We’re happy to say that we are now able to open 3 of our churches this week at various times for personal prayer.
A reflection by a Llanbedr Resident on 4 generations from the village coping during this Difficult time.
My name is Louise Martin and I have lived at Ceunant in Llanbedr for 20 years although it has been in my family for 63 years.
I have three children Sian who lives in Llanbedr, Gareth who lives with his wife Jade in Liverpool and Emily who lives in Dubai. Sian has two boys, Jamie and Luke
When the Government first started talking about lockdown I made the decision to bring my mum Pat to stay with me. Mum lives in Ruthin and has carers who help her as she is partially sighted and suffers from dementia. About the same time Rosemary (Williams) my Aunt was put on lockdown in Valley Lodge Residential home where she had recently moved after a series of falls and she also suffers from dementia. This has been very difficult as she had not settled and was wanting to go home. Through Facebook I have had contact with Valley Lodge and Rosemary seems settled and looks well and happy on all the photos which gives me peace of mind.
Sian has been my lifeline doing all my shopping and she also pops in the odd ‘treat’ bag. It is lovely to see her and chat through the window as conversation is very limited here with mum.
I miss Jamie and Luke my grandchildren so much. They both attended Ysgol Llanbedr and Jamie has now moved up to Brynhyfryd. They usually spend a lot to time at mine playing in the woods and having sleep overs.
I work at Ysgol Llanbedr as a H.L.T.A teaching Nursery and Reception. I have been involved with the school for 33 years. I miss the children and staff a lot as they are my extended family, I could write a book with the funny things they say and do. I am setting work for the children which can be a challenge trying to keep it interesting.
My decision to bring mum here was the best thing for her wellbeing, having dementia is difficult to cope with at times and I have had many disturbed nights and repetitive conversations which is hard. Mum has enjoyed sitting in the garden listening to the birds and even had the odd glass of wine! One afternoon I had my playlist on Spotify, I was singing away to ‘bridge over troubled water’ when mum joined in remembering all the words, that said it all to me.
Stay safe everyone and shout hello to me if you pass the house.
Louise, Mrs Martin, Nana Lou x
Llanbedr Church Press Release
The application forms for the grants were completed by Alyson and many pages of information were needed regarding the urgent repairs to enable us to continue using the church and also now to look to the future to offer more for our visitors and members.
The Rector and Churchwardens of St Peter’s Church, Llanbedr are pleased to announce that a grant of £5000.00 has been confirmed from the National Churches Trust and a grant of £1,500.00 from ALLCHURCHES TRUST towards urgent electrical repairs required. Alyson Goldstein applied for the grants some time ago and we have now received confirmation that when the work has finished on the rewiring of this lovely Grade 2 listed church we can apply for the payment.
Many thanks must go to members of the church who through fundraising and donations raised half of the monies needed.
June 3rd 2020
Lockdown – how the whole experience has rekindled in me a longstanding desire to promote mindfulness practices.
For those of us for whom gathering together each Sunday morning for sharing in the liturgy and life of the Church is important the shutdown of public worship came as a shock to the system, even though for the best of reasons and of course supported whole heartedly among the church communities. I wonder what aspect of community participation you have missed most during this necessary, and yet most peculiar, of times?
My initial response in the very first days of lockdown was to involve people in establishing a structure for community support; beginning with people from the church community but with the potential to expand to encompass the wider community. To my relief everyone with whom I enquired continued to report that they were well organized and supported by family, and neighbors, for social distancing, social isolating, or shielding due to vulnerability. That this level of neighborly support has continued is a credit to us all and I wish to express my gratitude to be witness and partaker of such ‘civic communion’ and networks of care.
As we have all had to get our heads around working from home and finding ways to adapt to the challenge of our shared circumstances, I have reluctantly been learning to embrace increased reliance upon electronic forms of communication. I have been trying to overcome my camera shyness and been learning how to do my share of prerecorded church services. As time has gone on the whole experience has rekindled my longstanding desire to promote mindfulness practices beyond current regular church attenders. This is something I know a number of people, in church and wider community, are interested in for mental health reasons as much as spiritual ones; since mindfulness is very deliberately not about religious identity, nor religious beliefs, but personal wellbeing and development, whoever you are and whatever motivations you might bring.
I have had a go at providing a mindfulness video which guides the viewer through a 20-minute body scan. It is now on YouTube and I hope people of all backgrounds and motivations will find it accessible. This is partly in response to people who have expressed to me their curiosity in mindfulness and meditation, very much aside from any current church involvement. You can search for the video, on YouTube, entitled: Dyffryn Clwyd MA Body Scan PENTECOST 2020. Alternatively, you can link to the video with the following strand:
Other relevant websites:
The Reverend Richard Carter 01824 703 867 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ezekiel 36: 24-28, Acts 1: 6-14 and St John 17: 1 – 11
I don’t know about you, but it sometimes feels to me that we’ve been in lockdown for nine months, not nine weeks! Thank goodness that we serve a God limited by neither time nor space.
Today’s reading from Ezekiel addresses the Israelites scattered out of Israel. “I will gather you from all the countries…” God promises. Covid-19 has ‘scattered’ us, forcing us to stop meeting physically. Just like the Israelites, we will be ‘called’ back once the risk is deemed sufficiently low…but perhaps not entirely into old ways. God’s promise to give the Israelites a new heart is true for us today; He is still doing an inward AND outward work in His church, and we are asked to listen to the Spirit’s prompting towards new ways of being church.
Jesus ascended at the Mount of Olives, which Acts describes as “a Sabbath journey” away from Jerusalem. Such a journey was about 1km. What explosive locality – to think that such a world-changing event should have been so home-grown! In a time when our daily movements have been often restricted to our neighbourhoods, we are reminded that God’s power has NOT been restricted. After the ascension, we’re told that the disciples “joined constantly together in prayer.” How can daily, local intercessions change our world?
Maybe the thought of not going back to ‘the way things were’ scares you. Perhaps the idea of God moving in power is daunting – it is to me! But it was once said that if we could overhear Jesus praying for us, we would never be afraid again. To read John 17 IS to overhear Jesus’ intercession for us: “…protect them” He asks our Father “by the power of your name.” We may not know the times or dates the Father has set, but we can know that power is available to us from the Holy Spirit, and choose to follow where that Spirit leads.
Esther Andrews Youth and Children’s Chaplain
The Daily Offices
During lockdown we have all had to get used to a quite different way of ‘doing church’. Whilst no doubt, many of us use a range of technology in our day to day lives, a simple mobile phone with instant messages on a variety of platforms, to emails for documents, I believe no one saw the changes that the coronavirus and lockdown would rush in. Yet here we are several months later, joining in services being live-streamed or pre-recorded on a Facebook page for the mission area that didn’t even exist back in January when Covid-19 was being to creep onto our shores.
We have taken to holding meetings whereby we can log-on, see, and talk to each other on our computer screens, live and in-the-moment. At one time zoom meant adjusting the size of your photograph on a camara, now we recognise it is a platform for linking up with people across the globe in an online video and it now has over 13 million users worldwide. I heard about one zoom video conference where over 2,000 participants – public health experts – from around the world were meeting to discuss and share their knowledge on the management of the pandemic. Wow – I am glad I was not taking Minutes for that meeting!
Thousands of office workers across the country have discovered they can work from home, using online social media and technology. It has been quite a shock, and it will be interesting to see how many of these changes will become part of everyday working practices in society, when the ‘new normal’ arrives. Will the daily commute for some workers be a thing of the past?
One thing that has remained constant and has personally been a source of great strength to me – has been the broadcasting on the website of the Daily Offices. It is one of the duties of a Priest as part of their ministry to say Morning and Evening Prayer. It’s regular time of 9.00 am and 4.00 pm sets a rhythm to the day and I am reminded that in these ancient churches of ours, these prayers have been offered up for hundreds of years, the very stones of the buildings seeming to join in.
I particularly like Morning Prayer as it sets the tenor for the day, it helps me to get things into perspective. Whatever the tasks I have planned, it helps me to remember that everything I do can be offered to God in pray and worship and praise, every moment of the day. Mundane things like preparing a meal for another person or finding time to chat when you get an unexpected telephone call, can be offered up to God. Being a task-driven type of personality, lockdown has forced me to slow down and appreciate once more a gentler more temperate pace of life.
I came across this short verse many years ago in a book I was reading one year during Lent. Sadly, through several house moves, I no longer have the book nor can I recall the author or title, but I have remembered this verse, it was attributed to an unknown author. It sums up beautifully, what Morning Prayer means to me.
“Every morning rest thine arm awhile
upon the windowsill of Heaven,
and gaze upon thy God.
Then with this vision in your mind,
turn strong and face the day”.
Thank you for your prayers and best wishes
Following theearly arrival of my first Grandchild, 5 weeks premature, I would just like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts, best wishes but most especially for your prayers. Baby Ada was very poorly initially and when she had to be put on a ventilator to help her breath – well that was a low point. The care she has had from the neonatal intensive care team, the love and constant attention of her parents, along with the prayer of so many has been tremendous.
I am pleased to report Ada has turned a corner; she is off the ventilator and steadily improving. I can never express how grateful I am for you love, kindness and prayers, that carried us through some dark days.