A priest from America has been ordained by the Bishop of St Asaph in what’s thought to have been the first service of its kind to take place at St Tyssil’s Church in Llandyssil.
Revd Dr Alexis Smith was ordained priest by the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron in a special service on Sunday (26 November) in front of a large congregation. She will work with the communities of Llandyssil and Castle Caereinion in Powys.
Alexis arrived to live in Welshpool in September 2016 and prepared for her ministry at the Church in Wales’ training institute, St Padarn’s. She was ordained deacon in St Asaph Cathedral in June and has since been working as a Pioneer Minister.
Alexis said: ‘My ministry in Wales has been a dream long awaited and now that it has come to fruition I look forward to the journey continuing, following God in the company of the people of the communities in and around Welshpool.’
Sunday’s service marked a significant milestone in a long and interesting journey that has taken Alexis from the United States of America to ministry in rural Wales. In the United States Alexis’ ministry had included full time hospital and hospice chaplaincy in Greensboro, North Carolina. However, when Alexis began studies for a PhD at the University of Wales, Lampeter a deep love for Wales and its people developed, along with the sense of God’s calling to live and minister in Wales.
Alexis returned to Wales at every opportunity and in 2014 she began the discernment process for ministry in Wales. Though ordained in Christian traditions of the Church of God and the Mennonite Church, Alexis made contact with the Bishop of St Asaph and so began the process towards her ordination as priest within the Church in Wales.