The son of a former steel-worker is coming back to serve as a vicar in Port Talbot this week.
Revd Mark Williams will be inducted as vicar of St Theodore, Port Talbot, by the Archbishop of Wales on Thursday.
His appointment follows the departure of Father Colin Amos, who served as the parish vicar for 16 years before moving to a parish in London.
After 10 years serving as a vicar in Skewen, Mark, originally from Laleston near Bridgend, has travelled just eight miles door-to-door to become the new priest of St Theodore’s and St Peter’s. It’s an area he knows well – his father, Des, worked as a project engineer at the steelworks for 40 years.
“It is ironic coming back here to serve in the church just across the road form where my father worked for 40 years,” said Mark. “The steel works are still such an important part of this parish.”
Before being ordained in 1997 Mark worked as a civil servant. He is married to Clare and they have a 12-year-old son Daniel. He also sits on the Welsh Council of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Mark said, “I am very much looking forward to coming to a church that has such strong traditions and ethos and which has a clear identity in the community. I hope to maintain and build on that. There are difficult times ahead in Port Talbot with the uncertainty of the future of the steelworks - it is important that the church continues to be there for the people, at the heart of the community.”
Mark praised the efforts of Fr Colin and the parish in raising £1.5m to improve the fabric of the church. The work included restoring St Theodore’s, redeveloping the parish hall and building a youth hall. He said that meant parishioners could now focus more on helping the charities they support, such as St Nicholas’s Children’s Hospice, South Africa. “We will be able to look out, rather than just looking at ourselves,” he said.
The Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “Mark has been a faithful, conscientious priest in Skewen for 10 years and he will bring the same pastoral concern to his new parishioners. They are very lucky to have him.”
Mark will be straight to work following his induction on Thursday. The parish’s summer fair takes place on Saturday at 11am, which will be opened by local AM David Rees. His first service will be held on Saturday evening at St Peter’s Church, at 5.30pm, and at St Theodore’s on Sunday at 8.30am and 11am.
He said he was looking forward to getting started, “We’ve been very warmly welcomed so far and I feel like part of the community already!”
Mark’s induction service takes place on Thursday 19July at St Theodore’s Church, Port Talbot, at 7.30pm. All are welcome.
For more information, please contact:
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