Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson, Commissary to the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, is delighted to announce the appointment of the Venerable Meurig Williams, who currently is serving as Archdeacon of France and Monaco, Commissary and Chaplain to the Bishop in Europe, to be the new Incumbent of Mallow Union of Parishes.
Meurig Williams was born in Bangor, North Wales, where his father was a Baptist minister and grew up in a Welsh-speaking home. After studying modern languages at the University of Aberystwyth, including a year in Bordeaux, he was a teacher in a secondary school near Cardiff for four years.
He returned to the University of Wales to study theology and trained for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge. He was ordained in Bangor Cathedral in 1992 and served a curacy in the port town of Holyhead.
He subsequently served as Incumbent of Pwllheli, a market town in rural North-West Wales; and then became an Incumbent in Cardiff. He returned to Bangor as Archdeacon in 2005. In 2011 he moved to become Commissary to the Bishop in Europe – a role which he combined with being Archdeacon of North-West Europe (serving Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) before his current appointment as Archdeacon of France in 2016.
He currently has oversight of 83 congregations across France, many of which serve scattered, rural populations.
Meurig has been involved in fostering strong ecumenical relationships throughout his ministry, and is currently involved in discussions between the Church of England and the French Protestant churches. He also has good working relationships with the Roman Catholic Church in France and as a fluent French-speaking Anglican has contributed to various ecumenical conferences, including at the Catholic Institute in Paris.
I am very excited about moving to become Rector of the Mallow Union, particularly in returning to being a pastor and an encourager in the local Church. I am especially energised by a move to Mallow as the town experiences growth and development, with an increasingly diverse population, as well as enabling the three churches to flourish in their distinctive ways. I enjoy art, cooking, cycling, gardening, music and walking – and am especially looking forward to discovering more of County Cork and Munster, as well as living and ministering in the Western-most part of the European Union. Above all, I am keen to get to know the people of the Union of parishes and the wider communities in which they are set as, together, we discern the future direction of the Church of Ireland community at the Crossroads of Munster.
Mallow Union of Parishes is located in the north-west corner of County Cork covering the area from the Kerry Border in the west to the Awbeg River in the east; and from the Limerick border to the north to the Nagle and Boggeragh Mountains in the south. It occupies mainly the beautiful Blackwater Valley and extends into the mountains on each side. It stands on the crossroads between the Limerick to Cork and Killarney to Cahir roads – the ‘crossroads of Munster’ – and is the first main station on the Cork to Dublin railway line: two and a quarter hours from Dublin by rail and twenty-five minutes from Cork by road or rail.