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‘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’).

Home Pruning for Growth

Pruning for Growth

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15.1)

Pruning for Growth is a new diocesan strategy which, over the next two years, will seek to make a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of every church in the Diocese of St Davids.

The strategy was unveiled at an Extraordinary Diocesan Conference held on Saturday July 6th.

The strategy consists of three phases. The first, to be completed by the end of the year, is a fact-finding exercise to establish an up-to-date snapshot of each church, based on an eight-point matrix that will identify churches that are flourishing, growing, declining or dying.

The matrix will cover community engagement, education, stewardship, children youth & family provision, governance, buildings, attendance and ministry. There will also be a Miscellaneous category that will cover anything that does not fall into any of these but which are deemed relevant.

The second phase will take the form of conversations with key individuals based on the findings gathered in Phase One.to drill down into the detail. Then, Phase Three will draw up recommendations ahead of the final phase, when decisions will be made about implementation.

An interim report on progress will be made to the Diocesan Conference in October and the final outcomes are expected to be in place by the 2025 Conference.

Introducing the strategy, the Archdeacon of St Davids, Paul Mackness, stressed that Pruning for Growth was not about closing churches. "But nor is it about keeping them open," he added.

"Something has to change," he said. "We need to go back to basic church principles and seek to re-orientate the Church towards growth. We need our churches to be tools to be used for the mission of the Church"

Each of the key presentations is available to view or to download here: