Timothy Rees

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Timothy Rees
Bishop Timothy Rees

Timothy Rees MC CR (15 August 1874 29 April 1939) was a Bishop of Llandaff.


Timothy Rees was a Cardiganshire man, educated at St David's College School and then St David's College Lampeter where he was as a member of the 16' Club. He subsequently pursued a monastic vocation at the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield in Yorkshire. When in 1931 he became Bishop of Llandaff he was the first member of a religious community to be appointed to an Anglican see in Wales for over three centuries. He was a distinguished speaker both in English and Welsh and a respected hymnographer.

He was born to David Rees and his wife Catherine at Llain, Llanbadarn Trefeglwys, Ceridigion. The National Library of Wales, and others, report his birth as 15 August 1874, though some sources claim 1869.


He was educated at Ardwyn School, Aberystwyth, the College School, Lampeter, and St David's College. He graduated B.A. in 1896. After a year at St Michael's College, Aberdare, he was ordained deacon in December 1897, and priest a year later. [1]

Rees's grave in the churchyard of Llandaff Cathedral, May 2020. Grave of Timothy Rees, Bishop of Llandaff, in Llandaff Cathedral churchyard, May 2020.jpg
Rees's grave in the churchyard of Llandaff Cathedral, May 2020.


He served two years as curate at Mountain Ash, then returned to S. Michael's College as lecturer. In 1906 he joined the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield, Yorks. He was principal of the theological college at Mirfield from 1922 to 1928. [2] He served there until his appointment as Bishop of Llandaff in 1931. He became bishop at the most acute stage of the industrial depression; he was instantly faced with the problems caused by widespread unemployment in the mining communities. [2] Although a prominent member of the Welsh establishment, he was definitely on the side of the working man. [3] As president of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Council of Social Service, he took a leading role in the promotion of occupational clubs and other activities for the jobless. [2] In 1935 he led a deputation to Whitehall to ask for government help in the rejuvenation of South Wales. [3] Rees remained at Llandaff until his death on 29 April 1939. [1] He was buried in the shadow of the cathedral; there is a floor brass to him in the Lady Chapel. [1]


He served as chaplain to the Forces for five years, from 1914 to 1919, working in Gallipoli, Egypt and on the Somme. [3] He was awarded the M.C for his work in rescuing and aiding wounded soldiers on the Somme. [1] [2] [4]


He was the author of several hymns including "Holy Spirit, ever living as the church's very life," "God is love, let heaven adore him," (set to the tune Twigworth by Herbert Howells in 1968) [5] and "O crucified Redeemer." [6] His "Hymn for the Saints of Wales" can be found in this discussion thread.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "REES, TIMOTHY (1874 - 1939), bishop of Llandaff". Dictionary of Welsh Biography . National Library of Wales . Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "The bishop of Landaff: a great preacher". Times. 1 May 1939.
  3. 1 2 3 Parker, Linda Mary (2013). "Shell-shocked Prophets: The influence of former Anglican army chaplains on the Church of England and British society in the inter war years" (PDF). core.ac.uk. Retrieved 24 March 2020.
  4. Josselyn-Cranson, Heather (2018). ""O God, the Strength of Those Who War": The Hymns and Hymn Writers of World War I". Lied und Populäre Kultur. 63: 167–188 via JSTOR.
  5. Smith, Michael (11 October 1992). "MUSIC / The sorrow that sounds like heaven: When Herbert Howells lost" . The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 June 2022. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  6. "Hymnology: 20th Century British Hymnody to 1950". Smith Creek Music. 22 July 2011. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2019.


Church in Wales titles
Preceded by Bishop of Llandaff
1931 1939
Succeeded by

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