A parish church in a Victorian spa town in the heart of Wales will host an important event in September – the election of the next Archbishop of Wales.
The doors of Holy Trinity Church in Llandrindod Wells will be locked for up to three days on September 5 as the Electoral College meets inside to choose the 13th Archbishop of Wales.
The mid-Wales town has been the location for the election of all the Archbishops of Wales since the first in 1920, due to its central location.
This election follows the retirement of Dr Barry Morgan who held the office of Archbishop of Wales for 14 years. His successor will be chosen from among the six serving Welsh diocesan bishops – the Bishop of Swansea & Brecon, John Davies, the Bishop of Bangor, Andy John, the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, the Bishop of Monmouth, Richard Pain, the Bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy and the Bishop of Llandaff, June Osborne.
Those making the decision represent churches across Wales. Each of the six dioceses elects three clerics and three lay people onto the College and the bishops are also members – making a total of 42 people. The College President is the Senior Bishop, Bishop John Davies.
The meeting will begin with a public service of Holy Communion to which everyone is welcome. Following that, however, only college members will be allowed to remain in the church as its discussions are confidential.
The meeting will begin with a presentation on the needs of the Province and a period of prayer and reflection. Then the President will call for nominations. The bishops nominated are asked for their consent to be nominated and, if given, they withdraw from the discussion, only returning to vote. A nominee must achieve two-thirds of the votes of the college in order to be elected Archbishop. If after a vote is taken no candidate receives the necessary votes, the process begins again with fresh nominations, which may or may not include those who had been nominated in the previous round.
Once the Archbishop is elected, the church doors will open and the announcement made. The normal practice is for the bishop to confirm his or her election immediately. The new Archbishop is then enthroned in his or her home cathedral.
The College can take up to three days to elect an Archbishop. If it fails to do so after this time, the decision passes to the Bench of Bishops.