COI Gazette – 19th April 2013

Ministry is for everyone, not just clergy – Archbishop of Wales

Archbishop Barry Morgan

Archbishop Barry Morgan

Ministry is team work to be shared by all Church members, not the exclusive job of the rector, the Archbishop of Wales said last week.

Dr Barry Morgan said the future Church would be led by collaborative teams of clergy and lay people, trained together and sharing their gifts, rather than by just one ordained person doing everything.

In his Presidential Address to members of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales at the start of its two-day meeting in Lampeter, the Archbishop urged all Church members to play their part in ministry.




The death of former Prime Minister Lady Thatcher led to an outpouring of memories, many of which were marked by high adulation and many by undisguised contempt. Her very funeral (to be held after our going to press) raised questions about its status and cost.

It is certain that people, both in Northern Ireland as well as in Britain, will continue to have deeply divided views about the policies of the ‘Iron Lady’. For many, her quoting of the famous prayer about bringing harmony in discord lies at odds with the polarisation that characterised her time in office, and that still surrounds her memory. Yet, many others will say that political debate and leadership in a democratic society are not about creating disharmony but are about fighting for what one considers to be the best and right way forward.

Indeed, Lady Thatcher served an unprecedented three terms as Prime Minister, from 1979 to 1990, when a dramatic débâcle among her closest colleagues led to her downfall. While many will find her ‘no nonsense’ approach and her straightforward theological views not to have been sufficiently sophisticated or nuanced, many others will find these to be inspirational. Again, difference arises.

However, no matter what one’s views of Lady Thatcher’s political policies and her actions as Prime Minister may be, the days since her death raise the question of how people should respond to death itself, and in particular to the death of erstwhile, or even current, opponents.

The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Nicholas Baines, well known as a forthright commentator on current events, said last week that, as one who had grown up in Liverpool, he was “no fan of Margaret Thatcher’s politics or most of what her governments did”, but added that he feared that the response of some to her death told more about them than it did about her.

It is, in fact, an affront to humanity itself actually to be jubilant at another’s death, even at the death of the worst dictator. Such jubilation is wrong not only because the deceased can no longer speak up in return but also because death unites every human being, no matter how good or how bad any of us may have been. Not to recognise the solemnity of death is to miss something essential about life itself.


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