Wednesday, 1 March 2017

ROY GODWIN AND FFALD-Y-BRENIN RETREAT CENTRE - A KEY FORMER EMPLOYEE HERE SHARES HER SOBERING TESTIMONY.

"For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed;
neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."
(Luke 12:2-3)

Grace outpoured on all... except the staff?


What follows is the heartfelt personal account of a key former employee of Roy Godwin at the Ffald-y-Brenin Retreat Centre in Pembrokeshire, of her harrowing experiences there. It is no small thing for her to share what she has here; I know from having met with this very plucky and principled Christian lady, whose integrity shines through, that her soul-searching over all this has been considerable indeed. I greatly commend her for her decision to make her concerns a matter of public record, solely in the interests of the truth being told. So without further preamble from myself, here is Jane's sobering testimony:

I’ve thought and prayed long and hard about whether to write something and post it here.  To be able to put down in words that which I experienced whilst working for Roy Godwin at Ffald y Brenin, I do not approach lightly.  It is a very serious matter to discuss another individual publicly.  However, I am greatly challenged by Rob Thomas’ desire to see the truth exposed.  I see how easy it is for us Christians to ‘sweep things under the carpet’, or not to ‘rock the boat’.  I have felt it too and no more so than whilst working at Ffald y Brenin and particularly following my exit that I should be silent about my experience since to talk about it somehow curtails the work of God, is an affront to God, sabotages those who might be on the verge of receiving God or any other number of different messages that people think about in a situation such as this.  But it is clear to me that it’s not about being ‘nice’ or making allowances, which quite ably allows what is not quite the truth to continue on it’s way. 
I came to faith out of a great suffering and love the Lord as I know that so many others do.  I have so often questioned my own part in my time working for Roy Godwin, I have rent my heart before God, have wanted to come to some other conclusion but sadly, do believe that things are not quite right. Please don’t misunderstand me, I do not expect perfection, as I know that is not achievable, but there does seem to lie the problem with Roy Godwin, who I found to expect it and whom I found to be uncomfortable with his own imperfection and worse is prone to a spiritual bullying that is very uncomfortable for those subject to it.
Now I am not a theologian or scholarly in any shape or form but I know the peace of God and the day that it was imparted to me was an incredible day.  Furthermore, trusting in God enabled me to learn more, harvest more of the treasures of heaven and in particular become more comfortable with myself and to embrace my imperfection.  Most of all, a gift of discernment together with my own walk in darkness prior to being born again has given me a rich understanding of the wiliness of the world.  I know the heart is deceitful and that mine can also be.
I would have to write a book to say how things were but the gist of it was much to do with a spiritual bullying and the devaluing and disempowerment of others.  This done in such a surreptitious and underhand way that it is difficult to put your finger on and very difficult to put into words.  My antennae went up on day one of working with him, however, when I was told that two of my predecessors were ‘awful’.   Perhaps I am just too sensitive, as I knew straight off that if he could talk of others in that way, then he could quite obviously talk of me in that way.  Moreover, I was not issued with a contract or given any details prior to joining in regard to salary or exactly what would be required.  Whenever I asked, I was fobbed off with, ‘we are very relaxed here’.  Clue no 1.  What you want is not important…  It became clearer and clearer to me that it was all about Roy Godwin and what he wanted.  At first, I was confused since I believed I might find something different to the world in the way in which Ffald y Brenin was run but in fact what I found was something worse than I had experienced in the world.  His attitude was very authoritarian and I do believe that most of the staff were and are afraid of him.  Certainly, nobody dared to challenge him.  Staff were able to relax more at lunchtimes when both Roy & Daphne were not around when the atmosphere was markedly different.  One new staff member asked me about my background and where and how I got to Ffald y Brenin only to be told by Roy Godwin that ‘we don’t talk about people’s backgrounds here’.  I’ll leave that one for you to ponder on but perhaps he didn’t want to talk about his, but I certainly don’t mind talking about mine, warts and all.  All of this done under the guise of what a wonderful family we are. 
The one question I found myself asking so often was ‘does it matter what sort of person evangelises and runs a Christian centre?’  If we are all imperfect and God uses imperfect people, surely it doesn’t?  I came to know the answer as yes, it does matter - if that person doesn’t trust God in their own lives and uses Him for their own purposes, then it certainly does matter.  That is indeed a very serious matter in the kingdom of God.
There was much more that I will not go into detail about here but God brought me to a place of speaking to Roy Godwin about my experience of him and it seemed for a time things got better.  And then worse…. Sadly, my confidence was eroded to the extent that I just got up and left at the end of the June conference 2016.  I wrote in a letter my reasons for doing so and received a letter back from Roy which confirmed for me beyond doubt what this person is capable of. I was greatly saddened and 
upset to see the lies that he had written about me.   I wonder why if I was so bad at my job he had not mentioned it whilst I was there?  I am quite sure that a man of integrity and who had reached adulthood in Christ, would have come to speak to me personally on the subject. 
You may be wondering why I believe my experience is necessary to be brought into the light …. And no, it is not because I am bitter or unforgiving, but rather because I am extremely concerned about how people are led to believe something without understanding fully whence it comes.  We so often take people at face value and believe in them!  I have many times in the past visited a conference and thought how amazing somebody is without looking at who the person really is.  It is so important that we seek Jesus directly as it is He who will heal us and guide us – we must not seek Him through others and we must certainly test what we see and hear.  Worse still, is how easily we are hoodwinked when we want desperately to believe in something, how we can easily kid ourselves that something will be different or change if we just go along with it for a while.  Worse still again, when we see things that are not quite right but ignore them because we have managed to idolise or glorify that person in some way.  Sadly, I was guilty of these things too and wanted to believe that we were a family.  However, families share their lives, their hearts, their feelings and their desires… - that was not my experience of Roy and Daphne Godwin.   I find that very sad as I ponder on how different things could be.
I know that I am a lone voice here and this, of course, is my word against his.  But, I am comforted in the knowledge that God knows and reminds me in Psalm 23: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’

* * * * * * *

When I wrote about Roy Godwin recently I did not question his personal sincerity, only his determinedly errant and frankly dangerous theological departures. But as the full extent of the problems at Ffald-y-Brenin under his Executive Directorship comes to light, it becomes clear that his sincerity is indeed all too questionable, his much-praised public persona sadly proving to be just an elaborate front and part of the carefully created illusion of sanctity and sanctuary that is Ffald-y-Brenin.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, 
and if there be any praise, think on these things."
(Philippians 4:8)

* * * * * * *


POSTSCRIPT 

This month, 14/15 March 2017, Ffald-y-Brenin is holding a Conference on 'A NEW MONASTICISM.' Part of the blurb reads:

"The Desert Fathers and early monastic communities became powerful sources of renewal for local churches again and again."

The truth of the matter is that these, rather than being sources of renewal, were in fact fountainheads of apostasy! Please see:

25 comments:

  1. Alison Phillips1 March 2017 at 09:21

    You say that this month, 14/15 March 2017, Ffald-y-Brenin is holding a Conference on 'A NEW MONASTICISM.

    Are you going to attend Mr Thomas, or do you just sit and condemn from the comfort of your armchair?

    Where do you go for church or fellowship? You never say anything about this. It is very easy to give out condemnation when one remains private at home. But a sign of a brave man is when he is prepared to go into the big wide world out there in public - if indeed you do venture out?

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    1. Hi Alison!

      Thanks for your comment. I just find it very sad that it's so lacking in grace. I note that you wish just to deride me, and ask questions only of me and none of Roy Godwin, with no actual comment on the content of this article.

      FYI, I fellowship privately with other true believers, and no, I would hardly be going to a Conference I'm warning people is an exercise in apostasy! I'm afraid I simply find the whole tone of your words to be saying something about your own walk.

      In Him,
      Rob.

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  2. Thank you for this article. I am sure it took a lot of courage for Jane to go public. It reminded me once more of Lee Abbey Devon, which turned in a similar spiritual direction and seems to have had some of the same problems. I wonder if this is because people moving in this spiritual direction are doing things according to the flesh (or worse) and not the Spirit? (Romans 8:5, Galatians 5:22-23) I don't know for sure but think there is a link. Val p

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    1. Thank you, Val P!

      I can't commend Jane highly enough for such a brave action. Would that many other Christians were so prepared to make such a stand; it's quite an example to follow!

      There is undoubtedly a general shift from Spirit to flesh, from the Word to (untested) experience, from sound doctrine to the doctrine of devils. And it's inevitable that such distancing from Truth will result in a climate of fleshly unrighteousness. Things are getting worse by the day; there may be many symptoms of the Church's illness, but only one underlying cause. Many fronts: one Enemy!

      This is no gentle walk in the park - it's a battlefield, and this war is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12). It is these evil spiritual entities who are relentlessly working against us, and doing everything they possibly can to get the Church off the narrow Way and onto the broad road that leads to destruction. We have to take it to heart that we need to put on the full armour of our mighty God, and remember that our Lord already has the victory!

      Very best wishes in Him,
      Rob.

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  3. As I know very little of this, I will say this though, church's today are promoting such orders as monasticism. Bishop David Carr springs to mind, setting up his own order, the Arch church for another. They are all doing what Rome wants, even though they deny it. They are now wearing the same uniform. It was reported that religious orders were the fastest growing groups in the UK. How Rome smiles.

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    1. Hi Disciple!

      You are sadly so right! These amazingly undiscerning people are most certainly doing exactly what Rome wants, and reversing the Reformation. The smile of satisfaction on the Pope's face must be broad indeed! Shame on all who have so treacherously betrayed the Gospel!

      Very best wishes in Him,
      Rob.

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    2. Rob:

      I agree totally. We are seeing the same kind of teaching in the U.S. There are several streams of error but what seems to stick out within them all is this push away from the Bible and toward monastic living (which is basically promoting living a monastery life, whether it be nun or monk.) It only takes one look through some old history books like J.A. Wylie's History of the Waldenses or J.T. Headly's The Life of Cromwell as well as others to see that the monks were the leaders of those who were taught to kill the protestants in the world. We are blindly following so called protestant leaders who are leading us back to Rome. Thanks for having the courage to sound the alarm.

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    3. Hi, and thanks for writing in from the States with your observations. On both sides of the Atlantic we are seeing a modern day counter-Reformation taking place; ecumenism is taking us ever closer to re-unification with Rome, and the one world religion of Antichrist!

      With best wishes in Him,
      Rob.

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  4. hello rob
    have you received my posts
    i can't see them

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  5. Replies
    1. Your comments are exactly where you posted them, Ducksie, i.e. on the Benny Hinn article and on the Jesus Christ Superstar article!

      Just click on Benny Hinn/Jesus Christ Superstar in the Topics list (below the Blog Archive) on the right hand side of this blog's white column, and you'll find them.

      In Him,
      Rob.

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  6. Hello Rob!

    I am a little perplexed at the moment with the surrounding attacks on you on your blog and one other's. People seem to think that you hide behind your computer and do not mix with other Christians or indeed fellowship with them. I find this very strange as you and your lovely wife keep encouraging us as we are told to do in Scripture and fellowship with us. I just want to state to others about how precious you are to us as brother and sister in the Lord, and that what you write about is so measured and Biblical. I went to Ffald y Brenin once out of interest, but never again. Why walk to a manmade cross put there when I can kneel at the foot of the Cross each day. Why buy books by popular portal opening pastors who grave suck when I can read the Word of God. I don't understand the vengeful criticism of you Rob when you speak truth in the wilderness. Thank you for your words, your Christian love and your practical help. We have never found such loving down to earth Godly people and we thank the Lord for you every day. God bless your true discernment ministry, Ceri

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    1. Hi Ceri!

      I'm truly humbled by your gracious words. The Word warned us that perilous times would come, and they've most certainly arrived! I can't thank you enough for all your unstinting support and encouragement, and your willingness to so openly stand alongside me in this unremitting struggle to earnestly contend for the Faith once and for all time delivered. Of a truth, "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

      May the Lord bless and protect you and yours, and guide you all safely through these incredibly troubled times!
      With deepest gratitude for your friendship and faithfulness,
      Rob.

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  7. I have never met you, like most others in this blog world we live in.
    But, it is surely never right for those who would call themselves Christian to indulge in personal attacks?
    By all means, if there is false teaching out there-write and warn about it-but stop there?
    Every blessing.

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    1. Hi, and thanks for your interest and writing in!

      This site is in no way about indulging in personal attacks, though as you'll observe from the very first comment in this section, there's never been any shortage of personal attacks made upon myself. This blog is only about exposing darkness to the light, and trying to warn people of deception and the errant teachers who perpetrate that deception. It's all about earnestly contending for the Faith, and upholding the glorious Gospel which is being so tarnished by what such (mis)leaders as these as doing.

      Best wishes in Him,
      Rob.

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  8. We certainly are in perilous times so we need to stand firm in the Lord and put on the true armour of God. A true discernment ministry will never be popular, and if it were I would question if it was discerning! The truth of the Gospel cuts through, it is not there to use a half truth, put experience elevated above the Word of God or promote rancid stirred up gossip. These are tools of Satan, not the Lord.

    No prophet in the Bible was popular, and of course, neither was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the eyes of most mortals. We press on and pray for people's eyes to be opened.

    Ceri

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    1. Yes indeed Ceri! We press on as we must, regardless of everything thrown at us by the Enemy, all the while hoping and praying that blinded eyes may be opened and people in bondage to deception will be set free in the Truth! We are to set ourselves to please God, not men; our trust is in His strength not our own, as the immovable Rock of our salvation; His armour alone is our protection!

      Best wishes in Him,
      Rob.

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  9. All I am left to say is we'll see you on Monday as we did last week and the week before a couple of times, oh, and before that. It seems to be that a very untruthful picture of you is being painted by a group of people who don't have a clue. If it weren't for you lying on a verge on the A470 dual carriageway two weeks ago today changing my tyre, I would have been utterly stuck. There seem to be quite a few slanderous comments going around about you so you must be doing something right!

    Blessings in the Lord

    Ceri

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    1. Ah - I'm embarrassed now, Ceri!

      If we can't respond when a friend is in need of some assistance, what would that say about us as Christians? It was my privilege to help when help was needed.

      Concerning the slurs, I am persuaded to do nothing at all, and in this I am mindful of how the Lord kept His silence before His accusers. (Isaiah 53:7) One day we will all answer to Him for all that we've said and done in this life, and that day is very fast approaching. The confirmation of this is all around us!

      With very best wishes to you and yours,
      In Him,
      Rob.

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  10. The Lord is With you Rob his love surrounds you and your family. You are strong in the Lord. May God and his neverending love protect you and keep you.
    The Blood of Jesus protects you in ALL your dealings.This is my prayer for you.

    Amen and Amen

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    1. Hi!

      Thank you so very much for your kindness and your prayers. I do so greatly appreciate such support, encouragement and reassurance. We stand in His strength, and trust to His promise that His grace is sufficient in all our adversity. All glory to the Name that is above all others!

      With best wishes, in His Name,
      Rob.

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  11. Hi Jane, Thank you for your honesty. I wrote to Ffald Y Brenin just before the June Conference 2016 asking for more evidence that the miracles it was claimed took place there actually did. As after all, if they did and they were glorifying to God, it would sure be right and proper to seek and publicize evidence of their veracity. However, the reply that I received from yourself was pleasant but rather vague. I do wonder now if you were instructed as to what to write. If not, don't worry as I have no animosity about it. I replied to that email and then didn't receive an email for some time, until I received one from the 'Team at Ffald-y-Brenin' which was again rather vague in its reply, saying that video evidence of healing was 'a legal minefield' although they were hoping to video testimonies (personally I couldn't see the difference legally). They then effectively shutdown further questioning by saying that they had many emails and didn't have time for protracted correspondence but that they could direct me to someone more local (I declined). I found this second response slightly rude, rather patronizing and certainly not helpful. It did not give a sense of somewhere that was honest, truthful, open to questioning and had nothing to hide. Well done Jane on getting away and having the courage to stand up to bullying.

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    1. Hi Kathryn, and many thanks for writing in to share your experience of Ffald-y-Brenin's reticence to substantiate their claims of healings. It is sadly an all too common feature of hyper-Charismatic ministries not to be open to any questioning, no matter how genuine that questioning might be. Too busy is more an excuse than a reason for such a lack of Christian transparency.

      Jane has courageously revealed here just what kind of operation Ffald-y-Brenin actually is beneath its veil of righteousness, and I'm sure she'll be much encouraged by your kind words of support.

      With best wishes in Him,
      Rob.

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  12. Hi Kathryn

    It is difficult to respond without seeming as if I am absolving myself of responsibility. The fact is, that as a PA, I stand between the client and my boss but in order to do my job well, I am only as good as the person that I work for. The conditions were difficult, almost impossible to get answers but not able to make decisions off my own bat either. Yes, it is difficult to prove that people have received a miracle of healing …and yes, as I understand it there has been some of that, but I would say that there are many exaggerations too. The contradiction for me is that ‘The Grace Outpouring’ and ‘The Way of Blessing’ is able to list many miracles but when you write in and ask for them, you aren’t provided with a response…. I leave that with you to ponder on.

    Best wishes
    Jane

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