Enter the Mystery

Fr Jones of Cardiff

This part of the building on the right was added later after the death in 1906 of Fr Griffith Arthur Jones, an influential Vicar of St Mary’s  There is a plaque on the side of the vestry on North Church Street.

Fr Jones was the son of a priest and a Welsh speaker.  During his time at Jesus College, Oxford he became influenced by the Oxford Movement, and was ordained in 1851 at the age of 24 years, serving the first years of his ordained life in the  Diocese of Bangor.

Before his appointment to St Mary’s in 1872, he had been Vicar of the country parish of Llanegryn in Merioneth for fifteen years. He was 45 years of age at the time, and was to remain at St Mary’s until his retirement 32 years later.

His time here changed St Mary’s into a parish in the catholic tradition. The changes he made were gradual but profound, helped by a staff of assistant curates, and sisters of the Community of the Society of St Margaret.

Fr Jones placed the Eucharist at the heart of Parish life on Sundays and each day throughout the week, all celebrated with the beauty of catholic ritual.

Despite many vociferous objections to the changes he made, Fr Jones’ commitment and resilience, his compassion and care, his determination and catholic faith meant that, by the time of his retirement in 1903, he had achieved his purpose.

By the time he died in 1906 he was held in deep affection by many people across Cardiff. His funeral took place at St Mary’s Church, and crowds lined the streets for the procession to Cathays Cemetery.

Longer Read: If you have time to linger and want to dig deeper then check out our Article of Faith post which explores two very different Vicars of St Mary’s including Fr Jones at: Articles of Father: a pulpit pulled down

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