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Telegraph accuses Welsh Bishop of ‘pushing Church to brink of ruin’ over ‘never trust a Tory’ tweet

05 Jun 2021 3 minutes Read
Bishop of St Davids, Rt Revd Joanna Penberthy. Picture by @PoblDewi / Twitter

The Telegraph have attacked the Bishop of St. David’s after she tweeted that readers should ‘Never, never, never trust a Tory’.

The newspaper said that “out-of-touch bishops” such as Joanna Penberthy were “pushing the Church to the brink of ruin”.

The Rev Dr. Joanna Penberthy apologised on Thursday after the two month-old tweet was picked up by the British press and politicians, drawing condemnation from parishioners in an institution once characterised as ‘the Tory party at prayer’.

In the Telegraph, religious correspondent Emma Thompson said that Anglican bishops seemed to be “on a mission to alienate their flocks, run down their parishes and ultimately give up their special place in British public and spiritual life”.

“How else to explain the actions of the Bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy, who has been forced to delete her Twitter account and apologise after tweeting, ‘Never, never, never trust a Tory’?” she asked.

“I am not theologically trained, but I cannot remember Jesus telling us to love our neighbours unless they are Tories.”

‘Intolerant’

On Thursday Jenny Penberthy put a statement on the Diocese of St David’s website apologising for her tweet.

“On March 25th 2021 I put out a private tweet about Conservative Party supporters which has caused offence and for which I sincerely apologise,” she said.

“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”.

She however drew support from former Plaid Cymru Senedd Member Leanne Wood, who said it was “such a shame she felt the need to apologise. She is right and was speaking the truth.”

Jenny Penberthy became the first woman to become a bishop in the Church in Wales after being consecrated in 2017.


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Quornby
Quornby
11 months ago

The truth hurts the Tory propaganda rag.

Gaynor
Gaynor
11 months ago

Seriously? You sound as deluded as the Telegraph, run by the foreign based tax avoiding aka fraudsters that are the Barclay family. Whk on earth wouldbe stupid enough to trust AlunCairns, Johnson, David Davies, Simon Hart? Nobody. Apart from the Russians

Suns ine De se ts
Suns ine De se ts
11 months ago

‘pushing Church to brink of ruin’ is some stretch. When did the Torygraph turn into the Daily Heil. If clergy don’t take a moral stance ruination will come a lot sooner.

Bronwyn Curnow
Bronwyn Curnow
11 months ago

Torygraph is full of lies on any subject. It has sunk to the level of the S*n, and the Daily Heil

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
11 months ago

The Tories are the ghastly extreme-right that is ruining not only Cymru, but the entire UK.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

Your Grace, “Be Strong and of Good Courage” Joshua 1 : 9

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

The Telegraph could be complicit in the ruination of this country and the deaths of tens of thousands of its people…Emma you really do need make an act of contrition…don’t you!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

‘to’ How does the editing function work…I cannot see the icon!

defaid
defaid
11 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Normally a little gear wheel on the far right, level with the Reply button and directly below the red flag. I’ve just discovered that it disappears after a while.

Last edited 11 months ago by defaid
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago
Reply to  defaid

Right, defaid diolch, I’ll give it a try, nice of you to help. Bit like money then!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Hey, success! diolch unwaith eto!

Mandi A
Mandi A
11 months ago

Emma Thompson, “who is not theologically trained”, also does not know that the Church in Wales is not quite the Anglican Church. Disestablishment in 1920 meant that Welsh Bishops do not attend as Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords, only English Bishops do. If there were Welsh Bishops in the HoL, they would be making pronouncements and taking votes on matters of state with whatever political slant they chose to adopt. The Archbishop of Canterbury has not been holding back recently. So as a public face of the Church in Wales, Bishop Joanna is perfectly entitled to make her… Read more »

Mandi A
Mandi A
11 months ago

Searching the internet, I find nothing to explain who Emma Thompson of the Telegraph actually is.

Suns ine De se ts
Suns ine De se ts
11 months ago
Reply to  Mandi A

Emma Thompson is a “rural parish volunteer” who has an occasional column in The Specator. https://archive.is/y33ct

Mandi A
Mandi A
11 months ago

Excellent thank you. Telegraph and Spectator, conjoined twins with Boris at the head. To be a religious affairs correspondent is a very task and she must be called out for misrepresenting herself as such.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

Blimey! This is a case of false representation…now we all know. Diolch

Look, learn and fight back!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Annwyl Joanna,(your Grace) please excuse my presumption but may I humbly suggest you avail yourself of a righteous and savvy press secretary…there are forces out there not seen since the thirties! I suspect someone discovered things during his/? researching…he and others are rewriting history in their own image…you are not alone.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

Just figured it “rural parish volunteer” = Mrs Whitehouse

Suns ine De se ts
Suns ine De se ts
11 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

A nobody busybody hack, The kind of character who is killed in the first 10 minutes of Midsomer Murders.

Scott Turnbull
Scott Turnbull
11 months ago

“A Church that claims the world is for Christ must be up to its neck in politics”. Donald Soper…..personal view.

Mandi A
Mandi A
11 months ago
Reply to  Scott Turnbull

Desmond Tutu, Trevor Huddlestone, Ruskin, FD Maurice, the Toynbees, any number of Christian Socialists prepared to stand up and be counted. But the gang after Bishop Joanna have another agenda – they are implacably opposed to female clergy. They have waited to pounce until the Archbishop of Wales retired without a successor in place (mistake) leaving her exposed.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago
Reply to  Scott Turnbull

I remember a man of the cloth who did indeed seek to serve two masters,
I met him again in another place and his ambition was just as keen.
I got to know his flock and to some he was the man, to others the cloth,
I found him good company and urbane but to some his faith was rarely seen.

Thomas Hughes and Charles Kingsley et al diolch

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
11 months ago

Three cheers for Dr Joanna Penberthy, who has the absolute courage to fight back. She is perfectly right – you cannot be a Tory and a Christian as well.

Alastair
Alastair
11 months ago
Reply to  Mick Tems

See:- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25889828
Lest you forget – she did ! Who pays in most ?

paul
paul
11 months ago

A Flock of Geese. A Murder of Crows. A Herd of Cows. A Pollution of Tories.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
11 months ago

Since when has The Telegraph taken any interest in Wales?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

Mrs May’s holiday on the Mawddach, echoing the words of RT Davies, second homes, etc

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
11 months ago

Never trust a tory has been a life time motto if mine. The Bishop has hit the nail right on the head. Now open the church doors and coffers to the homeless and poor. Follow your creed

Erisian
Erisian
11 months ago

The Telegraph : Fox News for people who can spell and use grammar

Paul Kitchenham
Paul Kitchenham
11 months ago

I’m not an Anglican or a Tory, but…. surely people are missing the point that this bishop thought it was ok to insult a sizeable section of her flock. That is surely what the commentator was getting at – a matter of massive pastoral insensitivity.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
11 months ago

What would Christ says about the Tory government in Westminster cutting the UK international aid budget? Bishop Joanna may have shown a little lack of political finesse but I think she was making a valid point about the ethics (or lack of) of Conservative Party.

John Howard Edwards
John Howard Edwards
5 months ago

Good for her. All bishops should be free to express political opinions. In my opinion, the Church SHOULD be more political. You can’t be involved in moral matters without some political slant. After all, it cannot be denied that the current Tory party is by far the most immoral party in generations, judging by its track record over the last few years. No party can be squeaky clean, because they are all run by human beings, but surely a line has to be drawn.

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