THE Bishop of Monmouth has retired, following a nine-month absence.

Bishop Richard Pain announced his retirement today due to ill health.

The Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, will now take "oversight" of the Diocese of Monmouth.

He said: “Bishop Richard has been a faithful and much loved priest to those he has served and a valued colleague to myself and the other bishops. I ask for your prayers for him and his wife Julie as they prepare for his retirement, and also for the Diocese as it embarks on an interregnum.

“The extended absence of a key, senior colleague brings additional pressures to others, and I am grateful to the senior staff team and those others who have taken on additional tasks and responsibilities during this time. I would also like to thank parishioners for the patience and understanding they have shown.

“In accordance with the Constitution of the Church in Wales, the mission and ministry of the Diocese of Monmouth will now continue under my oversight.”

South Wales Argus: Archbishop of Wales John Davies will now take "oversight" of the dioceseArchbishop of Wales John Davies will now take "oversight" of the diocese

Parishioners had previously come to us four months ago with what they said were their serious concerns about what is going on within the diocese after Bishop Pain had not been working at Newport Cathedral since July 2018.

They claimed that staff members had raised grievances against him.

Some parishioners even revealed that they were planning to withhold parish shares until their concerns were answered.

A spokeswoman for the archbishop had 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.”

Bishop Pain began his ministry as a curate in Caldicot, having trained for ministry at St Michael’s College, Llandaff. He then served as parish priest in Six Bells and Cwmtillery, Risca, Overmonnow and Monmouth. He was Archdeacon of Monmouth from 2008 to 2013, also then serving as parish priest of the Mamhilad group of parishes.

He was then elected Bishop of Monmouth in 2013.

Arrangements for a farewell service for him will be announced shortly.