Diocese of St Asaph
visitation news Spring 2013 - issue 8
Dilynwch fi... Follow me... Mae moment hyfryd yn un o ffilmiau’r Brodyr Marx pan maen nhw’n cael eu gwahodd i mewn i dyˆ gan fwtler oedrannus a musgrell, sy’n dweud wrthyn nhw ‘Dilynwch fi’. Maen nhw’n gwneud hynny, gyda Groucho ar y blaen, yn dynwared symudiadau poenus o araf y bwtler. Arwyddair ein hesgobaeth eleni yw ‘Canlyn Fi.’ Roedd y geiriau hynny i’w clywed yn glir wrth i Iesu alw Seimon a’i frawd Andreas o fwrw eu rhwydi pysgota i’w ganlyn ef ar fenter odidog o ansicr, a dod yn ‘bysgotwyr dynion’ (Marc 1:17). Gellir aralleirio’r gwahoddiad cychwynnol hwn fel ‘Gwnewch yn yr un modd â mi’ neu, yn wir, ‘Dilynwch fi’. Fe wnaeth Iesu ailadrodd ei alwad ar y disgyblion i’w ganlyn ef yn aml. Fe’u hatgoffodd, ‘Os myn neb ddod ar fy ôl i, rhaid iddo ymwadu ag ef ei hun a chodi ei groes a’m canlyn i’ (Marc 8:34), ac ar ôl ei farwolaeth a’i atgyfodiad, roedd angen o hyd iddo annog Pedr i’w ddilyn ef (Ioan 21:19, 22). Nid ydym ninnau’n wahanol i’r disgyblion. Nid ar gyfnodau tawel nac wrth addoli yn unig y daw ei alwad. Yn aml, fe ddaw dro ar ôl tro yn llawenydd a thristwch arferol ein bywydau, ac yn yr heriau a allai ymddangos y tu hwnt i’n gallu. Fe wnaeth Julian o Norwich, dynes weddigar o’r bedwaredd ganrif ar ddeg, ein hatgoffa na ddywedodd Duw na fyddem yn blino, yn bryderus, nac yn anesmwyth. Er hynny, dywedodd na fyddem yn cael ein gorchfygu. Nid oes yr un ohonom yn gwybod beth ddaw yn y dyfodol. Fel arweinwyr yn yr eglwys, rydych yn ceisio ymateb i gymaint o ddisgwyliadau. Dyna i chi bawb sy’n byw ac yn gweithio yn eich plwyfi, pa un ai a ydyn nhw’n ymwybodol o’ch presenoldeb a’ch gofal gweddigar drostyn nhw ai peidio. Yna mae’r ffyddloniaid sy’n addoli’n rheolaidd, gyda rhai yn coleddu safbwynt gwahanol iawn i chi ar yr hyn sydd ei angen ar hyn o bryd. Ac yna mae eich cydweithwyr yn y weinidogaeth drwyddedig, yn lleygwyr neu wedi’u hordeinio, yn byw yn eich plwyfi neu’n lleol, neu hyd yn oed ymhellach draw. Rydych chi yng nghanol y rhwydweithiau hyn, yn galluogi, yn annog ac yn derbyn.
Sut bynnag y byddwch yn teimlo am y gwahoddiad eleni i Iesu gael dod i’ch bywyd mewn rôl arweiniol yn yr eglwys, cofiwch yn anad dim mai ef sy’n eich galw chi i’w ganlyn ef. Gyda ni, a wnewch chi ‘gadw eich golygon ar Iesu a glwyfwyd am ein pechodau’? Yna, yng nghryfder ei nerth dyrchafedig, a wnewch chi gopïo ystum ei lawenydd a’i ddioddefaint wrth i chi ei ganlyn ef ar y ffordd? Hoffem ddiolch i chi am bopeth rydych chi’n ei gynnig i’r Eglwys ac i Deulu Asaph, gyda phawb ohonoch yn ddisgyblaeth ffyddlon i Iesu. A gweddïwn gyda’n gilydd am fendith Duw ar ein dyfodol. Rydym yn diolch i’n noddwyr hael, Ecclesiastical, am gynhyrchu’r cylchlythyr hwn yn ddi-dâl i’r Esgobaeth. Gyda’n dymuniadau gorau, Esgob Gregory a’r Archddiaconiaid Shirley, Chris a Peter.
There is a lovely moment in a Marx Brothers’ film when they are received at a house by an elderly and decrepit butler and asked to ‘walk this way’. They duly follow, Groucho in the lead, mimicking the butler’s slow, painful progress. Our diocesan motto for this year is ‘Follow Me’. Those words rang out most clearly as Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew from casting their nets into the gloriously uncertain venture of following him and ‘fishing for people’ (Mark 1:17). This initial invitation may be translated, ‘come in the way after me’ or indeed ‘walk this way’.
Jesus often repeated his call to the disciples to walk in his way. They were reminded to ‘take up their cross and follow him’ (Mark 8:34) and, after his death and resurrection, he still needed to urge Peter to follow him (John 21:19, 22). It is no different with us. His call comes to us not only in moments of quietness or worship. It is often repeated in the daily joys and sorrows of our lives and in the challenges that may seem beyond our resources. Julian of Norwich, a fourteenth-century woman of prayer, reminds us that God did not say that we shall not be tired, anxious or discomforted. However, he did say, ‘You shall not be overcome’. None of us is at all certain what the future holds. As leaders in the Church, you try to respond to so many expectations. There are all those who live and work in your parishes, whether or not they are aware of your presence and your prayerful care for them. There are the faithful who worship regularly, some of whom may have a different view from yours of what is needful at this time. And there are your colleagues in licensed ministry, lay and ordained, living in your parishes, close by or a little further away. Your call is to be at the centre of these networks, enabling, encouraging and receiving. However you may feel about this year’s invitation of Jesus in your life to take on a role of leadership in the Church, remember first of all that he is calling you to walk in his way. With us, will you ‘keep your eyes fixed on Jesus who was wounded for our sins’? Then, in the strength of his risen power, will you copy the shape of his joy and his suffering as you follow him in the way? We offer our thanks to you for all that you offer the Church and the Teulu Asaph, for all your faithful discipleship of Jesus. And we pray together for God’s blessing on our future. We thank our generous sponsors, Ecclesiastical, for producing this newsletter at no cost to the diocese. With our best wishes, Bishop Gregory and Archdeacons Shirley, Chris and Peter.
A small white ‘A’ board is placed in the porch with the notice: THE CHURCH IS OPEN TODAY (You are very welcome to come inside) Note the wording says “come” inside which intimates that there is always someone inside, and to be fair this is sometimes the case. Church members will often call in on their walks and a potential thief could never be sure that someone will not just appear from the vestry. We provide a visitors’ book and you only have to read the entries to know that opening the church is so worthwhile. When our little band of helpers has spent time cleaning and decorating the church for Christmas, it’s wonderful to see an entry in the visitors’ book that simply says: “Lovely, lovely, lovely”!
How do we open up our churches?
We have a small locked donations box attached to the wall by the door, and though this is by no means a deciding factor, it is still nice to open it and find that someone has enjoyed their visit so much that they felt moved to donate a small sum to help with the upkeep.
As we head into the Year of Pilgrimage, we’re keen for as many churches as possible to open their doors seven days a week. But how do you achieve it? One parish that has worked to open its doors in the past 12 months is St John’s, Rhydymwyn. Churchwarden Sue Sawyer explains how they did it. I think it would be fair to say that when the idea of having our church open during the week was first mooted, there were many anxious faces among our PCC members. Would someone come in and steal our precious ‘things’? What would the insurance company say? Who would open and close? Would we need extra keys? How would people know that the church was open? What time should it be open? Who would come in? These and many more questions filled our minds, but the more we thought about it, the more we all warmed to the idea. I had always been in favour because as a flower arranger, it was my privilege to be allowed access to the quiet empty church during weekdays to do the flowers, and on these occasions I so enjoyed the peaceful spirituality of a time alone with my God. During these times it often crossed my mind that it was somehow quite wrong that this wonderful experience was denied to others – at least without making special arrangements. Now it warms my heart when I see an entry in the visitors’ book saying how much people enjoy the tranquility of this quiet, peaceful and beautiful place. One by one our concerns were identified, faced, discussed and eventually solutions were found. Useful information about the insurance situation can be found on the Church Matters website www.ecclesiastical.com/churchmatters
but of course if you decide to go ahead, you do need to inform Ecclesiastical and ask for specific advice. Quoting from its website, “At a recent conference looking at the problem of theft from churches, one crime reduction officer said: ‘My advice would be to lock up everything.’ Ecclesiastical endorses that advice, but adds the caveat ‘except the front door.’” An extra key has been made for the purpose and this is handed over at the Sunday service to the next volunteer who locks up that evening and throughout the week until the next Sunday. After the service we remove the brass cross and candle sticks, the brass collection plates and the microphones and lock them in the vestry, replacing the cross with a plain wooden one.
We have never had reason to regret our decision to open up and see it as an unknown ministry. Who knows who comes in or why they feel the need to come and sit quietly to be at peace with God? We will never know what comfort has been received by members of our local community or those from further away, perhaps visiting the grave of a loved one or perhaps simply sheltering from the rain! Not everyone who comes in signs the visitors’ book, but here are a few samples of the comments we have received: “Thank you for your trust.” “Lovely to be able to come inside the church whilst visiting Dad’s grave.” “Quiet reflection.” In conclusion, as a PCC we highly recommend being an open church. If anyone has specific questions or if we can be of any help to a church thinking of opening up, just let us know.
Big drop in metal theft but the fight goes on... Thefts of lead and other metals from Anglican churches dropped dramatically last year, but experts at insurer Ecclesiastical are warning that it’s too early for trustees and faith communities to let their guard drop.
New figures published by Ecclesiastical show that lead theft fell by 65%, the biggest year-onyear reduction seen since the crime became a major issue in 2007. Over 930 insurance claims were received from Anglican churches in 2012 for theft of lead and other metals from the exterior of the building, compared with over 2,600 in 2011, the worst year on record. Reasons behind the steep drop in metal theft are a matter of debate, but the decline follows concerted efforts to deter criminals by the Government and a range of affected industries, including the utilities and transport sector. Ecclesiastical also launched its own national campaign, Hands Off Our Church Roofs, in February 2012 to fit sophisticated electronic alarm systems to the roofs of Anglican churches across England, Scotland and Wales, and believes the campaign has had an impact on claims. Ecclesiastical’s campaign provided £500,000 to install alarms free of charge on some of the UK’s churches most badly affected by metal theft. John Coates, Ecclesiastical’s director of church insurance, said: “These figures are hugely encouraging but it would be premature to predict the end of the epidemic of metal theft; 930 claims is still 930 claims too many. Metal theft incidents are still running well above levels seen in the 1990s and early 2000s. “Even though the numbers are pointing in the right direction, it’s going to take a concerted effort for years to come from businesses,
politicians and law enforcement agencies to ensure our heritage is safe from these heartless, predatory criminals.” Forensic marker liquids such as SmartWater remain a vital aid in the fight against the lead thieves. Painting external metals with the liquid and displaying the SmartWater signage so that potential thieves can readily see that the church has taken action has been shown to be a key deterrent. John Coates added: “There’s no doubt in our minds that the use of SmartWater has a big impact on the criminal fraternity and makes them think twice about targeting a church that they can see has been security marked.” Government moves to ban the payment of cash for scrap metal have been welcomed by Ecclesiastical and the Church of England and the recent successful passing of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill through Parliament is expected to have a further positive impact on tackling the crime. For the latest advice on theft of metal, visit www.ecclesiastical.com/churchmatters/ tom or call 0845 777 3322 for tailored advice for your church. If you would like to find out more about installing a roof alarm on your church, call 0845 600 9659 to arrange a free*, no obligation survey for your church. *UK mainland only – travel expenses may be applicable offshore.
Using SmartWater effectively A forensic marking system, such as SmartWater, is one of the most effective ways to deter metal thieves from attacking your church but, in order to comply with the conditions of your insurance policy, it must be applied correctly to your external metal. ■
Step one – ensure your kit is registered with the company. If you’re using SmartWater, call them on 01952 204102 to check.
Step two – apply the liquid. Every church is different, but you should apply the liquid to external metals using a paintbrush.
Step three – display the signage prominently so that would-be thieves will see it. The church gates would be one good place.
Following these three steps maximises the deterrent value of your forensic marking system and ensures you’re not invalidating your insurance protection. For SmartWater supplies (at a 40% discount), please call the company on 01952 204102. Other forensic marking systems are available, but must be approved by Ecclesiastical.
Lead theft gang jailed The toughest jail sentence for church metal theft has been handed down to six men who comprised Britain’s most prolific gang of metal thieves. The gang of Lithuanians were given a combined jail term of 20 years for causing damage estimated at £1million to 20 churches during a nine-month crime spree across the East Midlands. Lincolnshire police arrested the men when they stopped two suspicious vehicles during a day of action targeting metal theft. Lead found in the men’s cars was marked with SmartWater. The gang is believed to have stolen a total of 70 tonnes of lead, which they sold to scrap metal dealers for an estimated £70,000.
UT O L
Health and safety How safe are your church, church hall and grounds? Ecclesiastical has seen several recent cases result in prosecution by the enforcement authorities.
Essential guide to protecting your church...
Stay safe and operate within the law with this essential advice: ■
Carry out regular risk assessments of each activity and part of the church.
Write a health and safety policy – it is important to show you have adequate arrangements in place.
Record all incidents – under the 1995 Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, you must complete the statutory accident book and report incidents to the Local Environmental Health Department.
Support for you and your church
Write everything down – including statements from witnesses, where possible.
Whether you’re new to Ecclesiastical or an old friend, here are just a few things that Ecclesiastical offer you and your church:
Assign responsibility for health and safety to someone who will ensure that risk assessments and procedures are followed. Make health and safety a regular agenda item at your PCC meetings.
As experts in church insurance, Ecclesiastical has put together this handy guide with essential advice on keeping your church safe and secure, as well as protecting staff, volunteers and visitors.
Expert advice – the Insurance Consultant & Surveyor team work within each diocese to offer essential insurance and risk management advice, while the church customer services team offer a central point of contact.
Protection – Ecclesiastical’s Parishguard and Hallguard policies provide cover for your church and church hall and are specifically designed for Anglican Church customers. Many features, for which some insurers charge an additional premium, are included as standard.
Take the self-assessment at www.ecclesiastical.com/ churchmatters/safety. If you answer no to any of the questions, you could be at risk of an accident and problems could occur if a claim is made against you.
Other services – discounted home insurance rates for clergy and church community are available and independent advice and mortgages are offered through Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services.
You can access full health and safety guidance, as well as downloadable forms to help draw up your health and safety policy, carry out risk assessments and record incidents.
Claims service you can trust – expert claims handlers offer a personal service and provide expertise, empathy and flexibility.
How safe is your church?
For more information visit www.ecclesiastica
Storms and bad weather
Preventing theft and damage
Whilst we can’t control the weather, a few simple steps can help protect your church against storms, snow and adverse weather.
Every year, one in four churches suffers from theft, vandalism or arson. Insurance provides monetary compensation, but can’t compensate for the loss of a church’s history.
Keep your church safe:
Keep an eye on your roof – check regularly and replace cracked, slipped or loose tiles or slates.
Lock the church after dark – unless there is a service or someone present.
Check your valleys, gutters, hoppers and downpipes – ensure they can carry water away efficiently. If blockages occur, these will eventually cause damage or crack or shatter the pipe if it freezes.
Keep keys safe – with an official or in a secure place away from the church. Maintain a current list of keyholders.
Protect high-value items – chain items to the floor or wall or replace items with cheaper alternatives, when services are not taking place.
Lock away valuables/money – keep money, silver, brass and pewter items in a modern safe or somewhere secure such as the vestry or a church officer’s home.
Check external door and window locks and ensure that windows and frames are firmly fixed. Close and fasten doors and windows, particularly those on the windward side of the building.
Keep pathways clear and apply grit to prevent slipping.
Secure loose objects in the churchyard such as ladders, benches or anything that could be blown into windows.
Keep and monitor all receipts for deposits – investigate any discrepancies immediately.
Divide responsibility for money – appoint different officials for collecting, counting and banking. Ensure no one is left alone to count money.
Beware of damage – don’t touch cables that have blown down or are hanging, or walk too close to walls, buildings and trees which could have been weakened.
Theft is a crime. Individuals who steal from the church should be reported to the police.
Call us on 0845 777 3322 as soon as possible in the event of any damage.
Theft of metal:
Full information is provided in guidance notes, visit www.ecclesiastical.com/churchmatters/weather
Since 2007, we’ve received 12,000 claims, at a cost of around £30 million. Wherever there is metal, there is an increased risk of theft. ■
Apply SmartWater (or an alternative approved by Ecclesiastical)
Register with the supplier and display deterrent signage (in line with policy requirements)
Ecclesiastical-approved roof alarms can be purchased for large external areas.
Full information is provided in guidance notes, visit www.ecclesiastical.com/churchmatters/security
al.com/churchmatters or call 0845 777 3322
Home insurance It is widely accepted that endorsement from Which?, the UK’s leading consumer rights group, recognises companies that offer the best products and services. That is why Ecclesiastical is particularly proud to have been named again as a Which? ‘Recommended Provider’ for home insurance.
Ecclesiastical supporting the Church Ecclesiastical has been insuring churches for 125 years, but the company’s support for the Anglican community does not end there.
For church workers and volunteers, there is even more good news because you can save over 30% on Ecclesiastical’s home insurance when buying a combined building and contents policy online (subject to minimum premium terms and conditions). For your free no-obligation quote, please call 0800 917 3345 and quote ‘AV NEWS’ (8pm to 6pm weekdays) or visit www.ecclesiastical.com/churchworker If your renewal date is not due yet, simply complete the renewal form online and Ecclesiastical will be in touch with a quote nearer the time.
Churches urged to review safety for working at height Two recent prosecutions have reinforced the need for churches to review their health and safety procedures for work conducted high up within the building. St Paul’s in Onslow Square, Kensington, was fined £5,000 and £4,400 costs by Westminster Magistrate Court when a self-employed joiner fell from a balcony, sustaining serious permanent injuries. Dartford Magistrate’s Court also handed out a £3,000 fine and £685 in costs to St Botolph’s in Northfleet, Kent, after a volunteer injured his spine in a fall from a bell tower. Kevin Thomas, Head of Field Operations at Ecclesiastical said: “These two cases highlight the need for churches and PCC members to review their arrangements to ensure that anyone working at height is as safe as possible. This review needs to be documented so that, if necessary, it can be used to defend a claim.” Ecclesiastical advises that ladders are checked regularly, are positioned on stable surfaces and are suitable for the type of work being carried out. The insurer also stresses that ladders should not be used as platforms from which to work. For more information, visit www.ecclesiastical.com/ churchmatters/safety
Each year since 1987, Ecclesiastical has given financial support through the Ministry Bursary Awards – a scheme launched in its centenary year to help members of the clergy who wish to take sabbaticals and get involved in special projects. More than 800 clergy over the last 26 years have benefited from the awards and this year, 72 grants totalling over £50,000 have been distributed. Information on the awards, which are open to all clergy in Anglican Christian faiths, is available at www.ecclesiastical.com/mba
The redesign and relaunch of the Archbishops’ Council Cathedral and Church Buildings Division website www.churchcare.co.uk was also supported by Ecclesiastical last year. The site contains a wide range of resources to help parishes in England care for their church. John Coates, Ecclesiastical’s Director of Church Insurance, said: “For us, our work is all about playing a positive, active role in the faith community, which means we go beyond insurance and risk advice.”
Ensure your church doesn’t fall victim to internal fraud Figures released last year by the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service showed a 52% increase in employee fraud during the first half of the year and experts in law enforcement and the insurance industry stress that this is a risk that also needs to be addressed in churches.
against the risk of embezzlement. In order to meet the conditions of your policy and ensure that Ecclesiastical is able to defend a claim, the church needs to provide specific information and ensure that important checks are carried out.
The prospect of having money stolen by an official or volunteer is never an easy one for a church to contemplate, but the good news is that Ecclesiastical does offer protection
Broadly speaking, the key steps a church should take are: ■
Bank accounts and cash should be reconciled at least monthly by someone not usually responsible for handling them.
Any large cheques or cash payments need to be signed or checked by two people.
Checks should be made on goods ordered and stock, with one person responsible for ordering and a second for receiving the goods and paying.
Full information is provided in guidance notes, visit www.ecclesiastical.com/ churchmatters/security
Welcome to our church Welcome in our church Welcome to our community St Mary’s Church, Towyn completed a £180,000 re-ordering project in 2012 but this completed a vision laid on the heart of church members more than 25 years ago to see St Mary’s become central to the communities of Towyn and Kinmel Bay. Churchwarden Jean Carthy takes up the story... St Mary’s is beginning to become a real focal point in our community and the journey we have been on to get here is amazing. God’s hand has been our guide all along that road.
comfort and solace of the church building and those there to speak to them.
At a weekend retreat some thirty years ago, members of St Mary’s were given a vision in which the “church” would be central to the community of Towyn and Kinmel Bay. It was such a Spirit-led weekend that we seriously had to consider it. We never thought that it would take nearly 25 years after that initial “nudge” by the Lord to achieve His plan for us! We had plans drawn up for a church centre on the land adjoining the church, then plans for a narthex in the church, but it was not God’s timing. We had to grow as individuals in the Lord before we could achieve anything.
We added a candle stand and invited people to come in to “light a candle and say a prayer”. This brought about a ministry to people with all kinds of problems, and some church members attended courses on “welcoming”, “listening” and “praying with people” as we felt so humbled by the trust people had in us to confide their worries, cares and despairs. All people were “Welcome in our church”. We have ministered to those with terminal illnesses, homeless people, those who have lost members of their family through dreadful experiences – even to a grandmother whose grandson was murdered. This lady is still a regular visitor and we have loved her and prayed with her.
The summer after that weekend retreat, we started selling cards with religious texts, medals and other religious artefacts. The church was open whenever possible and we spent time with anyone who came in. We had no refreshment facilities in those early years, but we were giving a “Welcome to our church” to all who needed the
We opened most days in the summer months and were able to start offering refreshments and so our “pilgrims’ rest” was born. We then built up our “summer family”, those who regularly came on holiday either for a short break or for the entire summer. We look forward to them arriving as much as they want to
see what we have been doing during the winter months. The major re-ordering which took place in 2012 gave us back the reality of the vision given to us all those years ago. The flexibility in the newly restored church building is truly amazing. The fact that the chairs can be moved for use in many varied situations is a real bonus. We have moved them for some church services too! We now have a parent and toddler group, a craft group, an indoor bowling group (for the winter months), a line dancing class as well as the summer festival productions and concerts. The room at the rear has been used for christening celebrations as well as for activities by other community-based groups. We are busy strengthening our links with the schools in our community, which are making good use of St Mary’s for services and events. The spring of 2013 saw a group start for bereaved people led by our lay reader and one or more of our pastoral assistants. The re-birth of St Mary’s, Towyn, is most definitely “Welcome to our community”. We embrace all our people in Towyn and Kinmel Bay and further afield. We know how important it is for anyone entering our church for the first time or the thousandth time to feel welcome and loved and to feel the power of the Holy Spirit at work in this House of God. I would urge any PCC that is either thinking about re-ordering or just opening its church doors for people to come in and have a chat and a cuppa to go forward in faith. It will become a wonderful ministry to all who take it on board and more of our churches will be saying: “Welcome to our church, Welcome in our church and Welcome to our community!” May God bless all your endeavours.
Pennant Melangell How do visitors relate to God? Shrine Guardian Revd Lynette Norman describes how Pennant Melangell – a place of pilgrimage in the diocese with a long tradition of healing ministry – helps visitors connect with God. In today’s world, believers and non-believers are searching both inside and outside church for a spiritual encounter. In church people can and do experience something they cannot find in the outside world – a moment when they feel that they have touched God. This may happen in a worship service or it may happen during a visit. Either way we can facilitate that experience. First impressions count. If we have no parking facilities, we should provide signs offering parking elsewhere. Once people are on foot, we sometimes put up further barriers in negotiating gates that are difficult to open or rocky paths. At other times we offer a notice telling visitors where to find a key for a locked church. For many, going to knock on a stranger’s door to ask for a key is too much to ask. Churches open every day are more welcoming and it is helpful for visitors to be able to know when the church is opened and closed. The warmth of the welcome makes a lasting impression. This is not just a personal welcome from greeters, but also how welcoming we
make our space. In welcoming guests, a church – just like our homes – should be clean, warm, special and fresh smelling. Unnecessary clutter should be removed so that the important and symbolic parts of our church buildings can speak for themselves and enhance worship or personal adoration. Just as the space helps in relating to God so does silence and some information to aid understanding. Small prayer cards help interaction with God, leaflets can give information on our faith and small cards explaining certain areas of our building and what they are used for can widen a spiritual experience. It is also useful to have a notice reminding visitors that the building is a place of worship and prayer at all times and to be mindful of others visiting who may want quiet. We are co-workers with God and so if we can provide the hospitality and make our churches welcome places, we can facilitate his work here on earth and enable our visitors to encounter the spiritual.
What is it like to be a pilgrimage church? The church at Pennant is open seven days a week with a rhythm of worship and prayer. This means that on weekdays I usually have three services a day not knowing if I will be on my own or whether there will be any pilgrims. We have no resident congregation. The rhythm is important and during Morning Prayer intercessions are made on behalf of the worldwide Church, The Church in Wales, the diocese, the deanery and worldwide issues. At midday the emphasis is on healing, where the laying on of hands and anointing with oil is offered. Prayers that have been left in the apse and the names in our memorial book are held up to God together with any prayers that have been sent in or telephoned into the centre. The last service of the day prays for pilgrims who have visited during the day as well as our Diocesan Church Schools. The St Melangell Centre provides hospitality for pilgrims with a shared lunch after our Thursday Midday Eucharist and tea after our Sunday service. It is also a space for quiet days and reflection. Many pilgrims come here specifically in need of healing and reconciliation or a listening ear. Each day is rooted in a rhythm of prayer where I will encounter our Lord in the face of both strangers and friends.
Whilst Ecclesiastical has used reasonable endeavours to ensure that the information in this newsletter is correct at the time of publication, please note: (a) the information is not intended to constitute a definitive or complete statement of the law on any subject, (b) the information may over the course of time become incorrect or out of date; and (c) neither Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc. nor its subsidiaries can accept any responsibility or liability for action taken or losses suffered as a result of reliance placed on the information provided in this newsletter.
For more information call 0845 777 3322 email firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.ecclesiastical.com/churchmatters Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg. No. 24869. Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg. No. 1718196. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg. No. 243111. Ecclesiastical Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg. No. 2519319. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg. No. 2046087. Ecclesiastical Services Ltd (ES) Reg. No. 1811698. E.I.O. Trustee Ltd Reg. No. 941199. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ, UK. EIO, ELL, EIM & EFAS are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and are members of the Financial Ombudsman Service. EIO & ELL are members of the Association of British Insurers and EIM is a member of the Investment Management Association. © Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc 2013