SOME churches are preparing to refuse to pay their parish shares until parishioners' serious concerns of what is going on within the Diocese of Monmouth are resolved, the Argus understands.

Parishioners spoke to the Argus two months ago about their worries of the Bishop of Monmouth, Richard Pain, having not carried out any official duties for six months.

Eight months have now passed and still there have been no official duties undertaken by the bishop.

Parishioners previously spoke of their belief that staff had raised grievances against Bishop Pain.

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And now, they have claimed that some churches are planning to withhold their parish shares (otherwise known as a quota) - which the diocese collects and uses towards diocesan expenditure - until the "mess is solved".

A spokeswoman from the office of the Archbishop of Wales, John Davies would not comment on this, but had previously said: "In recent weeks there has been speculation regarding the Bishop of Monmouth and about relationships within his senior team.

"The Archbishop of Wales is aware of these issues and remains actively engaged, with all parties, in a formal process of mediation which seeks to resolve them.

“For reasons of confidentiality, and out of respect for those concerned in the ongoing mediation process, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

“We understand that many people are concerned and frustrated with the situation but we continue to ask for their patience until the matter is resolved.”

The parishioners, who did not wish to be named, said: "With each passing day, the diocese is being damaged.

"Vicars and parishioners are becoming despondent with the Church in Wales and are openly talking of leaving.

"We parishioners have been treated appallingly in the diocese. Can you blame some churches for refusing to pay their quotas when we have no bishop and are treated so badly?

"We know of churches preparing to refuse to pay their quotas until this mess is solved."

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The parishioners also claimed that those believed to have raised grievances against the bishop are now "refusing to go to mediation talks".

"This has been the case for weeks," they said.

"It is outrageous. How can the problem be solved without going to mediation?"