Bishops of Monmouth
Rowan Douglas Williams was elected eighth Bishop of Monmouth on 5th December, 1991 and was consecrated bishop at St Asaph Cathedral on 14th May, 1992. At the time of his election Bishop Rowan was Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford and a canon of Christchurch. He is a Doctor of Divinity and a Fellow of the British Academy. As a distinguished theologian with an international reputation, Bishop Rowan is in great demand. In December 1999, he was elected Archbishop of Wales and enthroned in St Woolos' Cathedral in February, 2000.
Bishop Rowan presided over the Diocese of Monmouth during the last decade. At such close range it is hard to be objective, but there were real indications of continuity and progress in the life of the diocese in spite of the slow decline in attendances at Sunday services that were discerned during the last decade everywhere.
Women's ministry was affirmed and that was followed by the ordination of women to the priesthood in 1997. The diocese celebrated its seventy-fifth birthday in 1996 with a large Sung Eucharist at Cwmbran Stadium. The diocese has maintained officers for youth, evangelism and tertiary education as well as a diocesan missioner; director of education and a schools' officer. A new industrial chaplain and a new chaplain to deaf people were appointed. Schemes for the selection and training of permanent local deacons, and latterly for lay evangelists, have been established as well as lay eucharistic ministers. A mission forum and a bishop's council were established. There was an increase in the number of candidates offering themselves for ordination and a welcome addition to the number of clerics serving in stipendiary ministry.
By the end of the decade of evangelism the ratio of stipendiary clerics to regular worshippers in the diocese was so high that the capacity of parishes to meet the increased cost of the parish share of diocesan Quota was being severely challenged and produced the report Beyond 2000 in 1999.