By the time you read this, so much has taken place in church towards the latter end of February. We are now in the solemn season of Lent, that period of 40 days before Easter, that the church keeps a low key as a preparation for the glorious feast of Easter, when we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord in Glory on the first day of the week. Shrove Tuesday (pancake day), the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent was kept, when we joined in proceedings with our friends in Sully. St. David was not forgotten and he was remembered in our church school, with lots of leeks and daffodils in evidence. Our annual fun quiz took place on Leap Years day, and was well supported with all tickets sold out, and our quiz master Mr Ian Moody as usual had much head scratching among the quizzers with his thought provoking questions.
The restoration of the floor tiles meant the church had to be closed during the week so an alternative venue for Ash Wednesday was arranged, and having had a sneak preview of the work being carried on the tiles, the final effect will be a surprise to many people.
The wall plastering within the chancel and at the rear of the organ console is now complete and is drying out in readiness for the final coat of paint after the floor tiles have been cleaned and restored. The dossal curtains, on either side of the altar, have been to the dry cleaners, and will be back in their accustomed place for Easter. Just for the record these curtains were given to St. Mary’s by the Young Farmers many years ago when the Rev John Christopher was Rector, and they have served us well.
Work has continued in the churchyard, with more gravestones being stabilised, and the laurel hedge along Walston Rd/Clos Llanfair has been cut back and lowered. It was thought that this hedge was getting out of hand and was encroaching on graves, and of course being laurel it will all grow back. Many of the older historic memorial stones have been sprayed to remove the layers of dirt and Verdigris which was obliterating the carved inscription, and now are so easy to read.
There has always been a mystery surrounding a pile of dismantled gravestones in the far corner of the “new” churchyard to a family called “HEWINS” recording the death of a son of the family being killed in Cairo in 1942. Investigation on the Commonwealth Graves website has revealed that he was in the Royal Air force Reserve and that he was killed on active service and buried in the Heliopolis War Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt. His grieving family recorded his death here in Wenvoe as a mark of respect and an acknowledgement that he was not forgotten, even though he was buried in a foreign field so far away. His name is not on the Village War Memorial as his family home was in Sketty, Swansea at the time of his death and possibly the parents had moved away from Wenvoe when the war ended in 1945. The other mystery that remains
is why was the grave dismantled, so that the original site of it has now been lost.
Jon and his two churchwardens attended the inaugural 2020 Pilgrimage service at Llandaff Cathedral and brought back to Wenvoe the Pilgrimage Candle which will burn at every service during the year of pilgrimage. The “pilgrim bear” is making its progress around the diocese and will be in Wenvoe sometime at the end of the year. More of that later.
This year, it has been decided that the Lent Lunches will not be held on the Wednesdays in Lent as in previous years, due to falling numbers who attended over the past few years. The Agape Supper on the evening of Maundy Thursday will still take place. More details later.
Mothering Sunday on the 22nd March will be an All Age Celebration of the Eucharist at 9.30 am with a contribution from our “Pebbles” children. The church will be decorated with the daffodils grown from the bulbs given to the children at last year’s Harvest Festival celebration. As in previous years, if the bulbs fail there is always M&S or the garden centre to fall back on.
Christian Aid Update 2020 – This year Christian Aid will be addressing Climate Change and how this affects the most vulnerable communities. They are featuring some of the work they have undertaken in Kenya where families and whole communities have needed to change the way in which they produce their crops. Here families who are suffering the most with climate change have needed to work together to ensure they find ways to harness what rainfall they have so that they can water their crops, and secure their futures.
Count Your Blessings Lent Calendar: This helps us gain day by day information and challenges alongside prayer requests addressing life stories and examples of what can be achieved. The Calendars will be available in church from 20th February or contact Jude Billingham on 02920594708.
VE 75 – Preparations to celebrate and mark the 75th anniversary of the ending of WWII in Europe are in hand and will be announced shortly as we join in with the Community for the peace we have enjoyed since 1945.
Blessings to all readers, and a warm welcome awaits you at St. Mary’s.