Diocesan press releases

Bishop of St Asaph to ordain youngest ever candidate in the Church in Wales

A gallery of photos from today’s service is available at here.

Lord William’s sermon at today’s service is available to listen to here:

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The youngest ever candidate for ordination in the Church in Wales has been given special permission to be ordained by the Bishop of St Asaph.

Dominic Cawdell from Mold is only 22 years old – a year younger than the usual age set for ordination – and needs a dispensation from the Archbishop of Wales to enable his ordination to take place at St Asaph Cathedral on Saturday 30 June.

Dominic, who went to Argoed School and Alyn School in Mold, studied Theology at Cambridge University, before training for the priesthood at St Padarn’s Institute in Cardiff.

The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, who will ordain Dominic alongside five other candidates for the diaconate and four for the priesthood said: “Dom is one of a growing number of young people seeking ordination in the Church in Wales.  These are changing times in the Church and this is recognised in the types of people God is calling to serve the church and his local communities.  We’re experiencing more people from more backgrounds seeking to serve the Church through ordination, and some very talented candidates.”

Bishop Gregory will be joined by three other Bishops in the ordination service.  The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Lord Williams of Oystermouth, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams will preach during the service.  The Rt Revd John Dudley Davies, an Assistant Bishop in the diocese, will also be present.  The former Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Revd Dominic Walker will be there to support Dominic Cawdell, who is a novice in the religious order, the Oratory of the Good Shepherd.  This is a dispersed community who take vows of prayer, celibacy and community life.

Dominic Cawdell said: “I knew God wanted me to be a priest when I was 16 years old and I’ve followed that calling ever since.  While at University I became a novice in the Oratory of the Good Shepherd and I hope to become a full member in 2019. Once ordained, I’ll be moving to Llay to become a curate, learning how to be a priest.”

Dominic is one of six candidates to be ordained deacon, alongside four new priests.

The Deacons are:

  • Dominic Cawdell from Mold
  • Alan Cronin, a former policeman from Wrexham
  • Dylan Parry Jones, a PhD student from near Llangollen
  • John Searl who runs a forestry management company in St Asaph
  • Kathryn Stewart, a former social worker from Mold
  • Heather Shotton, from Wrexham who trained as a nurse with the navy

The Priests are:

  • Rocky Bateman, serving in Estuary and Mountain Mission Area, rooted in Holywell
  • Ann Chidgey, serving in the Cedewain Mission Area, rooted in the Kerry communities (featured below)
  • Rebecca Sparey-Taylor, serving in the Wrexham Mission Area, rooted in the Garden Village and Caia Park communities
  • Jeanette Wilkes, serving in the Pool Mission Area, rooted in the Welshpool community

The Revd Rebecca Sparey-Taylor from Wrexham was ordained a deacon last year and will become a priest this year.  Rebecca is running 2,018 miles in 2018 to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, after one of her sons received treatment after being hit by a lorry in December 2015.  She said: “I love serving in the Wrexham Mission Area as there are always so many different things going on. From Open the Book in the local primary school, where we act out different Bible stories, through providing a listening ear at the chaplaincy at Coleg Cambria, to setting up a temporary night shelter for the homeless in the winter months. It is really important that not only is the Gospel proclaimed in our town, but that the love of Christ is also shown in our actions.”

The ordination service takes place on Saturday 30 June at 10am in St Asaph Cathedral and everyone is welcome.  The service will be interpreted into British Sign Language.