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A vicar who worked as an adviser on a popular television drama series is to oversee the training of all licensed ministers in the Church in Wales.

Canon Dr Manon Ceridwen James, who was the adviser for S4C’s drama Parch, about a woman vicar in rural Wales, is taking on a senior role at St Padarn’s Institute, the training arm of the Church in Wales. She will be Director of Formation for Licensed Ministry and will join the team in September.

Her new role will be to lead the training and education of all licensed ministers. This includes those preparing for the newer lay ministries of evangelist, pioneer, youth and children’s and pastor, as well as Readers and those preparing for ordination, stipendiary and self-supporting.

Manon is currently the Director of Ministry in the Diocese of St Asaph. Brought up in Nefyn on the Llŷn Peninsula, she graduated from the Polytechnic of Wales and Selwyn College, Cambridge, before being ordained in 1994. Since then, she has served in rural ministry in North Wales – as a Curate in Llandudno, Vicar in Bethesda (Glanogwen), Llanllechid, Mynydd Llandygai and later Pentir, and Rector of Llanddulas and Llysfaen. Alongside this she has served as Director of Ordinands/Vocations, as Director of Life-long Learning, St Asaph Tutor for St Michael’s College, and Director of Exploring Faith. The University of Wales press has recently published her book, Women, Identity and Religion in Wales.

In 2015 Manon was recruited as an adviser for Parch by the programme’s writer, Fflur Dafydd. The series, which followed rural vicar Myfanwy, ran for three years and concluded in April.

Dr Jeremy Duff

The Principal of St Padarn’s, the Revd Professor Jeremy Duff, says, “It is excellent to welcome Manon to the senior team at St Padarn’s. 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.�

Manon says, “I am very much looking forward to my new role. This is 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. 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. In my previous roles as a Vicar, Director of Vocations and training officer I have had the privilege of seeing individuals and groups grow and flourish and I hope to bring this commitment to creativity and collaboration in ministry into my new role.�

Manon will continue to be based in Abergele, but will travel widely across Wales. She is married to Dylan and has two daughters and a step-son.