It will be a homecoming for the new priest for Margam, Father Edward Owen, who grew up in the neighbouring parish.
Infact some of his old teachers from his childhood days at Dyffryn School are members of his new congregation.
He takes over from Father Terry Doherty who retired two years ago after twelve years in the parish. Originally from Port Talbot, Edward worked as a teacher in Swansea and Ebbw Vale before entering the priesthood at the age of 32.
“I am absolutely delighted to be coming home after being away for 25 years,” said Edward, who is married to Philippa, a teacher.
A former teacher himself, Edward is looking forward to strengthening links within the local community and particularly with the schools.
As the mission priest of the Margam Pilgrimage Centre – which includes the historic Margam Stones Museum and the reknowned Abbot’s Kitchen – Edward will also be aiming to develop use of the on site resources.
“We will be looking to develop the educational and historic resources of the Abbey and encourage more people to visit here for things like quiet days,” said Edward.
“I am looking forward to renewing old friendships and making new friends as I get to know the parishioners here and help them to develop their prayer life.”
Edward will also be responsible for the nearby St David’s Church which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018/19.
Bishop David said, “Edward, a former RE teacher, has had wide experience of both urban and rural ministry in four different contexts, and was deeply valued and loved in each and every one of them.
“Deeply prayerful, he has enabled the spiritual life of many to flourish, including a fair few who have gone on to explore their own vocation to ministry. Very personable, with a sure liturgical touch, he will be prove well suited to ministry in both ancient Margam Abbey and St David’s, and among the people these places serve.”
Edward moves to Margam from Cowbridge where he has been Team Vicar since 2013. Previously he served in the parish of Penarth and Llandough for three years and before that he was priest-in-charge at Llandyfodwg and Cwmogwr for two years. His first post after being ordained was assistant curate at Llandaff Cathedral.
Edward, who is a member of the third order of Society of St Francis – a religious order for people who follow the spirit of St Francis, also served as the Diocesan Spirituality Officer for three years until 2015.
In his spare time he enjoys walking his dog, running, cooking and reading.
Pictures show Father Edward Owen at Margam Abbey.