New Bishop of St Davids elected
Provincial news Posted: 17 October 2023
A senior cleric, who has served in every county of Wales’ largest diocese, will now lead it as its 130th bishop.
The Archdeacon of Carmarthen, Dorrien Davies, was today elected as the next Bishop of St Davids – a diocese which covers the three West Wales counties of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.
Archdeacon Dorrien secured the necessary two-thirds majority vote from members of the Electoral College on the second day of its meeting at St Davids Cathedral.
The announcement was made at the west door of the Cathedral by the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John.
He said, “I’m delighted the Archdeacon of Carmarthen has been elected. His experience of this place and his deep wisdom and his skills will all be deployed in both leading the diocese forward and bringing it together in faith, hope and love. I know in his care this diocese will, as St David himself bid us, be joyful, will do the small things and will keep the faith.”
Archdeacon Dorrien said, “I am humbled and honoured that the Electoral College has appointed me to serve as Bishop and I will do my best to serve not only the Diocese but the Province of Wales. This means a great deal to me and I look forward to leading this diocese to things both wonderful and new.”
Archdeacon Dorrien will be the Bishop Elect until the election is formally confirmed at a Sacred Synod service on November 29. He will be consecrated as Bishop at Bangor Cathedral – the seat of the Archbishop – on January 27 and enthroned as the 130th Bishop of St Davids at St Davids Cathedral shortly afterwards.
The election followed the retirement at the end of July of Joanna Penberthy, who served as Bishop of St Davids from 2017.
The Electoral College is made up of representatives from all six Welsh dioceses and the bishops. The ‘home’ diocese – in this case, St Davids, – is represented by six lay people and six clergy and the other five dioceses by three lay people and three clergy each. Its discussions are confidential. Candidates for election are nominated at the meeting, discussed and voted on by ballot. If they secure a two-thirds majority they are declared Bishop Elect.
Journey of Ministry
Born in Abergwili and a native Welsh-speaker, Dorrien trained for ministry at St Michael’s College, Llandaff, and was ordained priest in 1989. He served his curacy in Llanelli before being appointed Vicar of Llanfihangel Ystrad Aeron in Ceredigion. During that time, Dorrien studied for a degree at the University of Wales, College of Lampeter, graduating in 1995. He was appointed Vicar of St Dogmael’s, Pembrokeshire, in 1999 and served there for 11 years. In 2007, he was made a Canon of St Davids Cathedral and in 2010, he moved to St Davids as Canon Residentiary. In 2017 Dorrien was appointed Archdeacon of Carmarthen and priest-in-charge of St Clears.
Dorrien is married to Rosie and has two sons, Morgan and Lewies. His hobbies include reading and painting.