Sentencing Stephen Brooks, 39, who admitted 19 specimen counts of indecent assault over seven years, Judge Martin Stephens said: 'You were destined for the highest position in the Church but you have caused immense harm and anguish.'
Swansea Crown Court was told that eight victims had since suffered mental problems and one, now 19, said he had turned to drink and had tried to kill himself.
Patrick Griffiths, for the prosecution, said Brooks was a 'very well- liked man held in high regard and possessing considerable charisma. His integrity was unquestioned and children found him friendly and approachable'.
He sexually assaulted boys who visited him at his home at St Paul's Church, Sketty, Swansea.