A new link has been launched between Bangor diocese (north Wales) and Meath and Kildare.
The diocese covers the counties of Anglesey, most of Caernarfonshire and Merionethshire and a small part of Montgomeryshire. The diocesan office is in the city of Bangor where the Cathedral Church of Saint Deiniol is also situated. Bishop Andy John is Bishop of Bangor.
Bangor diocese shares many similarities with Meath and Kildare in that it is largely rural, with some large towns. It has also shared the experience of the rest of the Anglican Communion on these islands, in having to respond to the changing place of the Church in society.
Bishop Pat and four other members of our diocese, Kevin Bowers (Chair of Finance & Glebes Committee), Archdeacon Leslie Stevenson, Canon John Clarke and Earl Storey visited Bangor over the weekend of 5-8 June this year. During their visit they met Bishop Andy John and members of his leadership team along with other members of the diocese.
During the visit we had an opportunity to learn how the diocese has gone through a process of reenvisioning itself and planning for the future. Our group met with diocesan staff as well as people who were ministering in parishes. There was a sense of a diocese that had faced the significant challenges of a changing society but that was doing so with real hope and a planned determination.
The link was launched in Bangor cathedral on Sunday 7th June, where Bishop Pat preached at two special services. To inaugurate the new link between the Dioceses, Bishop Andy presented Bishop Pat with a Pastoral Staff which had been specially made in the Diocese of Bangor. At an earlier meeting Bishop Pat had presented a gift of a pottery Chalice and Paten to the Diocese of Bangor.
A representative from the diocese of Bangor described the purpose of the link as being “that both Dioceses will be able to learn from each other in a time of change, whilst always ensuring that passing on the Good News of the Gospel is always at the heart of our mission and ministry in our Dioceses”.
Plans are already being made for a visit to Meath and Kildare by Bishop Andy John and a team from Bangor.