Archbishop of Wales

Archbishop of Wales

The Province of Wales in the Anglican Communion was created in 1920, as the Church in Wales, independent from the Church of England (of which the four Welsh
dioceses had previously been part). Unlike the Archbishops of Canterbury and York -- who are appointed by the Queen upon the advice of the Prime Minister -- the Archbishop of Wales is one of the six diocesan bishops of Wales, elected to hold this office in addition to his own diocese.

The establishment of a separate province and archbishopric was an indirect consequence of the Disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales (voted by Parliament in 1914 but implemented in 1920). Precedents for this development were sought by some in the early Celtic Church with a debatable pre-eminence of St. Davids. A Roman Catholic archbishopric of Cardiff had been created in 1916. The circulating character of the post was justified by Welsh geography and by the ecclesiastical precedent of the province of Numidia (of which St. Augustine of Hippo had been a bishop).

Successive archbishops have not only represented different geographical areas but also different tendencies within Anglicanism. In the mid- twentieth century lingustic issues were prominent in the successive incumbencies of Edwin Morris (who spoke no Welsh) and of Glyn Simon (who sympathised with advocates of the use of the Welsh language). Morris in some ways represented the broad churchmanship characteristic of the first occupant of the newly created post, Alfred Edwards, whereas Simon in many respects inherited the Anglo-Catholic outlook of the second archbishop, Charles Alfred Howell Green (but without his authoritarianism). Towards the end of his period in office Gwilym Williams was one of three leading Welsh figures in a deputation to guarantee the status of the language which had been challenged by Margaret Thatcher. He was also decisive in the decision to ordain women priests. The present Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, held the post as Bishop of Monmouth.

The current Archbishop of Wales is The Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, who signs 'Barry Cambrensis'.

Archbishops of Wales

*Alfred George Edwards (Bishop of St Asaph) 1920-1934
*Charles Alfred Howell Green (Bishop of Bangor) 1934-1944
*David Lewis Prosser (Bishop of St David's) 1944-1949
*John Morgan (Bishop of Llandaff) 1949-1957
*Edwin Morris (Bishop of Monmouth) 1957-1967
*William Glyn Hughes Simon (Bishop of Llandaff) 1968-1971
*Gwilym Owen Williams (Bishop of Bangor) 1971-1982
*Derrick Greenslade Childs (Bishop of Monmouth) 1983-1986
*George Noakes (Bishop of St David's) 1987-1991
*Alwyn Rice Jones (Bishop of St Asaph) 1991-1999
*Rowan Williams (Bishop of Monmouth) 1999-2002 (became Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England in 2002)
*Barry Morgan (Bishop of Llandaff) 2002-

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