Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, to retire in May

Archbishop John Davies is retiring in May.

The Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, has announced his retirement in May. 

Archbishop Davies, 67, has led the Church in Wales for the last four years while also serving as Bishop of Swansea and Brecon for 13 years. 

He will step down from both roles on May 2. 

"Leadership is both a privilege and a challenge. During my time as both Bishop and Archbishop I have tried to exercise the first and face the second with vision, courage and patience, always hoping to make the Church better equipped, better understood, less mysterious and more welcoming," he said.

"In the current exceptionally trying circumstances, I have been immensely impressed with the compassion, imagination and innovation with which so many have responded, succeeding in making the Church more accessible and, dare I say, relevant.

"At all stages of my ministry, I have been fortunate to have the support of many valued lay and ordained colleagues, from both within and outside the Church, and a wonderfully loving and understanding family. I thank all of them for that support, without which, the task would have been all but impossible."

Following his retirement, the Bishop of Bangor will lead the Church until the election of a new Archbishop later in the year.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said Davies was a "valued colleague" who had given "wise counsel".

"I have very much enjoyed working with John during his time as Archbishop of Wales," he said.

"I have greatly valued his wisdom, his passion for the Gospel and evangelism, and his skill and diplomacy in dealing with often complex situations.

"He has been a valued colleague not only as a fellow Primate in the United Kingdom and Ireland but also in the wider Anglican Communion."