THE election of the next Archbishop of Wales was held in Llandrindod Wells earlier this week.

On Tuesday, the 42 members of the Electoral College locked themselves behind the doors of Holy Trinity Church to elect the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Davies as the 13th Archbishop.

The Most Rev John Davies is the Senior Bishop in Wales and also the College President, he will be enthroned in Brecon cathedral.

He has served as the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon for the past nine years, and is the first Bishop of the diocese to be elected Archbishop.

He succeeds Dr Barry Morgan who retired in January after 14 years as the leader of the Church in Wales.

Most Rev John was elected having secured a two-thirds majority vote from members of the Electoral College at Holy Trinity Church, Llandrindod Wells.

The election was confirmed by the five other diocesan bishops and announced at the door of the church by the provincial secretary of the Church in Wales, Simon Lloyd.

Archbishop John said: “I am overwhelmed and humbled. I would like to thank members of the college and especially my fellow bishops for the confidence and trust they have shown in me. We will work together as a team to grow and strengthen the Church as it serves the communities of Wales and helps build the kingdom of God.”

The Dean of Brecon, Dr Paul Shackerley welcomed the news on behalf of the Diocese.

He said: “I am delighted with the news that Bishop John has been called to be our next Archbishop. He has proven gifts and experience to lead the Church into the future and will receive our full support and prayers as he prepares to exercise his weighty, yet joyful, archiepiscopal ministry.

“I feel the future of the Church in Wales is in good hands with all our faithful bishops, to lead us with hope into the future that we may flourish and serve the communities in which we are called.”

Llandrindod Wells has been the location for the election of all the Archbishops of Wales since the first in 1920, due to its central location.

The archbishop was chosen from the six serving Welsh diocesan bishops.

These include: the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon - John Davies, the Bishop of Bangor - Andy John, the Bishop of St Asaph - Gregory Cameron, the Bishop of Monmouth - Richard Pain, the Bishop of St Davids - Joanna Penberthy and the Bishop of Llandaff - June Osborne.

Right Rev Joanna Penberthy was previously the Rector of Glan Ithon Parish in Llandrindod, returning to the town both as a member of the electoral college and a potential archbishop.

Each of the six dioceses elects three clerics and three lay people onto the college and the bishops are also members, making a total of 42 people.

The meeting began at 9.30am on Tuesday with a public service of holy communion.

Following that, only college members and staff supporting the work of the college were allowed to remain in the church.

The process started with discussions on the needs of the province and a period of prayer and reflection, this was followed by the president calling for nominations.

The bishops nominated then withdraw from the discussion, only returning to vote.

The college can take up to three days to elect an archbishop, if it had failed to do so after that time, the decision would have been made by the Bench of Bishops.