One of the first women to become a priest in the Church in Wales will be consecrated as a bishop next month.
Mary Stallard, who has served as Archdeacon of Bangor for the past four years, has been nominated as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Bangor. She will share the leadership of the diocese while the Bishop of Bangor, Andrew John, serves as Archbishop of Wales.
Mary will be consecrated as a bishop at Bangor Cathedral on February 26. The new Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, John Lomas, will also be consecrated at that service.
Archbishop Andrew paid tribute to Mary’s pastoral heart and strategic vision. He said, “I am delighted that Mary has agreed to take on operational responsibility for much of the life of our Diocese to assist me while I take on the role of Archbishop of Wales. Mary has a heart for ministry and leads with pastoral sensitivity, empathy and wisdom. She has a wealth of experience, having served in four of the Church’s six dioceses, and across a range of specialisms. Her professional approach and strategic vision is well known and her appointment is a positive step for the diocese of Bangor.”
Archdeacon Mary said, “The call to be a Christian and to serve in ordained ministry as a deacon and a priest is one I’ve always found both exciting and a bit daunting. This new opportunity to explore and offer gifts for leadership as assistant bishop with the great team in Bangor feels like a big investment of trust. I will do my best to respond to this new call and to honour that trust, seeking to build on the work already begun to worship God, grow the church and love the world.”
Journey of ministry
Originally from Birmingham, Archdeacon Mary grew up in a vicarage. Her father was a vicar and her mother a scientist which meant she was raised in a home where asking questions about life and faith was encouraged.
Mary read Theology at Selwyn College, Cambridge and studied to be a teacher in London before training for ministry at Queen’s College, Birmingham and Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary in India. She served her curacy in Newport, before moving to the Diocese of St Davids as deacon-in-charge and vicar of Ysbyty Cynfyn, Eglwys Newydd and Llantrisant. In 2003, Mary was appointed Canon Residentiary at St Asaph Cathedral and Bishop’s Chaplain, serving also as Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Chair of the Diocesan Board of Ministry, and as Provincial Selection Secretary.
From 2011 to 2018 she served as Anglican Chaplain at St Joseph’s Catholic & Anglican High School, as well as being an Associate Priest in the Wrexham Mission Area. She was also co-director of the St Giles’ Centre for Religious Education & Faith Development in Wrexham.
She was appointed Archdeacon of Bangor and associate priest of Llandudno in 2018.
Archdeacon Mary’s substantial broadcasting ministry has seen her appear on BBC Radio Cymru as a leader of Yr Oedfa and contributor to Bwrw Golwg, on BBC Radio Wales’s All Things Considered, Celebration, Wednesday Word and Weekend Word, and on Radio 4 as a leader of The Daily Service and Sunday Worship and as the author and presenter of Prayer for the Day.
Mary is married to the Revd Andrew Sully, Ministry Area Leader of Llandudno, and they have two grown-up daughters. Her hobbies include cooking, reading and running.