A specialist in church and charity law, who was once a cathedral head chorister, is joining the Church in Wales to lead its legal team.
Matthew Chinery has been appointed as the new Head of Legal Services and will take up the role at the Provincial Office in Cardiff in the Spring. He takes over from Lyn Chandler who is retiring.
Matthew joins the Church in Wales after eight years working as a solicitor at Winckworth Sherwood LLP in London, where he specialised in church and charity law. For the last five years he has also advised two dioceses in the Church of England –as Registrar and Bishop’s Legal Secretary to the Diocese of Chichester from 2013 and to the Diocese of St Albans from 2015.
Previous to that, Matthew read Law at Oxford University and gained a Master’s degree in Roman Catholic Canon Law from the University of London. He is also a contributing author to the textbook Ecclesiastical Law (Hill, Oxford University Press, 2018).
Welcoming Matthew, the Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, said, “I am very pleased to welcome Matthew to Wales to help steer the Church through its specialised, and increasingly complicated, legal matters. He has gained significant experience and expertise in church law through his academic study, his career and his diocesan roles in the Church of England. He has many gifts to offer us and I look forward to working with him.”
The Provincial Secretary Simon Lloyd, added, “Matthew will be a real asset to our legal team at the Provincial Office, which serves the Church in Wales. He comes with an essential understanding of church law which will enable him to continue, and build on, the robust work undertaken by the team under the direction of Lyn Chandler. It is an exciting time for the Church as we prepare for our centenary in 2020 and we are looking forward to Matthew being part of the team.”
Matthew, a former head chorister at Chichester Cathedral, said, “I am delighted to be joining the Church in Wales at such an exciting time. The opportunity to serve the Church in this key position in the provincial team, together with a move to South Wales (where we have strong family connections) meant this was a role that hugely appealed to me. I am looking forward to taking up office in the Spring, and to play my part in ensuring that the law be used as a tool to further the mission of the Church across the Province.”
The Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, said, “Matthew Chinery has been an outstanding Registrar. His exceptional knowledge of ecclesiastical law has been applied with skill and wisdom to the pastoral needs and mission of the diocese and its life as part of the wider Church. And this has been done with humility, humour and brevity. He takes with him our gratitude, prayers and best wishes.”
Matthew is married to Rachel, a classical archaeologist specialising in ancient Iran, and who is half-Welsh.