Christian Aid Week in Wenvoe – 12-18 May 2024




Christian Aid Week



 

Sometimes the simplest things can make a world of difference: every year, people in Wales and all around the UK come up with all kinds of fundraising activities to support Christian Aid. The appeal gives us seven days to make a difference to people in the most vul-nerable countries around the world.

Our global neighbours are also amazing at transform-ing their lives. This is Aline’s story. Aline Nibogora is 35 and lives in Burundi. She was married young and when she was 14, she gave birth to the first of her six children. Her husband was violent and beat her regularly – one day it got so bad, she fled.

“He would often jeer that he would kill me and bury me without anyone knowing,” Aline said.

Forced to leave her children behind, Aline wandered the streets trying to stay close by, asking anyone for a place to sleep.

“Those who showed me kindness would let me stay for two or three days, but it was difficult,” she ex-plained. “People would insult me and treat me with contempt. They forgot I was a human being. It filled me with sorrow.”

In a patriarchal society where men dominate in al-most every aspect, life is particularly challenging for women. They’ve been conditioned to be dependent on and dominated by men. But Aline found the strength and determination to push back against the injustices she was facing. Every gift, every action helps transforms lives; sometimes the simplest things can make a world of difference. Aline went to a three-day community workshop where Christian Aid-funded trainers taught people about village savings and loans associations.

“I came out of it with amazing knowledge and skills. During the training, I stayed focussed and was deter-mined to not miss out on anything at all. I really liked the teachers’ methodology; they restored in me a sense of hope and energy to take on initiatives. From then on, I started working hard, so I would not be dependent on anyone.”

With a small start-up loan, Aline began trading avo-cados and peanuts locally; then used her profits to buy a bicycle to transport greater quantities of goods to markets further afield. She is now a grocery whole-saler; she’s been reunited with three of her sons and lives on her own plot of land in a village in Kayogo-ro, in Makamba Province. She is planning to expand the business and is building a home for her family – she hopes she’ll one day have all her children with her.

“I bought some solar panels,” Aline added. “We now have electricity and the children are able to see to do their homework in the evenings. It’s true there’s a shortage of food at the moment, so there’s no lack of problems, but I’m doing what I can to get by, before we are able to harvest. I enjoy spending time with my children, who are my favourite people in the world”.

Aline is also now the chairperson of her own village savings and loan association and has helped 25 other families. She finds it important to be able to give

back and train others for the further development of the community as well as her country. Aline says the support of Christian Aid has made the whole commu-nity feel comforted and empowered. They feel they are not alone in their initiatives. Without your support we could not go further,

“You empowered us by changing our living condi-tions. Before, we couldn’t see opportunities around us. Now we can see positive and significant changes in our lives”.

This Christian Aid Week in Wenvoe

This year in Wenvoe we are busy planning money raising activities to continue to support the work of Christian Aid. We invite you to take part and to en-joy the week with us.

Our activities include:

  • Distributing ‘Delivery Only envelopes’ throughout the village giving details of how you can contribute to the appeal
  • On Wednesday 15th Assembly at Gwenfo school
  • On Wednesday 15th a ‘Clothes Swap’ (girls and women only) from 7pm at Alison’s home at 52 Wal-ston Road, where you can take pre loved items of clothing to donate or swap with others. No charge, but donations welcomed! Fizz and nibbles included!
  • On Friday 17th Big Brekkie and non-uniform Day at Gwenfo school
  • On Saturday 18th ‘Cake, Cake and More Cake’: in the Church Hall, Port Road from 10 – 12 30. No charge for refreshments, but donations welcomed, and, there will be a cake stall for take aways from one slice to whole cakes!

 

We look forward to seeing you during the week.

Jude Billingham:

 

Christian Aid Week in Wenvoe – 12-18 May 2024.

 



April Report




APRIL REPORT



 

A church for the future

Surprisingly few Christians include their church in their wills. This means that many committed Christians miss a tremendous opportunity to make a real impact on God’s work on earth. St. Mary’s has good reason to be thankful to the generations who have gone before. Through their good Christian stewardship and generous legacies they have provided for the mission and ministry of the Church over many centuries, the fruits of which we continue to enjoy today.

Imagine a situation where your gift could make a real and lasting difference to the work of the church. To extend a church to provide a meeting place for new church groups, to be a place where community groups could meet or perhaps to repair a church building, so that it can continue to be a place of worship and witness for centuries to come. Whether you give £200, £2000 or £20,000, your gift counts.

Interestingly, reliable research shows that people who make a will live longer than those who die intestate and further, that people who leave a gift to charity live an extra two years longer. Perhaps the act of giving provides a liberating and rewarding experience that makes such individuals happier and healthier. As Jesus said “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke.6.38)

A church for the present

The congregation has recently been asked to consider switching their monthly contribution away from direct debit (DB) to that of The Church in Wales “Gift Direct” (GD) means of giving. There are advantages in this, as it greatly reduces the workload on the treasurer in the reclaiming of Income Tax when the gift is Gift Aided. With “GD” the tax element is refunded within days of the money being released from your bank account into the church account. We are grateful for any gift given towards the running of the church, and we thank all who support us in maintaining the work and mission of God’s church here in Wenvoe and St. Lythan’s.

We are now well into the season of Lent and when you read this we shall be celebrating the Festival of Easter. This year we have continued with our appeal for donations in memory of loved ones to provide lilies to decorate the church, and we invite you all to visit the church on Holy Saturday afternoon from 2.00 – 4.00 pm to view our beautiful church made even more splendid with flowers in memory of those who have gone before us. Do please come. A warm welcome awaits you.

The Barry Food Bank has been through a critical time with increased demand for their help whilst at the same time contributions of food etc has dropped, leaving them with a short fall. An appeal for cash donations has been well responded to, which

 

 

 



St. Mary’s Church News March




MARCH REPORT



We have on our church notice board the words “Croeso I bawb” that is “welcome to all” and that is what we offer to our congregation whenever we gather for worship in church. Our church is a welcoming church to all who wish to join us in worship to the One true God and His son Jesus Christ. We are now in the penitential season of Lent, that period of forty days leading up the great festival of Easter. You will notice that the church is a little bare, with the flowers taken away and there are less brass ornaments on the altar and sacristy. We do not have as much singing in the service as usual, the message being that in Lent we give up doing the usual pattern of a sung service to a more simple form. Lent is a time of not only giving something up, but of going that further mile in helping someone you know who would appreciate a little gesture of friendship, help with an everyday task, a telephone call to make sure they are O.K. a donation to the Food Bank to help those in greater need than ourselves, Lent can be used as a means of helping others, try it, you will e following our Lord, as he went about, seeking out the lost and the lonely.

Ash Wednesdays

The first day of Lent was kept in the Wenvoe and Sully churches as we began our journey through Lent with a solemn Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes. As Lyndon wrote “This is the day we begin our penitential season of Lent with the remembrance that we are mortal symbolised by receiving ashes on the forehead” our Lenten study will continue on Tuesday evenings on ZOOM at 7 –8 pm Email Vicar Lyndon for ZOOM info at lyndontssf@ outlook.com The Lenten Weekday Eucharist on Wednesdays at 10.00am 1st and 3rd Wednesday in Wenvoe and 2nd and 4th Wednesday in Sully. See full details of the services for HOLY WEEK 2024 on the notice boards in the church porch.

Jude Billingham has been outlining the plans for this year’s Christian Aid Week in May ( full details in next month’s What’s On) and in the meantime wearing her Food Bank Hat, Jude has been letting the congregation know how desperately the food banks need our gifts as they find themselves overwhelmed with the demands on them, whilst at the same time donations of food and other essentials have dried up. You can leave your gifts in the containers in the church porch, and there is a list of items they need most. Jude and Nigel then take them to the Food warehouse in Barry on a Thursday morning A big thank you to all the regular givers, your gifts are really needed. Another way to help is to give a cash donation, which enables the team in Barry to go out and purchase items in most need. You can leave your donation in the secure post boxes in the church porch and the church hall porch. Thank you.

It has become our custom in the month when there are 5 Sundays to meet as a joint congregation in our churches on a rota basis. However this year the 5th Sunday in March happens to be Easter day and it was felt that each congregation would want to worship in their own church, the following Sunday the 8th April we will be gathering at St. John the Baptist church in Sully at 10.00am Do please join us and meet up with new friends. Refreshments and fellowship to follow the service.

The Chattery

Has met on the 2nd Thursday of the month in Wenvoe Church Hall and has increased in numbers, with lots of chat and NEW Beakers for the hot drinks and plenty of posh biscuits and numerous FREE raffle prizes. Make it a date in your diary, next meeting March 14th. All are most welcome.

Have you seen the display of miniature daffodils planted by the Wenvoe Branch of the Women’s Institute to commemorate their 100 years in Glamorgan. The planting takes the form of a underlined “W.I” and is a very good floral addition to the larger display of daffodils now In bloom.

Maundy Thursday March 28th

AGAPE SUPPER at 7.00pm in the church Hall incorporating the Holy Eucharist concluding with a Watch Service in Church. An appeal for soup makers to provide an assortment of soups. (please contact Sandra Davies) Donations in aid of Christian Aid. All are welcome.

It has been our custom for many years to decorate the church with extra flower displays for Easter Day to commemorate loved ones who have passed to their greater glory. Donations please with names to be recorded by Palm Sunday March 24th.

Palm Sunday March 24th

9.30am Eucharist and Palm Procession from the Church Hall Car Park will have a donkey to accompany us and will also be in the churchyard following the service. ”The Holy Journey through the Cross to the Resurrection begins with the Palm Procession recalling Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem”

There is a warm welcome for you in church God Bless……

Parry

 



St. Mary’s Church News February




FEBRUARY REPORT



The January Church News page ended with the words ‘We look forward to seeing you at our services’. Bishop Mary in a recent prayer for the diocese used the ‘Come and see’ taken from the Gospel according to John, when Philip told Nathaniel that he had found Jesus, the promised Messiah, much to Nathaniel’s scepticism. Philip issued the invitation ‘Come and see’. These words are an invitation to all in our community who are not used to churchgoing, to come and experience for yourselves the warm welcome that you will receive from the greeters in church, the help offered to follow the service and to make you feel at home in the love of Jesus. The church is a warm safe place, the music is uplifting, the singing will benefit from your participation and is good for your own wellbeing. If you are baptised, you can take part in the Communion or simply receive a blessing at the altar rail. Come and see and you will not be disappointed.

The congregation and many in the community were saddened to hear that Sheonagh Ormrod, the wife of Vicar Jon, had passed away after five months of declining health. Jon and Sheonagh had moved to the parish Worle near Weston Super Mare in 2021, having been here for seven years. Her funeral on 23rd January was attended by many from Wenvoe, St. Lythan’s and Sully as a mark of respect for Jon and his two daughters and was a loving caring service, a real tribute to the work Jon had done in the short time he and Sheonagh had been in the parish. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. For those who were not able to travel to Worle, Vicar Lyndon led a short service of prayers and readings being used at the service in St. Mary’s.

At the same time, we also received the news that Colin Jenkins had passed away after a long illness. Colin was well known in the community for his work in many areas including the preparation of “What’s On”. His funeral took place on Thursday 25th in St. Mary’s Church followed by cremation at the Cardiff and Vale crematorium. We offer our prayers and thoughts to Anne and her two daughters as they now face the future without him. ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant’. RIP.

Looking back at our Christmas celebrations, it was a very busy time with Carol Services and Midnight Eucharist followed by a service at St. Lythan’s on Christmas Day. The collection taken at the Community Carols and Nine Lessons for Ty Hafan came to £400 and a letter of thanks has been received. This can be viewed on the notice board in the church porch.

Now we are approaching the Season of Lent with Ash Wednesday on 14th February. This year the Imposition of Ashes will be at 10.00 am at St. John’s Church in Sully and in the evening at 7.00pm at St. Mary’s. Lent is a time of preparation for the great feast day of Easter, and Vicar Lyndon has arranged a series of Lenten talks on Zoom on Tuesday evenings at 7.00pm-8.00pm. Vicar Lyndon writes ‘I will offer

some insights into the structure of the liturgies of Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day beginning on Tuesday 20th February. We experience these liturgies but we don’t often have the opportunity to reflect on their structure and content and what they say to us through our Lenten journey’ To take part please email Lyndon on Lyndontssf@outlook.com and he will let you have the details to allow access Zoom.

The congregation marked the many years of service by Robert Lloyd who played the organ and now wished to stand down. We thank him for the contribution he made to our act of worship, at funerals and weddings. Gareth Williams our other organist has agreed to continue to inspire us with his expertise at the keyboard. We will try and find a replacement for Rob. Is there a fledging organist locally who Gareth could train? Please contact Vicar Lyndon for full details of what we can offer.

We also wish to thank Kenneth Mathews for his work organising the weekly newsletter. This has now been taken over by Helen Kennedy of Sully. Ken had many roles in St. Mary’s as churchwarden, Secretary to the church council, Server at the altar, in charge of the church heating and other duties. So, we thank you Ken for all your diligence in church affairs, but thankfully we will still see you in church. Da iawn.

Please see Jude Billingham’s article on the Food Bank on page 11.

To all our readers, and the friends of St. Mary’s keep warm in this very cold weather. We welcome all to join in our Sunday and Wednesday morning Service.

God Bless,

Parry Edwards

 



Advent Windows 2023



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 (judebillingham@yahoo.co.uk), 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




0CTOBER REPORT



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




OCTOBER REPORT



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 ipcamlive.com/stmarywenvoe 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

 



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