community! That’s the best bit. I sincerely hope the Bishop intends to do everything in her power to rescue the whole community of the Church in Wales from further decline.

“On his death bed, St David called his community to a renewed commitment to “the little things”.

Those words remind me of the poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum.

Among those ‘little’ things he tells us: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder.

Very little things but what a difference if we all lived by them every single day.

“We may not be able to have much control over Westminster politics or the mainstream media but St David reminds us that the control we can exercise over our own words and actions are vital. Whether we are politicians, journalists or members of the public, it is our words and actions that form the Wales of today and tomorrow.”

Only ‘politicians, journalists or members of the public…’ ? What about the words and actions of Church of Wales clergy? Or has the bishop omitted the clergy because she knows so many of them don’t count for much these days.

 “On this St David’s day, let us renew our commitment to honesty, kindness and generosity and, at least on this side of Offa’s dyke, nurture communities of welcome and hope.”  

+ Joanna Tyddewi

Welcome and hope. Oh, yes, please. Do everything you can, Bishop Joanne, to persuade your fellow bishops, not only in Wales, but throughout the UK, to offer a welcome and give hope to all true Anglicans, even those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Post Script

Only as I was previewing this blog before posting did I notice something that should have been staring me in the face. This message was to celebrate St David’s Day—St David, our Patron Saint, brought Christianity to Wales. Joanna Pemberthy is his 128th successor. But there is no mention of God, no mention of religion; I suppose I should be glad there is no mention of sex. This could have been written by a worthy social worker or a politician seeking re-election. Just out of interest I checked on the Bishop of Llandaff’s last Christmas message. In over 500 words this was her only sentence with a reference to Christianity. “As Christians recall how God gave His own son, born as a baby and sharing in human experience, we are invited to remember the power of gifts.” I wonder what they’ll find to talk about at Easter? Cadbury’s eggs, perhaps.

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” Helen Keller

I always seem to be ranting on about Sex on this blog, along with Marriage, which in my opinion, go together like a horse and carriage. Marriage between a man and a woman, preferably for life, for their mutual benefit, and particularly for the inestimable benefit of any children they may have. I only rant about same sex marriage in church because, although it is the law of the land, I believe it is not according to the law of God. What’s more, it is still not the law of the Anglican church and I don’t like hypocrisy, although bishops seem not to mind.

What I do object to are the strident demands, the claims of victimhood, the posturing, the shrieks of “hate crime” and the manipulation by the 2% of the population who march under the LGBTQUIA+ banner. Most of all I am genuinely frightened by the effect this is having on innocent children.

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Female Father gives birth to Male Wife’s child. 

This photo, from my blog of 24 September 2016 shows Diane, on the left holding the baby which she fathered. On the right is the baby’s mother,
Fernando.  I wouldn’t want to try and explain that situation to my granddaughters.

My two granddaughters, aged six and four, now live with me. They are amazing chatterboxes. Every afternoon I hear the details of their day; what they did, what they learned, what Mrs This and Miss That told them, who they played with, what they talked about. It all comes tumbling out and I do  my best to make sense of all the gabble. Only once was there any discussion about boys and girls. The four year old complained that a boy in her class keeps kissing the girls.

“What for?” asked her sister.

“He says he loves them.”

“Ugh!”

They obviously know some of the basic facts of life. When I mentioned a particular incident to the four year old she informed me that she hadn’t been there; she was still in Mummy’s tummy at the time.

I’ve always believed that you should answer children’s questions truthfully, but only by giving them as much detail as they need or can cope with. Can you imagine the pit into which you will quickly descend if you try to explain transgenderism to a normal 5 year old?

What on earth are they supposed to learn from a group of cross dressers imported into schools to read them stories.

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Drag queen Alyssa Van Delle reads to children at Parson Street Primary School, Bristol

I adored pantomimes as a child and had no trouble at all with the Dame being a man and the Principal Boy being a woman but that has nothing to do with transgenderism.

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Widow Twanky in Aladdin

Don’t tell me all this clamour is in the interests of tolerance.

Of course, children must learn tolerance and the sooner the better, given the attitudes of the adult population, but let’s get this business of tolerance in proportion. LGBT+s form a mere 2% of the population.

Nine million people in Britain, (19%) are deaf or very hard of hearing. I know from personal experience how much tolerance is needed coping with those. I grew up with a deaf father and am now deaf myself.

There are 11,000,000 people in the UK living with a disability. How much tolerance do we show to them? Well over half of us (60%) admit to avoiding the disabled because we don’t know how to behave around them. Every day, in Britain, 180 disability hate crimes are reported and hate crimes against disabled children are up by 150% in the last two years.

Don’t those figures put the LGBT’s sufferings into perspective. They certainly reveal a desperate need for far more tolerance.