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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 August 2007, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Former Archbishop of Wales dies
The Most Rev Alwyn Rice Jones
The Most Rev Alwyn Rice Jones was Archbishop of Wales for eight years
The former Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Alwyn Rice Jones, has died, it has been confirmed.

Born in 1934, he held the top post in the Welsh Anglican church for eight years from 1991 to 1999.

During his tenure, the church reformed its rules in order to ordain women priests and to allow divorcees to remarry.

Archbishop Rice Jones, who was ordained in 1958 in Bangor and lived in St Asaph, was originally from Capel Curig.

He was Bishop of St Asaph from 1982 to 1999 and, before that, had been Dean of Brecon.

He supported devolution and took part in the special service to mark the opening of the National Assembly for Wales in May 1999.

Bishop John Stuart Davies, the current Bishop of St Asaph, who succeeded Archbishop Rice Jones, said he was "a much loved and respected priest and bishop in this diocese, very well known in the community".

Bishop Davies said the whole Church in Wales will mourn his loss, but their thoughts and prayers are particularly with his wife Meriel and his family.

The funeral is set to be held at St Asaph Cathedral at 1400 BST on Saturday, 18 August.

Period of change

Archbishop Rice Jones was replaced as Archbishop of Wales by Dr Rowan Williams, who is now Archbishop of Canterbury.

At the time when he took over as Archbishop of Wales, Dr Williams said Archbishop Rice Jones had presided over a period of change.

In July 1998, Archbishop Rice Jones made the headlines when he said people were making too much of the status of the late Princess Diana and he would leave it up to individual clergy whether special prayers were said for her on the anniversary of her death.

Elsewhere, he also launched a charity giving aid to South East India.




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