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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2008, 11:47 GMT
Bishop and wife are to separate
the Bishop of St Davids, Rt Rev Carl Cooper
Bishop Cooper took up his post in St Davids in 2002
One of Wales's most senior clergymen and his wife are to separate, the Church in Wales has announced.

The Bishop of St Davids, Rt Rev Carl Cooper and his wife Joy said they had been experiencing "difficulties", in a letter sent to all diocesan clergy.

The couple have been married for 25 years and have three children aged 22, 20 and 17-years-old.

Both confirmed there was no one else involved on either side and they were committed to an amicable relationship.

"Regrettably, we write to inform you that we have experienced difficulties in our relationship with each other," the letter said.

Clearly this is a most painful and difficult time for all concerned
Rt Rev Carl Cooper, Bishop of St Davids

"Sadly and tragically we have decided to separate. There is no-one else involved on either side.

"We are committed to an ongoing, amicable relationship of mutual care and support.

"The challenges in our marriage are personal and shall remain private for our own sakes and that of our family and loved ones," it added.

"Clearly this is a most painful and difficult time for all concerned."

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan said he was "enormously sad" to hear the news.

Served

"My thoughts and prayers are with Bishop Carl and Joy as they go through this difficult time," he added.

Bishop Cooper is a native of Wigan in Lancashire who first came to Wales as an undergraduate at Lampeter, where he took a degree in French.

He has been a curate in Llanelli and parish priest in Ciliau Aeron, Ceredigion.

He has also served Dolgellau and as Archdeacon of Meirionnydd before taking up his post in St Davids in 2002.

As well as Pembrokeshire, the modern diocese also covers the counties of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire and parts of Powys.



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