The doors of Llandaff Cathedral will be locked for up to three days next week as a new bishop is elected for Wales’ most populated diocese.
An electoral college of 47 people drawn from all over Wales, including all the Welsh bishops, will meet inside to nominate and vote on a confidential list of candidates for the next Bishop of Llandaff.
The Electoral College meeting will begin on Tuesday, February 21 at 10.30am with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist to which anyone is welcome. Following that college members will meet inside in private and the Cathedral will be locked.
The election follows the retirement at the end of January of Dr Barry Morgan, who served as Bishop of Llandaff, as well as Archbishop of Wales. The new bishop will be the 72rd Bishop of Llandaff, a diocese which serves nearly half the population of Wales as it includes most of Cardiff, the South Wales Valleys and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The Electoral College is made up of representatives from all six Welsh dioceses. The “home” diocese is represented by six lay people and six clergy, and the other five dioceses by three lay people and three clergy each, plus the five remaining Bishops.
Its discussions are confidential. Candidates for election are nominated at the meeting, discussed and voted on by ballot. Any candidate receiving two-thirds of the votes of those present is declared Bishop-Elect. Otherwise, the College returns to the nomination stage and the cycle starts afresh. Once a decision is made, the Cathedral is unlocked and an announcement made at the west door.
The College may meet for up to three consecutive days in order to reach a decision; if it is unable to do so within this deadline the decision passes to the Bench of Bishops.
Once a bishop is elected, he or she will have up to 28 days to accept the position. If he or she accepts, the election will be formally confirmed in April.