THE Dean of Monmouth will become the bishop of a group of islands in the South Atlantic after being elected to a new position.

The Very Revd Dr Richard Fenwick has been elected as Bishop of St Helena by the bishops of the synod of the church of the province of Southern Africa.

His new diocese of St Helena is in the South Atlantic Ocean, and includes the island of St Helena and Ascension Island. He is expected to be ordained as its bishop in South Africa in May.

Dr Fenwick, who has been Dean of Monmouth and vicar of Newport Cathedral since 1997, is already chairman of the St Helena Diocesan Association in the UK and has visited the island several times, installing a new organ in St Paul’s Cathedral near the island’s capital Jamestown.

His new position will put him in charge of the cathedral parish.

Dr Fenwick said his new diocese had a wonderful church tradition stretching back more than 150 years.

He said: “It makes me very proud, and very humble, to think that I will be taking part in that long history of service.”

Bishop of Monmouth Rt Revd Dominic Walker said he was “delighted” Dr Walker had been appointed as the Bishop of St Helena, and that people of the islands would benefit from his care and friendship.

Rev Walker added: “We shall miss him but I wish Richard and his wife Jane every blessing for their new adventure and ministry.”