Diocesan press releases

New Rector pedals into Cowbridge


The Revd Stephen Adams is leaving the classroom behind as he returns to parish ministry as the new Rector of Cowbridge.

Stephen, the former Dean of Ministry Development at St Michael’s College, Llandaff, is to be licensed at Holy Cross Parish Church in Cowbridge tonight, Wednesday, September 30, at 7.30pm.Stephen Adams

The keen cyclist will soon be a familiar sight around the parish as he plans to get on his bike for trips to church, to visit parishioners and to attend events whenever possible.

“It’s quicker than walking but it still enables you to be visible in the parish,” explained Stephen, who takes over as Rector from Canon Derek Belcher, who retired in March after 14 years in Cowbridge.

“I am looking forward to returning to parish ministry and think that being a parish priest is the best job in the world. I have felt a deep sense of God’s call in taking up the post of Rector of Cowbridge. There is much to do and the most important thing will be working together and experiencing God’s love within these communities,” said Stephen, 58, who is married to Amy and has four grown up children and three grandchildren.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, who will license Stephen said, “Stephen is an experienced parish priest and has previously been an incumbent and area dean in England as well as being a Provincial Ministry Officer in Wales. He will bring that experience and his many gifts to the Rectorial Parish of Cowbridge.”

The Rectorial benefice which serves the market town of Cowbridge has been extended to include the villages of Llangan and St Mary Hill in addition to the villages of Llanblethian, Llansannor, Pennllyn, Aberthin, Ystradowen, Flemingston, Llandough, St Mary Church and St Hilary.

For nearly the last decade, Stephen has been based at St Michael’s College in Llandaff where he used his experience of parish ministry to work with clergy at all levels across the six dioceses of the Church in Wales. In addition he contributed to the life of the college as a lecturer.

Originally from South Wales, Stephen spent his early career as a geologist in the oil industry, which included a time in Dallas, Texas, before he switched career paths and was ordained deacon in 1987.

He served two curacies in Swansea before moving to Northamptonshire, where he served as Vicar to five rural parishes near Daventry. In 1997 he was appointed Rector of Abington and later Rural Dean of Northampton before returning to Wales in 2006.

During his time at St Michael’s, Stephen has been learning Welsh and is currently working on a part-time professional doctorate with the focus of his research being on the practice of collaborative ministry – something which he hopes will be of practical relevance in Cowbridge.

A keen cyclist, he completed a 450 mile charity pilgrimage to each of the six Welsh cathedrals in 2014 and, with Amy on their tandem, the French ‘end to end’, from Calais to Narbonne, in 2013.


Pictured is the Revd Stephen Adams