Letters from the Diocese
I do hope you have had a relaxing and refreshing summer despite the not so clement weather. August has been a rather stressful time for the young people awaiting the results of their A Level and GCSE exams – I remember the feeling well even if it was a few years ago! Hearty congratulations to all who have gained the grades they wanted and for those who didn’t – don’t give up, put it behind you and try again. We remember all our young people in our prayers as they each follow their own paths and work toward their own goals. May they be assured of God’s presence in their lives and that His love for them, come what may, will never fail.
You will notice another change to the magazine this month as we continue our own journey to become as one in our Ministry Area. The rota's of readers, sides’ persons and the altar guild for St Peter’s Church, Machynlleth will no longer be printed in the magazine as they have no relevance to the rest of the Ministry Area. Each person on the rota's, however, will be given a list of the dates relevant to them for the year. A list will also be displayed in the porch of St Peter’s and in church.
The magazine is not only a good way of communicating within the Ministry Area but also an excellent means of mission to the wider community. One way of saying we are “alive and kicking” and open to everyone – one way of telling the Gospel story to those who wouldn’t otherwise hear it.
If anyone would like to contribute items for the magazine please contact Mr Clive Thomas.
As summer moves into autumn may you and all whom you cherish feel the power of God’s love.
June saw the passing of the Reverend Dick Staunton in his 90th year and his 50th year as a priest. He would have celebrated his birthday in August and his anniversary in December. Dick was a faithful friend to St Peter’s Church for many years, always willing and eager to help out in any way he could – he celebrated what was to be his last Eucharist at the end of April. He saw many changes during his 50 years as a priest, a great many of them in the last few years. He wasn’t always in favour of them, sometimes very critical of them but he was always willing to give his advice and share his wisdom. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his faithful service to God and his faithful ministry among us.
But as one ministry comes to an end another begins with the ordination of the Reverend Naomi Starkey to the priesthood on the 27th June. The beginning of a new chapter in her ministry. Naomi will be continuing her curacy in the Bro Enlli Ministry Area and we wish her and Daniel every blessing.
In Bro Cyfeiliog a Mawddwy we will continue our ministry to all who live, work and holiday here. As a faith community we will tell the wonderful story – the story too good to keep to ourselves – the story of love, compassion, mercy, forgiveness – the story of Jesus Christ. Even through all the changes that we struggle with, changes we know must take place, we’ll carry on. Why? Because that is the promise we have made. Every time we come together to share the bread and wine, to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us, we promise to share what we have with everyone else. By God’s grace we are one with those who have gone before, those who are starting out and those who are to come.
With every blessing to you and yours
Kath's Letter May 2015
I love the spring – the signs of new life in the fields, in the hedgerows, in our gardens. The weather this spring has been very favourable – a bit cold of late but, never-the-less, the sun has shone. We are all walking with a spring in our step and a smile on our faces.
And then I listen to the news reports from the Mediterranean where hundreds of people have perished in unfriendly seas, among strangers and their families unaware of their deaths. I listen to reports from Syria and Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan of the persecution, kidnap, torture and murder of Christians and the destruction of their churches.
All that brings me down to earth! I’m not alone when I ask myself “what can I do, here in this beautiful valley, to help these people?”
I can pray that the Lord will have mercy on the souls of the lost and comfort the survivors during this time of fear, pain and mourning.
I can urge the politicians to restart the search and resucue efforts in the mediterranian. To find ways to peace in war-torn countries.
I can pray that the Lord will protect His Church in Syria and Nigeria, India and Pakistan and throughout the world. That He will strengthen the faith of His people and watch over them during times of trial.
I can support the work of the Barnabas Fund who help persectued Christians in many countries throughout the world.
Above all I can pray and believe in the strength of prayer. Please join me in praying that the Lord Jesus, by whose wounds we are healed, will heal the wounds of the persecuted, of the refugee, of the exploited.
With every blessing to you and yours
Well, not immediately… but you may have heard by now that I will be moving on from Bro Cyfeiliog and Mawddwy after my priesting this summer. I have been offered a full-time paid role with the Church in Wales, working in the Ministry Area of Bro Enlli, up on the Llyn Peninsula.
Since being made deacon at Bangor Cathedral last June, I have been working with Canon Kath two days a week – Sundays and usually Wednesdays – while continuing with my ‘day job’ as an editor with the Bible Reading Fellowship the rest of the time. I have come to feel an increasingly strong call to move on from my publishing work, however, and the time now feels right to make that move. It will be a big change, as I have worked with BRF since 1997 (and in publishing since 1994), but my colleagues tell me that they are not at all surprised…
I will still be very much around until early July and looking forward to celebrating my first Eucharist, which will take place at St Peter’s in Machynlleth on 28 June. And even after Daniel and I move house (up to Aberdaron, at the very end of the Llyn), I plan to keep in touch – I’ll still be in the same archdeaconry!
Lent is a time for reading…
In my ‘day job’ as an editor for the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF), I have to publish an annual book of readings for Lent and Easter. Over the years I have worked with a wide range of authors, and enjoyed helping them find a theme for their book so that it will have a different ‘feel’ from the previous year’s volume. The 2015 BRF Lent book, Reflecting the Glory, is by Tom Wright, the former Bishop of Durham, who is now Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews.
Over the years, Tom Wright has written hugely significant books of New Testament scholarship and also many titles aimed at a wide audience, including his ‘For Everyone’ series of Bible commentaries. It was a great privilege to be his editor for Reflecting the Glory, which provides a Bible reading, comment and prayer for every day from Ash Wednesday to Easter (including each day in Easter Week). Focusing on the New Testament epistles of 1 and 2 Corinthians, the book shows how through God’s Holy Spirit, we can reveal something of Jesus even at the lowest and weakest points of our lives. No matter how feeble we may feel our faith to be, we can reflect the glory of God’s own Son.
Even though Lent is now well underway, it isn’t too late to pick up a Lent book (or some other book of spiritual reading) and take a bit of time to ponder what our faith means to us - and how it can be used to touch the lives of others. In the words of Tom Wright: ‘The relevance of knowing God in Jesus is that when we love God in Jesus, we discover how that love, that personal love, is given to us in order that it may be given through us.’