Letters from the Diocese
Kath's Letter - Jan 2016
Candlemas on February 2nd is an important day in the church year, an exciting day, a day which sees the end of the Christmas season; it’s time for the Shepherds to go back to tending their sheep and time for the Wise Men to make their long journey back home. It is time for us to make our journey towards Easter. The crib has been put away our focus now is on the altar and the cross pointing us towards Easter.
We use the word “journey” a great deal – the idea of our lives being a journey – our spiritual lives being a journey of faith - an unknown journey, a journey of discovery that takes courage and trust and faith. Jesus’ journey led to His death but, more importantly, to His resurrection. We ask Jesus to lead us on our journey towards Easter but where will He lead us? Will it be hard? Will the way be steep? Will we be lonely? Will there be joy?
To all these questions the answer is “yes very likely”. The journey will be hard and, at times, the road will be steep but Jesus has cut the steps into the hillside for us and He will walk each step with us. We will, very likely, be lonely at times but Jesus has promised that He will never leave us. And the Joy? The joy is ours for the taking, if we will listen for His word and recognise it when we hear it.
There is one unbreakable certainty – God’s love enfolds us through Jesus Christ who walks each step with us drawing us to His final goal – life with Him for ever.
I pray that your journey through Lent to the joys of Easter morning will fill you with hope and peace.
With every blessing to you and yours
Kath's Letter - Nov 2015
The South Meirionnydd Synod met at Dolgellau during October to discuss the Bishop’s Ministry Fund contribution for 2016. This was a very important meeting – all meetings about money are important – and one that was conducted with patience, support and generosity. That cannot be said about all meetings where money is discussed. Although the total amount to be raised in this Synod remains unchanged from last year - £241,850 – the share for our Ministry Area has gone up from £52,000 to £56, 000. If you would like more information on the Bishop’s Ministry Fund please do contact me or the Revd Roland.
I have become very aware that through all these changes that are taking place in our Diocese and churches we forget those very important people – you who read our magazine are among those people – who are not familiar and often confused about these new structures and names. I set them out very simply for now.
A group of churches in one area working together as one parish sharing resources and expertise under the leadership of a Team Leader. This group of churches forms the Bro Cyfeiliog a Mawddwy Ministry Area.
Usually an ordained stipendiary priest (the Rector/Vicar as was)
A group of ordained and lay people working together to deliver services in each church, children and young people’s ministry, pastoral ministry and other areas of mission and outreach throughout the Ministry Area.
Ministry Area Council
Representatives from each of the churches in the Ministry Area, with the Ministry Team, responsible for the running of the Ministry Area (the PCC as was). The Ministry Area Council has two Wardens responsible for the singing of cheques, signing official documents, e.g. faculty forms, and sharing information between the churches and the Ministry Leader and vice versa. The Ministry Area also has a Treasurer responsible for the day to day expenses of the Ministry Area. The Ministry Area Council meets four times a year.
A group of Ministry Area representatives including Team Leaders, under the authority of the Archdeacon. They meet together four times a year. In 2016 the membership of the Synods will change to include a broader representation of the Ministry Areas.
South Meirionnydd Synod
Includes Bro Cyfeiliog a Mawddwy, Bro Arwystli ( Llanidloes group), Bro Cymer (Dolgellau group) and Bro Ystumaner (Tywyn group)
Although these changes, which have come thick and fast, may be confusing and challenging our aim as a church – the body of Christ here in the Dyfi Valley – is the same as it has always been – to spread the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to share God’s abundant love and generosity here in the Dyfi Valley and beyond. We need the support, patience and prayers of all our parishioners to help us on this journey.
With love and blessings to you and yours
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