News & Items of Interest
All the latest news from around the diocese.
Let us know about events you've organised.
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Aftrenoon Tea 14th July 2016
Afternoon Tea at Trefeddian Hotel Aberdyfi organised by the Pastoral Team
Muriel would like to thank everyone for the cards, gifts, flowers and telephone calls she received after her recent operation. She would also like to thank those who visited her at home. It was very much appreciated. Diolch yn fawr.
Croeso y Cymru
Over the years millions of visitors must have seen the signs at the Severn Bridge: ‘Croeso y Cymru’ It takes a bit of the sting out of having to pay to get in, but at least it costs nothing to get out! For anyone it is always a joyful sight as you make your way back.
When the journey was made back in the early sixties, there was no Severn Bridge. Entry into Wales from southern England involved a detour via Monmouth and the A40. In fact, the journey took so long that you needed to stop half-way overnight.
The Bridge changed everything. It was opened by the Queen fifty years ago, on September 8th 1966. So popular was this new fast route to the delights of the Gower, the Brecon Beacons and the beaches of Pembrokeshire that a second bridge was built to meet the demand, and the Queen returned to open it twenty years ago.
There’s still ‘a welcome in the hillsides’, but those two magnificent bridges have made it much easier to respond to it!
The Battle of the Somme
On the 1st July 2016 we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and remember those who fought and died during the battle. The Somme was one of the deadliest battles of the First World War. During five months of combat, the total number of men killed, wounded and missing reached over one million.
A century later the battle scars still remain. It’s still difficult to make sense of what happened and see God’s place in the conflict. It challenges any image of a safe, problem-solving God who protects at all costs from pain and suffering. As Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane demonstrates, God is to be found alongside in the pain: ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ (Luke 22:42).
Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy, the chaplain popularly known as ‘Woodbine Willie’, served at the Somme said: ‘We have taught our people to use prayer too much as a means of comfort: the comfort of the cushion, not the comfort of the Cross.’
He is saying that prayer in itself won’t save us from suffering, as it didn’t save Christ from the cross. But it is does enable us to fight evil in a way that will transform the situation, like Jesus going to the cross.
On Sunday 26th June we came together at St Peter’s Church with the British Legion and the RWF Veterans Association for a Service of Remembrance to mark the centenary of this dark time in our history.
St. Mary Magdalene – the woman with a past.
Later this month Christians all over the world will commemorate probably the most unlikely saint in the Bible, Mary Magdalene. There was something in her background that has always fascinated people. All we are told about her ‘past’ is that Jesus had cast ‘seven devils’ out of her, but on that slender if intriguing evidence she has become the patron saint of ‘fallen women’.
Some see her as the woman ‘who was a sinner’ who washed Christ’s feet with her tears at a respectable dinner party. Of that person Jesus remarked that ‘she had been forgiven much’ and consequently ‘loved much’. Whether she was that woman or not, the description perfectly fits her. No one who has heard or read it could surely fail to be moved by her tearful encounter with the risen Jesus in the garden on Easter morning, the man she had taken to be the gardener revealing Himself in one word, Mary, as her beloved Teacher.
The problem with a good story – and hers is as good as it gets – is that people can’t leave it alone. Down the centuries she has been John the Apostle’s fiancée until he left her to follow Christ. She has gone with Jesus’ mother and the same John to live in Ephesus and died there. In art and literature she has become an alluring, sexual figure, disapproved of by the mother of Jesus. There is no historical evidence whatsoever for any of this. In fact, the Gospels suggest the two Marys were close in their shared devotion to Jesus.
Her popularity is shown in the fact that 187 ancient churches in Britain are dedicated to her, and a college at both Oxford and Cambridge. Whatever the details of her story, we cherish it because it shows that having a ‘past’ is no reason not to have a future.
Ysgol Dyffryn Dulas make a Pilgrimage to Holy Trinity Church Corris
Our pilgrimage started at the door of the church with modes of transport we use to go on holiday - car or boat or aeroplane or by foot - taking us to different places and countries in the world. As we walked down the Aisle we met with pilgrims of long ago who travelled on foot to Cathedrals and Churches and special places where Saints had walked before. Travelling in groups for safety the pilgrims relied on the hospitality and generosity of Christians along the way for food and a place to rest. After a long and often dangerous journey we arrived at Ynys Enlli - Bardsey Island - where 20.000 Saints are said to be buried.
We returned to the door of the Church and the Font where our journey- our Pilgrimage - as Christians today begins. We travel again through the church learning, through through the Bible and stories and songs and hymns, about the love God has for each of us through Jesus. We come to the Altar table and our Remembering - of what Jesus did for us - His great love for us - how He is with us today in our lives.
It was such a joy to share our “pilgrimage” with the children who responded so well and we look forward to welcoming them again to Holy Trinity Church.
Rev Kathleen with Rachal and Cyril.