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.
Ministry Area Vestry Meeting
The annual vestry meeting for the Ministry Area took place at the White Lion Hotel in Machynlleth on Wednesday 20th April. Attendance was not as we had hoped but the required business took place nevertheless.
The Rev Peter Ward chaired the meeting. Rev Roland and Canon Kath thanked everyone for their continued support and hard work over the past 12 months through many changes and challenges. There is proof of success in many areas of our Ministry Area with the growth of the Pastoral Team under the leadership of Mrs. Jen Evans and the work with children and young people through Open the Book Teams and growing relationships with the schools and nurseries. There is still a great deal to be done, as always but with the grace of God, our continual prayer and solidarity the seeds of the kingdom will be sown throughout Dyffryn Dyfi.
Mrs Joanne Gower, as Ministry Area Treasurer, presented the accounts which were accepted by those present.
Mrs. Jen Evans gave a report on the work of the Pastoral Team and the new initiative of “Cawl a Chlonc” (Soup and a Chat), which has proved very successful. She outlined future plans to work with young mothers. Jen also gave a report on the work of the newly formed Diocesan Council of which she is Lay Vice Chair and her role within the Representative Body of the Church in Wales.
Representatives of each church gave a brief report on the situation in their church.
Ministry Area Council Members:
Mrs. Denise Perkins MAC Warden/Minute Secretary
Mr. Alan Murphy MAC Warden
Mrs. Joanne Gower MAC Treasurer
Mr. Ken Searson
Mrs. Maureen Hughes
Mrs. Nora Wigley
Mrs. Linda Davies
Mr. Matt Swan
Mrs. Llinos Davies
Ministry Area Team Members:
Rev Roland Barnes Team Leader
Rev Canon Kathleen Rogers Team Leader
Rev Peter Ward Chairperson
Rev Dominic McClean
Mrs. Jen Evans Worship Leader
Mrs. Denise Perkins
Mr. Alan Murphy