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

A total of four ecumenical honorary canons, including Wales’ first Catholic canon of an Anglican cathedral, have been appointed to affirm their friendship and support of the cathedral.

In addition, three lay people will join a revamped Cathedral Chapter to assist with finance, communications and property.

The new chapter will be inaugurated during a special Evensong service at St Asaph Cathedral on Sunday, May 15 at 3.30pm.

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

The Dean of St Asaph 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, Cathedral Dean, said: “This is a big step forward for St Asaph Cathedral allowing us to make well-informed and forward-thinking decisions for the future.

“I’ve been working for the last six years across the Church in Wales to change how appointments to cathedral chapters are made.

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

The St Asaph Cathedral Chapter will comprise:

• Dean: The Very Revd Nigel Williams

• Precentor: Canon Rex Matthias

• Sacrist: Canon Tudor Hughes

• Chancellor: Canon Pam Powell

• Missioner: Andrea Jones, Rector of Hawarden

• Treasurer: Diane McCarthy, Diocesan Secretary

• Communication Canon: John Liston

• Canon Surveyor: Emyr Hughes, Diocesan Parsonage Inspector

• Mission Area Canon: Karen Dixon

• Canon for Marketing and Tourism: Vacant

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

“We welcome Andrea’s faithful ministry and enthusiasm for Church growth, Diane’s outstanding service as Diocesan Secretary and financial experience, Emyr’s surveying training as the diocesan property advisor and John’s considerable experience in building the communication work of the cathedral to the Chapter.”

The four new ecumenical honorary canons are:

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

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

• Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ, a sister of the Congregation of Jesus, director of the Religious Life Institute and senior lecturer in pastoral theology at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge

• Canon Richard Peers, Sub-Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and a long-standing friend of the diocese

Those appointed to the canon stalls previously will now form a Greater Chapter who will be available to advise, attend the Annual General Meeting, major diocesan services and events.

These canons, all ordained, are:

• Stall of Llanfair Prima, Archdeacon Andy Grimwood

• Stall of Llanfair Secunda, Archdeacon Barry Wilson

• Stall of Adam Beckinsell, Canon Sue Huyton

• Stall of David ap Howell, Canon Michael Balkwill

• Stall of Ricardi Harrison, Canon Nia Morris

• Stall of Randulph Birkenhed, Canon Martin Batchelor

• Stall of Arthur Bulkeley, Jason Bray

• Stall 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 distinguished and long service

• Revd Jane James, for her outstanding ministry as a Mission Area Leader

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

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

Today, the Diocese of St Asaph extends from Llandudno to Newtown 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.