A supplement to our quarterly diocesan newspaper
Sadly, we are not always able to include everything we receive for publication. PD Extra provides an opportunity to:
- browse articles which got squeezed out but which we hope you agree deserve space
- include additional material for articles that did appear but in edited form
- translations into English of articles printed in Welsh
Page 2: I’r Dyfroedd Byw / To the Living Waters
A translation into English of Revd Dr Ainsley Griffiths’ report from a Church in Wales conference on ministry in the Welsh language
How can sow seeds of hope in our communities and allow God’s life-giving waters to soak them in order to ensure growth?
That was a key question for a group of some forty individuals attending a Welsh-language conference in Cardiff Bay at the start of May. There was enthusiastic representation from each diocese in Wales as well as St. Padarn’s Institute to consider how our wonderful Welsh treasures can become a means for us to nurture a lively Christian witness by the Church in Wales throughout the country. The emphasis was on being positive rather than bemoaning our defects and decline! What is the Church in Wales already doing through the Welsh language that is good and how can we do more of it? How are God’s living waters already bubbling up and how can we open more of our “parched land” (to borrow Pantycelyn’s phrase) that it may receive His renewing power?
Page 9: Growing Teams
TYFU TÎM MEWN ARDAL WEINIDOGAETH LEOL / GROWING A TEAM IN A LOCAL MINISTRY AREA
Lyn Dafis reports on the use of the ‘Growing teams’ course in the Bro Padarn Local Ministry Area (English translation)
As our diocese continues to establish and develop ministry areas it is becoming more obvious that this means a significant change in our way of thinking and of doing things. The patterns of ministry and service that have been relatively constant over the years are being restructured and reimagined as part of our strategy for Growing Hope.
This change is going to affect all who are part of our church communities and that includes ministers…
The Bishop and the Bouncy Castle: News from Dafen & Felinfoel
Youth Club has its ups and downs!
A fun evening was had by the children of Dafen & Felinfoel when a sponsored event took place outside in the lovely sunshine. A bouncy castle was hired for the children to take turns in having a go. Over £200 was raised for a Jamaican orphanage which burnt down; the funds have been contributed to the rebuilding costs.
Bishop visits Bro Lliedi LMA
Bishop Joanna began her visit on 24th May at Pentip School before celebrating Holy Communion in Holy Trinity Church, Felinfoel. Next came a visit to St Peter’s to see the Thrift Shop, before meeting pupils at Dafen School. On to the Deaf Centre, followed by a visit to St Elli Church before finally having a well-earned lunch with the clergy at Llanelly House.
Bluebells & Bonhomie
The bluebells continued to bloom in Lawrenny Woods for Bluebell Weekend on the 13th and 14th May. The event, run by the congregation of St Caradoc’s Church in Lawrenny, included an afternoon of activities on the Saturday to support Croeso Arberth, whose role is to prepare for, welcome and support three Syrian families who will be settling in the Narberth area. Dee Williams reports
The afternoon began with a walk through Lawrenny Woods led by members of the Pembroke Millponds Action Group. The main aim was, of course, to admire the bluebells but the knowledge of the leaders shone through as we were encouraged to admire other spring flowers, birds and insects while we walked through the woodland to Lawrenny Quay and back along the estuary road.
While the adults walked children took part in a range of wildlife activities on the green opposite the church. Making seed bombs was the most popular but they also painted butterflies, studied the wildlife in the trees around the site and hunted for bugs.
When the walk had ended Jill Simpson, from Croeso Arberth, gave a very moving and well-received talk about the project inside the church.
The afternoon ended with cream teas served in the Village Hall and £400 was raised for the Croeso Arberth project.
We then held a service of celebration on the Sunday.
The weekend was enjoyed by all who came along and we were able to welcome many to our church to see the work we are doing.
ATGOFION AM GAPEL Y GROES, ABERGWILI / REMEMBERING CAPEL Y GROES ABERGWILI
Eileen Jones remembers with warmth Capel y Groes, Abergwili, the community that worshipped there, and how her life was shaped by it.
Mae sawl blwyddyn erbyn hyn ers i ddrysau yr ‘eglwys fach’, fel y cyfeiriwyd at Gapel y Groes yn yr ardal, gau. Cariwyd y groes gan yr ychydig aelodau i’r Neuadd Gymunedol leol, lle mae’r Cymun Bendigaid yn cael ei weinyddu ar y Sul cynta o bob mis bellach. Bu’r eglwys fach yn gartref ysbrydol imi gydol fy mywyd. Yno y derbyniais hyfforddiant ar gyfer conffyrmasiwn, yno yr unwyd fi mewn glân briodas a barodd dros hanner canrif, ac yno mae fy rhieni yn gorwedd yn y gro. Cofiaf am y Gymanfa Bwnc a’r paratoi ar ei chyfer trwy ddysgu’r maes penodedig, ac ymhyfrydu wrth glywed llafarganu’r bennod Ddydd Iau’r Dyrchafael pryd y cynhelid yr ŵyl. Byddai’r ysgol yn cau, pawb bron yn ei ddillad gorau, a’r plant yn arbennig yn ymffrostio yn eu dillad ‘newydd’…
The Easter Garden by Elizabeth Davies
Records tell us that Easter Gardens were made even before St. Francis’ Christmas crèche in Grecio in 1223. Find out more
Nowadays they are still made by Christian children all over the world out of all sorts of simple materials, plant pots lying on their sides covered in moss with a pebble rolled away nearby. Crosses made from lollipop sticks tied together with string and coloured paper flowers surrounding the glorious scene.
Then there are the spectacular ones fashioned expertly in life size dimensions outside churches and on village greens.
Many churches have their Easter Garden near or under the altar where they can be seen at close quarters when we come to take our Communion, thereby helping us to focus on this very special time of year in the Christian calendar.
The Garden usually has a depiction of the crucifixion, sometimes decorated with Lily of the valley also called Mary’s tears. Legend has it that a Robin sang in Jesus’ ear to comfort him on the cross and its red breast is from Jesus’ blood, so a Robin is sometimes included in the scene. A model cockerel will remind us of Jesus’ denial by Peter in Gethsemane and thirty small silver coins lying nearby remind us of his betrayal by Judas.
Close by will be the empty tomb with the stone cover rolled away while inside the grave clothes of Christ will be lying there. Usually this part of the garden is beautifully decorated with spring flowers and fresh greenery. Often there will be small Easter eggs, signs of new life and delicious too. This is the happy part of the Easter garden and is a joy to see. Here is the reminder that Jesus rose from the dead on that very first Easter morning.
Atheist-in-Chief’s blindspot: an Easter reflection
Richard Dawkins relishes his role as Britain’s atheist in chief. I have no wish to malign him, yet, sadly, his scientific studies appear to have destroyed his aesthetic sense, as well as stunted his spiritual awareness. Take the following passage from The God Delusion:
“Religion devours resources, sometimes on a massive scale. A medieval cathedral could consume a hundred man-centuries in its construction, yet was never used as a dwelling, or for any recognizably useful purpose. Was it some kind of architectural peacock’s tail? If so, at whom was the advertisement aimed? Sacred music and devotional paintings largely monopolised medieval and Renaissance talent. … ‘What is it all for? What is the benefit of religion?” (page 164-5)
Now, who is the deluded one? This really will not do. If someone is unable to see the glory of a cathedral: the sublimity of Salisbury’s spire, say; the solidity of Gloucester’s tower, the loveliness of Durham seen from the river, or the breath-taking sight of our own St Davids Cathedral, the fault lies with the viewer not with the viewed.