Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 17:10 UK

New bishop consecrated at service

The Most Reverend Dr Barry Morgan and the Right Reverend John Davies
The Most Reverend Dr Barry Morgan and the Right Reverend John Davies

The new Bishop of Swansea and Brecon has been consecrated at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.

The Right Reverend John Davies, who had been Dean of Brecon, was consecrated by the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan and serving and retired bishops.

Meanwhile, congregations on Sunday will be read a letter of apology from the ex-Bishop of St Davids, Carl Cooper.

He resigned on Tuesday after weeks of intense media speculation over the breakdown of his marriage.

Mr Davies's consecration as Bishop of Swansea and Brecon on Friday follows the retirement of the Rt Rev Anthony Pierce earlier this month and it was confirmed at the Sacred Synod in April.

Following his consecration, he will be enthroned as the ninth Bishop of Swansea and Brecon in Brecon Cathedral on 24 May.

Archdeacon of Gower, the Venerable Robert Williams said: "He (Mr Davies) comes with experience not just of this diocese but of the Diocese of Monmouth and has endeared himself to congregations.

Former bishop Carl Cooper
It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you of my resignation as Bishop of St Davids. I apologise unreservedly for any of my actions that have caused offence to anyone. The current situation has made it impossible for me to continue as your bishop. I would humbly ask your support and prayers for my family and everyone involved in this painful and vulnerable situation. I cannot begin to adequately express my gratitude for the pleasure and privilege of ministering with you over the last six years
Mr Cooper's letter

"He knows the diocese well and is very well respected.

"I have worked closely with him on the council of St Michael's College, Cardiff, and he will bring the same incisive mind and human approach to the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales."

Mr Davies qualified as a solicitor and specialised in criminal law before entering the ministry.

After his ordination in 1984, he became assistant curate of Chepstow and served in the Diocese of Monmouth.

He is married to Jo, a senior staff nurse in Cardiff, and has two children, Kate, 19, and Christopher, 17, who are both students.

Meanwhile, in his letter to parishioners, the former Bishop of St Davids apologised for any offence caused by his actions.

He wrote: "I would humbly ask your support and prayers for my family and everyone involved in this painful and vulnerable situation."

The Archbishop of Wales has also written a letter to the diocese.

He had accepted Mr Cooper's resignation as bishop as being in the best interests of the diocese and church.

Mr Cooper's chaplain the Reverend Mandy Williams-Potter, who denied rumours of a relationship with the former bishop, has also resigned.

In March, Mr Cooper took a leave of absence from the office which covers Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and parts of Powys.

Some members of the diocese had called for an investigation into his conduct.

It followed concerns over speculation which surrounded the breakdown of his marriage of 25 years to his wife Joy in February.

Both stressed at the time that no-one else was involved on either side and the split was described as "amicable".




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