The magazine of the Dyffryn Clwyd Mission Area
“Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth!” [Psalm 96:1]
Over the past couple of months we have been asking the question of how do we sing a new song to the Lord? With all that has passed over the last 6 months it has become evident that the church, along with most of society, will have to change. Covid-19 has held a mirror to us and know we can not simply do what we have always done, we must move from maintenance to mission.
I want to say thank you to everyone who has responded honestly to questionaries and surveys, come to all the various meetings and engaged with the conversation as to what our regular Sunday pattern of worship should look like when we do re-open. The aim at the time of course was that we could enact this soon and re-open all our churches. But alas, the sands shift, events move, and circumstances change. Like you, I watch the news with growing anxiety as the insecurity of our situation becomes more and more evident as the virus looks to take a foot hold in our communties once more. Trusting in God, we know that eventually these trials will pass, but as autumn evenings draw in and with the darkness of winter ahead it can be hard at times to hold on to that hope. But that is what God teaches us in Christ, that in the darkest moment that is when the light of hope comes, when Christ is there amongst us, a small flickering flame of hope that grows through faith until it envelopes us and carries us through to the warmth of spring.
We have now managed to settle on a future pattern of worship, but it might be sometime before we can put it into practice. The conversation does not stop there, it continues as we ask, so we have a time that is easy to remember and to invite others to come along to our church, but what will we do with that time together, what shape will our worship take in each place in Dyffryn Clwyd? Each place will answer that question differently as we build our identity and spirituality, a variety of new songs, each one beautiful in it’s own right, and lovingly sung to the Lord, but blended together across our Mission Area, in a glorious chorus, united as the one body of Christ.
Thank you to the Representative Body of the Church in Wales
It has been and continues to be a struggle to maintain the finances of our churches in Dyffryn Clwyd when we can not hold our usual fund raisers. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who continues to give collections and tithes to ensure we can still pay our bills and continue to minister to our comunities.
We also say a big thank you to the Representative Body, the central administrative arm of our church who have released a huge sum of money from our historical investments to support the churches across our country during this crises. The RB is running a deficit of around £8 million pounds this year to do this and I would ask you to pray for all those who are making these hard decisions of sacrifice and generosity, having to balance the future with our present needs. For us in Dyffryn Clwyd it means we have been given over £42,000 to help with our running costs. It won’t cover all our losses this year but it does go along way to ensuring we can re-open all our churches in the fullness of time.
Recwiem Yr Holl Eneidiau – Tachwedd 2ail – 7yh ar y We
All Souls Requiem – 2nd November – 7pm online
We will not be able to gather together, inviting all who are grieving to join in the Requiem Mass for all souls this year. We will have to do things differently. We are working at the specifics of what we will be able to do but it will be an online event at 7pm and more details will follow. We will still pray for all who have had funerals in Dyffryn Clwyd in the last 12 months and we will pray for any of your loved ones by request. If you would like us to pray for any of your loved ones departed please email Tadhuw@hotmail.com with their names by Friday 30th of October.
Bydd pawb o’r plwyf sydd wedi marw yn ystod y flwyddyn diwethaf, a’r rhai y mae eu angladd wedi cael eu cymeryd gan weinidigion y plwyf yn cael eu cofio yn ol eu henwau yn y gwasanaeth arbennig hwn. Bydd y gwasaeth hwn yn rhoi cyfle i fyfyrio ar fywydau’r rhai yr ydym wedi eu caru a colli. Bydd cyfle i cael gannwyll ei gynnu mewn gweddi a chof am eich un annwyl. Fe’ch gwahoddir yn gynnes i ymuno a ni am yr gwasanaeth hwn ar y we
Poppies for Remembrance Day
As we will not be able to gather in large groups for our usual acts of remembrance this year Llanbedr DC church are looking to create a display of poppies in the church yard that people can visit and take the time to remember those who have died in war.
The more poppies we can make, the more impressive and immersive the display. So if you have some spare time and some empty plastic bottles would you be willing and able to try and make some poppies? The idea is to have a good mix of red for the fallen soldiers, white for all victims of war and purple for the animals that were used and died in war.
We’ll be gathering the poppies in by the end of October ready to be laid out for November.
What you need
- – Plastic drinks bottles – any size will do
- – Stanley knife or similar
- – Fine sandpaper
- – Red, White or Purple acrylic paint
- – Black acrylic paint or black sharpie pen
- – Paint brush –
How to make the poppies
Firstly, use the knife to carefully cut the bottom off a plastic drinks bottle. I suggest cutting just above any dimples on the base of the bottle. These give the finally poppy a bit more shape. The remaining part of the bottle can be recycled .Once your bottle bottoms are detached, use either the knife or sandpaper to remove any sharp edges. If you’replanning on doing this craft with children you might want to do everything with the knife before getting them involved.
Paint the inside of the bottle bottoms with two (or more) coats of red, white or purple acrylic paint. Experimentation told me that two was sufficient to give complete coverage, but you may need to do more depending on the plastic bottles you are using.
Once the red paint is dry, use either black paint or black sharpie to colour in the centre of the poppy. The texture of the original bottle may mean that one method works better than the other.
Opening for Visitors
Not all the changes in rules and regulation mean more restrictions – One of the changes which has happened is looking at how our churches can be unlocked and
left open for people to drop in.
The Representative Body, the Diocese and the Welsh Government have been looking hard at how this could be managed whilst ensuring our safety. We are currently working through the risk assesments and putting things in place so that some of our churches can be left open and unlocked once more.
The first one of our churches to trial this will be St Michael’s & All Angels in Efenechtyd which will be open during daylight hours from the 1st of October onwards.If this is succesful we shall be looking at opening more of our churches very soon.
The Wrexham Church and Community Cold Weather Shelter
by Pat Sumner
I feel so sad that this coming winter, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wrexham Church and Community Cold Weather Shelter (WCCCWS) won’t be able to operate.
Last winter my daughter Ana and I volunteered at the shelter for the second year running. We were coordinators at one of the seven church venues. This meant spending a lot of time emailing and phoning volunteers to organise rotas for the various shifts. It was a big operation, managed by Housing Justice Cymru, involving about 200 volunteers. But it all came together and it was really worth the hard work.
In each venue, we could accommodate up to ten homeless guests (we call them ‘guests’ because they’re treated as any guest would be treated in your own home). On average, we had about seven or eight guests – mainly men. Some of them were with us throughout the 12 weeks of the project and we got to know them well. I can’t express how much it meant to us, going to see them once a week at our venue; they became our friends and we enjoyed sitting around a table together to share a meal and to chat.
Ana and I usually had about five or six other volunteers with us during the evening and we became a close-knit and supportive team. Everyone was eager to do their best for our guests in a caring, non-judgmental and friendly way.
So, what are the things that struck me the most about volunteering at the shelter?
1. The level of gratitude of our guests: They appreciated every little thing we did for them.
2. The trust our guests learnt to place in us: They hadn’t met us before and they were nervous at first, but they soon learnt to accept us.
3. The difference a daily home-cooked meal and a warm bed can make to one’s health.
4. The power of conversation: Our guests couldn’t get over the fact that we enjoyed chatting with them and hearing their stories.
- Our guests’ heartbreaking stories: Each one of them had a tale of heartbreak to tell. We could see how each of them had ended up in the position they were in.
- The hard work and commitment of the Housing Justice Cymru team: They worked tirelessly to look after our guests’ health, well-being and security.
- The success stories: Through the diligence of Housing Justice Cymru, several of our guests found permanent accommodation at the end of the project.
- The power of hope: By caring for our guests, responding to their needs and listening to them, we had given them a sense of hope. We believed in them and gradually they came to believe in themselves.
We felt it was a privilege to volunteer at the shelter; it greatly enriched our lives as well as the lives of our guests. But this winter, we’ll be worrying about our homeless friends in Wrexham. Although most were provided with accommodation to keep them safe during the pandemic, what will happen now that hotels are opening once more to the public? Will they be displaced? Will our friends find themselves on the streets again, just when another spike of COVID-19 is about to hit us? Please keep the homeless people of Wales and the UK in your thoughts and prayers this winter.
If you’d like to find out more about the work of the WCCCWS, please contact Housing Justice Cymru: housingjustice.org.uk
St Peters Church Llanbedr
We had an Open Day to show what we intend to do in the churchyard, it was very well attended by church members and residents from Llanbedr and neighbouring villages. During the week prior to the open day a tree surgeon had been to cut and trim some trees and the difference was really impressive as we could now see where the planting of wild flowers and the hand made by Tad Huw wooden altar and seating for meditation would be.
The following Saturday volunteers gathered at the church yard, Tad Huw with his chain saw trimmed more branches and Ivy was cleared away from the church wall nearest the village hall. Others cleared graves of Ivy that had been there for years. We had a tractor and trailer which took away many loads of branches and laurel.
The following Saturday morning we gathered again and started cutting branches on the right of the church which revealed graves that were not visible as the branches were covering them, others cleared graves and walls of ivy. We also carried a large picnic bench from the village hall which had been kindly donated by the community council to the project. We had a trailer to take many, many loads.
We are very grateful to the Roberts family Bryn Awelon for the tractor /trailer and their help loading the trailer and disposing of the ivy/branches. Photographs were placed on the Llanbedr Face book page and the response was fantastic with villagers liking what we had done and are looking forward to seeing it finished so they can enjoy the peace and quiet as they sit and pray, reflect, or just think of their loved ones.
There is a lot more to do as the specific grass cutting /sowing of wild flowers will start next spring, we will also have various boxes etc. to attract wild life.
During October members of the church will be making poppies out of old bottles and in early November placing them from the memorial Tree up the drive to the church door.
Report by Gwenda Williams
The church looks impressive surrounded by scaffolding. We are all looking forward to seeing the new facilities once installed.