2018 Conference reports – Directorate of Ministry

The Directorate for Ministry oversees all aspects of training and ministry within the Diocese, co-ordinating the work of the various officers and groups.

The Director of Ministry, the Revd Canon Dr Rhiannon Jonson is its senior officer. With the retirement of the Ven Dennis Wight in February 2018, the new appointed Chair is the Ven Dorrien Davies.

Dennis was the architect of the current working methodology of the Directorate for Ministry and his departure has been a huge loss to the directorate. We wish him and his wife Revd Sian Wight (a former Vocations Adviser) a long and healthy retirement and thank them for their enormous contribution to this aspect of Diocesan life. There are currently a number of vacancies on this directorate which the Bishop is seeking to fill.

Ven Paul Mackness


Revd Dr Ainsley Griffiths, who has co-ordinated CMD so ably for many years, has moved to a Provincial job. He is now the Bishops’ Officer for Faith, Order, Unity and Liturgy. He will be sadly missed in the Diocese but is just the right person for this important national role.

In the past year there were some notable CMD events including, for the first time in recent years, two events aimed at supporting and encouraging the Welsh speaking communities in the Diocese – a celebration event and a day conference on the translation of the Bible and prayer book into Welsh.

The Clergy School, which is also under the CMD remit, had to be cancelled this year due to a double-booking at the venue.

The role and structure of CMD in the Diocese is being reviewed in light of the changes taking place within St Davids Diocese.

Revd Canon Dr Rhiannon Johnson Director of Ministry


The main features of IME provision in the diocese for the period 2017 to 2018 are as follows:

An induction to the diocese for newly ordained deacons was held at the Diocesan Office in June 2017. This was the first time that such an induction has been provided and it was well received by those who participated in it.

A forum for Training Incumbents has met on two occasions. The purpose of this forum is to facilitate ongoing consultation and communication as to how IME provision is proceeding. It also provides a place where colleagues can gain mutual support and share good practice with their peers.

The existing formational cell group system for those engaged in, or in training for public ministry, has been supplemented with an additional (optional) forum specifically tailored to deacons and priests in their first three years of training. This group has met regularly throughout the course of the year.

A training session on Time Management was provided in November 2017 by St Padarn’s Institute.

Two Resilience Training sessions were held in February of 2018 for IME curates and their training incumbents. The first of these sessions was generously funded by St Luke’s Healthcare for the Clergy. Both sessions were fully booked and the feedback received has been very positive.

Two sessions on Marriage Law and best practice in the administration of the legal requirements relating to marriage in England and Wales were held in April and May of 2018 respectively. The sessions were held during the evening in order to better facilitate attendance by NSM and NSML colleagues. Thanks are due to Mrs Andrea Rowlands, The Superintendent Registrar for Carmarthenshire, and Mr Anthony Jenkins, the Diocesan Registrar for facilitating the sessions.

Meetings have also taken place with curates (and with their training incumbents when needed) to address issues relating to IME. I have also attended diocesan and provincial ministry meetings as required. The principal tasks for the year ahead are as follows:

  • An Induction for New Deacons on the 7th September 2018;
  • To consolidate and build upon the forum for training incumbents, improving communication with them and involving them more closely in IME processes;
  • To further develop the IME reporting process, specifically with regard to the competencies required of priests and deacons before progressing to positions of further responsibility;
  • To engage with changes in the way in which IME and CMD will be provided in conjunction with the St Padarn’s Institute;
  • To review and reflect upon the practice and provision of IME in this Diocese during my tenure as IME officer thus far;
  • To explore the provision of training sessions on Time Management specifically tailored to NSM and NSML and a basic counselling skills course.Revd Dr Matthew Hill, IME Officer


Once more it has been a busy time for Vocations in the Diocese, with over twenty people seeking formal vocations advice during the year.

It has been encouraging to see the variety of different ways that God is calling people to work in our Diocese, even though the increase in the number of licensed ministries has created its own challenges regarding selection, training and integration of the new roles.

The main development this year has been the appointment of a diocesan team of Vocations Advisors to cover all areas, although we still need one or two for the southern part of our area.

We now have a team of eight advisors from a variety of different backgrounds, who have all received the necessary training to begin to see candidates. I am grateful to my fellow vocations advisors for their commitment to this role, on top of their current workload.

I’d also like to express my thanks to the Warden of Lay Ministry, and the Diocesan Director of Ordinands for their work in preparing candidates for discernment panels. The vocations team work closely with the Fellowship of Vocation to ensure that the appropriate pastoral support is in place for applicants as they proceed through the system.

Revd Mark Ansell Vocations Coordinator


Revd Canon Leigh Richardson served as DDO until April 2018 and has now moved on to his new role as Sub-Dean and Canon Residentiary of the Cathedral.

The Ministry Directorate wish to thank him for his hard work and the support he gave to Ordinands over his time as DDO. The Bishop has appointed the Revd Canon Dewi Roberts to succeed him as DDO.

Ven Paul Mackness will continue as Assistant DDO until a replacement can be appointed in the Autumn of 2018, providing administrative support to the DDO and Director of Ministry.

2018 saw the ordination of 4 Deacons and 6 Priests at the Cathedral and a further Priest ordained by Letters Dismissory by the Archbishop in Brecon. The ordination retreat leader and preacher was the Ven Dennis Wight.

Ven Paul R Mackness ADDO


The Diocese currently has four deacons, one of whom is full time and three are NSM(L). In training for ordained ministry there are six aiming for stipendiary ministry, seven for NSM(L) and two for NSM ministry one of whom has a pioneer specialism.

One ordinand is on long-term medical leave. Two are training at Trinity Bristol and the rest with the St. Padarns Institute. There are around fifty people studying on the Theology for Life Programme throughout the diocese. St. Padarn’s has recently produced material that can be used in parishes or Ministry Areas to train Worship Leaders and Pastoral Visitors as well as for more general use.

We were all very saddened by the sudden death of Susan Lilleyman who was a Reader and would have been made deacon this June. Her death has shaken and saddened us all. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

The coming year will bring changes, having resigned from my role as St. Padarn’s Tutor for St. Davids Diocese, to concentrate on my Director of Ministry role. A new appointment in St Padarns should be made shortly.

Revd Canon Dr Rhiannon Johnson Director of Ministry


The Coffee Morning training sessions began and ended this year with a course in Cwmduad. In spite of several informal conversations about booking further courses, none happened.

The planned Taster Day session in Spittal was cancelled due to fewer than five people having booked (although subsequently several people indicated that they had intended to attend without having booked).

The training day on hymns, exploring their selection and usage, was also cancelled when we were unable to meet the minimum number of 12 delegates requested by the trainer.

The planned training by Bishop John was delayed owing to a competing booking on a similar subject in the same area. Looking forward, there is a need to address the way in which booking on to such courses is encouraged to prevent last minute cancellations of training events.

Growing Hope III took place on 6th May attended by about 80 delegates. There was excellent feedback on the keynote speaker Revd James Henley, on all the workshops andmuch praise was given to the worship for the day.

The conference overall was viewed by almost all the delegates as a very worthwhile day; one which left them with more thinking to do, on how to translate what they had been offered into their own very different contexts.

There have been two team changes since the last report including the addition of our first native Welsh language member. Plans for 2018 include two Coffee Morning Training Sessions and the (delayed) Taster Days where various opportunities for studying and working with diocesan organisations will be explained.

There will also be the (delayed) Pastoral and Vocation Training Days scheduled for the northern half of the diocese. All offers/requests for training should be sent to me and further details can be found on the St Davids Diocese website.

Revd Robb Wainwright Lay Development Officer


Bishop Joanna hosted a barbecue for the Fellowship on the evening of 5th July at Llys Esgob which was well attended and provided an opportunity for a wider meeting of the small local groups with each other and for some, an opportunity to meet our Bishop for the first time. Many thanks to the Bishop.

Two new chaplains have joined the FOV, Revd Caroline Jones and Revd Pat Rogers with their groups in Carmarthen and Wolfscastle respectively. At a meeting of the FOV chaplains, attended by the Bishop, it was requested that there was a need for a greater number of Vocations Advisors and that they would need a strategy to discern lay ministries.

There continues to be a steady stream of new FOV members but not all are joining in local groups. It was previously decided that those in training for ministry should be FOV members until licensed, but this hasn’t led to them all actively engaging with the FOV so far.

The third annual FOV conference was held at Gelli Fawr in November 2017. There were 24 delegates to the conference with several FOV chaplains and other clergy available for one to one discussions. Once again, we were joined by Revd Mark Ansell, the Vocations Coordinator for the Diocese, who was kept very busy by the delegates. The event was opened by the Acting Archdeacon of St Davids, Revd Canon Paul Mackness and Bishop Joanna joined us on Saturday for the weekend.

Revd Canon Mike Kavanagh, Chaplain General to Prisons, was the guest speaker, ably assisted in that task by his wife Revd Linda Munt. There was a tremendous appreciation of their three sessions, which drew deeply on their past and continuing experiences of ministry. In particular the session on contemplative prayer that was given by Linda had a great resonance with delegates and both of Mike’s sessions led to spirited debate.

It was a very successful conference with excellent feedback and as a result, next year’s conference has already been booked for 23rd to 25th November 2018 at the Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby (which is currently undergoing refurbishment of its public rooms). Plans have been made for a wider cross section of the fellowship members to produce and deliver the group worship and to increase the bilingual content of the worship.

Our Diocesan Youth Officers have suggested that thought is given to developing a Youth FOV in the future. Thought will need to be given to specialist vocations advisors for young people and youth chaplains.

More clergy appear to have some understanding of what the FOV is and does, but we have some way to go before we have the breadth and depth of coverage needed to be sure that we are capturing the better part of the harvest.

There have been several new membership referrals and enquires as the group becomes more widely known and I have continued to visit each new member to “pass on the vision”. I would like to remind everyone in the Diocese that the Fellowship is open to everyone who is seeking to follow God’s call in their life and is not limited to those seeking ordination. If you would like to join, please talk to your vicar, Area Dean, LMA Dean, a vocations advisor or contact me directly (details on the Diocesan website).

Revd Robb N Wainwright FOV Coordinator


This year, Revd Andrew Loat has had to step down from the role of Warden of Readers due to pressure of work in his other roles. His shoes will be hard to fill. The Diocese has two Readers currently in training and, after a dry patch, more are coming forward with a calling to this lay ministry of preaching and teaching. In the wider church there is discussion about how best to train and support this as a distinctive ministry so that Readers can be seen as specialists in their field.

Revd Canon Dr Rhiannon Johnson Director of Ministry


Ministerial Development Review is currently in abeyance as the Diocese and the Province work through what is needed as clergy move into LMAs.

Ven Paul R Mackness MDR Coordinator


The College continues its quiet background work of providing guidance and support for those who want to improve their prayer life.

The course for training new directors is in preparation and anyone who feels called to this work or knows someone who would be good at it should contact Revd Andrew Johnson.

Similarly, if you would like to be put in touch with a spiritual director, please also contact him. Provincially, this year there have been moves to greater co-operation across the dioceses and it is hoped this will continue, allowing people to be put in touch with a director in another diocese if they so wish.

Revd Canon Dr Rhiannon Johnson Director of Ministry