A Gift to Our Church

My Dear People, For nearly 2,000 years Christianity has been present in Wales. As geographical, social, cultural and religious boundaries have changed the Catholic Church has been a constant presence responding to changing times and needs. In 2016 the Archdiocese of Cardiff celebrated the Centenary of its formation from the roots of the former Diocese of Newport. I am humbled and privileged to serve as the 7th Archbishop.

Whilst my role is to shepherd and lead the Archdiocese, I am very aware that role is not restricted to the present. Shepherds are called to look ahead when leading the sheep. Planning for the future is vital for the Church to grow and thrive, to continue to respond to the changing times and needs. Parishioners have long been generous in providing financial support through regular gifts or by leaving a Legacy that has helped form the Archdiocese we are all part of today.

Our circumstances change as we move through life. The importance of making a will is recognised but often neglected.

If you are considering making a Gift to the Church the following pages detail some examples of our commitments as a Diocese and how we would ensure a lasting gift is best used. I would strongly urge you to speak to one of the team at Archbishop’s House so that we update you on progress of our current projects and to take professional advice before making such a commitment.

In working together our Church has a positive future and will remain the firm foundation of our daily lives despite the seemingly increasing speed of change in other areas.

Any Gift that you wish to consider will help the Church continue the good you do during your life. ‘Let the good you do live after you.’

Over 1,000 people are baptised each year in the Archdiocese, with a similar number attending First Communion.

The Clergy will celebrate over 200 weddings but also hold over 1,000 funerals and nearly 15,000 people attend mass each Sunday.


We come together in churches across the Diocese every day to bring the holiness of God into our own lives. In Communion with each other, we catch a glimpse of the truth that the glory of God is humanity fully alive. In celebrating the Eucharist, we remember that Jesus is indeed, the Way, the Truth and the Life for all people. And in Reconciliation we experience God’s tender Mercy, restoring lost holiness.

The Diocese is responsible for our church buildings and in recent years we have had to complete a number of major projects in order to ensure they remain safe and fit for purpose. Each project is different and no two projects are funded in the same way. In addition to using funds held by the Diocese we have combined resources with the local parishes and obtained Grant Funding such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Some projects have been to enhance the church whilst others have been for essential repairs. Successfully completed projects and examples of church buildings in need of urgent repair include:

St Francis Xavier Church, Hereford

A second collection is taken at the parish which raises £20,000 per year which is needed for ongoing repairs and maintain of the church.

St Alban, Splott

A legacy received by the parish was used to carry out urgent repairs to the St Alban’s church roof and stonework.

St Dyfrig, Treforest

£300,000 is required to address water ingress in the roof of the church and to redecorate following damage caused as a result.

St Mary, Bridgend

A legacy of £10,000 was used in conjunction with funds raised by parishioners to decorate the inside of the church.

St Mary, Stow Hill

£40,000 worth of repairs are required as a result of disintegration of the roof lantern. A legacy left to the parish will be used to help pay for these repairs.

Our Lady of Peace, Newbridge

The Grade II* listed Church requires repair work to the roof, render and windows estimated to be in excess of £100,000.

St David’s Cathedral

St. David’s Cathedral is in need of major repair and refurbishment. Heating, lighting, toilets, sacristy all require urgent attention. This will give an opportunity for renovation also and the possibility for the creation of a new sanctuary and Blessed Sacrament chapel.

Your Bequest could contribute to this work and have particular works dedicated to the memory of a loved one.


No one who is called to lead and to serve in the Church can do this alone. We need to be adequately formed, bound together, ordained, ordered, directed and supported by the grace that the Sacrament of Holy Orders gives.

The Diocese has a particular duty of care for it’s priests before their ordination, during their ministry and after their retirement.

Through the support of the Priest Training Fund and the Sick and Retired Clergy Fund, the Diocese is able to support our priests as they set out to work among us and as they journey from active ministry into a hard-earned retirement. The following gives an insight in to the work of formation of young priests and care for the elderly.

The Reverend Deacon Laurence Bryce

In June 2018 Laurence was ordained to the Diaconate – the final step along the way to his ordination to the priesthood.

“Having made the decision to apply for the Priesthood I knew it was just the start of a lifelong journey. My ordination was the next step in the journey and I am very excited about serving the Church and helping people in my parish and beyond.

My Spiritual Director has both helped and challenged me along the way but without the help of the Archdiocese it is not a journey I could have started. I am committing my life to the Church and the support with living essentials has allowed me to focus on this commitment.”

Father Robert James

Father Robert James was born in Grangetown, Cardiff and graduated from Cardiff University in 2011 with an Honours Degree in Religious and Theological Studies.

From the age of sixteen Fr. James had begun to embrace his faith more deeply and started to explore whether he had a vocation for the priesthood. Archbishop Peter Smith appointed a priest of the Diocese as his spiritual director to provide him with guidance and support during his journey of discernment.

Fr James a rich and sustaining community within which to evolve, to learn to see things in a different way, to take a wider view, to learn about himself both from personal reflection and from those around him.

Fr James particularly relishes the challenges to be found in a classroom full of teenagers answering happily and with robust good humour all the theological and philosophical questions that they can throw at him.

He is clear that formation, growth and learning, doesn’t end with Ordination – it is an approach that will remain with him and guide him throughout his ministry, supported as always by his fellow priests and the prayers of the parishioners.

Fr James is one of three new priests to be recently ordained for the Diocese.

Father Ambrose Walsh

Ambrose Walsh was a contemporary of Anthony Hopkins as a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, but by the age of 22 he had
discerned his true vocation and entered the seminary college in Valladolid, Spain.

He is pleased that seminarians today spend more time during their training with parishes and spend more time outside of their college – Fr Ambrose had just one trip home from Spain.

Throughout his life in our Church he ensured that lay members of the congregation saw themselves as being equally responsible for the mission of the church. The reality of the living Jesus Christ here and now is as important to Fr Walsh today as it was the day he entered seminary college.

Whilst ill health led to Fr Walsh’s early retirement from parish life, he has continued to serve the Archdiocese and its’ people in many ways. At over 80 years of age, Fr Walsh does not lead a life of quiet reflection but one of faith in action.

He continues helping Parishes to be a leader of faith, seeking to inspire and enable others to recognise the very real presence of Jesus in their lives here and now.

Father Ray O’Shea

Fr Ray O’Shea was born in Cardiff in 1937. He spent his childhood in the West of Ireland when his family moved there whilst he was a very young. He studied for the priesthood at St Patricks College in Carlow, Ireland and was ordained there in 1962.

Fr Ray returned to Wales and has served the Church and Archdiocese at a wide variety of locations.

In addition to his Parish responsibilities he has served as Chaplain for the Cardiff and Barry Port Authority. Fr Ray recalls going onto the ships to say Mass with one ship refusing to leave port until blessed. He has also served as Chaplain to Cardiff prison, later Chaplain in the Territorial Army and worked with students at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

He is a Knight of St Lazarus and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. Fr Ray is currently enjoying retirement living in Whitchurch, Cardiff. Although he is now in his eighties and has overcome major heart surgery, he continues to work with the Diocese and has only recently completed a 5-year term as an active member of the Clergy Welfare Board, ensuring sick and retired clergy are looked after.

Making a Gift

A Gift can be made to the Diocese at any time. Such a Gift can be used at the discretion of the Diocese or restricted as directed by the donor. Before making a restricted Gift we recommend that you speak to Archbishop’s House so that we can ensure your wishes are met.

The Gift Aid Scheme can increase the value of your donation by 25% if you are a UK taxpayer at no extra cost to yourself. Gift Aid also others tax relief benefits to people who complete their own tax returns.

If you require any further information or advice please fill in the form below

Making a Will

A Will is a legal document and we strongly recommend that you take professional advice to ensure that all your wishes are met. Most solicitors offer a Will service but we also have legal support through the Diocese if required. Please contact Archbishop’s House for further direction; we can help with any questions you have.

A Will allows you to leave any asset you may have including cash, property, shares or specific items such as jewellery to your chosen beneficiary. If leaving a cash Gift you can make a Gift of a specific amount (Pecuniary Legacy) and can index link that Gift as you choose.

The future of Family is important and so there is provision for leaving a Gift of the funds left after all other wishes have been settled (Residual Legacy). Each person has their own set of circumstances and it is important that your final wishes are met.

Mark 12:41-44

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”