Wales

Nelson Mandela focus of Archbishop of Wales' Christmas message

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Media captionThe Archbishop of Wales said churches were involved in food banks and 'connected with their communities'

The Archbishop of Wales will use the example of Nelson Mandela's life to focus on forgiveness and reconciliation during his Christmas message.

Dr Barry Morgan will say the former South African president "refused to hate those who had imprisoned him, and sought reconciliation with the government responsible for it".

He will be preaching at Llandaff Cathedral on Christmas Day.

He told BBC Wales his highlights of 2013 included a vote on women bishops.

In his Christmas message, Dr Morgan is expected to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, saying: "After 27 years in prison, years of being demeaned and degraded, he refused to hate those who had imprisoned him, and sought reconciliation with the government responsible for it.

"When the rest of the world thought that South Africa would have a civil war between its white and black citizens, he was determined that a new South Africa should be forged, valuing both black and white people equally.

"For that to happen, he put aside whatever grievances he may have had, and gave himself totally to the things that make for peace.

"In fact, prison - far from hardening him - enabled him to see his fellow human beings in a new way as people made in the image of God, and needing as much liberation from apartheid, as black people."

Asked what the highlights for the church were in 2013, the archbishop said: "For the Church in Wales obviously it's the bill to make it possible for women to be ordained as bishops.

"Now, some people are asking 'well when is that going to happen?'

"They've missed the point. The fact is that what the bill made possible was that at least women could be considered as candidates for the episcopate, and that's the really important thing.

"The rest will come later - who knows when?"

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Media captionThe Archbishop of Cardiff George Stack said the challenge was to make time for others

On Christmas Day the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Reverend George Stack, will be visiting Cardiff prison for a Mass with inmates.

The Archbishop spoke about "time" in his Christmas message.

He said many people would have time to kill over Christmas and the challenge was to think of others.

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