The Church in Wales (Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru) has appointed its first woman as Dean, following the announcement that the Very Rev Alun Hawkins is to retire as Dean of Bangor.
The Anglican Bishop of Bangor announced this week that the Rev Canon Dr Sue Jones, born in Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, will take up the post in Hawkins' place.
In the Anglican Communion, the Dean is the chief resident cleric of a cathedral or other collegiate church and head of the chapter of canons. In the Church in Wales, most cathedrals are parish churches, and their deans are now also vicars of their parishes.
A former Midland Bank employee and trainee teacher, Dr Jones was one of the first women priests to be ordained in Wales, in 1997. She has been chaplain at Swansea University and director of studies at St Michael's College in Llandaff, Cardiff.
"St Deiniol brought the Christian faith to Bangor in 525 and his cathedral church has been a continuous place of prayer, praise and study ever since," said Dr Jones. "I am looking forward to standing in St Deiniol's shoes as the 56th recorded Dean of the cathedral, and to continuing his commitment in shaping the cathedral as a powerful witness to Christ, nurtured within the distinctive and special culture and language of Wales."
Meanwhile, the former deputy manager of a children’s home will begin a new career in church ministry today (Saturday 25 January 2011).
Emma Rees, aged 31, will be ordained as a deacon by the Archbishop of Wales at a service at Llandaff Cathedral tomorrow (Saturday June 25). She will then begin serving as an assistant curate at All Saints Church, Barry.
Ms Rees, from Treharris, began training for ministry at St Michael’s College, Llandaff, having worked at a children’s home in the South Wales Valleys.
She said, “I’ve wanted to be a priest for as long as I can remember and now I can’t wait to get started after three years of training. I’m really looking forward to walking into my new life and becoming part of the community at Barry.”
* Church in Wales / Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru - http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/index_e.php