Thinking Anglicans

Cherry Vann to be the next Bishop of Monmouth

From a Church in Wales press release:

The Archdeacon of Rochdale was today (Thurs) elected as the next Bishop of Monmouth.

The Venerable Cherry Vann secured the necessary two-thirds majority vote from members of the Electoral College on the last day of its meeting at Newport Cathedral.

The announcement was made by the Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, President of the Electoral College.

He said, “I am looking forward enormously to working with Cherry.  She has a huge amount that she will be able to contribute to the life, not only to the Diocese of Monmouth, but also to the Church in Wales.

“One area I know is very close to her heart is the church’s ministry in post-industrial areas where community life, and church life in particular perhaps, has suffered enormously. The diocese, a little while ago, appointed a new archdeacon with responsibility for those areas, but having a bishop with great experience of them will be a huge morale boost for them.”

Bishop Elect Vann said the challenges facing churches in south-east Wales were the same as those in the north-west of England. She said, “The towns around Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale and Ashton are significantly challenged, both economically and in terms of church life. We’ve done some statistics, and a very, very small percentage of the population are going to our churches. This is something that we have been working hard to address in the Manchester area and I look forward to bringing some of the wisdom and knowledge I’ve gained from there to Newport and the Diocese of Monmouth.

“It struck me when I read the diocesan profile how similar Monmouth Diocese is to Manchester, on a smaller scale, but the challenges are the same, the demographics are the same and it’s really good to be here to lead the people of Newport in the next challenges that lie ahead.”

Originally from Leicestershire, Bishop Elect Vann has served as Archdeacon of Rochdale, in the Diocese of Manchester, for the past 11 years. She trained for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge, and was ordained as a deacon in 1989.  Among the first women to be ordained as a priest in the Church of England in 1994, she has spent her entire ministry so far in the Diocese of Manchester, in Flixton, Bolton and Farnworth. She is also an honorary canon of Manchester Cathedral and a former chaplain to deaf people.

Ms Vann holds senior posts in the governance of the Church of England. She has been Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of York since 2013 and is an ex-officio member of the Archbishops’ Council.

A talented pianist, Ms Vann is both an Associate of the Royal College of Music (ARCM) and a Graduate of the Royal Schools of Music. She conducts the Bolton Chamber Orchestra.

Ms Vann will be the Bishop Elect until the appointment is formally confirmed by the Archbishop at a Sacred Synod service. She will be then be consecrated as bishop at Brecon Cathedral – the seat of the current Archbishop – and enthroned as the 11th Bishop of Monmouth at Newport Cathedral.

Watch a short film of the Archbishop and the Bishop Elect Cherry Vann:

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Medwyn Evans
Medwyn Evans
4 years ago

Many of us in Wales are beginning to wonder if we have become a sanctuary of last resort for those senior women in the Church of England that cannot make Canon Boddington’s closely guarded preferment list – for whatever reason. June Osborne’s appointment to Llandaff, while welcomed by many of us, does illustrate, nonetheless, how a lack of working familiarity with the distinctive character and history of the Welsh Province can be an Achilles heel, and makes the initial stages of an episcopate rather rocky. It also took some time to recover from the furore surrounding Jeffrey John’s experience at… Read more »

Reply to  Medwyn Evans
4 years ago

We also have ended up with a Bench of Bishops who between them hardly can speak Welsh, and some are completely unfamiliar with devolution and Welsh political culture. In happier days, we had a Welsh-speaking Archbishop and very close relationships with the Welsh Assembly and the First Minister. Because of the horrible history of the C of E in Wales, the CiW has worked hard in the past to recruit Welsh speakers and for clergy to learn Welsh, all this progress is disappearing with these recent appointments. PS Jeffrey John is a fluent Welsh speaker

4 years ago

I congratulate the Church in Wales on a far superior appointment to those recently made by the Church of England in a candidate who rightly thinks mission and social deprivation are far more relevant in the crucial first press release than marital status.

4 years ago

Is this really just the CiW acting “as a sanctuary of last resort” for gifted people – female, gay or other outsiders – who are being excluded by the CofE’s preferment system?
Or is this really more to do with a liberal bench of diocesan Bishops remaking itself in its own image – despite some exceptional non-liberal clergy being available in Wales, and abroad?
NB The exceptional Rt Rev Philip North is still available…

Reply to  RevDave
4 years ago

Philip is indeed exceptional but he is also a square peg in a world of round holes and nobody, including himself, has seemingly offered a solution to that mismatch.

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