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.”


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.