Bishop John was born at Newport (Mon) in 1953. Educated Bassaleg Grammar School where he studied ‘A’ Level English, French, Latin, he graduated in law from the University of Southampton in 1974. From Southampton he moved on to the College of Law at Chester to complete the Law Society Part II qualification and, after two years as an articled clerk, he was admitted as a solicitor in 1977. He specialised in criminal law and has retained a very keen interest in issues of crime and punishment, with a particular concern about the nature of criminality and the effects of poor social standards, educational standards and employment opportunities in the lives of those who end up as crime statistics. Having served after ordination as the Chairman of the trustees of a large hospice in Newport, he also has a deep concern for the equitable and just provision of healthcare in the community.
Starting with the Kindergarten at St Margaret’s Church, Risca, which he joined at the age of 4, the Bishop has had very close connections with the Church in Wales. He became a chorister at the age of 7 and subsequently an Organist and Choirmaster, a PCC Secretary and a lay member of Diocesan Conference and Governing Body. One of the Bishop’s regrets is that, through the decline in church choirs and music groups in many parishes, the church of the present is losing contact with a significant number of young people and storing up for itself the possibility of a future without competent and effective musical input into worship. He is sure that, during his teenage years, his life within the church was nourished to a significant extent by his involvement with church music of a number of styles.
Having been closely involved with both rugby and cricket clubs at university, the Bishop is now an ardent ‘armchair sportsman’, although he does play golf to a frighteningly inconsistent standard. He has a varied taste in music, enjoys cooking and occasionally walking it off, and he believes that a sense of humour is among the most essential attributes for Bishops and just about everybody else. He is married to Jo who is a ‘Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation’ in the NHS. They have two children. Kate and Christopher have both graduated and currently live and work in London.
Ordained in 1984, Bishop John served in a variety of parishes the Diocese of Monmouth and was heavily involved in the life of that Diocese before being invited by Bishop Anthony Pierce to become Dean of Brecon. He served as Dean for almost eight years and was privileged during that time to have overseen significant improvements to the fabric and liturgy of the Cathedral.
Bishop John was elected as the 9th Bishop of Swansea and Brecon in January 2008 and is now looking forward to building on the work of his predecessor by affirming the life of the Parishes and encouraging the clergy to stimulate and engage their congregations in the ongoing work of the Gospel.