THE next Bishop of St Asaph is to be Canon Gregory Cameron, deputy general secretary of the Anglican Communion Office (ACO), and a senior adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
He was born and brought up in Wales, attending the Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School in Cwmbran, before going on to read Law at Oxford. He was accepted as an ordinand in the Church in Wales and studied Theology at Cambridge, where he was taught early church history by Dr Rowan Williams.
Although nominators from the Electoral College seek the candidate’s willingness to stand in advance of the election, Canon Cameron said on Wednesday that he had still been “completely” stunned” by the call from the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, on Monday.
“[Work at the ACO] is an important ministry, and I’ve felt for six years I’ve been in the right place at the right time,” he said. “But I also feel that church bureaucracy, while it’s important, isn’t the front-line mission of the Church, and when I first put myself forward for ordination in the Church in Wales, I felt then that my vocation was to priestly ministry in Wales. So I’m very glad to receive this affirmation of it now.”
Canon Gregory, who is 49, is married with three children, aged 11, nine, and six. His wife Clare, a teacher of music and a composer, is a Roman Catholic. “We are an ecumenically based community, and it will be an interesting time for her to experience being an Anglican bishop’s wife. I hope we’ll be able to model a very positive expression of the ecumenical quest in our own life and ministry,” he said.
“The children are a bit too young to take it on board. My eldest son asked: ‘Will you be taking more funerals now you are a bishop?’ What vision he’s got of episcopal ministry, I don’t know.”
Canon Cameron views his move to the north-east corner of rural Wales as a “delightful prospect”. He expects to make the transition around Eastertide, and will attend the 13th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Jamaica in May.
“For me personally, it provides a watershed to my ministry, because I’ll be rendering an account of my six years’ work as director of ecumenical affairs, supporting Archbishop Drexel [Gomez] in the presentation of the work of the Covenant Design Group, and supporting Bishop Clive Hanford in the presentation of the work of the Windsor Continuation Group. In a sense, it will be a very natural handover for me,” he said.