From the Soupermen at Tenby to Tea@2 at Llanarth; from heritage renewal at Llanelli House to the reordering of church buildings; from post industrial urban Carmarthenshire to agricultural Pembrokeshire: the sheer variety expressed in the churches and congregations of this diocese never ceases to amaze me and has amazed, enthused and energised me anew.
What has grasped me above all is the warmth of the welcome, however small or large the congregation. Then there is the wide range of activities both within and outside the church building. Or the determination to look to the future while holding on to the past: the intention to set up Messy Church in a small rural church – and this in an elderly congregation which finds that young families have moved into the village and, having been to the Growing Hope day last November, were determined to create an outreach opportunity.
Then there is strongly themed and wide ranging Cafe Church whose very high quality and great variety attracts all ages and blends them together into a worshipping congregation, not in the church but in the village hall.
These are just a few of the excellent, heartening things I have seen over the four visits I have made to date, which interspersed with the all the other things that pass over my desk make me wonder how St David himself would have coped, not so much with the journey but fitting it into his diary!
He, in common with his contemporaries, would, of course, not walk in Lent anyway. They would find a convenient island, or failing that some quiet deserted place in which to spend Lent, praying and meditating on the Scriptures and on their own earthly pilgrimage; and the relationship between the two.
During the week leading up to Passion Sunday I was able to do just that: if not walking in Dewi’s footsteps, at least kneeling and sitting and thinking as he would have done in preparation for the Cross and Passion and Resurrection of our Lord; and preparing myself for the rest of my walk in his footsteps around the Diocese which bears his name
May I wish you all a happy Easter.