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Archbishop of Walhhhes John Davies.jpg
Archbishop of Wales John Davies.jpg
UK News

Archbishop of Wales John Davies to retire

by Tola Mbakwe

The Archbishop of Wales will be retiring in May after four years as leader of the Church in Wales.

Most Rev John Davies, 67, has also served as Bishop of Swansea and Brecon for the past 13 years. He's the 13th Archbishop of Wales, and also the first Bishop of Swansea and Brecon to be elected as Archbishop. He will retire from both roles on 2nd May.

Archbishop John led the Church in Wales as it reached its centenary last year and also as it faced one of its toughest challenges in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Announcing his retirement, Archbishop John said, "Leadership is both a privilege and a challenge. During my time as both Bishop and Archbishop I have tried to exercise the first and face the second with vision, courage and patience, always hoping to make the Church better equipped, better understood, less mysterious and more welcoming. 

"In the current exceptionally trying circumstances. I have been immensely impressed with the compassion, imagination and innovation with which so many have responded, succeeding in making the Church more accessible and, dare I say, relevant. At all stages of my ministry, I have been fortunate to have the support of many valued lay and ordained colleagues, from both within and outside the Church, and a wonderfully loving and understanding family. I thank all of them for that support, without which, the task would have been all but impossible." 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, paid tribute to his wisdom and skill, describing him as a "valued colleague".

"I have very much enjoyed working with John during his time as Archbishop of Wales," he said in a statement.  

"I have greatly valued his wisdom, his passion for the Gospel and evangelism, and his skill and diplomacy in dealing with often complex situations. He has been a valued colleague not only as a fellow Primate in the United Kingdom and Ireland but also in the wider Anglican Communion."

Archbishop John has been interested in matters of social justice, speaking out on a range of issues, including homelessness and housing, rural problems, assisted dying, organ donation and poverty. 

He has been chair of Housing Justice Cymru since it was launched in 2016, and has served as a trustee of Christian Aid, chairing its Wales National Committee for almost nine years from 2010.

He has also focused on the need for the Church in Wales to refresh its vision, its image and purpose, to embrace change and to aim for growth. He oversaw the launch of a major £10m Evangelism Fund.

Following Archbishop John's retirement, the Bishop of Bangor will lead the Church until the election of a new Archbishop later in the year.

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