Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , JOHN CHARLES ( 1904 - 1956 ) Bishop of Bangor ;

b. 3 May, 1904 , the ninth child of Benjamin and Rachel Jones , Llan-saint, Carms. He was educated in Carmarthen Grammar School , and after graduating first class in Hebrew at University College Cardiff in 1926 , he went on to Cambridge with a Hody Scholarship . He was at Wadham College , where he won the Junior LXX prize and the Pusey and Ellerton scholarship in 1927 . He graduated B.A. in 1928 with a first in theology, and M.A. in 1931 . He was awarded a D.D. (Lambeth) in 1950 . Chosen as Kennicot Scholar in 1928 he spent a year at Wycliffe Hall , Oxford . He was ordained deacon by the Bishop of St. David's in 1929 and priest in 1930 . He was curate in Llanelli 1929-33 and in Aberystwyth 1933-34 with responsibility for students. In 1934 he entered the missionary field in the Bishop Tucker Memorial College , Mukono , Uganda , as tutor in theology . From 1939-45 he was warden and sole administrator at the college. With the assistance of his wife Mary , daughter of William Lewis of Carmarthen and a professional nurse , he established a section to educate the wives of native clergy . He returned to Wales in 1945 as vicar of Llanelli . He was enthroned as Bishop of Bangor , Epiphany 1949 — the first time this ceremony was performed in Welsh . He d. in Bangor on his way home from St. Winifred's School Llanfairfechan , Sat. 13 Oct. 1956 , and was buried in Llandysilio cemetery 18 Oct . He left a widow and one daughter Ann , wife of Donald Lewis who became vicar of Swansea in 1977 .

In the seven years he was Bishop he compressed a lifetime's work and influence. He brought new life to the diocese, and a unity and strength never seen before. He was known in the remotest parish, a bishop to all — ‘ belonging to us all ’ as one Methodist elder put it. In the summer of 1950 he led more than 4,000 people along the pilgrim route to Aberdaron . The exhibition of the treasures of the churches in the see, held in Bangor 3-5 March 1953 , was an opportunity to bring everyone together as well as emphasising the traditions and the inheritance that extended over four centuries. The quarterly Bangor Diocesan Gazette , which he founded in July 1954 , was another effort to unite the whole see.

He used to fly to the Middle East to visit the armed forces, and in 1954 he took part in a world-wide conference of Christian churches in Evanston , and in the conference of Anglican bishops in Minneapolis .

It is difficult for those who never saw his small, frail figure to appreciate his serene spirituality and the strength of his faith and vision.


  • Crockford's Clerical Directory ;
  • Y Llan , 19 and 26 Oct, 1956 ;
  • Yr Haul a'r Gangell (Denbigh) , Winter 1956-57 , 4-5;
  • North Wales Chronicle , 19 Oct, 1956 ;
  • Bangor Diocesan Gazette , Jan. 1957 (Memorial Issue);
  • personal recollection.


Dr Enid Pierce Roberts, M.A., D.Litt., Bangor

Published date: 2001