[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
The making of an archbishop
Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales
Archbishop Morgan has worked in two universities

The new Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, used a very modern word to describe his appointment to a very traditional job - "gobsmacked".

Speaking after his appointment, he said: "It all happened so quickly - suddenly somebody is asking you what are your priorities for the future.

"You have been concerning yourself with your job and now you have got to think ahead."

However, in reality, his appointment to succeed Dr Rowan Williams, recently enthroned as the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Church, did not happen quickly but has come after a long career spanning 30 years of service in Wales.

In the early 1970s, parishioners in the small village of St Andrew's Major near Cardiff were welcoming him as a new curate to the area.

Born in Neath to a mining family in 1947, Dr Morgan had spent a number of years outside Wales undertaking studies before receiving his first appointment.

After completing a degree at University College London, he moved to Selwyn College Cambridge where he gained an MA, before being ordained as a priest in 1973.

I'm just an ordinary bloke who's got ordinary interests
Dr Barry Morgan

He renewed his links with academia a few years later when he moved to become chaplain and lecturer at St Michael's College, a training centre for priests, and Cardiff University.

His next move took him north for the first time, when he became the warden of Church Hostel in Bangor.

It was back to university for the third time next, as the chaplain and lecturer in theology at the University of Wales, Bangor.

A spell as Rector of Wrexham followed and in 1986 he was appointed Archdeacon of Meirionnydd and Rector of Criccieth with Treflys.

In the same year, he also gained a PhD from the University of Wales.

Then in 1993, his first bishop's post called, with his election as Bishop of Bangor.

He remained in the north for another six years, until being elected Bishop of Llandaff in 1999.


After the previous Archbishop of Wales, Dr Rowan Williams, was elected as the head of the Church of England, Dr Morgan took over temporarily as the leader in Wales before Monday's election confirmed him in the role.

He described Dr Williams as an "impossible act to follow".

Barry Morgan, the new Archbishop of Wales
The new Archbishop was elected after a service in Llandrindod Wells

"He is so gifted. I think one has to think, 'God has made me a different kind of person' and consequently I can only bring the gifts he's given me to the job," he said.

"He was a one-off. It's back to business as usual. I'm just an ordinary bloke who's got ordinary interests."

However, through his long career in the church, he has found the time write a number of works in both English and Welsh.

His most recent book, Ministry in the Church in Wales - the shape of things to come? was published in 2002.

He is now working on a book on the poetry of RS Thomas, which is due to be published later this year.

The archbishop, who is a keen golf player, is married to Hilary, a Cardiff solicitor, and has two grown-up children, Jonathan and Lucy.

New Archbishop of Wales
28 Apr 03  |  Wales
Christmas messages for Wales
24 Dec 02  |  Wales
Welsh Archbishop enthroned
27 Feb 03  |  Wales
Bishops bid leader farewell
02 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