The Archbishop of Wales has appointed the Rev. Mark Clavier as acting principal of the struggling St. Michael’s College, Cardiff. Clavier, who joined the theological college last year as dean of residential training, will begin his work after the retirement of the current principal, the Rev. Canon Peter Sedgwick, at the end of June.
“After consulting both my fellow bishops and the college staff I am pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Mark Clavier as acting principal of St. Michael’s College,” said the Most Rev. Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales. “Dr. Clavier is highly thought of both by his colleagues and students in the short period he has been at St Michael’s. He will bring his considerable academic, pastoral and spiritual gifts to the position and I am delighted he has accepted it. ”
“Mark has strengthened the community spirit enormously, and emphasized our Anglican identity,” Canon Sedgwick said. “He will be a wonderful leader for the college. His warmth and energy has already made a great difference to all of us.”
“I’m both astonished and delighted to have been asked to become the Acting Principal,” Clavier said. “I’m very grateful to my colleagues, the archbishop, and the college committee for their confidence. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a great passion for theological formation within the Church.
“I am, therefore, looking forward to working alongside my colleagues here at St. Michael’s College and within the wider Church in Wales to propose a program for formation that will inspire people, root them deeply within a vibrant Anglican identity, and nurture the kind of active, imaginative, faith-filled, and loving disciples that our Church so badly needs. We desperately need to confront the ‘narrative of decline’ in the Church; it is my conviction, and will be central to my role here, that this rediscovery of the ‘Gospel of Hope’ must begin with formation.”
Clavier, 43, spent 12 years serving parishes in Maryland and North Carolina before moving to England nearly five years ago. He joined the college last Easter having spent three years as a house for duty priest in former mining villages in County Durham and a year as priest-in-charge of three churches at Steeple Aston, North Aston, and Tackley in the Diocese of Oxford.
Clavier faces a daunting task. Gavin Drake reported April 7 for Church Times that the college may have to close.
“The staff of St. Michael’s College has received the ‘Report on the future of theological training in the Church in Wales’ and is grateful to the archbishop for meeting with us to discuss its profound implications,” the college’s faculty wrote April 2. “He reiterated that the bench has not reached a conclusion about its recommendations but instead has called for a ‘process of consultation.’”
Clavier writes occasionally for The Living Church.
Image courtesy of the Church in Wales