Does the Church in Wales have a future? 'Absolutely', says senior bishop

St David's Cathedral, in Wales. The most senior bishop in the Church in Wales says that despite declining attendance, he is optimistic about its future.St David's Cathedral/ Facebook

Does the Church in Wales have a future?

'Absolutely', says its most senior Anglican bishop.

The Welsh Church has seen steady decline in attendance in recent decades, but the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon John Davies sees great opportunities ahead, according to Wales Online.

'I've got absolutely no doubt whatsoever now with the resources we have, with the people we have, there is every likelihood that we've got a strong future,' he said.

Davies says that the Church needs to better articulate itself for the younger generation.

He said: 'I find with young people...They have got the most admirable sense of justice. They've got the most admirable understanding of injustice and feel outraged at some of the injustices that are perpetrated both in our own country and elsewhere.'

'They find Jesus an attractive individual. They find the gospel message immensely attractive because it's about truth and justice...

'I think the question that perhaps we are being challenged to ask of the institutional Church is: Do we actually articulate that call, that gospel? Do we embody it or are we just perceived as an institution creaking on in the direction of celebrating its centenary, clinging on by its fingertips?'

In 2020 the Church in Wales will celebrate a century since its disestablishment from the state – it was formerly part of the Church of England.

Davies added: 'I want us to get to 2020 with clear plans, clear strategies for re-imagining what the Church is going to be. If we can do that [we] will have a wonderful future.'

Barry Morgan, former Archbishop of Wales since 2003, stepped down in January and has not been replaced. The average adult attendance at a Sunday service has fallen from 33,783 in 2011 to 29,019 in 2015. In 2004, it was over 40,000.

Davies emphasised the priority of innovation for the future: 'If you do what you've always done you'll get what you've got always got.'

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