Words on this page


Anglicans form the family of Christians closely related to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Whilst tracing their inheritance back to Christ and the earliest Christians and to the ancient Roman Catholic church, the sixteenth century Reformation was a crucial moment for Anglicanism.


‘Bishop’ comes from the Greek word for ‘overseer’. So a bishop is a senior Christian minister authorised to have oversight for God’s people. As well as duties given to deacons and priests, bishops confirm and ordain.


‘Diocese’ refers to the geographical territory in which a bishop exercises oversight. The Church in Wales is divided into six dioceses each with its own cathedral in which is housed the cathedra (the bishop’s ‘chair’ or ‘throne’).


‘Episcopal’ refers to the role or ministry of a bishop. So an episcopal church is one in which oversight is entrusted to a bishop. Like many others, the Church in Wales is an episcopal church.


‘Evangelion’ means ‘good news’. Evangelism is about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection in the hope that others may come to believe in and follow Jesus.

Holy Communion

At Holy Communion blessed bread and wine is shared, by which we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The congregation gives thanks for Jesus’ life, his death and resurrection and his continuing presence. See also Eucharist.


Prayer sustains our human relationship with God and may involve words (formal or informal) or be silent. Prayer can involve adoration (‘I love you’), confession (‘sorry’), thanksgiving and supplication (‘please’).

Home About us Diocesan Conference Conference Qs & As

Conference Qs & As

Question Time is a regular feature of the Diocesan Conference in which members can submit questions on any aspect of diocesan life and activity and which are answered during the conference.

Questions submitted to the 2021 conference, and the answers given, are reproduced here:

  • What is the diocesan vision, what is the short-term strategy for achieving this and how can we ensure this is embraced by all?

Revd Gaynor Jones-Higgs

Answered by the Archdeacon of St Davids

The Diocesan Vision is the same as it has been for the episcopates of Bishop Wyn and Bishop Joanna – Growing Hope. This is based on 4 Rs: Restructuring the Diocese, Imagining Ministry, Revitalising the Churches and Rejuvenating the People. Results of this have seen the creation of NSM(L)s, LMAs, and the Fourth Archdeaconry. The Bishop has sought to engage the Diocesan Conference more and has asked for it to propose three priorities for the immediate future. These have been Children, Youth and Families Ministry and the two further priorities that we have just voted upon

Whilst we hope that these will be embraced by all we cannot “ensure” this happens, however we will continue to engage with LMA Councils, Clergy, use Pobl Dewi and our Diocesan website as well as specifically targeted events, training opportunities and roadshows to promote and encourage all to embrace this.

  • I feel that the diocese, and indeed the Church in Wales, has no clear vision of the role of Reader Ministry. Since the removal of the licence to administer Communion by Extension there is very little that a Reader does that could not equally well be done by a Worship Leader. Will the diocese therefore produce a clear statement of what the role of Readers is seen to be?

Andrew Padfield (Reader, Bro Caerfyrddin)

To be answered by Revd Canon Dr Rhiannon Johnson, Director of Ministry

Thank you for your question.

In answer, the Diocese’s definition of a Reader remains what it has always been. Readers are lay people with a Bishop’s licence to preach. This distinguishes them from Worship Leaders who do not have a licence to preach.

All the Church in Wales definitions of ministry are part of a document called Church Serving God’s Word. An online version of this is in preparation and is due to be ready early in the new year.

The valued Readers of our diocese often take on other tasks within their mission areas such as focal ministry, leading small groups, and much practical mission and evangelism work. They did not need a Readers’ license to do those tasks but model what it is to live out a Christian life as a lay person. These other tasks come about through the life of their parishes and mission areas.

I understand the pain that the decision to stop communion by extension being a normal part of a church’s life has caused. In some cases where a Reader was doing communion by extension and felt an absence when it was removed, this became a call to explore ordained ministry, particularly NSM(L). I wonder if this might be the case for you.

  • In the Calendar of Intercessions whenever a particular LMA is mentioned it is generally only the clergy who are named. Would it be possible for the names of Readers in the LMA to be included? At present the Calendar talks generally about those who hold office within a church and that is a broad category. I appreciate that there are prayers said for Readers generally on Readers Day but a more regular mention in the Calendar of Intercessions would show a greater awareness of the role of Readers

Andrew Padfield

To be answered by David Hammond-Williams, Chair of the Communications Team

Having had prior notice of this question, the Editor of the Calendar of Intercessions has readily agreed to adopt this suggestion. Indeed, it has already been put in place with effect from this month.

The Calendar is designed to be as flexible – and as inclusive – as possible and the Editor is always happy to receive prayer requests from anyone in the diocese. Suggestions for improvement are always welcome.

  • A question from the Executive and Standing Committee of the LMA Council of Bro Caerfyrddin

LMAs are currently having to undertake a number of essential administrative and legal tasks such as charity registration and sorting out insurance, but these are just two examples, and the question is not specifically about those. The question is concerned with the fact that each LMA seems to be basically having to figure these sorts of things out on their own. This means that each LMA is potentially duplicating work and reinventing the wheel as it undertakes each process, a hugely inefficient way to operate. It would be very much more efficient if the diocese or the province were to facilitate these tasks proactively rather than reactively.

The Question:

Please may we ask if the diocese could take a more pro-active approach in such matters? Taking charity registration as an example - could the diocese not provide a charity registration package to each LMA where all the LMA effectually has to do is sign on the dotted line - given that each LMAs requirements will be practically identical?

Revd Canon Dr Matthew Hill

To be answered by the Archdeacon of St Davids

The Diocese is always ready to engage with LMAs in what is needed to help them and make things easier, accepting financial and resource constraints. Currently there is work being done at a provincial level to allow LMAs to become Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) with a template constitution that would be acceptable to the Charity Commission. This is currently the preferred option for the LMAs in this Diocese. Once this work is approved by the GB it will enable us to help LMAs more pro-actively to register.

We welcome constructive suggestions and requests for help and will via the Archdeacons, Diocesan Office, LMA Development Officer and LMA Stewardship and Support Officer engage with LMAs in areas of common concern.

  • (a) What is happening about the Bishop?
  • (b) Is the Conference cognisant of the considerable difference between Rural and Urban churches?
  • (c) How is the CIW financed and is the Balance Sheet published?
  • (d) Can a church become independent of an LMA if it can afford to be?
  • (e) Could the hierarchical, legal, and constitutional position of the CIW be made clearer to lower members.

Steve Watkins - Focal Minister St. Brynach's Nevern (on behalf of the Church Council)

To be answered by the Archdeacon of St Davids

a) As stated by the Bishop of Bangor, Bishop Joanna is currently on sick leave. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further.

b) I think we are all cognisant of the difference and have lived with them for centuries. The Diocesan Standing Committee has had discussions and work done on this issue in recent years and the tension between the two areas is constantly born in mind.

c) The Church in Wales is financed via historic endowments, investments and income. The Diocesan Board of Finance is similarly funded, primarily through the receipt of Ministry Share. As registered charitable companies, their full and audited accounts are published and are available on request for the respective organisations or on the Charity Commission and Companies House websites.

d) No. It is the policy of the Diocese that all churches will sit within an LMA. This is a policy which is becoming universal to the whole of the Province.

e) The Structure of the Church in Wales can be found on the Provincial Website and by accessing the online Constitution of the Church in Wales. The Church in Wales is an independent Province of the Anglican Communion created by Act of Parliament in 1914 and enacted in 1920, which disestablished the Church in Wales from the Church of England. Our own Diocesan Structures are also on the Diocesan Website and are currently being amended to reflect changes.

  • This question was submitted but fell off the list of questions, so for completeness it is included.

Given the failure of the Episcopal Electoral Colleges to appoint to both recent vacant Sees (Llandaff and now Swansea & Brecon) will reforming the way our Bishops are appointed now be radically re-examined?

Revd Canon Andrew Loat (Bro Padarn LMA)

To be answered by the Archdeacon of St Davids

Currently the Governing Body and its Standing Committee are looking at new proposals for overhauling and reforming the current Electoral College system. There has already been a Governing Body debate on this and some of the ideas put forward were not warmly received and the group looking at it were asked to take the comments of the Governing Body into account. It is envisaged that there will still be an Electoral College, but proposals include a more interactive role for nominated candidates, to allow the College to effectively interview them. It is hoped that revised detailed proposals will come to the Governing Body during 2022.