By Anna Morrell, Church in Wales
A senior hospital chaplain is returning to Wales to help coach parishioners in counselling and support clergy.
Revd Canon Richard Lowndes, who has spent the past eight years as senior manager in spiritual care at the University Hospital Southhampton, has been appointed lay training and coaching officer for the Diocese of Llandaff.
Originally from Pembrokeshire, Richard served as a hospital chaplain at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary, whilst he was curate of St. German’s, Roath, before moving to London as a Hospital Chaplain in 1996. He also served in the Rhondda as vicar of the parish of Tylorstown with Ynyshir.
Richard said he was looking forward to his new role which will include training church wardens, lay visiting teams and bereavement follow-up teams. He will be involved, with the rest of the ministry team and other diocesan officers, in promoting discipleship across the Diocese in initiatives such Seven Sacred Spaces, Living Faith and Mission Shaped Ministry.
He said, “I believe that sector ministries have a lot to offer parishes and the wider Church – I have been working in an environment which has been contracting financially – we have had to learn to work differently and use volunteers differently. We have had to concentrate on core activity and really focus on what our role is alongside patients – this is a different model of being alongside people in a secular organisation/society. Working with good boundaries and a robust ethical framework has been crucial.
“Coming back to the Church at this point I believe I will have much to share as the Church faces a changing environment. I will also have much to learn and catch up with as I return to the Diocese after 15 years.”
Richard was appointed by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, who is also Bishop of Llandaff. He welcomed Richard saying, “Richard not only knows the diocese well since he has served in it as curate and incumbent, but he also brings a wealth of experience and expertise. We look forward to the help he will give the laity in developing their discipleship and the clergy in enabling them to do so.”
Richard is an honorary canon of Winchester Cathedral.