“Those were the days, my friend . . .”

We thought they’d never end” . . .  and how wrong we were. I don’t think, in our worst nightmares, we ever thought we’d get to where we are now.

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and therefore quite an important day in the Church calendar. During Lent we remember the temptations of our Lord in the wilderness, temptations which He overcame, as an encouragement for us to overcome our own temptations. This year the Cardiff Chaplaincy held no Ash Wednesday service.



After the Ash Wednesday Service by the Anglican Chaplaincy in Cardiff 1964.

The following Wednesday, last Wednesday, a Church of England clergyman was invited to speak there about his life with his husband. Not that I’m blaming the poor fellow. Making him discuss his personal confusion is the fault of the arrogant halfwits who invited him. Despite the Primates meeting, which was conducted with grace, courtesy and sensitivity, such people still think they know what’s best for the ever dwindling Church in Wales.

Are they the same people I wonder who think ‘dressing down’ will help to fill our churches once again? They’re wrong. I have just been listening to complaints about a local Vicar who conducted a Service for the Burying of Ashes wearing jeans and a sweater. Perhaps she hoped the family would feel more at home with someone in casual dress; feel less threatened. In fact, they were upset by what they saw as a lack of respect for their loved one, and for their family.


There’s not a sweater nor an anorak in sight and it’s not surprising the Bishops’ congregations then were more than double what they are to day.

“Oh, when will they ever learn?”

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