Transforming the Diocese

Canon Ruth MoverleyThe Transformation Fund was the theme when members of the Llandaff Diocesan Conference gathered for their annual conference this year.

More than 200 people packed the main hall of St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School in Cardiff during the day long conference on Saturday, September 24, which focussed on how the Transformation Fund is being used, and how it can be used in the future to support 2020 Vision – the Church’s strategy for growth.

Following the opening Eucharist, Canon Ruth Moverley, gave an update on the response provincially to the strategy which came from a review of the Church in Wales as it looked forward to celebrating its centenary in 2020.

She explained how the review had put forward 50 recommendations and gave an update on their progress with the main achievements so far being:

  • The establishment of the St Padarn’s Institute to create an integrated system of training for lay and ordained people
  • The appointment of a full time provincial safeguarding officer
  • Extending the provincial database to include lay and ordained

Other work in progress included the establishment of ministry areas, work with schools being developed by ministry teams and training taking place in some dioceses to develop collaborative practices.

“It’s an exciting time as we look forward to the fact that we are celebrating 100 years of the Church in Wales and as we think about how we are going to shape its future,” said Canon Moverley.

Presentations followed from a number of people involved in some of the projects currently supported by the Fund, including Church Army officers Captain Andy Settle and Pioneer Evangelist Hannah Seal who work in partnership with the Llandaff Diocese in the new Centre of Mission in Neath.

Capt Settle said they were working with clergy in the Neath deanery and with primary schools throughout the area. They had run Messy Churches, fun days and stay and play activity days and were now looking at reaching out to older children.

The Revd Michael Gable, area dean of Pontypridd outlined the use of the Data Developments financial software package for parish accounts and the Revd Peter Lewis explained how after forming the new parish and ministry area of Pontypridd they realised that they needed someone to hold things together in the middle.

“The thing that we really needed was someone to hold the new ministry area together administratively so we advertised for an administrator and we now have someone in post who has three years to hook it all together.”

Canon Richard Lowndes said the focus in Llandaff was to ‘get the process right’ and get engagement from the parishes rather than have something imposed on them.

“We are taking this at a different place in Llandaff – Ministry Areas and 2020 Vision takes a huge amount of cultural change and working together,” he said.

Brain storming sessions followed in deanery groups about how the remaining cash in the Transformation Fund pot could be spent.

Hustings for candidates for the Governing Body of the Church in Wales opened the afternoon session, followed by the presidential address from Archbishop Barry.

The business of the day included the presentation of reports and a look forward from theAssistant Bishop of Llandaff, David Wilbourne to next year’s conference when an Evangelism symposium will be rolled out.

The symposium will follow from a Provisional Evangelism Symposium which Bishop David and six other delegates from the Diocese attended in May this year.

“It recalled us to take Evangelism seriously, not the last thing on the agenda but the first thing, not the icing on the cake but the cake itself,” said Bishop David.

Bishop David

“The Llandaff delegates met subsequently, and each took responsibility for championing one of the five marks of mission and evangelism across the diocese. They are resources there to help you throughout the next year, culminating in our diocesan conference rolling out an Evangelism symposium of its own next September.”

The delegates and their marks of mission are:

  • James Griffiths – worthy worship
  • Wendy Taylor – the hurting points in the community around you
  • Richard Green – not just showing compassion for those who are hurting, but wanting to transform the hurt
  • Phelim O’Hare – we as a church, from our huge cathedral to our smallest church in South Wales, should love and forgive and accept one another
  • Melanie Prince – making and forming disciples of Christ