The doors to St Davids Cathedral will be locked for up to three days later this month as a new bishop for the Church in Wales is elected.
St Davids Cathedral will be closed as a college of 47 people, representing churches from across Wales, meets inside to nominate and vote on a confidential list of candidates for the next Bishop of St Davids.
The election follows the retirement of Joanna Penberthy, who served as Bishop of St Davids for six years. The new bishop will be the 130th Bishop of St Davids, a diocese which takes in the west Wales counties of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. The Electoral College, which includes all the Welsh bishops, begins on 16 October. Candidates for election are nominated at the meeting, discussed and voted on by ballot. Any candidate receiving two-thirds of the votes of those present is declared Bishop-Elect. Otherwise, the College returns to the nomination stage and the cycle starts afresh. Once a decision is made, the Cathedral will reopen and the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, will make the announcement made at the west door.
The College has up to three days to reach a decision. If it fails to elect anyone after that, the decision passes to the Bench of Bishops.
Once a bishop is elected, he or she will have up to 28 days to accept the position. If they accept, the election will be formally confirmed at a Sacred Synod service held shortly afterward. Then the new bishop will be consecrated at Bangor Cathedral, the seat of the current Archbishop of Wales.
The Electoral College meeting will begin on 16 October with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 9.30am to which everyone is welcome.