Menu

Au revoir Meurig

 

The Ven. Meurig Williams, Archdeacon of France, Commissary and Chaplain to the Bishop in Europe, will be leaving the Diocese in December after a decade of service among us.  He will be moving to a new clergy appointment in the Diocese of Cork.

Bishop Robert said:

“Meurig has served the diocese with distinction over these last 10 years, as Bishop’s Chaplain for two Diocesan Bishops, and as Archdeacon for two contrasting archdeaconries, first North West Europe, followed by France and Monaco. 

He has gained the affection and respect of clergy and lay people alike, been responsible for the appointment and care of clergy, and looked after numerous parishes in interregna. As a member of the Senior Staff Team, Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod, Meurig has contributed to the developing and shaping of the diocese’s vision for its ministry and mission.

He will be much missed, both in the Bishop’s Office and in the Chaplaincies of the French Archdeaconry, and Meurig’s new parish in Ireland will be fortunate indeed to have a priest and pastor of such rich and deep experience.”  

**

Meurig has kindly given us an interview about his time in the Diocese …

You’ll be leaving the Diocese in Europe at the end of this year after a decade of service.  What are your abiding reflections on your ministry among us?

MW: It has been an immense privilege to serve in the Diocese in Europe, where I have been able to utilise some language skills and love of European culture to the full in the double-sided aspect of my ministry as Archdeacon of France and Bishop Robert’s Commissary and Chaplain. It has been energising, enlarging – and sometimes, I admit, a little exhausting. After 15 years serving on the senior staff of two very different dioceses (I was previously Archdeacon of Bangor in Wales), I feel that now is a good time to return to the rootedness of parish ministry and in a country that is positive about its membership of the European Union. In that sense, some of us would say (though not all!) that I will be moving from one progressive, democratic republic to another.

You’ve worked in a dual role as senior clergy in the Diocese as both Bishop’s Commissary and Chaplain, and as an Archdeacon in two Archdeaconries.  How have you managed these differing responsibilities?

MW: I shall take with me happy memories of working closely first with Bishop Geoffrey Rowell and then, for the past 6 years, with Bishop Robert as he has taken forward the mission of the Diocese in new and creative ways. With them, I will always be grateful to senior colleagues whose sense of loyalty, discretion and professionalism will long remain an inspiration. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the clergy and lay officers of the French Archdeaconry, particularly the three area deans, Tony Lomas, Giles Williams and Debbie Flach, who have done much to shoulder the responsibilities of oversight with me. It has been a delight to work with such a diverse range of church communities across France and Monaco, where people of different races, nations and languages have found a home to celebrate the Gospel and live by it.

Travel has been such an important feature of your ministry in the Diocese – what memorable visits and experiences do you have?

MW: As far as memorable moments are concerned, I will always have happy memories of travels with Bishop Geoffrey, notably celebrating Orthodox Christmas in Moscow and visiting the Catholicos of all Armenians in Holy Etchmiadzin.

…  What do you think gives the Diocese its sense of European identity and presence? 

MW: The opportunity to work strategically with Bishop Robert in giving the Diocese a clearer European focus and identity by setting-up a brand new office in Brussels has been significant, as has building new partnerships to reach into new areas of the Diocese.

… And your new ministry is calling you to serve next in one of the most westerly tips of the European Union, we understand … ? 

MW: I am very excited about moving to Ireland, to a completely different – but entirely familiar – pattern of ministry.  I look forward to supporting and encouraging three church communities, centred on a growing and diverse market town in County Cork, and discovering what God has in store for us.

**

Here are some pictures for us to remember Meurig’s time among us, with grateful thanks to him for providing these photos.  

Au revoir, Meurig!

 

Taken during a visit with Bishop Geoffrey to the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate in Bucharest in 2012.

 

Taken with Bishop Robert at the Friends’ Festival, 2018.

 

My home in Limousin has been a warm haven in the depths of winter and has given space for rest and reflection, including an early morning walk to the boulangerie!