About Y Gymdeithas : A Society for Wales
Y Gymdeithas has been set up in the context of the Code of Practice presented to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales when the legislation to allow women to be ordained to the episcopate was passed. In particular, section 4 of the Principles which reads:
4. Within the Church in Wales, those who on grounds of theological conviction and conscience are unable to receive the sacramental ministry of women bishops or priests continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion. The Church in Wales therefore remains committed to enabling all its members to flourish within its life and structures as accepted and valued. Appropriate provision for them will be made in a way intended to maintain the highest possible degree of communion and contributes to mutual flourishing across the whole Church in Wales.
In addition, section 2 of the Provisions which says:
2. Individual members of the Church in Wales who, on grounds of conscience, are unable to receive the sacramental ministry of a woman diocesan bishop, shall not be required to do so against their conscience, and alternative provision shall be made.
It exists to bring together those who fall within that description and provide a mutual belonging where they can flourish and contribute more positively to the life of the Church in Wales. It also puts into practice the suggestion by the Bishop of St Asaph in September 2016 that such a body be established, “to explore the possibility of a ‘double belonging’: to the society and to the diocese. …. Priests would continue to owe a duty of canonical obedience to the bishop with jurisdiction, who is the ordinary, but they could have an affective loyalty to an Episcopal Visitor chosen for the society.”
The Society is open to all communicant members of the Church in Wales who assent to the following declaration:
I uphold the traditional teaching of the Church on the Sacraments and the threefold ministry in the historic succession and am therefore unable in conscience to receive the sacramental ministry of women as bishops and priests.
While this is still in the early stages of formation we have decided to launch this initiative immediately. Y Gymdeithas will have no subscription and have no campaigning function. It will simply be a means of mutual support and that ‘affective loyalty’ to the bishop who will be at its head.
For details of how to become an affiliate, please