Cathedrals are one of the most popular forms of Christian expression. Sacred icons of our landscape they are enjoying substantial increases in their visitor numbers, attendance at services, educational visits and are seen by many as centres of civic life. Behind the statistics lie stories of excellent worship, the exploration of faith and deep spirituality. They serve the young and old alike and are seen by the community of Wales as a deep part of its history and landscape. In 2020 Llandaff Cathedral will celebrate the 900 year anniversary of its foundation when the bones of St Dyfrig were translated to Cardiff from Bardsey Island.
Yet Cathedrals are challenging organisations to run because of their wide-ranging responsibilities and their relatively meagre resources. They need to be realistic and clear in their strategic aims. Their structures of governance and financial management need to keep pace with best practice and legislation.
In 2016, The Church in Wales commissioned a review of the six Welsh Cathedrals, to set out a possible framework to help them meet the ever more complex challenges of their management and governance, especially as registered Charities. The implementation of this work is ongoing.
As part of their own response to that Provincial Review of the Welsh Cathedrals, the Dean and Chapter of Llandaff, with the strong encouragement and support of the Bishop of Llandaff, have commissioned an independent review of its structures and governance. The Chapter is keen to ensure it has an attractive vision for its future alongside the best possible model of governance and fiscal discipline that will enable the Cathedral to deliver on its strategic aims and to guarantee its sustainability for the future.
The Dean, The Very Reverend Gerwyn Capon, said, “Much has been achieved over the last few years in terms of improved financial management and a robust determination by the congregations to see the Cathedral flourish. We are also enjoying a recovery in the quality and output of the Cathedral’s music, but this must be placed on a sustainable footing for the long term. We are undergoing a major repair programme to the building fabric but we need to remodel much of the ancillary space to provide better facilities. All this means it is now an excellent time to consider how we govern and operate within the life of the Cathedral as we seek to respond to present and future needs.”
The Bishop of Llandaff, The Right Reverend June Osborne, who was for 13 years the Dean of Salisbury Cathedral welcomes this initiative of the Dean and Chapter. “Llandaff Cathedral is one of Wales’ great treasures. It is a sacred place of prayer and holds the memory of ancient saints of Wales alongside our more recent history, including the damage done by war and the great rebuilding of it in the 1950s. It is valued by the whole community. I welcome this Review and want to encourage the Chapter as they seek to build a strong future vision and greater capacity for worship, outreach and service.”
The Review will be undertaken by Mr Richard Bacon, an experienced accountant who works closely with Bristol Cathedral, Mrs Jane Barker also an accountant and Chairman of Marsh Ltd and Mercer Ltd and Lay Chapter member of Salisbury Cathedral, and The Very Revd Nick Bury, Dean of Gloucester Cathedral from 1996-2010.
The Terms of Reference of the Review are to:
- Consider the strategic vision of the Cathedral and how it might be strengthened;
- Examine the business model of the Cathedral and make recommendations about how it might be improved;
- Explore the current systems which deliver the Cathedral’s purpose and advise on whether they are fit for purpose;
- Identify the financial, fabric, property and management controls and the major risks to which the Cathedral is, and has been, exposed and to make an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses;
- Make a series of recommendations which will enable the Chapter to construct a strategic plan for change with greater clarity around impact and outcomes.
It is expected that they will complete their work by the end of May 2018 and the Chapter will shortly thereafter publish their report.
Further information is available from Mrs Anna Morrell