A TRIO of women from across North Wales will be honoured for their work by the Bishop of St Asaph.

The three will receive the Order of St Asaph at a special service in St Asaph Cathedral on Saturday, May 7, to mark the feast day of Asaph after whom the diocese is name.

The three new members of the Order of St Asaph are:

• Helen Jones from Mynydd Isa, near Mold, who has been nominated for her service as the former chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance.

• Anne Suter from Deeside, in recognition of her service as a trustee of the Bishop Alwyn Rice Jones Trust.

• Jennie Willson formerly from Welshpool, who was a vice president of the Provincial Standing Committee, representing the diocese on the Church in Wales’ Governing Body, and for her work as a transition mentor.


LIVE: Votes are counted in North Wales' 2022 local elections

The three women join the 22 other members of the Order of St Asaph which was started by the current Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, in 2014.

It is a way of honouring, celebrating and expressing gratitude for outstanding service to the diocese by leading lay members of churches across the diocese.

Each member of the order receives a medal which can be worn at all diocesan events, services and occasions.

Bishop Gregory said: “I am delighted to accept the nomination of these three women to the Order of St Asaph.

“Each has offered their distinctive skills in the service of the diocese and I am delighted to thank and honour them for their work in this way.”

Saturday’s service will also celebrate significant anniversaries for those in ordained ministry. These include:

• The Revd Gwynn Rees Jones from Abergele, who celebrates 65 years since being made a Deacon.

• The Venerable Bernard Thomas from Trefnant, who celebrates 50 years as priest.

• The Revd Harry Edwards, chaplain at the Severn Hospice in Shrewsbury, who has been a priest for 40 years.

• Canon Michael Balkwill, chaplain to the Bishop of St Asaph, who has been a priest for 30 years.

The service at St Asaph Cathedral starts at 11am and is open to everyone.

Bishop Gregory added: “I do encourage people from across the diocese to come together for this service of thanksgiving for the inheritance of faith we have received and to pray for our ongoing service and mission in Asaph’s name.

“We often allow our patronal festival to pass without much notice.

“This year, we hope to have a joyful gathering in the cathedral, and we would love to have you with us.”

The Diocese of St Asaph takes its name from Asaph, who succeeded St Kentigern as abbot-Bishop of Llanelwy in 573.

Little is known about the life of Asaph but local place names such as Llanasa, Pantasaph, Onnen Asa, Ffynnon Asa around Holywell attest to his prominence in the area.

Today, the Diocese of St Asaph extends from Llandudno to Newtown in Mid-Wales and across to the English border.

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