THE new mission area leader for churches in Aberconwy was licensed during a special, socially-distanced service in Craig-y-Don.

Revd Sam Erlandson was welcomed into his new role, as priest-in-charge rooted in Craig-y-Don and Llanrhos and Mission Area Leader, during a service - for invited guests only - at St Paul's Church.

Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, was said to be 'on good form' and commented that 'it was the largest congregation he has seen for six months'.

Mr Erlandson relocated from Wrexham Mission Area with his wife, Karen, and four children earlier in the summer.

“To be licensed as Mission Area Leader of Aberconwy is very humbling," the reverend said after the service.

"I pray God will sanctify me in all readiness for this new role, and I look forward to working with the people of Aberconwy to passionately and tirelessly witness to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“With the Coronavirus restrictions continuing to impact on our public worship, it was a very different service, but still focused on the importance of our need for the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit if we are to be the church in the 21st century.

“Induction services focus on the calling of the whole church to ceaselessly proclaim the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and how the gathered community work with the priest to do that.”

The Aberconwy Mission Area links churches along the Conwy Valley and Llandudno Junction.

It is part of the Diocese of St Asaph which overlooks 214 churches and 51 church schools.

Mr Erlandson is an organist and keen musician.

Bishop Gregory said: “Sam is one of our younger clerics with a track record of vigorous and engaged ministry."