Page 19: Meidrim wind power grant
A Carmarthenshire renewable energy initiative is helping local communities in more ways than you might expect.
Translation of article written in Welsh
Page 10: Transylvania- the fortified Saxon churches
(Translation into English of article written in Welsh)
Our visit to Romania in October 2017 was an interesting experience, especially when we left Bucharest to visit Transylvania. Although the area is most famous for the Dracula connection, the highlight for me was learning about the fortified Saxon churches. There are hundreds of them throughout the country, but a cluster of seven in this region. They were established in the twelfth century by Kings of Hungary for German colonists to settle there. In the middle of each village is a church.
The villages comprised strong communities of farmers, merchants and craftsmen. They were in constant danger of attack by the Ottomans and Tartars. Therefore, a large fortified church was built in the middle of the village, with tall walls around it and buildings inside the walls. There was a tower in the church so that people could see the enemy approaching. There was also a ‘dance square’ where people would meet . Storerooms contained enough seed and corn to ensure no-one starved, and even a school to provide education for the children. Each room in the walls had a number corresponding to a number on each house in the village so that every family knew they had a safe haven in case of attack.
Usually the church would be erected on a hill to enable the lookout to warn the villagers if they saw the enemy. The bell would be rung as a warning and the villagers ran to the church, staying until the attack was over. There are remains of holes in the walls where the enemy could be attacked. The whole system was very successful.
Many of the churches have beautiful murals on the church walls, and the majority of these fortified churches are UNESCO Heritage Sites.
Page 9: Calan Hen / Hen Galan Two churches that plan to celebrate the new year in traditional style
Since the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian
calendar in 1752, St Tysul’s Church in Llandysul has marked the
new year with a special festival, as Gareth Reid explains
St Mary’s Church, Fishguard, will be celebrating the new year
according to ancient customs and raising money for good causes.
Hedydd Hughes invites everyone along to celebrate
Page 2: Something to Celebrate / Rheswm da i ddathlu eleni
Philip Wyn Davies hails those who made the Book of Common Prayer and the New Testament accessible to Welsh speakers (cyfieithiad)
Oes, mae gyda ni reswm da i ddathlu eleni, yma yn esgobaeth Tyddewi. Nid am mai hon sydd i fod yn “Flwyddyn y Chwedlau” – gallwn ni ymhyfrydu ynddyn’ nhw unrhyw adeg. Rheswm gwell i ddathlu yn 2017 yw tri-chanmlwyddiant geni William Williams, Pantycelyn, emynydd mawr y Methodistiaid, ac un a ordeiniwyd yn ddiacon yn yr esgobaeth hon.
Ond a oes sylw wedi bod i‘r rheswm pwysicaf inni fod yn dathlu eleni: pedwar-canmlwyddiant a hanner cyhoeddi’r Llyfr Gweddi Gyffredin a’r Testament Newydd yn Gymraeg ym 1567?
Am fil o flynyddoedd o leiaf, o gyfnod cynharaf Cristionogaeth ym Mhrydain hyd 1549, ac eto o 1554 hyd 1559, ‘roedd y Cymry wedi bod yn addoli yn Lladin. 0 1549 hyd 1554, ac eto o 1559 hyd 1567, ‘roedd y gwasanaethau yn ein holl eglwysi ni yn Saesneg, ac ychydig iawn y tu allan i Dde Penfro oedd yn deall Saesneg. Dyma’r Cymry ym 1567, gyda chyhoeddi’r cyfieithiad Cymraeg o’r Llyfr Gweddi Gyffredin, yn cael am y tro cyntaf wasanaethau yr oeddynt yn gallu eu deall.
Ym 1567 cyhoeddwyd hefyd y cyfieithiad Cymraeg cyntaf o’r Testament Newydd. Y prif gyfieithydd oedd William Salesbury, ac y mae’n debyg mai Salesbury hefyd a luniodd y cyfieithiad o’r Llyfr Gweddi. Yn frodor o Ogledd Cymru, ‘roedd Salesbury wedi astudio yn Rhydychen ac wedi dod dan ddylanwad y Dadeni Dysg a’r Diwygiad Protestannaidd. Fel Protestant o argyhoeddiad ‘roedd yn credu bod rhaid i’r bobl gael darllen yr Ysgrythurau yn eu hiaith eu hunain. Ac fel un o blant y Dadeni Dysg ‘roedd yn credu bod rhaid mynd yn ol at y ffynonellau gwreiddiol wrth gyfieithu – ac iaith wreiddiol y Testament Newydd yw Groeg, iaith yr oedd Salesbury yn gallu cyfieithu ohoni.
Estynnodd Richard Davies, esgob Tyddewi ar y pryd, wahoddiad i Salesbury ddod ato ef yn Abergwili i ymroi i‘r gwaith cyfieithu, ac ymunodd yr esgob a Thomas Huet,”C[antor] M[ynyw]” (sef deon Tyddewi, a defnyddio’r teitl a arferir heddiw), yn y gwaith, gan gyfieithu eu hunain rai o lyfrau’r Testament Newydd . Y mae cyfieithiadau’r esgob yn dangos ei fod ef, fel Salesbury, yn ysgolhaig, ond yn wahanol i Salesbury ei unig nôd oedd llunio cyfieithiadau hawdd eu deall. Mae cyfieithiadau Salesbury yn dioddef oherwydd ei ymdrech i greu urddas ymadrodd teilwng o’r Ysgrythurau. Lluniodd yr Esgob Davies hefyd ragymadrodd, yn honni bod y Diwygwyr yn adfer Cristionogaeth gynnar y Cymry.
Page 13: Tafarn Unnos Cilcennin / Pop-up Pub
The village of Cilcennin [near Lampeter] still has a school a chapel and a church. On Saturday 17 June it had a pub once more as well when a ‘Pop up Pub’ was run at Holy Trinity Church. The pub had a strong focus on local produce serving beers, lager and cider from Mantle Brewery Cardigan and wines from Llaethlliw vineyard as well as ‘Tapas Cymreig’.
Over 50 members of the local community turned out to support it and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The plan is to run one or two more pop-up pubs at Holy Trinity before the end of the summer. It’s possible that a regular pop-up could eventually be set up on a community basis.
(Translation of caption in Welsh)
Page 14: Dementia Friends in Ceredigion
Unfortunately, one third of those living with dementia no longer feel part of their community. Through the Dementia Friends scheme, it is hoped that this will change for the better, says Naomi McDonagh, from Community Wellbeing at Ceredigion County Council
Page 16: In His (final) Footsteps
Anthony Jenkins’ pilgrimage to the Holy Land comes to an end
From Capernaum, we travelled to Jericho to stand beneath the tree which Zacchaeus had climbed to get a better view of Jesus and inspected the recently excavated foundations of the walls supposedly destroyed by Joshua.
Page 17: Pioneer Church Planter in India
An extended version of the article by ordinand Shirley Murphy describing her experiences during a placement in her native city of Chennai
She was honoured and privileged, she says, to meet and chat with the Bishop of the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) The Most Rev Dr Bishop M Ezra Sargunam who in recent years also goes by the title of Father Bishop. He is also the President and Director of the Evangelical Church of India
Page 20: Book Review – Cerrig Milltir / Milestones
A valuable picture of ministry in West Wales
Milestones by Aled W. Williams
Published by the author
Price: £9.95 [No ISBN]
Copies available directly from Canon Aled Williams, Cwmawel, Llanllwni, Pencader, Carmarthenshire SA39 9DR
Of clergymen and pigs – a review by Fenella Strange (received February 2018)
Oh for the wings of a dove
There are two sides to every story. As Christmas beckons, Pobl Dewi reader Mrs Rhys-John imagines the feelings of a refugee from the Gaza Strip, praying for a miracle…
This article arrived too late for publication.
“It is the night that Christians call Christmas Eve. I am sitting on an outcrop of rock, huddled against the cold and looking to the future, for to look back into the past merely brings back a nightmare…
Esgob Joanna yn Llandysul
Gwasanaeth Bedydd Esgob yn Llandysul ar ddydd Sul Tachwedd 5ed gydag Esgob Joanna yng nghwmni’r 10 a gafodd eu conffirmio mewn gwasanaeth arbennig mewn eglwys iawn
Gorslas Primary School Annual Christmas Concert.
Gorslas Primary School welcomes nearly 150 children to class every day.
The Annual Christmas Concert had to be arranged over two separate evenings due to the numbers and to cater for family attendance.
On Tuesday 12th December 2017 the Foundation Phase Concert was held and the suitably attired children enacted the Nativity story.
On Wednesday 13th December the Junior children held their Christmas concert – “Cynlluniau”.
On both evenings St Lleian’s Church was filled to capacity with standing room only at the rear of the church.
The Head Teacher, Mrs Beverly Owen, expressed her gratitude for the use of the church and thanked the Verger, Mr Terry Davies MBE, for arranging the numerous rehearsal and concert evenings.
The collection from both evenings amounted to £315 and was donated to Save the Children and Tear Fund
Book review: Messages of Hope and Encouragement
The scars that have shaped me: How God meets us in suffering
By Vaneetha Rendall Risner
Pub: CreateSpace; 2016
This is an astonishingly moving book, with a powerful spiritual message. The author’s illness and tragic circumstances are extreme, but through it all she finds God’s grace and is able to speak of the joy she finds in knowing her love in Jesus.
She has some profound insights into suffering and where God is to be found in such times. The author has faced irreparable loss and unfixable damage, but she presses on in hope and pursues her joy in Jesus Christ. Not only is her story riveting and heart-wrenching, it is also full of unflinching hope in God.
This is an excellent book filled with messages of hope and encouragement. It was an easy read both in the style of her writing and the length of the chapters. I would highly recommend it.
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 we 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.
A translation of Keri Morgan’s tribute to Mollie Davies, whose life was cut short while on active service in 1940. She is commemorated with a striking tombstone in Garnant. Keri considers the sacrifice made by Mollie and others like her:
Mollie was born to Handel and Miriam Davies, of London House, Garnant. Handel owned a successful motorbike business, with a branch in Swansea as well as a garage in Garnant. We can imagine that Mollie would be very used to her father’s work and therefore probably interested in motor bikes.
She must also have been used to riding a motorbike, as she joined the ATS at the beginning of the Second World War as a Despatch Rider in the 6th Welch Regiment. This was not an easy life of motorbike riding but a dangerous one of carrying messages and commands. She would have to move fast, finding the correct routes, often in darkness. Every rider was expected to look after and mend their own bikes.
There are many stories of riders being killed in world wars when the work was done on horseback. I would think the main worry would be knowing you were alone. There was no-one to turn to, and you were dependent on your own ability. Some riders did the work on home turf, but others went abroad, in foreign lands. There, not only were you in darkness but also in an unknown terrain in all weathers, travelling through areas of battle, fighting and bombing.
What of Mollie? As with others in the war, she was a young girl who had volunteered to be of service. Unfortunately, whilst carrying out her military duties, she died on February 13th 1940, aged 19. Her striking tombstone in Eglwys Crist, Garnant notes simply
Despatch Rider (ATS) 6th Welch Regiment
Beloved daughter of Handel and Miriam Davies
Swansea and London House, Garnant
Died on active service 13 February 1940 aged 19
As with many others of her age, she gave herself as sacrifice, her future for our present. May she rest in peace.
Page 16: Community Connectors / Cysylltwyr Cymunedol
Pages 1+10: Celebrations at Ysgol Penboyr (translation)
 A special assembly was held on Thursday September 29th to welcome Education Secretary Mrs Kirsty Williams and some of her colleagues to school. It was a privilege and honour to host her visit.
Two of the pupils led prayers they had themselves composed, the choir sang Ffrindiau and the whole school sang the song Dathlu 150 (celebrating 150) words composed by Ceri Wyn and music by Mrs.Wendy Organ.
Following the Assembly, Mrs Williams was shown around the school and classrooms by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the School council and the Headteacher and the digital leaders demonstrated the school website.
Many other guests had been invited for her visit: Canon Brian Witt (Diocesan Director of Education), Archdeacon Roger Hughes (Chairman of the Diocesan Education Committee), Revd Dr John Gillibrand (chairman of governors), Marian Morgan (School Challenge Advisor) and Cllr Ken Howells.
 An open day was held for the whole community on Saturday, September 24th to celebrate 150 years of Ysgol Penboyr, and a large crowd gathered to support the school. The afternoon began with the pupils singing and a cake was cut by Mrs Wendy Thomas and Dr Carol James, the present head teacher. Many thanks to Mrs Stella Jones, previous teacher and school governor for baking the wonderful cake and to Mr Richard Jones for collecting old photographs and helping us with the exhibition. Also thanks to the Fire Brigade for coming to the school yard so that pupils and their families could have the opportunity to dress up and sit in the fire engine.
Celebrations continued the following evening when a Modern Gymanfa was held at St Llawddog’s church, Penboyr. The conductor was Dr Carol James, Headteacher, and the accompanists were Mrs Wendy Organ, Mrs Rhian Williams, Mr and Mrs Harwood (parents) and Mr Deiniol Organ on drums. Chairperson of the evening was Mrs Wendy Thomas, head teacher from 1989 to 2006. The school choir and staff also sang. It was a special evening of praise to give thanks for a hundred and fifty years of education at Ysgol Penboyr.
Page 6: The purpose of Confirmation
Page 12: Yr Hen Ficer
A Missed Opportunity
One of the great delights of travelling around Wales is to stop off at little churches. So many, despite being heavily restored, or even rebuilt in the 19th century, are found in wonderful locations. They are on ancient sites of Christian and pre-Christian worship and the graveyards tell stories of the people who were once the living heart of the community. Ted Harrison is disappointed that more churches aren’t open for visitors throughout the week
Page 1: A country parson, writ large
As he reaches retirement, Bishop Wyn reflects on his eight years at the helm, in conversation with Revd Jenny Kimber
Page 9: Immigrants, invaders & the gene pool
Heritage Llangwm, a lottery-backed project to refurbish Llangwm’s medieval
church of St Jerome and uncover the village’s Flemish roots, is nearing its climax.
Page 14: Gwobr am broject Nel Fach y Bwcs
Congratulations to years 5 and 6 in Ysgol Penboyr for winning one of the the chief prizes of £750 in the Welsh Heritage Initiative Competition for their project on Crossing the Waves – Nel Fach y Bwcs. The prize was received during a ceremony at the National Waterfront Museum on July 8th 2016.
The pupils studied the story of Ellen Davies, who was known as Nel Fach y Bwcs who migrated as a young child with her parents to Patagonia to seek a better life. In 1901 she and her father returned to Wales and came to live in Drefach-Felindre, a stone’s throw from the school.
In order to see the project website, click the link below.
Page 2: Dare to be Different – Duty of Care
Clive de Salis, a Reader, responds to the article Dare to be different on page 2 of the June 2016 edition of Pobl Dewi. Here he considers divorce and our Christian response to those involved
Page 11: Cold, wet and desperate
Iain O’Donoghue describes his experiences helping refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos
Page 16: Cyd-deithio / Journeying Together
Translation of Eluned Rees’ conversation with Sarah Clark, founder of The Old Mill Foundation in Penclawdd and Llandybïe, which offers support, friendship and help to cancer sufferers and their families.
Page 17: Mourning Sickness
An extended version of the article by Revd Euryl Howells, Senior Chaplain to the Hywel Dda University Health Board which urges us to give anyone involved with the loss of a baby the space and time to grieve.
The article is followed by a reflection on pastoral care during and after a miscarriage from a chaplaincy perspective,
Page 18: Our Friends in Bukavu – How it all began
The Companion Link between the Dioceses of Bukavu and St Davids is still in its infancy but we are all committed to forging stronger relationships, says Jennie Annis, who chairs the Bukavu Link committee.
Companion Link committees have been set up in both our dioceses to consider how we can forge ever stronger links. Each person on the committees has a specific remit, for example, Clergy, Mothers’ Union, Schools and Medical.
Although a bank has recently opened in Bukavu, much of their diocese lacks proper infrastructure – for example, the electricity supply to many areas is intermittent, at best, and basic medical supplies are frequently not available; improved educational facilities are also seen as a priority
Bienvenue Rwizibuka is one of the pupils at the school funded by the Bukavu Link. Read his account of how there came to be an English-language service in his local church, How It All Began
Here’s to you, Rowena
On Trinity Sunday, St Cybi’s Church, Llangybi, invited representatives of the village, Community Council, chapels, and the school, together with clergy and wardens of the other churches in Lampeter parish to join them for afternoon tea, ostensibly to welcome our new vicar (Priest in Charge) Canon Andy Herrick and his wife Sarah to the Parish.
However, the true reason for this celebration was to honour a lady whose dedication and commitment to the church has been almost without parallel. Mrs Rowena Williams has been organist, first in Sunday School and then in Church, for 64 years. She is a remarkable lady, one of three sisters born and raised in the village, the daughter of one farmer, and the widow of another she still lives in the village with her disabled son Lyn.
Rowena is always ready to help anyone in trouble but so very unwilling to accept or even acknowledge her own need for help. The high turnout was more than proof enough of the great affection and respect in which she is held by the community. The Church was also delighted to be able show its gratitude to Arthur Edwards, long serving Churchwarden and Parish Treasurer.”
A Moving Experience
On Trinity Sunday, Louis Hemmings attended a Communion Service at St Brynach’s Church, Henry’s Moat, near Fishguard, with his ninety year old father.
There were seven in the congregation. The church sanctuary was somewhat unloved. We capably sang rousing Victorian hymns without organ, choir or recorded accompaniment.
Before the communion, I had been asked to do the reading from Proverbs 8. For some reason, as I read the last few verses I nearly started crying…’why?’ would be hard to answer.
Was it the small elderly congregants’ dogged loyalty, the humble retired bishop leading the service, the presence of my elderly father (and walking stick) – or the engaging words of Proverbs 8….?
Whatever the reason, I felt moved to write a poem reflecting on the experience.
For Heaven’s Sake
Purple robed priest blessed bread and wine
last supper imitation, six people dined:
all kneeled at shaky wooden altar rail,
supped with saviour once pinion nailed.
Hymns firmly sung without organ or choir,
angels seemed absent, no tongues afire;
empty most pews, cobwebbed and dusty,
little heat lacquered cool church air musty.
My father’s fingers followed the phrases,
his adventurous life has had many phases;
now needing help to stand for set prayers,
God-numbered his grey, significant hair.
“I was there when heavens set in place,
before moon was given a reflective face;
when sea was given beach boundary line,
rejoicing world delighted much in mankind…”
Liturgical books to entrance table returned,
Snuffed candles, timeless truths relearned;
slowly we exited from typical church-scape:
thirty minutes set aside for heaven’s sake.
Long grass tickle-fringed Victorian graves,
crooked slate stones, carved hopes brave;
hearts and minds blessed, Proverbs good,
greeted by birdsong, bees sucking buds.
Proverbs 8: 23
I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
Easter on the road to Emmaus – in those shoes?
Thank you to all those who attended the Cydweli Deanery Quiet Hour at St John’s Church, Pontyberem.
Revd Dr Emma Whittick, pictured here with Vicar of the Parish Revd Cecilia Charles, based her talk on the story of The Road to Emmaus, taking us on a journey through our own lives.
Emma displayed many pairs of shoes and encouraged us to consider what shoes we wear as we journey in our spiritual lives. It is not clear whether they come from her personal collection!
MEANWHILE, AT ST PADARN’S CHURCH, LLANBADARN FAWR…
a traditional Easter Garden was set up on Maundy Thursday and slowly built up as the story of Easter unfolded. Late on Easter Saturday afternoon, the tomb was opened and the whole garden decorated with spring flowers and looked truly magnificent for the congregations entering church for the Easter Day services. Superb arrangements of white and yellow flowers also graced the entrance to the church, nave and chancel celebrating the risen Christ. The garden will remain in place and be periodically refreshed with new flowers for the 40 days through to Ascension Day
Page 17: What’s in a Name? Beth sy’mewn enw?
Revd Lyn Dafis reflects on his first year as a curate in the northern parish of Llanbadarn Fawr, Elerch, Penrhyn-coch and Capel Bangor.
Revd Dr David Williams
Rev Dr David Williams held a Cymanfa Ganu service at St Michael’s Church, Eglwysfach, on Sunday, 28th February. The service was led by Peter Leggett who described the hymns that were sung by the large congregation. Lillian Hughes and Tecwen Jones sung solos and the organists were Michael James, FRCO, and Susan Jenkins. Afterwards, tea was served in the Iron Room and Revd Peter Jones thanked Rev Dr David Williams for all he has done in the parish during the past few years and made a presentation to him on behalf of the parishioners on his retirement.
Page 12: A Very Special Weekend
An extended version of the article celebrating a remarkable interfaith reunion at St Cynllo’s, Llangynllo, the renowned church on the former Bronwydd Estate
Page 14: Home-Start
A translation of Eluned Rees’ article in memory of Margaret Harrison, the founder and Life President of HomeStart who died in August.
The charity, launched in 1973, provides help and support to 30,000 British families every year. Eluned, who lives in Ammanford, is a volunteer with Home-Start and encourages others, who don’t need any qualifications except parental experience, to give a few hours every week
Page 15: Cytun & the Refugee Crisis
Since the placing of asylum detainees in Cardiff Prison in 2001, Cytûn has developed partnerships that are now being used to their full potential:
Pictured are 23 members of St Mary’s Church Sundayfunday Club, Tenby, enjoying their recent Outdoor Pursuits weekend at Orielton Field Centre in Pembroke.
They enjoyed orienteering, night time bat walks, pond dipping and plenty of fresh air, rain and sunshine too, as well as a visit from Revd Geoffrey Howell of Hundleton and his Italian singing dog!
New children are always welcome to join the church’s Sundayfunday Club at 10am every Sunday morning during term time in St Mary’s Church House, adjacent to the church.
COSMO AND COLIN – THE FINAL 21 STORIES
Good news for followers of Cosmo! In his third, and final, book about the Christ Church cat, Patrick Thomas has written a further 21 stories and this time Cosmo is joined by Colin the Christ Church corgi.
Short, self-contained chapters in this volume include ‘Cosmo and the Queen’s corgi’, ‘Cosmo, Colin and the great escape’, ‘Cosmo, Colin and the sorrowful saint’ and ‘Cosmo and the wolf’.
Copies are available now at £5 each, plus p&p if applicable, from Christ Church, Carmarthen.
They can be ordered from Mrs Jean Long, tel: 01267 236562, or Canon Patrick Thomas, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds go to Christ Church, Carmarthen.
The book will be reviewed in the June 2016 edition of Pobl Dew
ON TOUR WITH PLANT DEWI
Two successful trips took place over the half term to Techniquest and Folly Farm as part of Plant Dewi’s Lottery Young Parents Project
Members of the Llandybie group were taken to Techniquest for the day. Both the children and parents enjoyed trying out all of the different technology there. They were treated to food at a local restaurant and then strolled around the Cardiff Bay where they bumped into a Minion!
Bishop Wyn has confirmed eight young people from the Meidrim Group of Parishes. The confirmation took place at St David’s, Meidrim, on Wednesday 2nd December. Pictured with the Bishop and the youngsters are the Vicar, Canon Jeffrey Gainer, lay reader Adam Bruce and churchwardens.
Page 18: Bomiau a Babis – Bombs & Babies
Rosina Thomas, from Ammanford, tells Eluned Rees about her training as a nurse and midwife during the second world war, and about her experiences of the bombing of Swansea
Gwynfor Rees was prompted to write this poem after a group of villagers recently worked on tidying up the churchyard in Llanilar before the onset of winter. Some of the group are church members and some are not but the work fosters a palpable feeling of community.
What is the sound I seem to hear,
or do my redundant ears quite fail me?
For in this dusty, narrow cell,
what sounds can possibly impact
on an eternal round of nothingness?
Yet, conscious I am without my hearing,
or other means to detect the source,
that there is an incessant buzz about.
There it is again, and now it’s louder,
much closer to my long-term home.
It’s all around as if emanating
from a botheration of bumble bees
demented by the mead of honey
sucked from that final floral flourish
bedecking autumn’s mantle of greenery,
in this haven of repose.
Blanketed we all are, stupefied
by this intense, intrusive drone
that moves around, between and over
moss-clad headstones – and pots
lamenting their lack of fresh cut blooms –
while minor tremors I seem to feel
from the edges of black marble,
flayed by the wings of demotic bees.
Do I not detect a sense of purpose
amidst the banter and the laughter,
of men and women, young and old,
drawn together in this communal act
as if obeying an ingrained notion
that the departed, known or not,
deserve to spend their eternal rest
in something better than neglect!
Page 7: Ageing Well
An extended version of the article by Sarah Rochira, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
Page 18: Easter 2015 Garissa, Kenya
On 2 April 2015, gunmen stormed the Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, killing 148 people, and injuring 79 or more. The militant group and Al-Qaeda offshoot, Al-Shabaab, which the gunmen claimed to be from, took responsibility for the attack. The gunmen took over 700 students hostage, freeing Muslims and killing those who identified as Christians. (Source: Wikipedia)
A translation of Eluned Rees’ poem:
Their cruel smirks
and challenging legs akimbo,
Their guns spitting
and their hateful creed.
They turn to each other
behind their cowardly masks,
under the black flags
and with a scream to terrify innocents-
‘Let’s kill some Christians today’.
Page 15: Pay us a visit
English version of Cathryn Hill’s invitation to visit St John Ambulance, by Keith Taylor:
Children seem born with the ability to panic parents and most kids develop this talent into a fine art as they grow older.
The inside of an ambulance can be a frightening place for a sick, injured or hurting child with bright green men and women poking and prodding about.
Why not come and say “Hi” if you see us at a Show in Dyfed when we have nothing to do. Bring the family. We would be glad to show you around and if it helps ease the tension, on a future much more serious occasion, so much the better.
Page 16: Our Friends in Lesotho
Page 16: Thank You letters from Bukavu
Dear Bishop Wyn St. Davids
Receive our warmest greetings to you and all at St. Davids Diocese of Wales in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
This is to let you know that we have done a safe journey from Wales to Bukavu, only Roger was allowed to travel from UK to Kigali. For me, the passport had a problem, so that I was required to travel from UK to Kinshasa and from Kinshasa to Bukavu. Then I paid ticket money 75% in addition and the ticket from Kinshasa to Bukavu. Instead of reaching home on Saturday November 1st, 2014 together with Roger, I reached on Tuesday November 4th, 2014. Everybody is fine in family and in the Church.
We are so thankful to you and all the brothers and sisters of St. Davids Diocese for being so kind to us during our visit to churches, schools, hospitals, universities,… you have been a very blessing to us. We continue praying for our Link may be fruitful and contribute to the growth of the Church of God in Bukavu and St. Davids Dioceses.
Please, accept our gratitude for all that you have done to facilitate our visit journey during our stay in Wales and England.
Best greetings from Bukavu. Just to say jambo. We are all ok and thanks to God. Hope you are doing also fine. You are in my prayer and your program to Congo too. I miss you all there and your warm hospitality. Thanks for all. The weather is rainy in Bukavu, not so cold and nice sunlight every day, specially after the rain. I am wondering how cold it is there now! It must be like inside the freezer now, isn’t it? Anyway for you it’s quite normal. I’m enjoying my box of coffee you offered me. Greetings, I miss all the nice people I used to meet on Saturdays market at Fishguard and in St Marys. My best greetings to them. I remember many good people in Wales. I am already talking to some people about good things I got from there to lead them to mentality changes. People here are very excited about the link. May God bless you.
Page 16: Helbul Dalledu Gwasanaeth o Llandygwydd
Page 1: Bishop Bahati’s Visit to Wales
A Very Special Visitor – Margaret Le Grice recalls the Bishop’s visit to Llanafan
Meanwhile, in Llanbadarn Fawr…
…and Thanksgiving in Penybont
Lay reader Wyn Maskell tells of the significance
of Thanksgiving in the countryside and reports on
three special occasions in the Church of St Teilo
at Pen-y-bont, Trelech a’r Betws, including the
South Wales Holstein Club’s thanksgiving service.
Page 2: CROESWI’R TROTHWY / CROSSING THE THRESHOLD
A conference was held in St Michael’s College, Cardiff, in September to mark the opening of the Episcopate to women in the Church in Wales.
The conference was arranged by the St Deiniol’s Group, a group of women, both lay and ordained, with a breadth of experience and responsibility invited from all the dioceses within the Province. They meet regularly to discuss the role of women in the church and aspects of women’s lives beyond the church.
Over 50 delegates from within the Church in Wales and the wider Anglican Communion attended the conference which included the Rt Revd Geralyn Wolf, former Bishop of Rhode Island, and the Rt Revd Gayle Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts, the Archbishop of Wales and the Bishop of St Asaph.
The conference concluded with a Eucharist held at Llandaff Cathedral where Bishop Geralyn presided, assisted by Bishop Gayle.
Page 14: The Christ Church Carol – Brother Madog’s Song
However, readers might be interested to know that the tune is not Welsh, but American, having been written by Lewis Hartsough (1828-1919) an evangelising Methodist, to his own words ‘I hear thy welcome voice’.
The tune is in typical mid-19th century style in the Trinitarian key of Eb major (three flats) and, with its repetitive drumming bass, is in the lineage of many sacralising tunes approved of by E J H Hopkins and other Anglican divines of the period.
When Hartsough’s words were translated into Welsh, the name of the tune was changed to Gwahoddiad.
Our thanks to John Hughes, of Dinas Cross, for pointing this out
Page 19: Three Sundays
In October Eluned Rees, with her husband, sister and brother-in-law, went on holiday to South America. They spent three weeks visiting Argentina, Patagonia and Brazil – it was an amazing experience.
STEPPING INTO SILENCE: The experience of a chatterbox
Cate Langley – who enjoys a chat – tells how she survived 50 hours without speaking during a retreat at the Ty Mawr convent in Monmouth, an experience “like walking into a hug”.
A booklet written by local historian Gil Jones & club director David Steedes listing information on the 14 men who had played for the football club and who laid down their lives during the Great War has been published
Page 16: ETHIOPIA FOR EUROS – an extended version of Hazel Burn’s article
Translation Page12: FOR THE SAKE OF THE WORLD by LYN DAFIS
Eight pilgrims were led by Canon Michael Lloyd Rees on a visit to the Holy Land in April and May 2014.
The group went through the day to day life of this ancient land and the way life was at the time of Jesus. Pictured are some of the group at Kafar Kedem, which is in view of Nazareth in the lush hill country of Galilee.
Another pilgrimage is planned for November 2016. Full details will be available nearer the time but initial expressions of interest, or enquiries, should be addressed to: Canon Michael Lloyd Rees;
Tel: 01269 842561 / Mobile: 07773 243224; Email Canon Michael Lloyd Rees
Page 12: CARVED WITH LOVE: Correction: We have been advised that the date of the Battle of Bosworth in Suzy Bale’s article is incorrect. It should be August 22nd 1485.
FOCUS ON WORLD WAR ONE