The Bishop of Llandaff participated in a special service to mark the beginning of a new era for churches in Bridgend.
Bishop June was marking the creation of the Bridgend Ministry Area which has a population of 49,000 people and includes eight churches.
The new Ministry Area, comprising the parishes of Coity, Nolton and Brackla with Coychurch, Laleston and Merthyr Mawr with Penyfai and Newcastle, will be led by five clergy and six Readers who were authorised for their roles by the Bishop at the service.
Bishop June said, “It’s a great pleasure to celebrate a new step in the life of the Church in Wales’ churches in the Bridgend Deanery. They are pledging to work together and support each other in order to strengthen their vision and capacity for outreach.
“Working in collaboration will make them more effective in bearing witness to the Christian faith and in their desire to build up the common good, serving all the communities these churches represent. I applaud their efforts to do more to respond to the needs of this area.”
Canon Komor said, “Over the last twelve months the Clergy, Readers and Wardens of the benefices concerned have been engaging in a number of Ministry Area Conversations to determine the right path for us.
“This formal enabling of authorised ministry across parish boundaries is an exciting step in the direction of growing cooperation and collaboration between us, while at the same time ensuring that each benefice retains its own identity and autonomy.
“As Area Dean I already have the privilege of knowing many people in the other parishes quite well, and I very much look forward to the deepening of our personal and inter-parish relationships.”
The creation of ministry areas is a key part of the Church in Wales’ 2020 Vision strategy for growth. They bring parishes under one team to help them work together and reach out to serve the whole community.
The service was held at St Illtyd’s Church, Newcastle, on Sunday, December 10.
Back row (left to right): Revd Anthony Beer, Canon Mike Komor, Revd Mark Broadway
Front row (left to right): the Venerable Peggy Jackson (Archdeacon), Peter Craven, Bishop June, Revd David Lloyd, Revd Pauline Smith, Christine Judd, Huw Gwyn Jones, Penny Williams