Photo Credit: Church in Wales
[ACNS] The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan, put himself in the firing line this week when he agreed to be grilled by a group of young people from the diocese of Llandaff.
Under the heading “Grill the Archbishop” the diocese invited 16 to 24-year-olds from across the Diocese to put ask any questions.
Hot topics ranged from new organ donation and abortion, to issues more specific to the life of the church, such as what are its biggest challenges and the importance of lay ministry. There were also questions about whether prayer really works, if God forgave everyone and whether there was a clash between science and religion.
Asked about the importance of lay ministry, Dr Morgan said: “All people who are baptised have a ministry, not just those who are ordained. The job of clergy is to try to encourage the ministry of all God’s people because actually most people come to faith through the influence of family and friends – not through great preaching or the efforts of clergy.
“Lay people have often got greater gifts than clergy and the Ministry Areas we are creating in the church today are all about clergy and lay people working together, encouraging and enabling the gifts of all God’s people, young and old.”
The event, at St Mark’s Church in Gabalfa, a suburb of Wales’ capital city Cardiff, relaunched an initiative called “The Journey” to support and encourage young people in their faith.
“It was great to welcome young people from all over the diocese to this event, Llandaff’s vocations adviser, the Revd David Morris, said. “We were grateful to the Archbishop for taking time out of his busy schedule to join us, to be ‘grilled’ and to re-launch The Journey. I hope that these events will enable any young people, who perhaps feel isolated in churches, parishes and chaplaincies, to find fellowship with others their own age and grow more confident in their faith.”
Imogen Rawlinson, 16, came from St Teilo’s Church in Tonmawr. She said, “This was a really interesting experience and was definitely something to take with me in the future. I think it’s good that the Church is trying to encourage more young people to have a say and be more involved and I would definitely like to be part of a provincial youth panel in the future.”
Alistair O’Mahoney, 17, from St David’s Church, in Neath, asked the Archbishop about the use of the Welsh language in church. He said, “I enjoyed today’s session very much and thought the Archbishop answered our questions well. It was also good for us to come and meet others and see what is going on in other parts of the diocese. We can take away ideas to use within our benefice in Neath and make sure we have a branch of young Christians in our community.”
“It’s always a pleasure to engage with young people as they have so much energy and enthusiasm and, as was evident in the type of questions they put to me, are keen to find out more about their faith,” Dr Morgan said. “They enrich and enliven our congregations and as a church we must do all we can to value and nurture them and listen to what they have to say. They are at the start of their ‘Journey’ and it is up to those of us who have perhaps been on it for some time, to help them on their way.”