Wednesday, 6 September 2017

New Archbishop of Wales elected

From the website of the Church in Wales

New Archbishop of Wales elected

A new Archbishop of Wales has been elected today (September 6).

John Davies, who has served as the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon for the past nine years, has been chosen as the 13th Archbishop of Wales.

He succeeds Dr Barry Morgan who retired in January after 14 years as the leader of the Church in Wales. His election is also historic as this is the first time a Bishop of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon has been elected as Archbishop of Wales.

Archbishop John was elected having secured a two-thirds majority vote from members of the Electoral College on the first second day of its meeting at Holy Trinity Church, Llandrindod Wells. The election was immediately confirmed by the five other diocesan bishops and announced at the door of the church by the Provincial Secretary of the Church in Wales, Simon Lloyd. Archbishop John will be enthroned at Brecon cathedral in due course.

He said, “I am overwhelmed and humbled. I would like to thank members of the College and especially my fellow bishops for the confidence and trust they have shown in me. We will work together as a team to grow and strengthen the Church as it serves the communities of Wales and helps build the kingdom of God.”

The Dean of Brecon, Dr Paul Shackerley welcomed the news on behalf of the Diocese. He said, “I am delighted with the news that Bishop John has been called to be our next Archbishop. He has proven gifts and experience to lead the Church into the future and will receive our full support and prayers he prepares to exercise his weighty, yet joyful, archiepiscopal ministry. I feel the future of the Church in Wales is in good hands with all our faithful Bishops, to lead us with hope into the future that we may flourish and serve the communities in which we are called.”

The Election process

The Most Revd John Davies, Archbishop of Wales

Archbishop John was born at Newport (Mon) and educated at Bassaleg Grammar School. He graduated in law from the University of Southampton from where he moved to the College of Law at Chester. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1977, specialising in criminal law and, after ordination, completed a master’s degree in Canon Law. Prior to ordination he was heavily involved in the life of the church at parochial, diocesan and provincial level.

Archbishop John left the law to enter the ministry and was ordained in 1984. He served in the Diocese of Monmouth in a variety of rural, post-industrial and urban parishes, and he also served as Diocesan Schools’ Officer and Officer for Ecumenical Affairs. He was appointed Dean of Brecon in 2000, and during eight years in that role oversaw significant improvements to the fabric and liturgy of the Cathedral. He was elected as the ninth Bishop of Swansea and Brecon in 2008.

Having been the ‘lead Bishop’ for Church and Society issues, Archbishop John is profoundly interested in matters of social justice and has spoken out on a range of issues, including homelessness and housing, rural problems, organ donation, assisted dying and poverty. He has retained a keen interest in issues of crime and punishment, with a particular concern about the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders, the nature of criminality and the effects of poor social and educational standards. Having served as the chairman of the trustees of a large hospice in Newport, he also has a deep concern for the just provision of healthcare, not least for those in the final stages of life. He currently chairs the Ethical Investment Group of the Church in Wales, its International Group and the Wales National Committee of Christian Aid, and is a national trustee of Christian Aid.

As a former church chorister, organist and choirmaster, Archbishop John has a passionate interest in church music being ‘done well’, whether complex musical settings or just simple hymns and songs, believing that it can do much to enhance quality, spirituality and effectiveness of many an act of worship.

He also enjoys a wide variety of music, watching sport – especially cricket and rugby – playing golf very occasionally, cooking and walking. He is married to Jo, an emergency nurse practitioner, and they have two grown-up children.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at 1:53pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church in Wales

Wonderful.God bless him.

Posted by: Christopher Rees on Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at 5:12pm BST

I’m not sure that I trust the bishops of the Church in Wales any more after the most recent Jeffrey John affair. And so I’m not sure there is anything here to celebrate. Just more of the good old “boys” looking out for themselves.

Posted by: David Allen on Thursday, 7 September 2017 at 6:45am BST

The fall-out from Jeffrey John's non-election to the See of Llandaff was extremely unsavoury, and the FOI disclosure, which revealed Bishop Davies's emails about Jefffrey John, left a very nasty taste. There are many in Wales (and beyond) who will be uneasy about this archiepiscopal election - not least the claims by the new Archbishop that homophobia played no part in the failure elect Jeffrey John. Also, am I right in thinking that he will be the first Archbishop of Wales in living memory who is unable to speak Welsh?

Posted by: Michael Mulhern on Thursday, 7 September 2017 at 2:05pm BST

No. Edwin Morris in the 1950s and 60s and Derrick Childs in 1980s spoke little or no Welsh.

Posted by: Christopher Rees on Thursday, 7 September 2017 at 5:50pm BST

Welsh-speaker or not, the outcome of this election (that almost went to the wire on day 3) has delivered an Archbishop of Wales whose recently proven lack of candour (and double-speak) in relation to Jeffrey John means that I, for one, feel his moral authority is open to question. If this is the best we could do for now, isn't it a damning indictment of the quality of episcopal ministry in this Province - especially when you compare us to our Celtic cousins in Ireland and Scotland?

Posted by: Richard Jones on Friday, 8 September 2017 at 8:41am BST

"We are not very good at communicating our message". On the contrary his actions have been all too good at communicating his message.The decline is due to the nature of that message

Posted by: Stanley Shaw on Friday, 8 September 2017 at 10:32am BST

The article says "elected ... on the first day of its meeting", and a comment above says "almost went to the wire on day 3".

In fact neither of these statements is correct. The election ended on the second day of the meeting. The College met on Tuesday 5 September, and the election was announced on Wednesday evening, 6 September.

The CinW website confirms this timetable. Maybe this is a corrected version of the story.

Posted by: Simon Kershaw on Friday, 8 September 2017 at 10:52am BST

Yes, the story has been corrected on the CinW website. Originally it did say first. I've amended the text above to show this correction.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Friday, 8 September 2017 at 11:31am BST

Ah, wonderful. A canon lawyer! Just what the church is crying out for.

Still, he enjoys walking (and perhaps also sometimes standing and maybe also eating and converting carbohydrates into energy) so he certainly meets the most essential requirements of high episcopal office.

Posted by: rjb on Tuesday, 12 September 2017 at 5:16am BST

Is this just one more 'safe pair of hands'?
Where is the prophetic voice of the Church in this appointment?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 14 September 2017 at 1:49am BST
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