Wales

Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan on his retirement

Dr Barry Morgan

The Archbishop of Wales has reflected on his time at the helm of the church ahead of his retirement.

Dr Barry Morgan, who has been at the head of the Church in Wales for nearly 14 years, is set to retire on 31 January - his 70th birthday.

During that time he has supported numerous causes, including gay marriage and more powers for the Welsh Assembly.

But he said he still believes the law introducing presumed consent for organ donation was the "wrong way".

Under the law, adults are regarded as having consented to organ donation unless they have opted out.

"I think what I did object to was people thinking that I was against organ donation," he said.

"I wasn't against organ donation at all, I was just against the method by which they were going about it.

"And I still feel that to be honest because it's much better if people voluntarily say 'we want to give organs'. That's what a gift actually means."

He has also backed women clergy during his leadership and carried out the consecration of the Church in Wales' first female bishop on Saturday.

"I think that was pretty important as a matter of justice, as a matter of equality and as a matter of doing what was right," he said.

"That's been pretty important and I never expected a woman bishop to be elected in my time."

On gay marriage, Dr Morgan has previously called for the church's view on same-sex marriage to change with popular opinion.

"I haven't done that on my own. I've done that with the full support of the present bench of bishops and also with the support of the governing body," he said.

"That's quite something, I think, in a church that hasn't always been known for its liberalism."

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Media captionDr Barry Morgan: Organ donation law 'the wrong way'

He admitted attendances at church had not done "terribly well" but said he has seen church communities become "more engaged" with society than ever before.

"Were it not for church people, lots of organisations would not be in existence. I'm thinking of food banks and dementia groups."

His successor will be chosen in the summer.

"I take the view that once you're gone, you're gone... you've had your period in office," he added.

"I just want to leave the field clear. I don't want to make another public statement about issues again because that would be unfair on whoever succeeds me and I hope I can keep to that."

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