spawns Diocese of Wrexham
by Peter Stanford ONE of this country's largest and most sparsely populated dioceses is to be split up in order to add a third diocese to the two already in existence in Wales.
Bishop Daniel Mullins, for 17 years an auxiliary in the archdiocese of Cardiff, will head the new diocese which will retain the name Menevia. It will be centred on Swansea, home to Bishop Mullins already. Pugin's 100 year old Church of St Joseph in the city will become the new cathedral.
The new diocese has been carved out of the southern part of the existing Menevia diocese — namely the county of Dyfed and the districts of Radnor and Brecknock in the county of Powys-plus West Glamorgan, formerly in the Archdiocese of Cardiff.
The remaining portion of the old Menevia diocese will now form the diocese of Wrexham under Bishop James Hannigan.
Archbishop Ward of Cardiff has welcomed the new arrangement. "We see this development as a challenge to make a new beginning in terms of life and witness in the Church in Wales".
Instead of each of the three dioceses having separate institutions to deal with such matters as child care, education and ecumenical affairs, the three will now aim to pool their resources and hence provide a more wideranging service to the principality's three million Catholics.
On the question of diocesan finance, the three will remain independent, but in certain aspects, such as the contentious covenant schemes, insurance and other such matters, an allWales basis may be introduced.
Another area which would benefit from a united approach by the three dioceses would be the question of Welsh speakers, and the bishops are keen to approach this issue" and to further encourage more priests to be fluent in the Welsh language so that Welsh speaking Catholics in Wales may be able, without difficulty, to worship in their mother tongue" according to the announcement of the new diocese.