The Rectorial Benefice of Whitchurch, Cardiff
Our Mission Statement:
We seek to develop the discipleship and ministry of all God’s people throughout the Benefice so that, transformed ourselves, we might become better equipped and inspired to play our part in transforming God’s world.
Whitchurch has been a centre of Christian Worship for many centuries. The first reference to the existence of a religious movement or establishment in Whitchurch is in the ‘Book of Llandaff’ back in the 12th century. A new Church, Eglwys Newydd, was built in the 17th century, a reconstruction of an older building dating from the previous century. Leland, the antiquarian, writing c. 1536, refers to ‘Egluis Newith’ in Llandaff Parish; this ‘new’ church was probably the first to be dedicated to St. Mary. In 1845 Whitchurch ceased to be a chapelry of Llandaff and was designated a separate ecclesiastical parish.
St Mary’s, built in 1884, is the Parish Church situated in the middle of Whitchurch. It was consecrated in May 1885 and is a Grade 2 Listed Building.
St Thomas’s was built in 1911 to serve the Birchgrove area of the Parish. It was a small building , and was replaced by a larger structure in 1913.
All Saints’, Llandaff North, was consecrated on 28th January 1891 and became a thriving church. In January 1941 the church was all but destroyed by enemy incendiary bombs. The church that we see today is the result of a total restoration completed in 1955.
It became part of the Whitchurch Benefice by special Decree on 3rd March, 2014.
All Saints’, Rhiwbina, was consecrated for public worship in 1931.
The Rectorial Benefice of Whitchurch, Cardiff, was inaugurated on January 7th, 2002, in a service held at St Mary’s Parish Church, when the Rt Rev’d Dr Barry Morgan, the Bishop of Llandaff, inducted Canon John Henry Lewis Rowlands as Team Rector; and licensed the Rev’d Mark Greenaway-Robbins and Rev’d Benjamin Andrews respectively as Team Vicar and Assistant Curate.
On Saturday February 10th, 2002, the Rector was installed as Cathedral Chancellor by the Dean of Llandaff, the Very Rev’d John Thomas Lewis, who had himself served as Curate in the Parish of Whitchurch from 1973 to 1976!
Rev’d Andrew James was inducted as Team Vicar at All Saints’ Church, Rhiwbina, on 11th September, 2006, after Rev’d Mark left to serve as Rector of St James’s Church in Vancouver, Canada, a post he was subsequently to occupy for eight and a half years.
Rev’d Ben Andrews now serves as the parish priest of St Cadoc’s Church, in the Parish of Cadoxton-juxta-Barry, and was succeeded as Assistant Curate of the Whitchurch Benefice firstly by Rev’d Martin Colton, and then by Rev’d Beverley Smith.
Rev’d Dr Trystan Owain Hughes arrived in the Benefice after he was ordained Deacon in 2005, and served for four years before he, too, moved on, becoming Anglican Chaplain to Cardiff University in 2009, and then, in 2013, Priest in Charge of Christ Church, Roath Park, and Llandaff Diocesan Director of Ordinands.
Rev’d Peter Mortimer became the newest member of the team when he arrived in June 2010, initially serving as a Non-Stipendiary Minister ( NSM ) until he was invited to serve in a full-time capacity in January 2013. On 11th June, 2014 in St Peter’s Church, Dinas Powis, Rev’d Andrew James was licensed as Priest in Charge of St Andrew’s Major with Michaelston-le-Pit, and a month later Rev’d Peter was appointed as the Team Vicar in the Whitchurch Benefice with special responsibility for All Saints’ Church, Rhiwbina.
In February, 2014, we were delighted to welcome Rev’d Marja Henson-Flipse as the Team Vicar with special responsibility for All Saints’ Church in Llandaff North, replacing the previous incumbent, Rev’d Steve Jenkyns, who had recently been appointed Priest in Charge in the Benefice of Baglan. On 3rd March, 2014, All Saints’ Llandaff North became part of the Whitchurch Benefice by special Decree.
Finally, late in 2014, we learned that Jonathon Wright, currently studying Theology in St Stephen’s House, Oxford, had been appointed Assistant Curate Designate to our Benefice.
He joined our Benefice clergy team after his Ordination as Deacon in Llandaff Cathedral in June 2015. ( Read his biopic under Assistant Curate in ‘About Us / ‘ Who’s Who?’ on the Home Page ).
Whitchurch is a very large suburb in Cardiff North. Whitchurch, Rhiwbina (a Garden Village within the City), Birchgrove, and Llandaff North are four fairly distinct areas with shopping centres, schools and social amenities. It is Rector John’s proud boast that our Benefice is the largest in Wales!
The Holy Eucharist is celebrated every day in one of the four churches. For a list of days, times, and venues of services, click on Whitchurch Benefice Church Services at the top right-hand section of this page.
Photos and information about our staff members can be found on our “Who’s Who?” page.