THE Bishop of Bangor is now playing a role within the Diocese of Monmouth.

Parishioners previously spoke about their serious concerns in the Monmouth diocese, most notably the eight-month absence of Bishop Richard Pain.

It has been claimed diocese staff had raised grievances against Bishop Pain.

South Wales Argus:

Bishop of Monmouth Richard Pain

It has now been revealed that the Bishop of Bangor, Andrew John, is providing pastoral care to senior staff in the diocese.

A spokeswoman from the office of the Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, confirmed the role, saying: "The Bishop of Bangor is providing pastoral support to members of the Bishop of Monmouth’s senior staff team, in his capacity as Senior Bishop and on the request of the Archbishop.

"He is not involved in the management or running of the diocese."

In January, the spokeswoman had also previously said: "In recent weeks there has been speculation regarding the Bishop of Monmouth and about relationships within his senior team.

"The Archbishop of Wales is aware of these issues and remains actively engaged, with all parties, in a formal process of mediation which seeks to resolve them.

“For reasons of confidentiality, and out of respect for those concerned in the ongoing mediation process, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.

“We understand that many people are concerned and frustrated with the situation but we continue to ask for their patience until the matter is resolved.”

And members of the clergy have now voiced their concerns.

South Wales Argus:

Bishop of Monmouth Richard Pain (third from the left), previous and current Archbishops of Wales Barry Morgan and John Davies (fourth and fifth from left) and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John (first on right-hand side)

A priest said: "How can we get access to pastoral care if none of us have been told officially?

"One does hope that Richard returns. He is an excellent bishop."

A second priest said: “Andrew is now involved in the diocese but that should not be happening.

“Although we have not been officially told, we know for a fact that he is carrying out roles.”

Another clergy member, who also did not wish to be named, added: "I want our bishop returned. My allegiance is to Bishop Richard.

"Andy has been brought in because this is the Archbishop's attempt to help the situation. But I am not convinced.

"We feel totally let down by the management in the diocese. For instance, there should be a Chrism service, where we can re-new our vows to the bishop. But how can we do this without him? I know that if it were going to go ahead without Bishop Richard, then some clergy would have boycotted it. Perhaps it may now go ahead with the Bishop of Bangor.”

It is also believed that those who raised the grievances are currently "refusing to go to mediation talks".