[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 12 July, 2003, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Church enthrones new archbishop
Dr Barry Morgan
Lots of people say they believe in God but don't come to church
Dr Barry Morgan
The Church in Wales has inaugurated its new archbishop, the Most Reverend Dr Barry Morgan.

Previously Bishop of Llandaff, he was enthroned at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.

Dr Morgan - a 56-year-old father-of-two who replaces the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams - was elected to the post back in May.

Around 750 people converged on the sunny village - just north of the capital - for the ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

Dignitaries including First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas joined villagers and parishioners from around Wales.


Dr Morgan faces the same challenges as his predecessor, with church congregations slumping.

But the archbishop has said he is heartened by the 2001 Census results, which show most people in Wales believe in God.

He has said the church must address the question of how it can connect with people, and he is looking forward to working with the Church in Wales to tackling these issues.

He feels clergy will have to adopt new methods - such as holding more mid-week services - to halt the continuing decline in congregations across Wales.


This week, Dr Morgan stepped in to the Anglican church's row over an openly gay priest being appointed a bishop.

Dr Rowan
Dr Rowan Williams has faced a row over gay priests
Dr Jeffrey John - originally from south Wales - was to become the new Bishop of Reading until he withdrew his acceptance of the post after a lengthy meeting with Church of England leaders.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, had come in for harsh criticism in the debate over the appointment.

But Dr Morgan said he would hope for more understanding if the issue arose in Wales.

"I am anxious it will not become an issue as it has in the Church of England," he said.

"Opinions become polarised and people really begin to fight one another and the whole church is split - it is not helpful. It is incredibly sad."


Dr Morgan said the main challenge for the church concerned making "the connection between faith and life".

"Lots of people say they believe in God, and pray to God, but don't come to church. What is it about our church life that doesn't attract people?"

He also said that not all parishes were facing declining numbers, but that patterns of attendance were also changing.

"Lots of people worship on a weekday - we have got to build in an adult education programme on weekdays.

"We have got to get to grips with the world in which we live."

Dr Barry Morgan
"The church is still there, battling and struggling on"

In Pictures: New Archbishop
12 Jul 03  |  Photo Gallery
The making of an archbishop
28 Apr 03  |  South East Wales
Archbishop attacks Church pomp
01 Dec 02  |  UK News
Church picks bishop successor
10 Dec 02  |  Wales

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific