New archbishop wants to 'refresh' Church in Wales

media captionThe Most Rev John Davies has been enthroned as the new Archbishop of Wales

The new Archbishop of Wales has said he wants to help "refresh" the Church in Wales after his Saturday enthronement.

The Most Rev John Davies, who has been Bishop of Swansea and Brecon since 2008, was elected in September after the retirement of Dr Barry Morgan.

Mr Davies has been enthroned as the 13th archbishop since the Church in Wales separated from the Church of England in 1920, at Brecon Cathedral.

"It is not business as usual," said the 64-year-old former lawyer.

Mr Davies is now head of the Church in Wales, which includes six dioceses - Bangor, St Asaph, St Davids, Llandaff, Monmouth and his own diocese of Swansea and Brecon.

The father-of-two from Newport was appointed ahead of the five serving bishops in Wales by an electoral college of 42 people made up of clerics and lay people in Llandrindod Wells, securing two-thirds of the vote.

The former criminal law solicitor, who left the profession to join the church in 1982 before being ordained in 1984, has called for the Church in Wales to "pause and draw breath" after his appointment.

image source, The Church in Wales

"The coming into post of a new archbishop is an opportunity for me to say to the very good and very many people that we have as part of our church, that we need to take stock," Mr Davies said.

"I want to try and refresh the vision of the church as that institution to support and nourish the lives of wider society."

Curries and cricket

Mr Davies has been married to wife Jo, a specialist nurse and long-distance cyclist, since 1986.

image captionThe Most Rev John Davies enters Brecon Cathedral ahead of his enthronement

They have two children - Kate, 29, and Christopher, 27 - who both live in London, and they have two black Labradors, Ollie and Izzy.

The law graduate from Southampton University is a talented organist who loves France and cooking, saying his specialities are curries and steak pie.

John Davies' Church in Wales CV

  • 1982: Left post as a lawyer to train at St Michael's in Llandaff
  • 1984: Ordained in Church in Wales as a deacon and became a priest a year later
  • 1984-86: Curate at St Mary's Church, Chepstow
  • 1986-89: Curate-in-charge of Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry
  • 1989-95: Rector of Bedwas and Rudry
  • 1995-2000: Vicar St John Evangelist Church in Newport
  • 2000-08: Dean of Brecon Cathedral
  • 2008-: Bishop of Swansea and Brecon

Mr Davies is a big sports fan and is "addicted" to BBC cricket show Test Match Special, but said he was "concerned about violence in sport, particularly football".

Mr Davies is the first serving Bishop of Swansea and Brecon to hold the post and the 13th since former Bishop of St Asaph Alfred George Edwards became the first archbishop in 1920.

About 600 guests attended his enthronement service, which began at 14:00 GMT on Saturday, when the new archbishop was led into the cathedral by a procession of 200 dignitaries.

image source, Geograph/Jaggery
image captionThe service was held at Brecon Cathedral

The service was led by Dean of Brecon, Dr Paul Shackerley, and Mr Davies was placed in the Archiepiscopal chair - or throne - by the Bishop of Bangor, the Right Rev Andrew John.

The Archiepiscopal chair is a wooden replica of the Chair of St Augustine in Canterbury Cathedral.

It was a gift from the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1920 when, at its disestablishment, the Church in Wales became a separate province of the Anglican Communion.

Right Rev John, the senior bishop, presented the new archbishop to the congregation before Mr Davies gave the address.

image source, The Church in Wales
image captionThe Archiepiscopal chair will remain at Brecon Cathedral throughout the archbishop's tenure

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