News for June
Here in Wales, the Welsh Government has relaxed some of the COVID restrictions we have lived under for the past 14 months, but with new freedoms come the responsibilities we have to each other.
While cafes, museums, cinemas and much more can now open, churches still have to abide with the previous rules of social distancing, the wearing of face masks, no singing allowed, and having to book your place in the congregation. So, for the moment, nothing has changed. At St. Mary’s we are having repairs and repainting in the nave and chancel, so the building remains closed. All worship was transferred to the Church Hall and it is hoped services in June will be back in church. See the church notice board for the latest details and arrangements.
After much hassle and delay, Wi-Fi was finally installed in the church. The streaming of services will now go ahead when we are able to reopen. The delay was caused by not having a postcode, not having a letter box, the “Open reach” ladders were too short, need I say more!! The 10.30am service on Facebook stopped during the month as we were able to stream a service from either Sully or Wenvoe at the regular times of 9.30am and 11.00am. The Facebook service was widely popular with people logging in from far and wide, and far more were taking part on line than we could ever hope to see in church. Reaching out beyond the confines of the church building is our Mission to the community and we invite those who cannot attend in person and have a Wi-Fi connection, to join in with us as we explore different ways of doing “church”.
The Christian Aid appeal “MAKING STEPS MATTER” took place during the month, and first results are encouraging. This year like last year, we could not organise a house-to-house collection, but the bunting and banners outside the church and the village school, was a reminder that the gift of water in many parts of the world is a rare commodity. The appeal was to count the steps we take each week in our daily lives and compare them with the many steps the women in Africa have to take to fetch water for their daily use. The appeal remains open, and your gift of money will help so many to build water dams in their villages so that walking many miles will be a thing of the past.
The latest news on the church tower is that our architect has prepared the “spec” and this has gone out to tender, for the work to be carried out as soon as possible. Any contractor who submits a tender must have proven “conservation experience of stonework” in churches and other listed buildings. Until these tenders come in, we have no idea of what the likely cost is going to be. The churchwardens aided by the PCC have the responsibility of ensuring that the fabric of the church is kept in good order, and the last time the tower was under investigation was almost twenty years ago. The work carried out then has not stood the test of time and the weathering we have had over those years has caused the deterioration of the mortar applied at that time.
Kevin Barry, who has been serving his time as an ordinand in St. Mary’s is coming to an end with his ordination as a deacon in the cathedral on June 26th. He will then be welcomed into Wenvoe parish as a curate on Sunday 27th June. His ordination to the priesthood will be at a date and place yet to be agreed. To mark this great event in his life, it was decided, that he will be presented with a purple stole from the three churches (Sully, St Lythans and Wenvoe) as a mark of the great affection he was held in during his training with Jon.
Our congregation in Wenvoe, as in many other parishes, has a large number of elderly parishioners, and however hard we try to encourage younger people to join us, we remain as we are, reliant on older generations to keep the roof on and the door open. Recently Mrs Mary Turner celebrated her 90th birthday. Mary is not able to attend church these days so home visits are a real treat for her. A copy of the church magazine is really appreciated, as is a copy of the weekly newsletter, and she listens intently as the readings and lessons are read to her. During this time of COVID these visits are very limited, and her carers are doing a truly wonderful job in looking after her. To all in this older generation the congregation is very thankful for the support they have continued to give to the church in Wenvoe, and there will be a place for them when they are able to return to what we are calling the NEW NORMAL pattern of services.
The development and progression to the new Ministry Area has continued, with meetings arranged on Zoom. You will have read that the name of our ministry area will be “de Morgannwg” that is “south Glamorgan”, and that we in Wenvoe will be one of nine churches coming together to spread the “love of Christ to our communities”. There is still much to do in setting up the various groups to iron out any difficulties in time for the decree to be issued on January 1st, 2022.
At a recent meeting of the PCC, held on Zoom, the chairman, Jon, thanked all members of the PCC for their continuing help and support during these days. We are awaiting the very latest guidelines from the Bench of Bishops. Until then we are still under the same guidelines that have applied since we were able to re-open our church on the 21st March.
Keep safe and God Bless,