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Criticism of Church in Wales attitude to Welsh as pseudo-Latin used instead on St. David’s website

01 Mar 2021 3 minutes Read
St. David in a stained glass window

A prominent historian has accused the Church in Wales of “betraying the Welsh language” on the day of Wales’ patron saint.

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Professor of Ancient History at Cardiff University, drew attention to the use of pseudo-Latin filler text on the St. David’s Cathedral website instead of the Welsh language.

He told Nation.Cymru it was indicative of the lack of status the language has within the Church in Wales.

Despite having a Welsh language interface, in practice the content of the web pages are either in English or use the Lorem Ipsum filler text.

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones called on the Church in Wales to “give equal status to the language”.

“We are a bilingual nation. So many of us worship in Welsh, and pray in Welsh. The website for St. David’s Cathedral is a sign that the Church disregards our cultural heritage.”

Lorem Ipsum latin fills key parts of the ‘Welsh language’ text

The Diocese of St Davids responded to say that the website was a “work in progress”.

“The cathedral website is undergoing a major upgrade as part of wider upgrading of information and communication, in the Cathedral and online,” David Hammond-Williams the Communications Officer said.

“From conception to delivery this is in both Welsh and English, culturally, historically and linguistically. The good professor should watch this space! FYI, the Cathedral has responded to him, via Twitter of course.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither was St Davids Cathedral.”

‘Disregard’

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones told Nation.Cymru that it was “a problem with St David’s Cathedral” but also a wider one within the Church.

“I remember going to a carol service there once and there was no word of Welsh. The website is a reflection of that,” he said.

“There are places where the church successfully conducts bilingual worship services. I have experienced these and they are wonderful. But they are not common, unfortunately.

“For the most part, the Church in Wales is closing its eyes and ears to the presence of the Welsh language in Wales. The level of disregard for Welsh in the Church in Wales is amazing.

“Visit Llandaff Cathedral and ask for a Welsh edition of the newly published ‘guidebook’. There isn’t one. The Cathedral omitted to translate it.

“At all levels, the Church in Wales betrays the Welsh language.”

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