The Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales awarded UWTSD Honorary Doctorate


The Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales has today (Tuesday, 16 July) been awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Divinity) by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Archbishop John was born at Newport and educated at Bassaleg Grammar School. He graduated in law from the University of Southampton from where he moved to the College of Law at Chester. He was admitted as a solicitor in 1977, specialising in criminal law and, after ordination, completed a master’s degree in Canon Law. Prior to ordination he was heavily involved in the life of the church at parochial, diocesan and provincial level.

Archbishop John left the law to enter the ministry and was ordained in 1984. He served in the Diocese of Monmouth in a variety of rural, post-industrial and urban parishes, and he also served as Diocesan Schools’ Officer and Officer for Ecumenical Affairs. He was appointed Dean of Brecon in 2000, and during eight years in that role oversaw significant improvements to the fabric and liturgy of the Cathedral. He was elected as the ninth Bishop of Swansea and Brecon in 2008.

On receiving the award, the Most Reverend John Davies commented:

“I’m very honoured and humbled to receive this award today and also quite excited because it’s an opportunity to celebrate so much achievement on behalf of so many people here today.

What an impressive bunch and what massive talent we have here.  I hope they use every opportunity that comes their way, and to use the talent they clearly have, not just to further their own lives but to benefit the lives of others.  Always, remain strong and remain committed to serving the needs of others by bringing some colour and joy into the lives of others.”

Gwilym Dyfri Jones, UWTSD Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, presented him to the congregation.  He said:

“It is my great privilege this afternoon to present the Most Reverend John Davies, Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, to receive an honorary doctorate in recognition of his services to the Church in Wales and of his leadership across faith communities. 

Today, more than ever, this country is in desperate need of strong leadership. Good, resilient, trustworthy individuals who are willing to stand up for social justice, to challenge wrong, unfairness and inequality,  and who have a strong commitment to try and make the world a better place for all of us, where people with deeply-held differences can live together in a spirit of love and respect.

Throughout his ministry, Archbishop John has shown agile and strong leadership with a genuine sense of purpose. It has not been business as usual under his guidance and leadership.”

Having been the ‘lead Bishop’ for Church and Society issues, Archbishop John is profoundly interested in matters of social justice and has spoken out on a range of issues, including homelessness and housing, rural problems, organ donation, assisted dying and poverty. He has retained a keen interest in issues of crime and punishment, with a particular concern about the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders, the nature of criminality and the effects of poor social and educational standards. Having served as the chairman of the trustees of a large hospice in Newport, he also has a deep concern for the just provision of healthcare, not least for those in the final stages of life. He currently chairs the Ethical Investment Group of the Church in Wales, its International Group and the Wales National Committee of Christian Aid, and is a national trustee of Christian Aid.

As a former church chorister, organist and choirmaster, Archbishop John has a passionate interest in church music being ‘done well’, whether complex musical settings or just simple hymns and songs, believing that it can do much to enhance quality, spirituality and effectiveness of many an act of worship.

He also enjoys a wide variety of music, watching sport – especially cricket and rugby – playing golf very occasionally, cooking and walking. He is married to Jo, an emergency nurse practitioner, and they have two grown-up children.

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Further Information

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