A priest who worked as adviser on a popular television drama about a female vicar in rural Wales has been appointed to oversee the training of all licensed ministers in the country. Canon Dr Manon Ceridwen James was recruited as an adviser for the Welsh-language television programme Parch, for public service broadcaster S4C. Written by Fflur Dafydd, the series followed fictional rural vicar Myfanwy Elfed, and ran for three years before coming to and end in April.
Canon James was born and raised in the small town of Nefyn on the Llŷn – the peninsula in north-west Wales. After a curacy in Llandudno she served in a number of parishes across north Wales before becoming Director of Ministry for the Diocese of St Asaph.
The Province recently combined its training operations into a single organisation – the St Padarn’s Institute. Canon James will join St Padarn’s in September as Director of Formation for Licensed Ministry, where she will lead the training and education of all licensed ministers, including new lay ministry roles of evangelist, pioneer, youth and children’s and pastor, as well as Readers and those preparing for stipendiary and self-supporting ordained roles.
“It is excellent to welcome Manon to the senior team at St Padarn’s,” the institute’s Principal, Professor Jeremy Duff, said. “She brings with her a wealth of experience in parish ministry in the Church in Wales and in the formation and education of ministers. Her research is cutting edge and Welsh is her first language.
“As the Church in Wales seeks to implement its 2020 Vision strategy and put growth and the transformation of communities at the heart of its life, it needs outstanding training for licensed minsters across the whole of Wales. After a demanding selection procedure, we are confident that in Manon we have found the person to take forward this work, and contribute at a senior level to the overall leadership of St Padarn’s. Having worked with her in her current role, I know that Manon will also be a creative, supportive, committed colleague.”
Canon James, the author of Women, Identity and Religion in Wales (University of Wales Press), described her new role as “an exceptional opportunity for me to play a part in growing lay and ordained ministers who will equip our churches to serve our communities and share the good news of Jesus Christ with them.”
She added: “the St Padarn’s Institute is at an exciting stage in its development, and I feel fortunate to be working with a very gifted team of tutors and staff, in offering resources and equipping the Church in Wales in various ways to address the challenges we face, as we approach the centenary of disestablishment.”