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Church in Wales Governing Body: Farewells

15 September 2023

Church in Wales

The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Andrew John

The Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Andrew John

THE Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd Andrew John, paid tribute to the Bishop of St Davids, Dr Joanna Penberthy, who retired in July on the grounds of ill health (News, 26 May). He commended all her contributions to the life of the Church in Wales, especially her commitment to the environment, and to matters of social justice. He also bade farewell to the Archdeacon of Margam, the Ven. Mike Komor, who will have retired before the next meeting of the Governing Body, and whose entire ministry has been in Llandaff diocese.

The Archbishop’s Charge. This has been introduced as a new conclusion to Governing Body meetings. There had been “something of Jacob about the gathering. . . We have wrestled and wrestled,” Archbishop John said. “The Governing Body has a critical role in the life of the Church through its formal decision-making and informal gathering, and also in shaping our culture and communities. It has been wrestling to discern God.”

He acknowledged the many references to fatigue — even exhaustion.

“Part of our task of hearing the voice of God takes us into external listening,” he said, and, with reference to climate change, suggested, “We do face a kind of crisis in the things happening all around us . . . a sense in which we let something in of the world’s agenda.

“Let these big things sit in our own life and wrestle with them; engage in this world. My charge is to do our decision making well, with the rigour of our debates and discussion. To be a shaper of narratives and agendas, to hear what God is doing.”

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