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Bishop of St. David’s apologises after ‘never trust a Tory’ devolution message

03 Jun 2021 2 minutes Read
Bishop of St Davids, Rt Revd Joanna Penberthy. Picture by @PoblDewi / Twitter

The Bishop of St. David’s has apologised after a message on social media in which she said followers should “never trust a Tory” over their attitude to devolution in Wales.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies was among those who criticised the message, which caused the Right Reverend Dr Joanna Penberthy to say she would close down her social media account.

She is the first woman to become a bishop in the Church in Wales after being consecrated in 2017.

On March 25 she tweeted that her followers should “Never never never trust a Tory,”  a message noticed and widely shared yesterday and which drew condemnation from parishoners in an institution once characterised as ‘the Tory party at prayer’.

“On March 25th 2021 I put out a private tweet about Conservative Party supporters which has caused offence and for which I sincerely apologise,” Jenny Penberthy said in a statement on the Diocese of St David’s website.

“The tweet was in response to another tweet which claimed that the Conservative Party was planning to abolish the Senedd. I acknowledge that while there may be those within the Conservative Party who oppose Welsh devolution, it is not the policy of the Conservative Party to abolish the Senedd and I should have checked all the facts before tweeting.

“I, of course, trust and have trusted many Conservatives and know there are many honourable people in that party.”

Among those who criticised her tweet was Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies who said: “The many divisive and intolerant views pushed out from this very public account by the Bishop of St Davids will be troubling to many of her parishioners in West Wales.”

The Spectator’s anonymous gossip columnist Steerpike was also critical, saying that ” the poor people of South Wales are stuck with frothing political hackery in the place of spiritual enrichment”.

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Hogyn Da
Hogyn Da
9 days ago

But she was correct.

Christopher Robinson
Christopher Robinson
8 days ago
Reply to  Hogyn Da

But she was wrong, as a representative of the Anglican church.

paul
paul
9 days ago

Aneurin Bevan called the Tories ”Lower than Vermin. Power to this Ladies elbow.

Last edited 9 days ago by paul
Dewi Evans
Dewi Evans
9 days ago

The Bishop was correct. You can’t be a Chrisitan and a Tory. Being religious is a different matter. Presumably Tories attending church or chapel is a form of exhibitionism. Bit like supporting charities. Today’s Tory ‘values’ are inconsistent with Christian values. Increasing poverty, failing to support ‘just about managing’ families, indifference and intolerance to immigrants, disregard for the homeless, rising infant mortality, failure to protect health care workers from the risks of Covid infection. It’s what you get with 11 years (and counting) of Tory austerity. Surely government should be about ‘helping your neighbour’. For today’s Tories it’s all about… Read more »

Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards
8 days ago
Reply to  Dewi Evans

Of course you CAN be a Christian and a Tory. Depends on what your actions are. For example – who is responsible for homelessness, rising infant mortality etc? And Wales being at the bottom of EU economic leagues? Conservative (Church of E used to be “Tory party at prayer”, not sure about C in Wales.) Ok, given their record in Wales in improving things – haven’t actually abolished devolution so 2 our of 10. Labour (used to “owe more to Methodism than to Marxism”, H.Wilson.) Talks a good game, set up NHS UK etc. But now strong anti religion and… Read more »

Jay Roberts
Jay Roberts
8 days ago
Reply to  Dewi Evans

Thank you, God, that I am not like those sinners …

paul
paul
9 days ago

I go with Aneurin’s description of a Tory ”Lower than Vermin”. Power to this ladies elbow. Is there anything more horrid than a Tory?

paul
paul
9 days ago

A Flock of Geese. A Murder of Crows. A Pollution of Tories lol.

Robert Downing
Robert Downing
9 days ago

No need to apologise.
The truth is the truth.

John Dale
John Dale
9 days ago

I have roughly equal but vanishingly small levels of trust in idiots from either the right or the left, but they are both way out in front of bishops/imams/rabbis etc or their knuckle-dragging adherents.

Bruce
Bruce
9 days ago

It’s just a shame she issued an apology, nothing to apologise for in my opinion.

Mr Mark Watkin Price
Mr Mark Watkin Price
9 days ago

stuck with frothing political hackery in the place of spiritual enrichment”.. As if Wales hasn’t been stuck with the mantra of get yourself and your cronies as rich as possible as fast as possible by the Westminster oligarchy. I agree. Never trust a Tory. Full marks to her for having the courage to speak her mind


Arfon
Arfon
9 days ago

Totally agree with the Bishop, Didn’t Jesus want all people to be equal? Totally opposite to what the tories stand for.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
9 days ago

I stand with Dr Joanna Penberthy; it is patently obvious that you cannot be a Christian and the Tory as well. Full marks to her – and no marks to bully-boy RT Davies for ever attempting to question her.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 days ago

Well said Jenny (your Grace?), a third pilgrimage to the place of Dewi Sant might be in order. Please do not be cowed by that bully boy!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Joanna or Jenny, which is it? Capel Non is calling me to bring Plaid to Sir Benfro…we could be at the beginning of a new revival! Is it still 20p to park in Abergwaun?

The Bishop of Saint Davids has a nice ring to it…in any language…Stand your ground…don’t back down! RIP Tom Petty

Quornby
Quornby
9 days ago

Never trust a Roman governor or a Tory. Perfect sense.

ChrisapAlfred
ChrisapAlfred
9 days ago

Right on, bishop. Remember the clerics in SouthAfrica who stood up against apartheid. The Tory government is unethical, cryptof⁵ascist, and must be opposed by all means available.

Judith Martin
Judith Martin
9 days ago

I hope the Bishop reads this and is comforted – her enemies (like Steerpike, who has taken his name from a truly unpleasant character in fiction) will give her a hard time but she is right. And didn’t Rowan Williams say something similar? Not to mention Jesus himself, with the moneylenders in the temple. Somehow the chapter on the chums and the billion pound contracts didn’t make it into the bible.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 days ago
Reply to  Judith Martin

Steerpike…the Spectator, the sewer outlet for Tory opinion!

Willmandooo22
Willmandooo22
9 days ago

Why is Andrew RT Davies a referee on freedom of speech??

Mandi A
Mandi A
8 days ago

Shouldn’t have backed down but has left us with a nice mantra that will be used in many different contexts. Who was the creep who outed her after the tweet had sat quietly for two months undisturbed? Like Farage in Brussels, they do want to abolish Welsh autonomous decision-making but not until they have sucked the pension and honours pot dry.

John Bell
John Bell
8 days ago

She was merely stating a ‘Gospel’ Truth, in relation to the Party of BonZo and his Cabinet of Sociopaths, who ARE responsible for the unnecessary deaths of TENS OF THOUSANDS of U. K. inhabitants!!!!
I humbly remind!!!

Erisian
Erisian
8 days ago

Tory disdain for Wales is the norm. This has been obvious for longer than I can remember. No need to apologise.

paul
paul
8 days ago

One question. Would anyone in Wales let a Tory babysit their children? They would probably sell them lol. I wouldn’t let Johnson mind my dog !

Colin Wignall
Colin Wignall
8 days ago

There is a lot of truth in what the Bishop said. The way the Tory party has developed shows a great gap between what Jesus said and their policies. May I remind folk of the rich man and Lazarus; the business about getting through the eye of a needle and the challenge laid before the rich man who asked Jesus what he must do to get into heaven.

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