Issue No 153
Magazine for the Irfon and Wye Valley Churches June 2013
Consumer Report: Jesus beats Sat Navs by Reverend Philip Morris
Reverend David Williams was a Congregational minister; born on 27th January 1779 at Nantydderwen in the parish of Llanwrtyd, Brecknock. On his mother's side he was related to John Penry, one of the leading figures of the reformation in Wales who called for the translation of the Bible into Welsh and was martyred for his beliefs. He was ordained minister of Llanwrtyd and Troedrhiwdalar on 8 August 1803 and continued as Minister of Troedrhiwdalar, Olewydd (Garth) and Llanwrtyd until his retirement in 1870. Throughout his 67 years as Minister of Troedrhiwdalar he did not miss one Sunday through illness. He continued after his retirement to preach and indeed six months before he died he preached to over 1,000 at the London Welsh Chapel. On the Sunday before he died in 1874, he preached in Builth, Abergwesyn and Troedrhiwdalar, a circular trip of over 20 miles on horseback – he was 95 years old. I have a photograph of him at home, taken a few years before he died. He was a man of strong physique; it is said he had a clear and bell-like voice, and his mode of delivery was easy and popular. You’re probably asking yourselves why I’m telling you about a Congregational Minister who died nearly 140 years ago this August; well he was my Great, Great Grandfather. So here I am an ordained Anglican Priest, the Great, Great Grandson of a Welsh Congregational Minister, whom it would be fair to say had little time for Anglican Priests and one of whose forbears was hung for sedition – who’s death warrant was signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Whitgift. I was born in Britain in 1950 – a Christian society then so I was baptised a Christian. I am an Anglican through my Maternal Grandmother (Congregationalist) marrying an Anglican – my mother went to Church, so I went to Church. So by accident, through God’s wish, however
you want to describe it I am an Anglican. But my antecedents have played their part in making me totally tolerant of other denominations. Which has made me think about others in our world who are not born in a Christian Country. In John 14:6, Jesus says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Jesus makes it pretty clear, doesn’t he? The one and only way to God is through me. I am the way. There may be many paths, but I am the only one that leads to God. But what about other Religions? Is the "mountain analogy" of God true where God is pictured at the top of the mountain, and man at the base? And religion is man’s way of carving his way up the mountain, some take the direct route, others take wind their way up, but all eventually reach the top in their own way. Is that analogy true of God? One mountain top, many paths? After all, aren’t there many good religions out there, and aren’t there good intentioned people who are a part of those religions or who were brought up in those religions. What about them? Is Christianity the only religion that is true or are all other religions describing the same God in different ways? Is there really any difference between us and, say, Islam, Buddhism, or Judaism? (continued on pg 5)
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Llanwrtyd Wells 21 En-suite Bedrooms Restaurant and Bar Meals Two Traditional Bars with Log Fires Walking and Mountain Biking Holidays Our own Microbrewery producing a range of fine ales – the “Heart of Wales Brewery” Launderette open for public use Telephone 01591 610 236 www.NeuaddArmsHotel.co.uk
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WELLWELL-BEING TREATMENTS THEMED PACKAGES WINE AND DINE WEDDINGS CONFERENCES COUNTRY COUNTRY PURSUITS Tel: 01982 552601
Deanery Notices .
Sunday 9th JUNE *Music* *Praise* *Witness* *Fellowship*
ALL AGE WORSHIP
Please pray for all to be ordained in the Diocese on Saturday 29th June in Brecon Cathedral and especially the places in which they will serve: Julie Wagstaff (Waunarlwydd), Steve Bunting (Oystermouth), Andrew Perrin (Morriston), Petra Beresford-Webb (East Radnor), Mary Evans (Three Cliffs) and Carol Davies (Llwynderw).
18.00 ST. MARY’S CHURCH BUILTH WELLS
DIOCESAN YOUTHCAMP 2013 th
29 July – 3 August Are you 11-25? Would you like the opportunity to join with other young Christians on our annual youth residential? We are taking a group from the Deanery of Builth to this year’s event. For only £85 you can enjoy canoeing, abseiling, climbing, archery, land yachting, gorge walking and mountain biking in the company of other likeminded young people.
To learn more contact the Bishop’s Officer for Youth: firstname.lastname@example.org
LLANGASTY RETREAT HOUSE www.llangasty.com Check out the new Diocesan Vision website: www.gatheringgrowinggoing.com This website seeks to reach out to others in ways that show we are part of a family that is rooted in Christ and committed to transforming lives by gathering as God’s people, growing more like Jesus and Going out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Send feedback, stories, and details of forthcoming events to email@example.com
Drop-in Day June 10th 10am to 4pm An opportunity to pause for prayer and personal reflection - come for all or part of the day. No charge but donations are welcome.
Food for Thought
Mid Wales Deaf Church
Local churches in the Builth Wells area have joined with the local Community Support to form a lunch club for the over 60's at the Jubilee Hall at Llanelwedd. With a cost of only £4 for main course, dessert and tea/coffee as well as a short activity after the lunch, you'd have to look hard to find a better bargain! If you are over 60 and live in Builth, Llanelwedd, Cilmery, Aberedw, Builth Road, Cwmbach and are interested in attending, then please contact Builth Wells Community Support at 14 High Street, Builth Wells. Tel 01982 553004 for a membership form, numbers are limited so please contact them soon. Volunteers prepare & serve the meal, set up the hall, provide transport & organise the after lunch activities, if you can help then please contact Builth Wells Community Support.
Sunday 16th June 3-4.30pm at St. Mary’s, Builth
Services every Third Sunday of each month Simple Open Service 3-3.30pm fellowship afterwards with refreshments and social time
The Colwyn Group of Parishes Dear Friends
The Bracken Trust
I wonder at my grandchildren. Not a strange statement from a granddad you might think, but there’s the old saying, “They’re not babies long”. And they aren’t. They almost grow in front of our eyes. And the amount of food they eat! But I guess that’s absolutely normal – after all, they have to grow. There would be a problem if they didn’t. They can’t stay as babies forever. Children grow up and develop. They become teenagers and start arguing with the world, and us. Again that’s perfectly natural, they have to challenge ideas that are strange to them. They strengthen day by day and grow in stature physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s physically impossible to stay the same. And I guess that’s just the same with all of us as we travel through life – we cannot stay as we were. If we did, we would stagnate and eventually rot. God too is challenging us to move on - to adapt and yes, even change to become comfortable with the new situation that the church finds itself in. We, as a church cannot remain the same. That old order of church is dying and so we must be very open to that still, small voice calling each one of us into a different life. We must, as my grandchildren are doing, move on in life and develop, adapt and even change into the people and churches God meant us to be.
Hundred House Hall 6th June 10.00 - 12.30 Come and support the valuable work of this charity
Services for June 2013 2nd June Trinity Llansantffraed 10.00 RK (Coronation Celebration) Glascwm 6.00 ET
Eucharist JO to preach Village Service
9th June Cregrina Llanelwedd
Trinity 2 9.30 JO 11.15 JO
16th June Llanfaredd Llansantffraed Glascwm Rhulen
Trinity 3 9.30 RK 10.00 MO 11.15 JO 11.15 RK
Eucharist Morning Prayer Eucharist Eucharist
23rd June Cregrina Bettws Llanelwedd
Trinity 4 9.30 LK Village Service 9.30 JO Eucharist 10.45 RK/LK/ET Worship4All
30th June Trinity 5 Family Service & Communion Hundred House Hall 10.00 LA
Glascwm Draw Results - May
Colwyn Benefice 3 for 1 in 1 day
FIRST PRIZE £50 No. 52 Sandra Allen SECOND PRIZE £30 No. 7 Camille Hawtin Checkley THIRD PRIZE £20 No. 11 Orla Edwards
Summer Fete, Fun Day & Boot Fair Saturday 22nd June 2013, 2pm Jubilee Hall, Llanelwedd
Llansantffraed & Bettws Churches with Hundred House Hall Committee will be holding a
Produce, Crafts, Plate Smashing, Skittles, Face Painting, Sausage Sizzle, Chinese Auction, Games & much, much more
St Bridget’s Church 21st & 22nd September on the theme of “The Creation”
FLOWER FESTIVAL Help is needed in all areas from flower arranging at all levels to preparation & staging, providing & serving refreshments or sponsoring a display. If you feel you can help in any way, large or small, please contact Jeanne Bowers, 01982 570222, or your church wardens.
Entry £1.50 to include tea & biscuits (Schoolchildren free) Boot Fair bookings IN ADVANCE as places limited £5, contact The Rectory 01982 551288
Llanelwedd with Llanfaredd, Llansantffraed-in-Elwell, Bettws, Cregrina, Glascwm and Rhulen Revd Richard Kirlew, The Rectory, Llanelwedd LD2 3TY, Tel: 01982 551288, Email: Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org 4
Consumer Report: Jesus beats Sat Navs (continued from front page)
Many people claim that all of these religions are valid. But when one looks closer, we find that often these different religions contradict Christianity in many important ways.
that one obtains eternal life. And Jesus, He was merely a human teacher or prophet at best. But he is not the Messiah. So you see, all these supposed ways to God, and to paradise are completely contradictory to Christianity. It does not mean we are any better, or that we should look down on people who follow such religions. That in itself is contradictory to the Christian life. We should actually learn from them. But, we must also recognize that there are real and serious contradictions that cannot be reconciled.
For example, Buddhism teaches that the ultimate goal is Nirvana where all pain and suffering exist no more and the way to reach this Nirvana is by following the Eight-Fold Path to Enlightenment, and then you reach that place of total nothingness. In Hinduism, the ultimate goal also is Nirvana, but Nirvana is different for a Hindu, Nirvana is being reunited with Brahma, the all-pervading force of the universe and the way is through reincarnation. Depending on how you live your life determines whether you move up or down.
What makes Christianity different than all other religions is that God came down to us in the form of Jesus Christ, and made a way for us to be lifted up to God. Jesus is the way to God. He came here to us, so we could come to him. That is why we should not keep ourselves confined in a bubble. There are people in the world and even in this country who know nothing of Jesus Christ, but are seeking God, are seeking something, and it is the Church’s responsibility to go into the world and tell them what they are looking for.
In Islam, heaven is a paradise of wine, women, and song, and the way to achieve this blissful paradise is to, ironically, abstain from these things in this world. In addition, a Muslim must follow the Five Pillars of Islam to achieve paradise – good things like prayer, giving of alms etc.
But what would Jesus ask us if he were here? well I suppose it would be something along the lines of: Now that you have heard that I am the way, the truth and the life, now that you have heard that I am the only way to God - the only way to a life of peace and forgiveness and salvation, my question is simple; What About You? What are you going to do now? You have heard the Truth, what will your response be?" So on behalf of Jesus let me ask each and everyone of us, • What about You? • What are you going to do now? • You have heard the Truth, what will be your response? And, of course, Judaism denies that Jesus Christ is Lord. That it is through the following of the Law
A-Z Of Churchyard Conservation
"C" is for Compost In churchyards the most popular place for the compost heap is under a beautiful veteran yew. However, uncomposted grass is lethal to trees as the runoff is too acidic and can damage the roots as can the heat from the decomposing process. Compost heaps are best tucked in a corner but away from tree roots. They can be shielded from view with hazel hurdles or confined by a sturdy set of bins that can be made with pallets, which will weather and blend in with time. If you do decide to move the compost heap, avoid clearing it in winter when creatures such as hedgehogs, toads, slow worms and newts may be hibernating. Caring for God's Acre, dedicated to the conservation of burial ground 01588 673041
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Word processing; virtual assistant (via the internet); audiotyping; CVs; black and white photocopying; colour and black & white printing from disk, digital camera or memory card/stick; scanning photographs, slides and negatives; fax facilities; binding; laminating. We also copy VCR/camcorder tapes to DVD, vinyl/cassette to CD, produce personalised/corporate items such as calendars and frame pictures enlarged from original photographs. Please phone to discuss your requirements. We may also collect and deliver.
CHIMNEY MAINTENANCE: REPAIRS TO REBUILDS SWEEPING – PAINTING For Friendly Advice & Free Quotations Please Contact Matthew Drew… 07525 437083 ~ 01874 712264
01982 560422 (Aberedw) or 07552 995881
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firstname.lastname@example.org Monday, Wednesday and Friday Mornings 8:50am-12:10pm
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A lovely in school setting for children aged 2½ to school age. £10 per session until the term after the child's third birthday, then the sessions are free. Singing, dancing, running, jumping, laughing and playing with friends. Come along and have some fun! Call the school today for a chat on 01591 620281
For these and other requests please call me, Carole Inman
HELPING HANDS Flexible Hours
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The Builth Wells Group of Parishes Prayers are said most weekdays in the Chapel of the Holy Name of Jesus in St Mary’s, Builth – see St Mary’s noticeboard for details.
02 June (Pentecost II) 10.30 Cytun Covenant Communion at St. Mary’s, Builth 15.00 Annual Praise Service at St. Cynog’s, Llangynog
Regular Events • A said Eucharist is celebrated most Thursdays at 10.00 in the Chapel of the Holy Name of Jesus in St Mary the Virgin, Builth • Handbell Group every Tuesday at 19.00 in St. Mary’s Minor Hall • Bellringing every Thursday at St Mary’s Tower at 19.45 – all welcome
09 June (Pentecost III) 09.30 Sung Eucharist at St. Mary’s, Builth 11.00 Matins at St. David’s, Maesmynis 18.00 CELEBR8 Service at St. Mary’s, Builth 16 June (Pentecost IV) 09.30 Sung Eucharist at St. Mary’s, Builth 11.00 Holy Eucharist at St. Mauritius, Alltmawr
• SAINTS ALIVE kids club at St Mary’s Minor Hall 16.00 on 13th and 26th June • Our Ωmega Youth Group (11-17) meets in St. Mary’s Minor Hall 16.00 7th and 21st June
23 June (Pentecost V) 09.30 Sung Eucharist at St. Mary’s, Builth 11.00 Holy Eucharist at St. David’s, Llanynis 18.00 Sung Evensong at St. Mary’s, Builth
Special Events 01 June Fundraising Coffee Morning in aid of St. Mary’s 10-12 in St. Mary’s Hall 03 June Reserved Communion in Brynhyfryd Residential Home 11.00 04 June St. Mary’s Grasscutters Meal in St. Mary’s Minor Hall 06 June Branch Mothers Union day trip to Myddfai contact Branch Leader Abi Hook (01982 552355) for more details 15 June St. Mary’s Stall at Builth Carnival – to volunteer please speak to Fr. Neil or one of the Churchwardens 01 July St. Mary’s PCC in the Minor Hall at 19.30
30 June (Pentecost VI) 10.30 United Eucharist in St. David’s, Llanddewi’r-Cwm
From the Vicarage The season after Pentecost is centred on sanctification, the work of the Holy Spirit in the day to day life of the Christian. This is reflected in the liturgical colour for this season: green, the colour of life and growth. Through the gift of faith that comes only from the Holy Spirit working through the means of grace, Christians trust in Christ as Saviour and proclaim Him in their daily lives by service to their neighbours. The season after Pentecost is the longest season of the church year - it lasts from Trinity Sunday until the first Sunday of Kingdom Season. This is the nonfestival portion of the liturgical calendar during which the church stresses vocation, evangelism, missions, stewardship, almsgiving, and other works of mercy and charity as ways in which Christ empowers us by His grace to share the Gospel with others. Throughout the summer months we will have ample opportunity to live out our faith in words and actions – I pray that we may all be open to the work of the Spirit in renewing and transforming our lives and through us, the lives of others. Blessings
Pilgrimage to Walsingham St. Mary the Virgin, Builth 2013 (Joint Pilgrimage with St. Mary the Virgin, Brecon) to The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham 23-26 September 2013. The particular emphasis of pilgrimage to Walsingham is concerned with the Incarnation of Jesus – the Holy House is a reminder of Nazareth in which Jesus lived as a child and young man. Staying at the shrine itself this is a wonderful opportunity in which to rejuvenate your prayer and spiritual life with other Christians. Cost is £164.20pp + transport. For more information and to reserve a place, contact Fr. Neil as soon as possible.
Powys Youth Choir Annual Concert
St Mary’s Church, Builth Wells Saturday 29th June 7pm
Find us in Cyberspace at: www.builthgroup.org.uk facebook.com/BuilthGroup twitter.com/BuilthGroup
for more information contact Eleanor Davies on 01982 570 271
Builth Wells with Llanddewi’r-Cwm & Llangynog with Maesmynis & Llanynis with Alltmawr Revd Father Neil Hook, The Vicarage, 1 North Road, Builth Wells LD2 3BT, Tel: 01982 552355, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 7
The Erwood & Painscastle Group of Parishes SERVICES FOR JUNE & JULY Sunday 2nd June 9.00am Newchurch 10.30am Newchurch
THE ACTING AREA DEAN WRITES: Dear Friends,
Trinity I Holy Eucharist (1662) Morning Prayer
What a month May 2013 has proved to be. From the excitement and joy of the Chinese Auction at Painscastle on May Bank Holiday to the tragic and untimely death of David Mould the previous week. It was a deeply moving tribute to David and his faithful and unerring dedication to the church which clearly meant so much to him, not to see the number of clerics who turned up for his funeral but especially to witness how the church family in Erwood and Painscastle came to say a fond farewell and thank-you to one of their own. I’m convinced that your presence will have proved a beacon of light in a dark moment for David’s family. I’m going to ask Rev. Phil Morris to write something about David for the summer edition, but if anybody would like to add their own thoughts please could you send it to me, before the deadline for the July/August edition which you’ll see as usual on this month’s back cover. Occasions such as the death of someone close to us remind us of the jewel beyond all price that is the beating heart and centre of our Christian faith, our confidence in a God who’s not a distant and unapproachable deity requiring pacification on regular occasions but rather a God of love so total and all embracing that he was willing to become as one of us to enable us to become as he is. We can be confident that David and all those who have gone before us are now rejoicing in the bliss of his nearer presence. It’s helpful in times of transitions and uncertainty to remind ourselves that the Church is not about lines on maps or even ancient and beautiful buildings it’s about carrying the good news of God’s love and passion for the world into the lives and hearts of each and everyone of his children, all of whom are made in his image and loved by him into existence. With my love and prayers, as ever,
(Followed by refreshments at Rose Cottage)
9.30am 11.00am 11.00am
Llanbadarn y Garreg Holy Eucharist Gwenddwr Holy Eucharist Llandeilo Graban Morning Prayer
Sunday 9th June 9.30am Crickadarn 11.00am Llanbedr 11.00am Aberedw
Trinity II Holy Eucharist Holy Eucharist Morning Prayer
Sunday 16th June Trinity III 9.30am Llandeilo Graban Holy Eucharist 11.00am Gwenddwr Morning Prayer Sunday 23rd June 9.30am Aberedw 11.00am Bryngwyn 3.00pm Llanddewi Fach
Trinity IV Holy Eucharist Holy Eucharist Holy Eucharist
Sunday 30th June 10.30am Aberedw
Trinity V Group Eucharist
Sunday 7th July 9.00am Newchurch 10.30am Newchurch
Trinity VI Holy Eucharist (1662) Morning Prayer
(Followed by refreshments at Rose Cottage)
9.30am 11.00am 11.00am
Llanbadarn y Garreg Holy Eucharist Gwenddwr Holy Eucharist Llandeilo Graban Morning Prayer
Sunday 14th July 9.30am Crickadarn 11.00am Llanbedr 11.00am Aberedw
Trinity VII Holy Eucharist Holy Eucharist Holy Eucharist
Sunday 21st July Trinity VIII 9.30am Llandeilo Graban Holy Eucharist 11.00am Gwenddwr Holy Eucharist Sunday 28th July 9.30am Aberedw Painscastle Group
Trinity IX Holy Eucharist Kilvert Pilgrimage
(see below) .
ANNUAL KILVERT PILGRIMAGE SUNDAY 28th JULY 2013 A walk of about 8 miles over the hills between the churches of the Painscastle Group Start 10am Newchurch - Morning Prayer and laying of flowers Emmeline's grave 12 noon Bryngwyn - service of readings, silences and music followed by picnic lunch 4pm Llanbedr Church -afternoon tea (kindly laid on by the Church) 6pm Llandewi Fach – Evensong Come from the start, or join us at any stage. For more information call Aylmer Alexander 01497 851295 or Adrian Chambers 01497 821414
Aberedw w Llandeilo Graban w Llanbadarn-y-Garreg w Crickadarn w Gwenddwr & Bryngwyn w Newchurch w Llanbedr Painscastle w Llanddewi Fach
For information during the interregnum please contact the Acting Area Dean: Revd Ben Griffith, 2 Highbury Fields, Llanyre, LD1 6NF, Tel: 01597 823321, Email: email@example.com 8
The Erwood & Painscastle Group of Parishes LOOKING BACK….
A huge thank you must go to everyone who worked so hard to run and organise the Chinese Auction at Painscastle Hall on May 6th. A very successful and extremely enjoyable afternoon was had, which raised over £900 for church funds. Thank you also to everyone who supported the Deanery Eucharist for Ascension Day at Llanbedr. It was a great joy to see the parishes so well represented. Also, sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to the refreshments afterwards. Not, of course, forgetting Ann and Brian Humphries for the incredible breakfast that followed the dawn Eucharist at Aberedw. (Oh yes, we do mean dawn! I’d forgotten what time 5.30am is!!)
The month of the Royal Welsh Show is, of course, the prelude to the equally significant annual Kilvert Pilgrimage. Details are above but do please come and join us for all or at least part of what will be a wonderful day in the steps of the great priest and diarist in the sublime surroundings of the hills which meant so much to him.
LOOKING EVEN FURTHER FORWARD The weekend of the Kilvert Pilgrimage also marks the beginning of what I understand will be a year’s closure of the Erwood Bridge, this will almost inevitably have an impact upon church service times looking forward, especially if someone is conducting a service at Crickadarn or Gwenddwr before taking one on the other side of the river. We are taking all reasonable steps to ensure that everything will carry on as normal, but I do make a plea now for forbearance while we assess what impact this will have. If necessary, then regrettably service times may need to be amended slightly over the next year, but it’s almost impossible to judge exactly what the impact will be until it actually happens, so please do bear with us as we find out.
Mothers’ Union Please accept sincere apologies that the MU notices for last month mysteriously didn’t make it into print. We don’t know what or who is to blame but sorry! The Crickadarn Branch will be meeting on Wednesday, June 5th at Erwood Market Hall at 2.00pm. The speaker will be Rev. Ben Griffith, the Acting Area Dean who’ll be talking about something; you’ll have to come along to find out what it is.
Aberedw w Llandeilo Graban w Llanbadarn-y-Garreg w Crickadarn w Gwenddwr & Bryngwyn w Newchurch w Llanbedr Painscastle w Llanddewi Fach
For information during the interregnum please contact the Acting Area Dean: Revd Ben Griffith, 2 Highbury Fields, Llanyre, LD1 6NF, Tel: 01597 823321, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
An increasing number of retreat houses have facilities for those with disabilities. Retreats offer the opportunity to find space, reflect, pray and worship in peaceful and comfortable surroundings. There are a wide variety of retreats to choose from including retreats for the beginner, retreats with a theme (e.g. hobbies, painting and gardening, life issues, coping with change, stress management, relationship breakdown, technical skills or photography) and some without a programme. Many retreat houses welcome people who simply wish to spend some time alone. Most retreat houses offer the opportunity to talk to someone in confidence, someone to listen and share with you about your experiences on retreat. For more information contact The Retreat Association on 01494 433 004 or visit www.retreats.org.uk or try Llangasty Retreat House on 01874 658 250 or www.llangasty.com
Why Retreat? etreat? A retreat is exactly what it sounds like - the chance to step aside from life for a while, to rest and just 'be' in a welcoming, peaceful place. Retreats are for ordinary people at any time in their lives. There are no expectations on anyone going on retreat and you don't need to be a regular churchgoer. If you wish for some quiet time, want a weekend to develop your interests, long to know more about prayer, need some time for reflection away from work or family or want to deepen your spiritual life then a retreat might be just for you. Retreat houses offer a warm welcome to all. Most are in beautiful buildings with gardens and can vary in size from small (1 or 2 rooms) to large (for over 100), some even have libraries, art rooms and prayer rooms that are available to use. They can offer overnight accommodation and you can choose the one that is best suited to you. The majority provide wholesome, home cooked food and can accommodate special dietary needs (with advanced notice). 9
The Upper Wye Group of Parishes of green there either. So maybe the reason why I’m so fond of the Sundays after Trinity because at some subconscious level the green in church reminds me not just of the fact that this is our growing time in the Church but equally the fields and hedgerows that I see when I leave it. One of the joys that we have living where we do is that we have church buildings which seem as rooted in the countryside as the tress and the animals on the hillsides around them, which reminds us as so many of those lovely hymns we sung in childhood also do that God’s concern and passion isn’t just for us human beings it is for the whole creation. So as we embark upon the Sundays after Trinity let us pray that God will continue to help and inspire us to relish in being green! Happy growing time!
Dear Friends, I do hope that you managed to attend your parish’s Easter Vestry and that you found it an uplifting and enlivening experience. I’ve been at more than I usually do this year and I have to say that they were all very positive and enjoyable evenings. Those who would have us believe that the church is in terminal and inexorable decline would have been more than a little surprised at the committed and confident people who were in attendance at all of them. With the Easter Vestries now behind us, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of our church officers who have been re-elected. Your dedication and commitment is such a humbling experience. I’d like to thank Marcia Gibson-Watt and Marian Thackwray who’ve both stepped down as churchwardens after having done some sterling work in Marcia’s case for many, many years. I know that you will be missed. I’d like to welcome Dawn Rowlands and Kay Coulson who I know will be more than worthy successors. My particular thanks are due as they always are to Jeanne Hughes and Tony McArdle our excellent benefice wardens, to Gina Ayling our outstanding lay reader and to Bryan Price our incredible benefice administrator. These four amazing people don’t just make my job easier, they make it possible more often than not. Their always sage counsels and palpable enthusiasm for the work of the church are nothing less than an inspiration. To them and to everybody who in so many and various ways support the witness and mission of the Church in the Upper Wye, I am as always profoundly grateful. As you read this, however, Easter is finally behind us and we’ve embarked upon that wonderful litany of Sundays after Trinity; I don’t know about you but for me somehow Sundays after Pentecost just don’t have the same feel. Maybe it’s just nostalgia but I find something very reassuringly British about those Sundays after Trinity. They remind me of teas on the lawn and summer events, generally rained-off. How appropriate it is then that we mark them by putting away the church’s finery and keeping everything green. We forget I think too often that our countryside is green because it’s also wet! Just consider for a moment the dry arid deserts, not much green to be seen there and the icy polar regions; not a great deal
With my love and prayers, as always, Ben
Regular Events Tuesdays 1.30-3.00pm: Llanyre Church Hall “Llanyre Llamas” Our group for pre-school children (and older ones during the holidays!) parents, carers and friends. All welcome! Wednesday, 10am: Holy Eucharist: Newbridge-on-Wye Thursday, 10.30am: Holy Eucharist: Llanyre Both services are followed by refreshments and a time for fellowship and a chat! Fridays, once or twice a term: Messy Church Newbridge-on-Wye Community Hall: 3.30-5.00pm dates will be announced Fridays: 6.00-8.00pm Llanyre Youth Club: Church Hall Aimed at children and young people 10 years old and above, we offer games, activities and a chill out time. All welcome!
LIVING FAITH Module 2 of Living Faith looking at the New Testament has just started but there’s still an opportunity if you’d like to join us. We meet at Gelligarn, Llanyre, by kind invitation of Robin and Marcia Gibson-Watt. Our evening begins with a shared meal followed by a discussion group session together. It’s all about exploring Christianity together not passing exams!! If you’re interested in joining us please contact either Marcia, Robin or the Vicar.
Llanyre, Newbridge-on-Wye, Cwmbach Llechrhyd, Llanfihangel Helygen, Llanafan Fawr & Llanfihangel Brynpabuan Revd Ben Griffith, 2 Highbury Fields, Llanyre, LD1 6NF, Tel: 01597 823321, Email: email@example.com 10
The Upper Wye Group of Parishes SERVICES IN JUNE 2013
Sunday 2 June Trinity I 9.30am Llanyre Holy Eucharist 11am Newbridge-on-Wye Morning Praise 3pm Llanfihangel Helygen Holy Eucharist 6pm Llanfihangel Brynpabuan Evensong (1662)
Calling all creatures great, small and intermediate!! On Sunday July 7th at 6.00pm Llanfihangel Helygen Church will be hosting a pet blessing service. All creatures are welcome from the tiny ant to the elephant and all sizes and shapes in between. Before the service we’re all invited for tea, in the churchyard if it’s fine and inside, if it’s not. Please come and join us, it’ll be a hoot!! People also welcome! The service and tea will conclude our gift weekend.
Sunday 9th June Trinity II/Pentecost III 9.30am Llanyre Morning Praise 9.30am Cwmbach Llechrhyd Holy Eucharist 11am Newbridge-on-Wye Holy Eucharist Wednesday 12th June 2.30pm Caerwnon Park Social Club Songs of Praise
Newbridge 130 All Saints’ Church Newbridge will be celebrating its 130th birthday on Friday 12th July. To mark this important milestone, we’ve planned a long weekend of events:
Sunday 16 June Trinity III/Pentecost IV 9.30am Llanyre Family Eucharist 11am Newbridge-on-Wye Holy Eucharist 3pm Llanafan Fawr Holy Eucharist
Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th “1883-2013 Then and Now” An exhibition of how it was and how it is. Come and wander down the sepia lanes of nostalgia avenue as we remind ourselves how we used to live. Saturday 13th July Concert by Siárion and Supporting Artistes Come and see and hear quite how many talented people there are in our community alongside the beautiful music of our very talented local band. If you haven’t heard them before then now’s your chance to hear what you’ve missed. Sunday 14th July Festival Sunday 10.00am A Victorian Sunday: Come and join us for a Sunday service as it would have been when the first vicar of Newbridge celebrated the first Sunday in the newly opened church. A special welcome will await anybody who turns up in a Victorian costume. Afternoon: Barbecue in the churchgrounds. Plus as a special treat come and throw wet sponges at the vicar while he’s in the stocks!! 6.00pm: Songs of Praise Do you have a favourite hymn? Let us know what it is and then join us as we complete our weekend with a medley of favourite hymns.
Sunday 23rd June Trinity IV/Pentecost V 9.30am Newbridge-on-Wye Family Eucharist 9.30am Cwmbach Llechrhyd Morning Prayer 11am Llanyre Holy Eucharist Sunday, 30th June Trinity V/Pentecost VI 10am Llanafan Fawr Benefice Eucharist
HIGHLIGHTS FOR JUNE 2013 1953-2013 Coronation Anniversary Celebration Sunday June 2nd Llanfihangel Brynpabuan 3.30pm Afternoon Tea 5.00pm Evensong (1662)
Mothers’ Union Llanyre and Llanfihangel Helygen Branch will be meeting on Wednesday 5th June at 2.30pm in Llanyre Church Hall. Helen Pruett will be addressing them on the work of the Wales Air Ambulance. Having visited a garden centre for tea in May, Newbridge and Cwmbach Branch will be back home at the Iron Room on Wednesday 19th at 2pm to hear some reminiscences of nursing during World War II; they obviously ate too much cake at the garden centre!! As always, Jeanne Hughes and Gina Ayling are the founts of wisdom about the branches and are always keen to welcome new members; you don’t have to be a mother or indeed female to be a member… just ask the Vicar (he is!).
FROM THE REGISTERS We send our sincere sympathies and prayers to the family and many friends of John Sidney Gough who’s funeral was held at Newbridge on Wednesday 24th April and also to John, Eric and the family and friends of Pam Irene Evans who came back to her childhood home at her funeral in Llanyre on Saturday May 4th.
Open Gardens and Wildflower meadow walk Llanfihangel Brynpabuan Church Sat 22nd June 2-5pm Starting at Arosfa, Comin Coch £5 to include tea at Pencaerhelem
May they and all the departed rest in peace and rise in glory.
Llanyre, Newbridge-on-Wye, Cwmbach Llechrhyd, Llanfihangel Helygen, Llanafan Fawr & Llanfihangel Brynpabuan Revd Ben Griffith, 2 Highbury Fields, Llanyre, LD1 6NF, Tel: 01597 823321, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 11
The Parishes of the Irfon Valley & Blaenau Irfon Lucyann writes…
St Afan’s Church, Llanfechan
Dear Friends As I was about to begin my column, all I could hear was the wind, howling outside my window and yesterday when I went for a run, I was grateful for the tail wind pushing me up and down the Epynt ... but on my return I could not sustain a battle with the fierce headwind as well as the hills! It’s interesting to note how much the weather features in our lives in these rural villages, not dissimilar to the elemental forces at work in the account of Pentecost, ‘the sound of rushing wind and what looked liked tongues of fire’, it sounds both terrifying and exhilarating - a bit like my run! Yet birth always comes about in a very elemental, ordinary and totally extra-ordinary way, so why should the birth of the church be any different? Women often talk about realising an inner power and strength after a ‘good’ birth and at the birth of the Church at Pentecost we see the disciples emboldened by the power of the Holy Spirit, freeing them from captivity; giving them gifts and abilities they had not believed possible. During May in the parish of Llanlleonfel, Garth, we celebrated a similar, perhaps more understated yet no less radical a move of the spirit - the birth of Methodism. We proudly celebrated our connection with the founding brothers of Methodism, Charles and John Wesley and in particular the connection formed by the marriage of Charles to Sarah (Sally) Gywnne of Garth House. As we approach Pentecost, it seems poignant that our little festival has tried to foster a spirit of unity. This is very appropriate in a context where we are seeking unity rather than schism and together are facing the challenges of declining numbers - where we need more than ever to recognise our mutual kinship in Jesus. ‘The wind blows where it chooses, and your hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit’. (John 3:8) Well I can hear the wind, and see its impact outside my window, but cannot so easily discern how God is moving among us and how we might find the words and actions so needed in our world today. But I do hope that our humble ecumenical endeavour will sow the seeds by which the fruit of the Spirit might grow up among us.
St Afan's church dates from the 13th or 14th century. It was rebuilt in 1866, when the architect was Charles Buckeridge, who was also responsible for Llanlleonfel church - the other church serving the village of Garth. The full name is Llanafan Fechan (the lesser) to distinguish it from Llanafan Fawr (the greater), which is a few miles to the north. Both churches have always served sparsely populated parishes. They are dedicated to St Afan, a Celtic Bishop, who was usually known as Afan Buallt, indicating a connection with the Builth area. In the churchyard at Llanafan Fawr is a memorial stone with the inscription "AVANIUS EPISCOPUS". This may be where St Afan was interred, but there is nothing to show where and when he was Bishop. He is said to have been murdered in a field below Llanafan Fawr Church. The great Celtic monastic church of Llanafan fawr was the mother church of the area, Llanafan fechan would have been an outpost of it. Recently, records of both churches during the 18th and 19th centuries have been discovered. These show that curates from Llanafan fawr would have served Llanfechan. • In 1762 - J Thomas • In 1763 - Morgan Jones • In 1778 - Thomas Bowen Llanfechan Church stands on a distinct mound of raised stone, and the roughly circular churchyard is a sign of its antiquity. The old church was, as is the present one, a simple, one chamber building. Theophilus Jones remarks that there was "nothing in the appearance of it to gratify the pious protestant or to detain the learned antiquary". The font dates from the 14th century. To the North West of the church an area of ridge and furrow can still be made out. Come along and join us!
St Cadmarch’s, Llangammarch Wells; The Parish Church, Llanlleonfel, Garth; St Afan’s, Llanfechan; St Cannen’s, Llanganten, Cilmery; St. James’, Llanwrtyd Wells; St. David’s, Llanwrtyd; St David’s Tirabad; Eglwys Oen Duw, Beulah; Revd Lucyann Ashdown, The Rectory, Llangammarch Wells, Tel: 01591 620 244, Email: email@example.com 12
The Parishes of the Irfon Valley & Blaenau Irfon Parish Diary for May
June 2nd Pentecost 2/Covenant Sunday 9.30 Eglwys Oen Duw, Beulah (HC) 11.00 St. James, Llanwrtyd (MP) 11.15 Llanganten, Cilmery (MP) 11.15 Llanlleonfel (HC)
June 30 4.00pm Dol y coed park, Llanwrtyd Celebrating the four (or less!) legged friends God gives us
2nd June 3.30-5.30pm Messy Church in Bromsgrove Hall, Llanwrtyd Wells
A celebration of RS Thomas During July at Evening Prayer in St. Cadmarch’s church, Llangammarch we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of RS Thomas by reading a poem in place of the canticle. Evening prayer is at 6pm on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
June 8th Man v horse race, Llanwrtyd Wells Blaenau Irfon Parish providing some refreshments
July 7th Pentecost 7 9.30am Eglwys Oen Duw. Beulah (HC) 11.00 St. James, Llanwrtyd (MP) 11.15 Llanganten, Cilmery (MP) 11.15 Llanlleonfel (HC)
June 9th Pentecost 3 11.00 St. Cadmarch, Llangammarch (HC) 11.00 St. James, Llanwrtyd (HC) 6.00 Eglwys Oen Duw (Evening Prayer)
Reasons to be cheerful! • The baptisms of Lydia Mair Lawson on 5th May at St. Cannen’s, Cilmery • The marriage of Anwen Marshall and Rob Evans on 18th May at St. Cadmarch, Llangmmarch • The Wesley Festival
Sunday 9th June 3pm until 5pm
Circular Walk around Garth
Fair Trade Coffee Morning 1st Saturday of every month from 10.30 to12.00 at St. James Church, Llanwrtyd
followed by Food in Garth Hall Meet at Garth Hall at 3pm followed by food £5 and £2.50 for primary aged children June 16th Pentecost 4 9.30 Eglwys Oen Duw (HC) 11.00 St. James (HC) 11.15 Llanganten (HC) 6.00 St. David’s, Llanwrtyd. Evening Prayer
Garden Party Coffee Morning
Meadow Way, Llanwrtyd Wells 3-5pm courtesy of Mr and Mrs Rowlands
Every Wednesday from 10.30 to 11.30 at Alexandra Hall, Llangammarch
June 23rd Pentecost 5 9.30 Eglwys Oen Duw (Family Service) 11.00 St. Cadmarch (HC) 11.00 St. James (HC)
June 30th Pentecost 6 11.00 St. James - Joint Benefice Service, followed by annual parish lunch in the Victoria Hall, Llanwrtyd. Guest Preacher, Rt Rev John Oliver
3rd Wednesday in the month at St. James’ church, Llanwrtyd from 12 until 2
St Cadmarch’s, Llangammarch Wells; The Parish Church, Llanlleonfel, Garth; St Afan’s, Llanfechan; St Cannen’s, Llanganten, Cilmery; St. James’, Llanwrtyd Wells; St. David’s, Llanwrtyd; St David’s Tirabad; Eglwys Oen Duw, Beulah; Revd Lucyann Ashdown, The Rectory, Llangammarch Wells, Tel: 01591 620 244, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 13
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‘Nearer to God in a Garden’ – June Jacob’s Ladder The Latin name of this plant is Polemonium caeruleum named after King Polemon of Pontus with caeruleum meaning sky-blue. It’s common name refers to the rung-like leaflets. The bright blue flowers first appear in June and it is a pretty cottage-garden plant. The story of Jacob’s Ladder can be found in Genesis 28 verse 10. Jacob dreamt that he saw a ladder which rested on the ground with its top reaching to heaven, and angels of God were going up and down upon it. If ever you are in the City of Bath, stand in the square and look towards the front of Bath Abbey. A representation of Jacob’s Ladder with the angels ascending and descending is carved into the front towers.
Linda Lewis The fourth in a series of articles outlining the Church in Wales’ official positions relating to some of the biggest issues facing Christians today…
4. WHAT WE BELIEVE ABOUT... COMMUNITY The Church in Wales has a parish in every part of Wales. We believe that this local presence is an important sign of our desire to serve and work with local communities and organisations, not just those people who come to church. We have a deep belief that God is present in the lives of every one of us whatever our situation, age and background – whether or not we belong to a faith community. We believe our purpose is to connect our faith in a God who creates, redeems, loves and inspires all people, with the realities of life in Wales today. We therefore take very seriously the economic, social and environmental needs of the communities of Wales and we recognise that sustainable communities depend upon job opportunities, wealth creation, social inclusion and economic development. We know that there are particular challenges to face in the parts of Wales that receive Convergence funding – where there is continuing deprivation, economic inactivity, poverty, debt, ill-health, limiting lifelong illness, anti-social behaviour, poor educational performance, low skills and attitudes which make some people hard to employ. We believe that underneath the problems of poor housing, lack of infrastructure and poverty, there is a need to value and support individuals’ ability to do extraordinary things in difficult situations. We need to listen and learn from their stories. We also recognise the importance of offering more support to individuals, families and groups who feel isolated, un-loved, lonely, ignored and who are low in self-esteem and confidence. Early prevention, community development, regeneration, training and enterprise are all important factors in making a difference to peoples’ lives. No one agency can solve these problems working in isolation and, as a Church, we are already collaborating with others to find new and imaginative solutions to the many challenges we face across Wales in both our rural and urban communities. As a Church we believe that we are called to make an authentic and practical connection between our worship and the lives of people and organisations throughout Wales. We are committed to seeking ways of developing our church buildings for greater community use and working more effectively with local organisations. Through our existing projects and partnerships we help families (young mothers, fathers and children) with parenting skills and domestic pressures, work with vulnerable young people and the elderly, support those with problems with housing, drugs, alcohol, encourage people into training, employability and jobs. Much is being invested in communities across Wales through different kinds of programmes, including Communities First and local strategic partnerships. The Church in Wales welcomes the opportunities that the partnership approach provides for people to work together across boundaries. Our local communities in Wales deserve the very best and we know that own future as a Church is closely linked with their wellbeing and regeneration. God calls us to be involved at every level of life and in the example of Jesus of Nazareth shows us how this is possible. Community doesn’t just happen. It has to be worked for and sustained so we all have our part to play and our contribution to make. 15
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All contributions (news items and ideas for future issues) are very welcome and should be sent to: Abigail Hook, The Vicarage, 1 North Road, Builth Wells LD2 3BT Tel: 01982 552 355 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org For Advertising Queries please Richard Hussey Tel: 01591 620 648 E-mail: email@example.com ‘Signposts’ is printed by Powerprint, Llandrindod th
Deadline for next issue (July & August): Monday 10 June 2013 16