Dictionary

Words on this page

Bishop

‘Bishop’ comes from the Greek word for ‘overseer’. So a bishop is a senior Christian minister authorised to have oversight for God’s people. As well as duties given to deacons and priests, bishops confirm and ordain.

Deacon

‘Deacon’ comes the Greek word for ‘servant’. Deacons in the Church in Wales have special roles within worship such as proclaiming the gospel. Traditionally, deacons have had responsibility for social care. Deacons often go on to be ordained priest.

Diocese

‘Diocese’ refers to the geographical territory in which a bishop exercises oversight. The Church in Wales is divided into six dioceses each with its own cathedral in which is housed the cathedra (the bishop’s ‘chair’ or ‘throne’).

Ecumenical

The Christian Church is divided due to different interpretations of the faith and different religious practices. The ecumenical movement promotes dialogue and understanding between Christians and works for visible unity.

Episcopal

‘Episcopal’ refers to the role or ministry of a bishop. So an episcopal church is one in which oversight is entrusted to a bishop. Like many others, the Church in Wales is an episcopal church.

Priest

‘Priest’ comes from the Greek word for ‘elder’. Priests in the Church in Wales are those authorised specifically to proclaim forgiveness of sins, preside at the Eucharist and bless God’s people, as well as other responsibilities.

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