Sexuality, tolerance and institutional inclusion were some of the hot topics under discussion when young people were invited to ‘Grill the Bishops’ in a pub this week.
About 25 people aged 18-35 were given the chance to pose their burning questions about faith and church life to the Bishop of Llandaff, June Osborne, and the Bishop of Monmouth, Richard Pain.
The event, jointly organised by the dioceses of Monmouth and Llandaff, took place at the Owain Glyndŵr Pub on St John’s Street, in the centre of Cardiff, yesterday,Tuesday, March 6.
The bishops were quizzed on wide ranging topics and as well as being asked about their favourite moments in ministry and about when they first felt called to the priesthood.
Bishop Richard told the young people about how he had reconciled a family around a dying man’s deathbed while Bishop June spoke of leading the funeral service for former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath in which her then 13-year-old son was a chorister.
Asked about the way forward for the church on the LGBT issue, Bishop June said, “I deeply believe that the church ought to make a stand about fidelity as that is where the issue is won or lost.
“The way forward is that the church gets past the issues that it is struggling over and embraces marrying couples in church of whatever sexuality.”
The event was organised jointly by the Revd Becca Stevens, young vocations advisor for Monmouth Diocese and the Revd Wendy Tayler of Llandaff Diocese who said, “ ‘Grill the Bishops’ was so
incredible for the soul. To witness a group of young adults spend their Tuesday evening in a pub in Cardiff centre with two bishops holding a conversation about sexuality, Judaism, institutional inclusion and tolerance amongst other things, was so inspiring.
“The profound questions were a clear indication of the incredible young people within the dioceses of Monmouth and Llandaff. Bishop June and Bishop Richard offered wise, insightful and engaging responses and proved their desire to invest in our young adults. It’s young minds and hearts like those present that make God smile!”
The Revd Becca Stevens, young vocations advisor for Monmouth Diocese, said, “We held this event as we recognise that more work needs to be done with this age group as they have a lot to contribute and can sometimes be overlooked in the traditional events we organise. It was a fantastic evening and everyone is already on board for a follow up session.”
Kieron Jones, 31, said, “It was a really enjoyable evening with like minded people from all walks of life. Opens the heart and mind while sharing good food and a pint in a relaxing atmosphere. I can’t wait for the next get together.”
And Leah Tyrrell, 32, said, “It was nice to socialise with other Christians as I don’t have many Christian friends. There was a great atmosphere. I enjoyed listening to the bishops’ opinions on current events and I will definitely be going to the next one.”