The Venerable Philip Morris, Archdeacon of Margam is retiring after more than 40 years service to the Diocese of Llandaff.
Archdeacon Philip, 65, who has been Archdeacon of Margam since 2002, is to retire on November 1. Since being ordained priest in 1974 at Llandaff Cathedral, he has held a wide range of diocesan and provincial posts.
These have included editing Highlights – the twice yearly report on the meetings of the Governing Body of The Church in Wales – since 1997.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan said, “The loss to me of Philip’s knowledge of the diocese and expertise in dealing with various matters as well as his companionship, will be tremendous. He has a mind which is both able to think strategically and pick up on detail and this is why he has been such an excellent archdeacon.
“He has been engaged at the same time not only with internal diocesan matters but with provincial matters that have come his way and was and is a key person in ensuring proper funding for the Gaza Dental Unit. He has edited Highlights and chaired the International Development Group with great distinction. I wish him and Sheila a long and happy retirement.”
Originally from Whitchurch in Cardiff, Philip’s home parish was All Saints’ Llandaff North where he worshipped with his family, joining the choir and becoming a server.
“I was very much influenced by the vicar, Fr Jerard Oeppen, who was a great liturgist and known as ‘Father Experimental because you didn’t know where the altar would be next.’ Worship at All Saints was fun, but at the same time dignified and ordered, and that has certainly shaped my approach to worship,” said Archdeacon Philip.
Following ordination, Archdeacon Philip’s first post was as assistant curate in the parish of Aberdare where he served for three years, before being appointed assistant curate of Neath with responsibility for SS Peter & Paul’s Church, Cimla.
In 1980 he became vicar of Cymmer and Porth, in the Rhondda Valley, and in 1988 was appointed Diocesan Missioner. In 2002 Philip became Archdeacon of Margam, having been Residentiary Canon of Llandaff Cathedral for the previous two years, and although living in Llantwit Major, looked after the parish of Kenfig Hill until 2005 when he became priest in charge of Ewenny and St Brides Major.
In addition to these appointments, Philip was also a Diocesan Inspector of Schools for ten years, a tutor on the Llandaff Ordination Course for twenty years, and Diocesan Communications Officer for four years.
He has chaired a number of Church in Wales Sectors and Divisions in the Board of Mission, and currently chairs the Church in Wales International Group and Churches Tourism Network Wales. He is co-ordinator of the Church in Wales Jubilee Fund, which currently funds the running of the mobile dental clinic in Gaza.
Philip, who is married to Sheila and has two children and one grandchild, is retiring to Llantwit Major and plans to spend more time with his family and travelling.
“I’d like to visit places I haven’t had time to do so before and perhaps write the books I have always said I would but not got round to doing so,” he said.
“Undoubtedly we are both going to miss people of the parish of Ewenny and St Brides Major, and the wonderful community in which we have lived for the last ten years. All archdeacons are at heart parish priests, and it has been a privilege to serve this dedicated and committed church family.”