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Monmouth, diocese of

Monmouth, diocese of. The diocese was created out of the ancient see of Llandaff in 1921, and is virtually conterminous with the county of Gwent. It is the smallest in the Church in Wales, few parishes being more than 25 miles from the cathedral. When the diocese was formed, there was no obvious choice for a cathedral. The ancient priory churches at Abergavenny and Chepstow were considered, as was the parish church at Monmouth. There was even a suggestion that the ruins of Tintern abbey be restored. In the event, the parish church of St Woolo in Newport, the most populous town, was chosen as the pro-cathedral, but its status was not confirmed until 1949. Since then this fine Romanesque church has been (in the 1960s) much enlarged. Of the eight bishops since the formation of the see, several have been notable scholars, including the canon lawyer C. A. H. Green (1921–8), the educationalist Derrick Childs (1972–86), and the theologians Edwin Morris (1945–68) and Rowan Williams (bishop 1992, archbishop of Wales since 2000). The rural character of much of the diocese is now changing. Within its borders are Cwmbran new town and an expanding industrial belt along the Severn estuary, between Caldicot and Newport.

Revd Dr John R. Guy

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