Nia’s blog – Developing a Mission Area



  • Helo eto,

    Rhagor o newyddion i'w rannu o ran yr Ardal Cenhadaeth.

    More news to share re our Mission Area.

    I am busy preparing some articles for Cedewain, our Mission Area monthly newsletter. Having written some reports i thought to myself... what a wonderful way to share on the blogg what is going on ... in a way that avoids me having to duplicate work! I say well done to this!

    And so read on if you are in the least bit interested...

    CEDEWAIN MISSION AREA NEWS / INFORMATION

    There is much going on in the Cedewain Mission Area and it is not so easy to communicate all the information as and when things happen. However, communication is vital! All I can do is to promise that I will try my best to inform you via our monthly Cedewain newsletter and by continuing to share with my colleagues at our regular monthly Chapter meetings.

    MISSION AREA CONFERENCE
    Please may I ask all who are invited to the Mission Area Conference to make every effort to attend our next conference on Tuesday evening 1St July at 7-00pm at Llanwyddelan School Room.
    I wish to thank all who attended the Mission Area open meeting on Tuesday evening 20th  June at All Saints Church. There was a good turnout and it was good to welcome the Revd Philip Chew the Mission Area Leader of Dyffryn Clwyd. It was good to see that he was able to inspire many of us… and encouraged us to ask open and direct questions relating to Mission Areas, expectations and who will be doing what!
    My sincerest thanks also to those of you who attended the Archdeacon’s Visitation at All Saints on Wednesday Evening, 28th May where the Wardens of our Parishes were commissioned for their ministry for the forthcoming year. In his address Archdeacon Peter again shared important information regarding the 2020 Vision and encouraged us to prepare and be willing to embrace some significant changes in the near future.

    A VISIT TO BALA TO REVIEW A REORDERED CHURCH
    The trip to Bala has been arranged to give us all an opportunity to view a reordered church – and also so that we can enjoy a nice outing together as a Mission Area. We shall be setting off from Kerry at 8-45am, All Saints at 9-00am to arrive Bala at 10-30am in time for coffee. We will have a talk about the reordering project and an opportunity to have a good look at the church and its facilities. Lunch will be provided at the Church. There will be some free time to either have some quiet time at the church or to explore the town of Bala. And then we shall have an ice cream or coffee at Loch Café situated by the lake - Llyn Tegid. We hope to be home by approx. 5-00pm.
    The cost to include the coach and lunch will be £15. Names are now being taken by Rector Nia or Sylvia Stephens. Please would you notify us if you intend to join us on the trip as soon as possible as it is proving to be very popular. Thank you.

    WORSHIP LEADERS EVENING –
    FOR THOSE LICENSED
    AND THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN PURSUING A WORSHIP LEADERS COURSE

    There will be a meeting for all our Worship Leaders and all who are interested in training to become a Worship Leader, on Tuesday evening 15th July. This will be an opportunity to meet together for support and fellowship, to discuss what you feel you would benefit from as regards future meetings and training, etc.
    Please make a note of the date and do make every effort to come – it will be an excellent opportunity to discuss and plan ahead.
    May I thank you all for your committed service in our Churches and Parishes and Mission Arae.

    SONGS OF PRAISE

    At our recent Chapter meeting it was decided that we would arrange to host a ‘Songs of Praise Evening’ of worship at different venues representing our Mission Area and our three groups of parishes - on three occasions during the year. The first Songs of Praise will be held at All Saints church on Wednesday Evening 17th September at 7-00pm. Please do note this date in your diary – we hope to see you at the service!
    ‘ANGLICAN WAYS’

    On Wednesday Evening 8th October at 7-00pm Revd Terry will introduce us to his series of monthly talks on ‘Anglican Ways’ – an introduction to why we do what we do as part of our Anglican traditions and heritage. Why do clergy wear what they wear for the different services? why do we have different liturgical colours? why do we cross ourselves? Etc…
    It will be a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more as regards our Anglican traditions. Another date for your diaries!
    The first session will be held at Llanwyddelan School Room.


    PASTORAL ASSISTANTS TRAINING AND SUPPORT

    We value the support and work of our licensed Pastoral Carers in our Mission Area. You are a committed group of dedicated people who further the work of God’s Kingdom through your service.
    We are planning to have some regular sessions throughout the year in order to meet together to offer support, encouragement, experience and information re skills etc. on different aspects of Pastoral Care. The first of these sessions will address mental health issues – led by Revd Alex’s brother. Date and venue will be available soon.

    DATES FOR NEXT YEAR

    It is hoped to plan a Mission Area retreat day at St Beuno’s Ignatian Retreat Centre at Tremeirchion next May. The date I have at hand is Saturday 16th May 2015. This date may change – however, I think it is worth logging in your diaries! Confirmation and further information will be shared soon.

    A pilgrimage to Aberdaron and Uwchmynydd is being planned for Saturday 11th July 2015. Uwchmynydd is described in Welsh poetry as a ‘Lle i enaid gael llonydd”, (a place for the soul to have peace). It is one of my favourite locations in the world and it will be a great privilege to introduce this beautiful and peaceful part of the world to those of you who have never experienced it before. It will be a long coach journey! But it will be well worth it! We will have a few visits during the course of the day – including the church by the sea at Aberdaron… but Uwchmynydd will be the highlight… overlooking the island of Bardsey. It is reputed that 3 visits to Bardsey is equivalent to one visit to Rome – as a spiritual journey and experience. We shall not be visiting the island this time round!
    A service of Holy Communion will be celebrated possibly at Uwchmynydd (weather permitting) as we gaze at the splendour of the holy island of Bardsey. Yet another date for your diaries!

    I will be in touch again soon... i hope. i am away next week on a training course... wait for it... the course being called 'Transforming Church Conflict"! Whoever thought that Churches encounter conflict?!
    In the meantime Wyn is joining the parish holiday group as they travel to the Isle of Wight. I doubt if any one from Newtown will ever be allowed to step onto the island after the experiencing the presence of this group of happy pilgrims! i doubt if Wyn will be the same man when her returns home!!!!

    A happy holiday to you pilgrims!

    Nia 















  • Tydw i ddim y berson da am bloggio!

    I am not a good blogger!

    Mae na wythnosau lawer wedi mynd heibio ers imi anfon y blogg diwethaf a dwi ddim yn gwybod lle i gychwyn ran rhoi up-date ich ran hanas y plwyfi a'r Ardal Cenhadaeth?

    Many weeks have gone by since my last blogg - and much has happened in our life as a group of parishes and in our life as a Mission Area. Where do I begin?

    There wasn't much rest after Easter... a busy week and of course... being a bad one for not taking holidays... Wyn and I didn't go away at all... but we did have various friends down for visits and so it was good to welcome and catch up with good friends.

    Re the parishes... there have been a wedding at Llanllwchaiarn - my first in my new ministry, there have been many baptisms... and now I have a group of committed pastoral assistants to help with baptism preparation - and to welcome the families to church if they are new to church. This is a wonderful opportunity for ministry and mission. We often ask... I often ask in my prayers... that god shows me a way whereby we as a church can reach out to those in our communities who may not have heard the Good News. Well, here is a golden opportunity - we have an open invitation to visit young families preparing for baptism... and we can speak openly and freely and excitedly about our faith. This is God's answer to my prayer. And so it is up to me to make sure that we take this opportunity to heart and to encourage and foster good relationships with these young families.

    We have had a number of funerals also... all of them very sad of course... and an opportunity to share with families the hope of the promise of eternal life. This is the area of ministry that I consider a great privilege and honour... to be involved with families at a raw and painful time... and to offer support, comfort and hope.

    There has been attention to business and buildings - St Gwynog's Church in Aberhafesp and All Saints church, Newtown - both with re-ordering plans! I had hoped that I wouldn't have to deal with building plans ever again after my experience at Bala. When groups of people came to Bala to view the beautiful re-ordering of Christ Church - I would always comment... I can smile and share the story, the pain, the sweat, the anxious times...etc... now that we are in the post-reordering era - i could never do it again!

    "Well, too bad Nia...",  I can hear god saying, I have plans for you... and they are going to involve mission... in building up a people of God... and giving attention to the church buildings in your care... and by the way... 3 Churchyards!"

    So there...!

    I am being supported by the Diocesan staff. Jan came down from St Asaph - the faculty officer (she has a grander title than this!), and she agreed with me that it would be a good thing to bring our Quinquennial inspection forwards two years so that we have a detailed inspection of the church with a full and detailed report - carried out and written by a professional surveyor. This has been agreed by Diane - the Diocesan Secretary, and John Pugh - whom I trust totally... following our work together on Christ Church in Bala - has already been down to view All Saints Church and will come down later this month to carry out the Quinquennial. he has also agreed to have a look at St Gwynog's church - as a favour - to give his expert advice re the flooring and plans for re-ordering.

    All seems to be on a stand-still now for a while... no fixing of broken windows, no dealing with a very bad and ugly damp patch... and no patching up! No removing the organ and buying a small Allens consule! We must wait patiently! And of course there is no guarantee that any grant money will be forthcoming... but we can pray and hope and be positive!

    Mission Area news...

    An excellent Worship Leader's workshop has taken place together with organists and those involved with music and liturgy. The plan was to gather together for support and encouragement, to start work on creating some service books that can be used in all our churches in the Mission Area - so that Clergy, Readers and Worship leaders are familiar with the service format in all the Churches.

    We had an open evening for all our mission Area PCC members and all who are on the Mission Area conference. A good crowd gathered with a fair representation from the various parishes. We viewed the john Timpson DVD - his keynote speech at the diocesan Conference in october 2014. And then we welcomed Philip Chew - Dyffryn Clwyd Mission Area Leader - who spoke to us about his experience of Mission Areas.

    He spoke excellently and encouraged some interesting comments. One point was made clear - a need for better communication so that people are informed re developments in regard of the 2020 Vision.
    People asked when it was to start! Cedewain has been regarded as a Mission Area in the making for some time... the Bishop in offering me the position of Mission Area Leader spoke about Cedewain - as already being well on the way to becoming a Mission Area. People weren't too clear about what a Mission Area is meant to be. People weren't aware that Readers and Worship leaders were willing to help with services in churches within the Mission Area other than their regular church. And people seemed to appreciate that a Mission Area will enable people to choose the type of service that best suits them. And it became quite clear that all the churches in our Mission Area cannot and ought not be the same, nor offer the same type of services, nor indeed to try to be everything to everybody... ending up in not pleasing anybody!

    This meeting was the beginning of an open and necessary dialogue I feel... and it is quite clear that there is a sense of expectation and excitement. And some anxiety... and many more questions!

    The most important think for me I think is that I realised that I mustn't take anything for granted as to what people know and don't know - relating to church, parish and Mission Area business. It is good to start from the very beginning, to share all information and to do so with clarity. It is also very important that people feel that they can ask questions and voice their concerns and opinions.

    We had a good gathering for our Archdeacon's Visitation a couple of weeks ago... our Archdeacon - the Venerable Peter Pike spoke well and encouraged us as regards the 2020Vision.

    I have several meetings with Diocesan Officers - Sarah Wheat is keen and willing to work with us in the Mission Area. Sarah is the newly appointed Communication Officer and she is already booked up to meet with the plc of Llanllwchaiarn and Newtown. I am also due to meet Tracey White - to discuss the possibility of arranging a programme of training sessions that will be based in our Mission Area... Areas of training needs need to be identified - this is an on the agenda for our next Chapter meeting - a meeting where we gather together on a monthly basis as clerics, retired clerics and Readers.

    We have a Mission Area trip to Bala to view the re-ordering of Christ Church, in the hope that it will inspire many of the PCC members in various churches of the Mission Area who are thinking and planning for a reordering project.

    Terence Bryan has encouraged me to plan a pilgrimage visit to Uwchmynydd on the Llyn Peninsula where we will have a fantastic view of Bardsey Island - I haven't planned this trip as yet as I am awaiting information re coaches and whether they will be willing to negotiate the narrow road from Aberdaron up to Uwchmynydd!

    And one more piece of news that I can share. There is mention of Transition Mentors being employed by the Diocese to help Mission Areas in many and various ways. Archdeacon Peter informed me that the Bishop has asked us as a Mission Area to prepare a bid for one of these mentors and to think how a mentor could help us here in Cedewain. Peter and I had a good chat about this and we came to the conclusion that there were certain areas whereby the help of a mentor could be useful - certainly in helping us address children and youth work, in helping to encourage all our people to embrace the concept and working of a Mission Area, and the whole issue of churches of the Mission Area helping one another - with finances, resources etc...

    So... there is a lot going on! One of my colleagues - Alex - is away on a well earned holiday at present... she is away on a cruise with her mother. Alex is a real asset... Together with Terence I do believe that we make a good team... especially with our retired clergy, Readers, Worship Leaders, Pastoral Assistants, Wardens... and all who contribute to the life of our parishes and Mission Area.

    Nearly forgot... sorry girls...! We have the pleasure of having Alyson Gwalchmai with us in my group of parishes for a few months as she gains more experience of parish life and the work of a parish priest. Alyson is a reader in the Diocese of Bangor. I wish her well during her placement with us and as she continues to explore her vocation to ordained ministry.
    And Ann Chidgey is busy gaining as much experience as possible in the parish and beyond as she continues on her journey of exploration - of God's call to ordained ministry.

    In the meantime i am preparing for a course I am due to participate on in a fortnight - Dealing with Church Conflict! I make no comment as to why I should be going on this particular course for a whole week - churches are not places of conflict are they?!

    Whilst I'll be away Wyn will be entertained by over 30 parishioners on holiday on the Isle of White. He is joint the parish trip and is looking forwards to a well earned holiday. He is not at the TT Races on the isle of man this year and he regrets not going. Well, I am going o pack him off next year. He is taking over my lap top this week to listen to the races live on manx radio - no reception in the Rectory and although a good reception on the car radio... it fades out after a while... and so Nia's working tool becomes his radio! Nia is not a happy bunny... but cos she loves him she gives in... for this week only!!!

    Will send word again... sooner than later ... hopefully!

    Nia






  • DYMA FI... O'R DIWEDD YN CAEL CYFLA I ANFON GAIR... / HERE I AM AGAIN... AT LAST HAVING A FEW MINUTES TO SEND WORD!!!

    Pasg Hapus ichi gyd fydd yn darllen y blogsyn yma!
    A happy Easter to all who will be reading this blogg

    Wedi meddwl... mae blogsyn yn swnio yn enw da am blogg!!! be da chi'n i feddwl!

    Mae na gymaint wedi digwydd ers imi anfon fy negas olaf - sgen i ddim syniad lle i gychwyn!!!

    Lle da i gychwyn pob amser ydi o'r cychwyn cynta!!!

    Ond tybed?!!

    So much happened over the last 3-4 months and since i sent the last blogg, i am really not sure where to start!

    I suppose the best place to begin is at the beginning!!

    But I wonder?!

    It is bank holiday Monday. I am feeling quite exhausted... but too wound up in the excitement of it all to stop and do nothing!!! And so i am catching up with a few things and now I am on blogg duty!!!

    And around me people are hard at work as per instructions....!

    Wyn has his job...



    And his brother Jack - who is on holiday with us over Easter, has his job!!!



    I would help... but I have to catch up with keeping the blogg up to date!!!

    They have just had a fitting lunch and they will soon be ready for tea at 4pm as is traditional with the old type of farming community... I eat when I can and when I need to!!! I think Wyn and Jack's culture and the way of doing things and living is much healthier and balanced!

    So back to parish work and duties and the Mission Area role that i hold.

    Yesterday saw Terence, Alex and myself being very busy for Easter Sunday and Holy Week.

    The Mission Area began it's celebrations for Easter with a Service of Light - Alex celebrated in her group of parishes and we celebrated at all Saints whereby we lit the 3 paschal candles for the 3 churches - followed by an Easter eve party. Then at dawn... well not quite... but early enough for those of us who are not morning people... we gathered at Mochdre for a Dawn Service...


    Over 30 of us gathered for this occasion at 6am... the incentive... to engage with the easter experience fully... and to enjoy the fellowship and the bacon gaps and hot cross buns and coffee offered kindly by the Mochdre family.


    A welcome feast after our worship at Dawn whereby we renewed our baptismal promises and praised God...


















    Mae Crist wedi atgyfodi... Aleliwia... Amen...

    Christ is arisen... Alleluiah... Amen...

    Holy week was busy and very meaningful as we shared and worshiped together.

    Our lent mission Area group met for the last session on Holy Week Monday. We had services and times of prayer throughout the week. On maunday thursday we had a Mission area coach trip to the Maunday Thursday service at the cathedral. All began well... but then the coach decided to break down. Decision... decision... Mission Area leader cap on... do we return home or do we continue... Jesus never gives up on anything or anyone... no matter how impossible the mission ahead sounds to him or us... and so onwards and forwards... 

    We arrived 3/4 hour into the service just as bishop Gregory was coming to the end of his sermon. Alex and I departed the coach dressed as angels!!! We crossed the zebra crossing giving alarm to all cars... so all traffic stopped automatically for the rest of the coach crew. We arrived at the Cathedral door... I said to Alex... "we mustn't giggle no ok"!!! In we went to be greeted by a Cathedral steward who was awaiting our arrival... bless him... and so Alex and I walked into... no... not into a service mid-way... but to silence... whereby the bishop greeted us as a group having travelled fro the Cedewain Mission Area... albeit late... and we were given a warm welcome. "Well Alex", I commented as soon as we sat down, "we have certainly made an entrance and made the Cedewain presence known in the Diocese".

    A brief resume of what has been happening in my group of parishes.

    PCC meetings and Easter Vestry... we have been blessed in seeing new Wardens appointed, new secretaries for both parishes after the anxiety of wondering if appointments would be made. 

    Aberhafesp... a church with a pulse... a life and a future. We have a newly appointed young people's warden and a secretary to take up the vacancy - all good news.

    i suppose the most touching moment for me in the parish was on Good Friday. The church plans a children's morning, followed by worship and a fish and chips lunch. Lots of work goes on behind the scenes. 
    16 primary school aged children attended on the morning... and wait for it... all 16 spoke Welsh, attending Ysgol Dafydd Llwyd. Having taken an assembly at the school a few weeks ago, and asking the children to stop me in the town if they saw me so as to say hello and to introduce me to their parents, i was inundated by greetings when I arrived. Most of the interaction was through the medium of Welsh all morning... which was a real blessing for me and for the parents of the children who are keen to promote and encourage the welsh language.





    On the eve of palm Sunday we had a similar morning to cater for the youngsters at All Saints Church. Again a wonderful response with many children and parents enjoying a great day of sharing, worship and fun. Adults as well as children participated in craft work etc. We had a wonderful worship experience and all left looking forwards to the next Sunday on Saturday experience.

    I feel that we have a good working relationship as colleagues. We have a chapter meeting every month - for clergy, retired clergy and readers. We have some significant meetings planned for the Mission Area - Archdeacon's visitation at the end of May, a Workshop for all Worship leaders, Readers and those involved with music in our Mission Area - to create new worship booklets for the Mission Area, and also to offer support and fellowship to our Worship Leaders.

    In my group of parishes I have been preparing a team to administer home communion to the housebound as I do feel that it is important to keep regular contact with our members who can no longer worship with us at church. 

    I have also recruited a team to prepare parents for baptism. The number of baptisms in the parishes are too many for me to give a worthy service to parents and families. It was wonderful to see some of the fruit of this effort on Easter morning as a number of the baptism families attended worship and were linked with a member of the baptism team who will see them through the preparation and greet them at church when they attend pre and post baptism, and will assist me at the baptism service.

    I am rather jumping from parish efforts and ventures... to Mission Area efforts... I know. I apologise... but this is how the work happens in reality... from one context to another.

    Still on parish matters and activities.

    It is good to feel more a part of the parishes and to feel that I am getting to know parishioners, the communities etc. There is more town and community involvement... I am now the Chaplain of the british legion! I requested that I be called Chaplain rather than Padre as the invite specified... I cannot quite fit the bill as Padre = Father!

    There is talk that Rector Nia is due to close one of the churches!!! There was mention in one of our PCC meetings... quite remarkable how the news got around that I was about to close a church...!

    I have now a clearer vision as regards the churches and their lives and future. But it is not for me to say... to decide... it is a matter of praying and listening to God as to his will and to discern this as regards the future of our church buildings, our existence and growth as a body of Christ's people etc.

    We shall see...

    It was really encouraging to witness the appointment of a younger PCC membership for the parish of Llanllwchaiarn & Newtown, to appoint a new warden and a young secretary. We all realise that there is much work ahead for all of us. All Saints Church as a building needs much work done... and I do think and feel that God has shown me clearly that the way forwards is to go all out for a major reordering and repairs project... 
    I say this and admit that it is much to my dismay... I hadn't really wanted to return to a similar situation and project as that of Christ Church, Bala... in repeat of a building project, as I know full well how draining it can be and how hard and pressured the work and responsibility can be! But there is no option... the work needs to be undertaken and God has spoken!

    As a Mission Area we are looking forwards to meeting Phil Chew who will share with us his experience re the 2020 vision and his Mission Area. 

    I do feel that there is a willingness to work together as regards some of our churches... not all churches perhaps... but it is good that most of the churches appreciate the need and possible benefits of moving onwards and forwards.

    It is good to see Alex so settled and so very enthusiastic in the Kerry group of parishes and I am heartened in knowing that she feels affirmed in her ministry. She has received some wonderful and supporting comments as to her ministry. Thanks to all who have shared such comments of affirmation and please continue to share them.

    It is Bank holiday Monday... I am clocking off now. I wish you a happy and blessed Easter. Will be back soon... or soonish...

    hope you enjoy reading this blogg!

    Nia 







  • DWI MEWN LLE I EANID GAEL LLONYDD…! I AM IN A PLACE WHER THE SOUL CAN HAVE PEACE AND REST...


    Helo bawb.. sori nad yda chi wedi clywed dim ers sbel go hir. Fy esgus… ac yn wir, y gwir reswm… prysurdeb bywyd mewn plwyfi ac Ardal Cenhadaeth newydd!

    Peth arbennig ac eto rhyfadd ydi iaith… Tydi "Lle i enaid gael llonydd…" jest ddim yn cyfiethu i'w lawn botensial i'r Saesneg nac ydi! Mae ein hiaith mor sbesial… dwi ddim yn meddwl ein bod yn gwerthfawrogi yn llawn bod gennym eiriau megis… 'hiraeth'… na ellir byth eu cyfiethu i iaith arall heb gynnig brawddeg a rhagor o eiriau! A phwy all feddlw i fod yn ddigon hyderus i gyfieithu… 'Lle i enaid gael llonydd' - gan fynegi y neges i'w lawn botensial… Tydi'r geiriau - 'A place for the soul to have rest'… ddim cweit yn mynegi yr ystyr nac ydi… er ei fod yn ymdrech go lew!!!
    Pam fy mod yn parablu ymlaen am "Lle i enaid gael llonydd"/ Wel, oherwydd mod i ar hyn o bryd yn Loyola Hall, canolfan encil arbennig. Dwi yma am wythnos yn helpu gyda encil fel Cyfarwyddwr Ysbrydol, ac yn cael cyfle i gael encil fy hunan. A dyma fi yn cael ychydig o amswer i ddiweddaru y blogg!

    Hia all, it has been a long while since i last sent a blogg… sorry. Sanant, my young teacher friend who helped me set up the blogg sent me an email yesterday asking what's happening with my blogg, she wondered if I had forgotten all she had taught me!!! No I haven't forgotten - my excuse is that I am very busy in my new Parishes and Mission Area!

    But this week I am at Loyola Hall Jesuit Spirituality Centre helping as a Visiting Spiritual Director. Although working, I am having time to myself for prayer and catching up with tasks!

    Loyola Hall has been an important place for me and I have much to thank the staff here. This is where I trained as a Spiritual Director, the place where I had my 30 day Ignatian retreat, and it has certainly be a place where I have experienced growth in personal faith.

    Sadly the centre is to close it's doors in a month's time and all the community members and staff will be relocated… there is much sadness among the community members and staff and also among those who come regularly to loyola Hall for their retreat.




    Loyola Hall in bloom with spring flowers in the grounds.

    So what is happening in the Parishes and in the Mission Area?

    A good chapter meeting with Terence and Alex resulted in us deciding that future chapter meetings would happen once a month and that retired clerics who are active in the Mission Area, and all Readers, will be invited.

    We are having a joint Mission Area Lent discussion group - working with the Lent programme - Finding a Voice - based on the film - The King's Speech.

    We have a meeting set up for May for everyone and especially Mission Area Conference members… whereby we will address and discuss 20/20 vision and it's implications to our mission Area. Philip Chew is joining us for the meeting which is great. Philip will be able to share his experience of setting up a mission Area in a similar setting in Dyffryn Clwyd.

    We have as a Mission Area agreed on some matters pertaining to business i.e. to set the same fees for funerals and weddings, to have a policy as regards baptism requests.

    Alex is taking lead with the Abermule project - which involves church planting and hosting a Christian service in the local school hall once a month. The Diocese is supporting this project financially. I will assist and support Alex and a singing group from All Saints church will attend the services to help with the music and singing.

    The singing group is being encouraged to help encourage other churches who may need a boost and some help re singing and music. the group is ready and willing.

    We have a Saturday set aside for all Worship Leaders and Readers to discuss liturgy… in the hope that we can create some new liturgy material for various services - that will be used through ought the Mission Area.

    Readers and Worship Leaders are being encouraged to consider working in parishes other than their own home parish - and there is a willingness and eagerness to do this.

    My own group of parishes… what news?

    We have had a de-cluttering session at all three churches - we have a little more free space now!

    Pastoral Assistants are soon to be trained to take the reserved sacrament to parishioners homes and they are excited about this.

    We have had a PCC meeting at St Gwynog's Church, Aberhafesp; Llanllwchaiarn and Newtown are having their PCC meeting next week.

    Faculty has already been granted to remove the organ from All Saints Church and to remove the choir stalls from the chancel. Allen's Organs have visited and we have arranged to have a demonstration evening at All Saints in May - in the hope that we'll be able to encourage parishioners to make a donation towards the cost of a new organ console.

    A faculty needs to be submitted to have an aumbry fixed at All Saints for the use of the three churches - for the purpose of home communions etc.

    There is plenty more to do… and not quite enough time to do everything! There is an excellent group of assistants in the parishes… my predecessor has done an excellent job in encouraging lay ministry - thank you Andy.

    All for now from Loyola Hall,

    God bless,

    Nia

    But this I 

  • DWI DAL YN FYW…! / I AM STILL ALIVE…!

    Sgen i ddim obadeia syniad pryd nes sgweenu y blogg diwethaf… a wir sori nad ydw i wedi bod mewn cysylltiad o gwbl… Dwi yn ol… dwi dal yn fyw…
    So be sy wedi digwydd ers imi gysylltu ddiwethaf… lot fawr!!!
    So ffwrdd a ni…..

    I have no idea what the date of that last blogg was!

    I am truly sorry that I haven't sent a blogg for ages… but I am back… and yes, I am still alive… and surviving in my new setting.

    So, what's been happening since I last sent word… Lots!!!

    So off we go… or off I go!

    First, can I say that I am not merely 'surviving' in my new context… I feel that I am actually thriving… perhaps the parishioners here wouldn't agree… but Wyn and I feel so warmly accepted, and by now so very connected… we are settled, we are happy and we are here to stay! That is… until God decides he has other plans for me… I have informed him that I do things in ten yearly stages… I will hear about my next move - which will be retirement - in just under 10 years time!!!

    Rev Alex Mayes has by now been inducted to the Kerry group of Parishes. She is a true breath of fresh air. She comes with enthusiasm, excitement and energy and i am so looking forwards to working alongside Alex.

    In the context of the group of parishes I have responsibility for, I am getting more and more acquainted with who is who, what is what… etc. i am very blessed to be part of such a hardworking and enthusiastic team. Every monday morning we have a staff meeting - involving two retired priests who are a real blessing and source of support - Michael Comer and Alan Backhouse, three committed Readers. one of whom is a pastoral worker in one of the parishes.

    Easter is coming and the rota is already prepared… I had no choice…  'The Cedewain' - our Mission Area monthly magazine, needs all the information well in hand… and so this really keeps us all on our toes!

    Something I feared was made a fairly easy and straightforward procedure… there are so many hands on deck here it is just a real joy and pleasure. I think my only concern is that the Readers, Worship Leaders Pastoral Assistants… please don't make me redundant!!!! There is a tremendous sense of working together and reaching out to the vulnerable in our community - people who are really dedicated in the mission of reaching out. And this just 'happens'… which is how it should be! A Parish Church, or indeed any other Church dedicated to Jesus Christ, shouldn't have to specify on a particular policy, and get PCC permission, to go out there to do God's mission. I am glad to be part of a group of Parishes that have taken mission and outreach on board!

    All three churches are having a spring clean - better described as a de-cluttering exercise… I think this reflects very much on my style and possibly on my way of doing things… - (just ask them at Bala!) I have heard on more than one occasion - "you are our new Rector, whatever you say goes". And I respond, "Yes, I am your new Rector, but whatever I say must not just 'go' and 'be simply accepted'!

    The spring clean has been a therapeutic process… it's main purpose… making space!!!

    On a Mission Area level:

    We have had our first Mission Area Conference and there was a good attendance and i think a positive response. All delegated members were invited to attend as well as all who are licences within the Mission Area to serve as Readers, Worship Leaders, Pastoral Leaders, all Wardens, PCC Secretaries, Treasurers etc.

    A rather larger group than usual!
    Why?
    For the simple reason that if we are to work collaboratively and develop into a healthy Mission Area, where we do really work together then it is essential that all those who were invited to the meeting were actually invited. They are integral to the mission group, it's development - it's today, tomorrow and it's future. Gone are the days when the clerics meet together and prescribe!!!

    We have now in the planning:

    Regular Chapter meetings every month - for Clerics, Retired Clerics and Readers - we value the wisdom and experience that retired clerics can share with us… and we are fortunate to have retired clerics who value us younger clerics as ones with wisdom and integrity and a willingness to listen and learn.

    We have a Mission Area Lent course planned - and hopefully Alex, terence and myself will be able to participate and lead as well as some other leaders who have been nurtured within the mission area.

    We have identified that there is a sense of isolation for some of the smaller churches leaders - and so we have now in the planning - training sessions for Pastoral Assistants and Worship Leaders. Readers are well looked after within the diocese and the province, but there is nothing on a diocesan or provincial level for other groups - on a regular training needs basis - perhaps something I need to take to a future Mission area meeting / gathering… I would happen to be attending an overnight conference for mission areas from tomorrow lunchtime to Tuesday lunchtime.

    An interesting conversation occurred this morning following the normal Sunday services… a very interesting conversation indeed… a conversation I have had with Alex on a one to one, and to Mary our very dedicated and talented organist (who is also a churchwarden at Dolfor Church…), (yes, you need to look and study the Diocesan directory to make sense of this situation - but Mary is happy, Dolfor Church is happy, Alex is happy, and I am happy!!!).

    The conversation also involved Patrick, who is involved with the handbells at All Saints Church and who is also involved with the music group who take part once a month. I have had the vision from the beginning that this music group will be a travelling gypsy… and today Mary and Patrick approached me very sensitively to broach the very same idea!!! So here goes… the gypsy singing group are soon to be on tour around the Mission Area… helping and encouraging those Parishes who need support and encouragement!

    There is much more to share… but for now I will say goodnight… and ask you to pray for Archdeacon Peter Pike and his wife Debbs and his close family, friends and parish… as he is recovering now from his illness.

    Nos da,

    Nia