New lay and ecumenical canons appointed to St. Asaph Cathedral

THE first lay and ecumenical canons are appointed to support the governance and mission of St Asaph’s Cathedral.

A total of four Ecumenical Honorary Canons, including the first Welsh Catholic Canon of an Anglican Cathedral, have been appointed to affirm their friendship and support for the Cathedral.

Additionally, three lay people will join a revamped cathedral chapter to help with finances, communications and property.

The new chapter will be inaugurated at a special evening service at St Asaph’s Cathedral on Sunday May 15 at 3:30 p.m.

The revamped chapter is the result of new legislation passed by the Church of Wales which allows each cathedral to adopt a new governance scheme.

The Dean of St Asaph’s Cathedral has worked with the existing chapter in consultation with the Bishop of St Asaph to identify suitable appointments.


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The Very Reverend Nigel Williams, Dean of the Cathedral, said: “This is a great step forward for St Asaph’s Cathedral which allows us to make informed and forward-thinking decisions for the future.

“I have worked for six years across the Church of Wales to change the way appointments to Cathedral Chapters are made.

“By removing the requirements for canons to be ordained, we are now able to appoint people with relevant expertise to assist us in our decision-making.”

The St Asaph Cathedral Chapter will include:

• Dean: The Most Reverend Nigel Williams

• Singer: Canon Rex Matthias

• Sexton: Canon Tudor Hughes

• Chancellor: Canon Pam Powell

• Missionary: Andrea Jones, Rector of Hawarden

• Treasurer: Diane McCarthy, Diocesan Secretary

• Canon of communication: John Liston

• Canon surveyor: Emyr Hughes, inspector of the diocesan presbytery

• Mission Area Cannon: Karen Dixon

• Canon for Marketing and Tourism: vacant

The Bishop of St Asaph, the Most Reverend Gregory Cameron, said: “New appointments to the Cathedral Chapter bring with them specific skills and expertise.

“We salute Andrea’s faithful ministry and her enthusiasm for the growth of the Church, Diane’s outstanding service as Diocesan Secretary and financial experience, Emyr’s surveying training as a Diocesan Real Estate Advisor and John’s considerable experience in building communication work from the cathedral to the chapter.”

The four new ecumenical honorary canons are:

• Jennifer Hurd, President of the Cymru Synod of the Methodist Church in Great Britain

• Brian Matthews, former Moderator of the Presbyterian and United Reformed Churches of Wales

• Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ, Sister of the Congregation of Jesus, Director of the Religious Life Institute and Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge

• Canon Richard Peers, Under-Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and longtime friend of the diocese

Those previously appointed to the canons’ stalls will now form a Grand Chapter which will be available to advise, attend the Annual General Meeting, major diocesan services and events.

These canons, all ordered, are:

• Llanfair Prima Stall, Archdeacon Andy Grimwood

• Llanfair Secunda Stall, Archdeacon Barry Wilson

• Stand of Adam Beckinsell, Canon Sue Huyton

• Stand of David ap Howell, Canon Michael Balkwill

• Booth of Ricardi Harrison, Canon Nia Morris

• Stand of Randulph Birkenhed, Canon Martin Batchelor

• Booth of Arthur Bulkeley, Jason Bray

• Booth of Johannes Griffith, Carole Poolman

• Stall of Galfridi Ruthin, Jonathan Smith

Two diocesan honorary canons will also be newly appointed:

• Revd Stuart Evans, for his long and distinguished service

• Revd Jane James, for outstanding ministry as mission area leader

Stuart and Jane will join Steve Green and Trish Owens who will continue as honorary canons.

St Asaph’s Cathedral is named after Asaph, the successor of St Kentigern who built his church on the banks of the River Elwy in 560 AD.

Today the Diocese of St Asaph stretches from Llandudno to Newtown and up to the English border.

St Asaph is one of six dioceses in the Church of Wales, an independent province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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