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Archdeacon of Surrey to become Bishop of Dorking

26 July 2023

Diocese of Guildford

Archdeacon Davies

Archdeacon Davies

THE next Suffragan Bishop of Dorking in Guildford diocese is to be the Ven. Paul Davies, who has been Archdeacon of Surrey since 2017, Downing Street announced on Wednesday.

He succeeds Dr Jo Bailey Wells, who, in October, was appointed to the new post of Bishop for Episcopal Ministry in the Anglican Communion (News, 21 October 2022).

Archdeacon Davies was raised in Pembrokeshire. He read theology at the Universities of Wales and Oxford, before training for ordination at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. He was ordained priest in 1998, and his first post was as a minor canon at St Davids Cathedral (1997-2001), then becoming Succentor. From there, he became Team Vicar of Dewisland, also in St Davids diocese, until 2006, during which time he also served as Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, Diocesan Warden of Ordinands,  and an army chaplain for the Officer Cadet Force (2005-07).

Archdeacon Davies was the Vicar of Burry Port and Pwll until 2012, when he became Rector of Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf with Llanbedgroch with Pentraeth, in Bangor diocese. He was Archdeacon of Bangor from 2012 until his current appointment

He celebrates 25 years as a priest this month.

Archdeacon Davies is married to Louise, a town planner, who spent her early childhood in Surrey. They have a son at university and a daughter who turned 18 this week.

He said of his appointment that, while he was “slightly daunted by the responsibility”, he was also “full of joy at the prospect of continuing to serve a diocese and people I have grown to love.

“For the past six years, I have been constantly inspired by the faith, hope and love that pours out of our churches, schools, and chaplaincies in the work of transforming lives. I feel immensely blessed.”

The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, described Archdeacon Davies as “a godly disciple, a wise pastor, a gifted preacher, a keen strategist, and someone with extraordinary capacity for hard work”. He said: “For some while now I’ve known that Paul would make a wonderful bishop somewhere — and over the course of the past few months it’s become increasingly clear to me (among many others) that that ‘somewhere’ is here.”

The Bishop-designate will say farewell to his Archdeaconry at Evensong on 30 July, in Guildford Cathedral. He will be consecrated in Westminster Abbey, on 29 September. The Archdeacon of Dorking, the Ven. Martin Breadmore, will become Acting Archdeacon of Surrey.

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