Advent Windows 2023


A St. Mary’s Church Initiative for the Whole Community

Following three previous successful years, we are inviting you to take part in lighting up your windows this Advent 2023.

During the last 3 years, lighting up the windows has encouraged us to wrap up warm and to view the different portrayals of Advent and Christmas. Each presentation has been very individual including Santa, Angels, Snowmen, Kings, and many more. People have used their imagination in what materials they have included. One Window last year was made of all recycled items, and another made totally of Christmas baubles. Some have been very artistic, building on their previous experience, whilst others have been made by children for the first time.

This community fun event will run from 1st – 24th December, with the final window at St. Mary’s Church. There is no entry fee, it’s not a competition and adults and children are welcome.

How it works:

We need a minimum of 24 participants to decorate their windows. Each entry will be allocated a date when they will light up their window for the first time and to continue lighting up each day until 24th December. For those of us viewing the windows this will mean every day from 1st December a new window will be lit up to go and see, so that by 24th December there will be 24 windows in total to view. The windows will be lit from 5.00pm – 9.00pm each evening.

The windows can be designed and constructed from any media including lights, mobiles, cut outs etc. They can be as simple or technical as your artistic tendencies take you. They can be internal or external displays as long as they involve decorating your window. All the displays should relate to Advent / Christmas and can be humorous, artistic or topical.

Each house participating will be asked to:

  • display a given number corresponding to the date their window is ‘opened’ to differentiate it from other residents who will have their own Christmas decorations.
  • keep their window a surprise as far as is possible before the designated revealing evening


If you want to participate you need to:

  • live in a house that has a window (upstairs or down) that can clearly be seen from the street without people coming onto your property
  • be happy to keep the window illuminated each evening after it is ‘revealed’ until December 24th


We are aware that many people give their time and money to support a host of different charities. If you would like to put a charity box outside your house you would be most welcome. Just make sure you empty the box each evening.

For more information ring:

Glenys and Mike Tucker: 07922 109721, or

Jude and Nige Billingham: on 07516 112897

Please let Jude Billingham know by October 27th if you would like to decorate your window. You will need to supply your name, address, email address, telephone number, and any preference when you would like to light up your Window. Contact via email (, by telephone (07516 112897), or text.

Please be aware that in agreeing to participate you are also agreeing to have your address identified on the windows map that will be made available so people can look for your window. No names or email will be shared without your permission.

This is a St. Mary’s initiative for the whole community


St. Mary’s Church News – October 2023


It is a pleasure to report that the Village Show and the Picnic in the church grounds was a tremendous success. It brought together the village in support of St. Mary’s building fund and raised a staggering amount of £1500.12. Grateful thanks to Glenys and Mike Tucker and their wonderful team of helpers. Thank you also to the people who donated the superb range of raffle prizes and to those who generously bought the tickets. The warm sunshine brought the crowds out for a very enjoyable day.

The number of entries from the oddest shaped vegetable to the wonderful array of bread and cakes, together with flowers and craft items, jams and chutneys and not forgetting the photography section, made this year’s Village Show as good as any in the past. We are all looking forward to a similar event next year. Many enjoyed Anthony’s gorgeous cakes and coffee and tea and were able to sit and enjoy catching up with friends not seen very often. So thank you Glenys and Mike for your enthusiasm and drive to arrange this village event to raise money for a good cause. Diolch yn fawr.

The Teddy Bear Picnic in the church grounds, organised by Alyson, was very well supported. Poppy, and her friend Victoria, organised the face painting to great effect, and donations given helped to swell the final amount raised. Poppy also designed the colourful poster used to advertise the picnic following her excellent GCSE exam results. She achieved 3A*, 9As and passes in Welsh Baccalaureate and additional Maths. What a clever girl. It was heartwarming to see the number of young children and parents enjoying their time together, and many took the opportunity to see inside the church. Many compliments were expressed as to how well looked after it is. Many did not realise the absolute treasure we have in St Mary’s. The repointing of the tower and porch a few years ago has greatly improved the external appearance and with the grounds being so well looked after by Mike Tucker, it makes your church one that has to be admired within the Diocese.

Harvest Celebrations. Our Harvest Eucharist service is at 9.30am on Sunday 24th September. Gifts of Fruit and Vegetables are most welcome and will be passed to a church in Cardiff for those who find it difficult to buy fresh vegetables and fruit. The Food Bank will receive all the dried and tinned goods which will have been used to decorate the church. Help will be needed on Saturday 23rd at 10.00am to arrange the flowers etc. “Come ye thankful people come, raise the song of home”. We look forward to see you on the morning and in church on the Sunday. A retiring collection will be taken for the Christian Aid Harvest Appeal following the service.

Harvest at St. Bleddian’s Church will be at 3.00pm on Sunday 8th October.

Don’t forget the meeting about the future of St. Bleddian’s Church on Thursday 12th October at

7.00pm. Please support and make your feelings known on its future.

200 Club. Renewal letters have been distributed to all shareholders seeking their renewal and hopefully taking out additional shares, together with an invitation for new shareholders to support this fund raising for the church building fund. If you are not at present a shareholder, please consider becoming a shareholder to help us keep the church in good order. Talk to Dickon Oliver 02920679108.

Visit to Margam Abbey 29th October to attend the 11.00am Mass. Book your seat on the FREE coach, leaving Wenvoe at 9.45am. Lunch can be a BYO to be eaten in the Church Hall or within Margam Park with a tour of the Abbey before we leave at 3.30pm.

Foodbank. Many thanks for continuing to support the Foodbank. Your gifts are very much appreciated; both gifts or food and money. Currently the store is providing more help than the donations coming in, and so they are reliant on stock they had received previously. Our weekly donations really do fill some of the gaps.

Pilgrimage to Sully Island 2nd October, 2.00pm –

Vicar Lyndon writes with an invitation to all.

Following our successful pilgrimage to Penrhys, some of us have been talking about finding an opportunity to do something similar – only shorter – out to Sully Island so…

Please join us on Monday 2nd October at 2.00pm to walk to Sully Island where we will celebrate a brief Eucharist and give thanks for the beauty of creation, weather permitting of course. I promise we will be back before the tide comes in!

It’s a bit rocky so could be a bit challenging at times, but it’s not very far. Please wear appropriate footwear.

We will gather by the Seashore Grill at 1:45pm on Monday 2nd October for our 2.00pm departure. All are welcome. Please feel free to invite your friends. For those who wish to do so, we will stop at one of the pubs upon our return to celebrate our safe return to the mainland.

Mid week Eucharist to be resumed at 10.00am in October on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday at St. Mary’s and the 2nd and 4th Wednesday at St. John’s in Sully. This is an opportunity to join in a quieter celebration of the Eucharist if you are unable to attend church on a Sunday. Please join us.

The Chattery will be meeting on Thursday 12th October in the Church Hall at 10.30am. All are welcome to join together for a coffee/tea and posh biscuits plus a FREE raffle for £2.00.

Thank you for reading this newsletter. There is a lot going on at St. Mary’s. Do join us for a great welcome. God bless.
Parry Edwards


St. Mary’s Church News – October


What a busy month October turned out to be in the life of the church, with November looking to maintain the momentum with many events planned during the month to which all are welcomed.

All our harvest services were well attended, with lots of donations for the Food Bank in Barry and the fresh vegetables and fruit to the Food Co-op in Cardiff. The Gwenfo School Choir sang during the service at St. Mary’s and was appreciated by the congregation, so thank you Head Teacher for your co-operation in bringing the children and their parents to join in our thanksgiving for all the blessings of harvest. The warm sunny weather when harvest was celebrated at St. Lythan’s, enticed many to be outdoors following the service to enjoy the refreshments laid on by the faithful ladies who made sure that all had a glass of what they fancied plus nibbles.

The pilgrimage to Sully Island on Monday October 2nd was not as fortunate with the weather, due to mist and drizzle, but a small number were brave enough to complete the crossing, having held an outdoor celebration of the Eucharist and a safe return to the mainland before the tide came in. Fellowship in a local establishment was most welcome to take the chill off.

The meeting to discuss the future of St. Bleddian’s Church on the 12th October was, despite the rain, was very well attended by representatives from Dyffryn, St. Lythan’s and Wenvoe and Sully together with the Archdeacon of Margam, Lyndon and the Ministry Area Leader, Andrew from Dinas Powys. The historical background to the church was given to illustrate how this little church had been established back in the 6th century, with a visiting priest or monk from one of the nearby monasteries, sharing the good news of Gospels in what was the early days of the Celtic church. Much later the present church was built in the 12th century and enlarged with the Button Chapel in the 16th century and restored in the 19th. Now the congregation has shrunk to worrying levels and consequently the financial position of the church is under great stress, but the meeting was positive and many expressions of financial help were promised. At present there is no intention of any closure proposed, but services could well be reduced to what is known as a Festival Church with worship held on the feast days of the church. This church has been a sacred place for millennia, a place where the faithful have brought their children to be baptised, for marriages to take place, for the dead to be laid to rest. The building is in need of repair and renovation to address the damp, the state of the windows and other matters to comply with Health and Safety issues, and also the maintenance and upkeep of the churchyard, and while there are grants to be applied for, most grant giving bodies need to know that there is a strong community backing for them to consider whether there is sufficient support to give any financial help to put these matters right. If you are able to give help to redress the current situation by attending worship, or being a part of the financial plans, you will be assured of a warm Welsh welcome, and knowing that you are doing your bit, however small, to rescue and maintain this historic church from any threat of closure. All enquiries to Rev. Lyndon Hutchison-HounsellTssf, Tel No. 02922 806018 who will be pleased to hear from you.

Midweek Eucharist Services have started for those who wish to attend a more quiet celebration in Wenvoe and in Sully at 10.00am in Wenvoe on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month and in Sully on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday.

All our services are being screened live if you are unable to attend in person. Some of our more elderly find this a great comfort as they are able to be a part of the service even though they are not able to actually be in church. The website is or you can use the QR code on this page of the church news. This also is streamed for Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals so those relatives who cannot be present can see the service in the comfort of their own home.

The season of REMEMBRANCE is shortly coming up. The service on All Souls day on Thursday 2nd of November at 7.00pm will be when friends or loved ones who have passed away are remembered by name. This year all names to be given to Vicar Lyndon, preferably by e.mail, lyndontssf@ outlook,com in time for the service. The community service on Remembrance Sunday November 12th at 10.00am followed by the Act of Remembrance at the Village War Memorial at 11.00am for the silence and laying of wreaths. Refreshments will be available in the Church Hall following the service, please join in this time of community fellowship to remember the sacrifice of so many in the two World Wars

Reports on the afternoon concert by the BYRDSONG singers, where we are promised a selection of sacred and secular items under the direction of Gareth one of our organists, is looked forward to, followed by an afternoon tea etc in the Church Hall will be in next month’s “What’s On”. Together with a report of the Confirmation Service at St.Peter’s in Dinas Powys at 3.00pm on November 5th when some of our congregation will be confirmed by Bishop Mary.

MESSY ADVENT A date for your diaries… a Messy Advent session is planned for Saturday December 2nd in the church hall, with crafts and “things to do”. worship and things to eat. More details to follow. God Bless and thank you for reading the church news

Parry Edwards




By the time you are reading this, schools are on the point of resuming for the Autumn Term, and following the cold, wet summer, let us hope for a brighter warmer September.

The three churches came together to celebrate the Holy Eucharist at St Bleddian’s on the fifth Sunday in July

St Bleddian’s The threat of rain in the weather forecast did not deter members from the three congregations from finding their way up to the ancient and holy hill, on which St. Bleddian’s church is sited. There has been a church here on this site from the 6th century, and the present building dates from the 12th century.

For the first time for many years the communion cup and cover of 1577 was used together with the 20th century silver cross donated to replace one that was stolen in the 1980’s. With good singing and Vicar Lyndon’s sermon on the theme of the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto many things, the service was completed with excellent hospitality and fellowship.

Thank you to the small congregation for their welcome and desire to host the occasion… Da Iawn.

The Chattery continues to be the place to meet together on the second Thursday of the month at 10.30am in the Church Hall, for a catch up and a coffee/tea and posh biscuits and a FREE raffle for a modest £2.00 per person. Why not come and join the company it is open to all, and we all need to meet up from time to time. Isolation is a terrible thing to experience, so come and make new friends on September 14th.

The phrase “A fish out of water” is quite familiar to us all. Have you seen the leaping salmon in the church grounds? Thanks to Mike we now have one, carved out of the dead cherry tree trunk to be admired by all.

Proposed Visit to Margam Abbey on October 29th 2023 to attend the 11.00am Mass.

Margam Abbey is celebrating its 875th year of foundation as a Cistercian Abbey this year and we propose a joint pilgrimage (by coach) as it is the 5th Sunday of the month, when we visit the other churches in our three church grouping of Sully, St. Lythan’s and Wenvoe.

Contact has been made with a member of the staff at the abbey, and they will be pleased to welcome us as a part of the congregation that morning. Lyndon has been invited to preach at the service, and he has accepted. We had hoped to arrange a lunch near to the abbey but the costs were higher than we anticipated.

After discussion with Lyndon we have decided to take a BYO lunch. The Abbey will accommodate us in the “Drill Hall”, adjacent to the Abbey and car parking area, and they will provide tea/coffee for which we would make a donation. Access to the Country Park can be obtained from the Abbey and within the Park itself there is also “Charlotte’s Pantry” with tea/ coffee etc and hot food until 3.30pm. After lunch we are arranging a tour of the Abbey Church which has many interesting monuments and architectural items to see.

Carol Jones in Sully has found us a 49 seater coach and the cost will be covered from church funds. Pickup in Wenvoe at 9.30am and return from Margam at 3.30pm.

A list will be available in church to book your seat on the coach or if you prefer to make your own way to Margam by car sharing.

Teddy Bear’s Picnic. To coincide with the Wenvoe Village Show in the Church Hall on the 9th September, we are arranging a BYO picnic in the church grounds from 1.00pm. We are in need of folding picnic tables as all the tables in the hall will be used to display the entries in the show. There will be lots of games and activities for the children, and for the adults a time of fellowship and a chat to catch up with others you do not see very often. A guest appearance of PEPPA PIG is promised during the afternoon to make the picnic go with a swing. The church will also be open should the weather be inclement. The afternoon will come to a close when the cakes etc in the show will be cut and shared, so cake, cake and more cake……. yum yum

Our Matronal Festival was held on August 13th at the 9.30 celebration of the Eucharist to honour Mary, Mother of Our Lord. The new notice board near the church gateway has been put in place, and now includes the dedication to which Mary, in the account of Christ’s life, our church is named. Thanks be to God.

Harvest Festival will be held on Sunday 24th at 9.30am and church decorating will be on Saturday 23rd at 10.00am. Help will be needed to decorate with flowers and tinned goods etc donated for The Food Bank in Barry; any fresh fruit and vegetables will be donated to a church in Cardiff. This year we are opening a Flower Fund to purchase the flowers and of course willing hands are needed to arrange them on the Saturday morning. Wenvoe is surrounded by many active farms, whose fields are now ripe for harvesting, so let us give thanks for the produce of the land and the farmers who work 24/7 to bring in the bounty of the land which the Lord our God has given us.. All are welcome to our celebration. The celebration of the Harvest will continue in St. John’s, Sully on October 1st at 11.00 am and at St. Lythan’s on October 8th at 3.00pm,

There will be a retiring collection in aid of the Christian Aid Harvest Appeal which will remain open when our other churches hold their own celebration.

Foodbank Many thanks for continuing to support the Foodbank. Your gifts are very much appreciated, both gifts of food and money. Currently the Food Bank is providing more help than the donations coming in, and so they are reliant on stock they had received previously. Concern was also expressed during the current school holiday as the usual help has been withdrawn. Our weekly donations do fill some of the gaps. So a BIG THANK YOU to all who give week by week.

For those of you who still have a holiday planned, have a safe journey and return, we shall be here to welcome you back.

God Bless.. St. Mary’s is your church and all are welcome.

Parry Edwards




A year has gone by since Lyndon and Chris made that long journey from Canada to be our Vicar here in Wenvoe as part of the Ministry Area of De Morgannwg. Now we are in the holiday month of August. Our church school has seen the senior class pupils preparing to join their new schools and we will be welcoming the youngest into the Nursery Unit. School holidays mean its holiday time for all the family, and whatever plans you have made to travel or take a staycation, may you have good weather and an enjoyable break. St. Mary’s will not be taking a holiday and will be open for worship as usual, although many of our regulars will no doubt be away, which makes even more room for visitors, who are most welcome to join our weekly worship at 9.30am on Sunday morning.
Wenvoe Village Show and Teddy Bears’ Picnic

The annual Village Show is being hosted in the Church Hall on September 9th and is being organised by Glenys and Mike Tucker and ably assisted by others. At the same time a Teddy Bears’ picnic will be held in the church grounds with a BYO picnic. Full details are on page 7.

The Harvest Festival this year will take place on September 24th at 9.30 am when the church will be decorated with many contributions for the Food Bank displayed around the church. We send many parcels each week to the Barry Food Bank to those in such great need in these days of high living costs. The demand is greater than ever with many essential items in short supply and the Food Bank has to rely on cash donations to buy in those items. Grateful thanks go to all who make a weekly contribution

A Flower Fund will be opened to purchase flowers to decorate the church and any gifts of fruit and vegetables will be most welcome. These items will be passed to a charity in Cardiff which distributes fresh vegetables etc to those who wish to provide fresh meals for their family. “Come ye thankful people come, raise the song of Harvest Home”.

Our LED Lighting System was completed just over a year ago on 12th May 2022.The benefit of switching to a LED system is now obvious with the savings we are making compared to the former Halogen fittings used in the building. During 2022 the church lighting was in constant use during the renovations and repainting the interior with a bill of £409 for the year. Since the installation for the first 6 months of 2023 our electricity bill is £136.The Ron Thomas Bequest was used to fund the installation and was a wise use of his bequest as shown by the running costs so far this year. Thankyou Ron. You were a faithful friend while you lived here and your gift will benefit St. Mary’s in the years ahead.
For those of you planning to be away on holiday, have a safe journey, an enjoyable time and a safe return.

Parry Edwards





What a great time we had this Christian Aid Week 2023.
The final total of £3048.46 (including Gift Aid) was a magnificent achievement and the best that has been achieved by Wenvoe so far!!!!. Everyone involved was enthusiastic and spread the information throughout the village, so that people knew what was happening and what the red flags around the church and balloons on the Church Hall represented.
The activities started with three intrepid walkers counting their steps throughout the month and gaining sponsorship for their efforts. Steve managed 411,272 Judith 331,416 and Cath 364,455 steps!
We explored the origins and current work of Christian Aid at a morning service prior to Christian Aid Week, including, the current situation in Malawi where new farming methods and the new crop of Pigeon peas have been introduced. Here villagers developed their skills, and working together within communities gained ownership of their achievements. This story was shared with Gwenfo School in their assembly. Here the children eagerly joined in volunteering to act out the strength of the Pigeon pea crops, and tasting a curry made with the peas.
Throughout the week volunteers delivered all houses with donation envelopes (delivery only). This gave information about Christian Aid, the current appeal, places where they could take donations, and an invitation to our “Cakes, Cakes, and, more Cakes”.
Our “Cakes, Cake, and more Cakes” event of complimentary Cakes and Coffee proved local people really like cake! They gave generous donations and also bought more cakes from our Take Away Cake stall. There was also an opportunity to taste Pigeon peas in a Dhal.
A Church collection was taken in St. John’s Church in Sully which added to the money raised.

The week concluded with the visit of Rev. Andrew Sully who is the Interim Head for Christian Aid Cymru. He told us of a recent cyclone in Malawi since we had started our appeal. However he joined with us in ‘Hope’ for what we can achieve together when we work in partnership.
Our thanks go to all of you who gave most generously and all who helped, in whatever part you played.
Jude Billingham






The Penrhys Pilrimage was for those who took part a very humbling and rewarding experience. Over three days the pilgrims set out from Llandaff Cathedral and walked the Pilgrimage Way in searing heat with some of the hottest temperatures we have seen so far this year. The final stretch of the way was on the last day with steep climbs, when finally reaching the site of the shrine to The Blessed Virgin Mary, they were greeted by others who had made their way to the hill top in Rhondda Cynon Taff. After visiting the Holy Well a short form of the Eucharist was celebrated and the pilgrims duly returned to their homes, tired but blessed by the experience of the fellowship enjoyed with each other. Thank you David and Helen and Lyndon and Chris for organising the arrangements. Well done.
Lyndon and Chris have been on holiday during the month, when they returned to Canada for family reunions and many catch ups with their children and others. We look forward to seeing them refreshed and full of “ where do we go from here”. In Lyndon’s absence Services have been held by our long time friend John Oeppen who also celebrated his birthday in church on “Father’s Day” being given a lighted candle and we all sang Happy Birthday.
On a sultry Saturday afternoon, 12 gardens were opened for visiting in aid of the Church Building fund from 12.00 noon to 5 .00 pm. All the gardens were different, some large some small and others in between. The one thing they all had in common was how the gardens are an extension of how we live our lives and that the garden is an extension of the home itself. There was a tremendous response and many of the gardens were visited by 80 or more during the opening time and many made use of the refreshments provided in the church grounds. Following many weeks of hot dry weather most gardens welcomed the rain in the early hours of the day, and there were many fevered checks on the weather forecasts, but the day was humid and hot but at least we did not suffer any health problems by our most welcome visitors.
The problem most gardeners have in their gardens is the presence of weeds, and how to keep them in check. We are told that a weed is simply a plant growing in the wrong place and are good for the natural world, and it so happened the next day, that we sang a hymn that contained the following words. “ but oh what tares (weeds) the evil one hath in his garden sown” which made me think that the morning rain had caused the many weeds to grow during the day. Oh well a gardener’s lot is not a happy one.
The financial result stands at a whopping £1000.00 including the amount raised by the surplus cake sales in the church porch after the morning service. A splendid result and thanks go to all who opened their gardens, made the cakes, sold the cakes and made the Tea/Coffee in the church grounds, but above all a big THANK YOU to all our visitors who
bought the tickets, gave donations for the refreshments and the sale of greeting cards, without you there would be no report to share in the success of the day. So thank you Glenys and Mike for all your work in pulling all the arrangements together and we look forward to 2025 for the next OPEN GARDENS.
During the month we were saddened to hear of the passing of two residents who had in different ways helped the church in the recent past. Trevor Case who had lived in Walston Road and worked with the Environment Group and church grounds, and Mike Flynn of Springfield Close who audited the church accounts for a number of years. We hold their families in our prayers at their loss. Well done thou good and faithful servants.
Thank you for reading the church news, We may be a small church but we have a large heart for all in the community. Contact Lyndon on Tel 029 2280 6018 (confidential phone) in times of need or fjust advice or even just to say hello.
See you in church, its FREE and you will get a good welcome


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