Clifford Wright (bishop)

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Royston Clifford Wright (4 July 1922 – 14 February 2014) was the Anglican Bishop of Monmouth from 1986 to 1991.[1]
Wright was educated at the University of Wales, Cardiff, trained for ministry at St Stephen's House,Oxford and was ordained in 1946.[2] He held curacies in Bedwas, Newport and Walton-on-the-Hill, Liverpool before 17 years as a naval chaplain. In 1968 he became Vicar of Blaenavon and then Rector of a team ministry at Ebbw Vale between 1974-77.[3] Further promotion to be Rural Dean of Pontypool [4] then, for a brief period Archdeacon of Monmouth[5] followed, after which he was transferred to the post of Archdeacon of Newport. Elected Bishop of Monmouth in 1986, he held the diocese until 1991.[6] Traditional in his theology and an opponent to the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate, he nonetheless served as Assistant Bishop to his successors Rowan Williams and Dominic Walker[7] who supported women's ordination, and did not take a prominent role in the discussions of the issue in retirement.

Although some sources have described him as authoritarian in his approach to administering a diocese[8] Bishop Wright was also known to inject humour into a situation. When a priest of his diocese acquired a phone-answering machine and left on it a message saying "Father has gone to say Mass, he does sometimes", the cleric was somewhat dumbfounded on his return to find a message from his superior saying: "This is Bishop Wright, who is pleased to hear it, could you ring me back please"? Following his death in 2014 Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said: “Bishop Clifford had a pastoral heart and a good sense of humour. He was also a very able administrator, managing the diocese well and overseeing the purchase of the diocesan office and resources centre. He affirmed the work of Sunday Schools while the value of Church day-schools was asserted by the opening of two voluntary aided schools".

The present Bishop of Monmouth, Richard Pain - who had served as a curate and incumbent under Bishop Wright - added that his late predecessor had "a great love for the Diocese and his wise counsel was appreciated across the Province of Wales.”.[9]


  1. ^ Diocese of Monmouth
  2. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory1947-48 Oxford, OUP,1947
  3. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 1977-79
  4. ^ Who's Who 2008: London, A & C Black, 2008 ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  5. ^ The Times Wednesday, Jul 20, 1977; pg. 1; Issue 60060; col A
  6. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1993-94
  7. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory, 2000-02
  8. ^ Shortt, R. 2008 Rowan's Rule, a Biography of the Archbishop
  9. ^ South Wales Argus,Wednesday 19 February 2014
Church in Wales titles
Preceded by
Derrick Greenslade Childs
Bishop of Monmouth
Succeeded by
Rowan Williams