Church News – January
ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH NEWS
Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is already three weeks old as I write this, looking back at the Christmas Services, we had almost record numbers attending the Community Carol Service, The Waiting for Jesus service, and the Midnight Communion Service saw the highest number of communicants for many years. It is thought that the Christmas Card, designed by the children in our “Pebbles” group, and delivered to all homes in the parish, brought the Christmas services to all in a way that we have not done for a number of years. Reaching out into the community is one of the prime reasons why we are here to spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus, born at Christmas to be the Light of the World and the Saviour of Mankind.
In the midst of all the celebrations this year, two families lost their loved ones and the funerals of Joan Bosley and Vera Tipples were very well attended, showing the respect and love that these two ladies were held in by their families and neighbours.
We were able to donate to various charities from the collections taken at recent services. The Remembrance Day service raised £208 for the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal. The collection for Ty Hafan was increased to £400 for the childrens hospice at Sully. An additional amount, again for Ty Hafan was taken using a sealed collection tin, amount unknown.
As you will recall, Archbishop Barry has retired during the month and we were able to send a donation of £100 towards his retirement fund. The Right Reverend Barry Morgan has been the longest serving Bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion and has been here in Llandaff since 1999, having been translated from Bangor where he had been their Bishop for 7 years. He has been at the helm of the Church in Wales for the last 14 years, and has arguably been Wales’ most outspoken cleric, never afraid to champion causes from Welsh devolution to the ordination of women bishops. We wish him a long and happy retirement, though sadly without his wife Hilary who died last year.
So there is now a vacancy in the Diocese. .technically, any priest of the Anglican communion who is more than 30 years old can be elected Bishop. Both men and women can be elected, and the process begins with a secret ballot under the control of the Electoral College . 47 members of the church from all over Wales will gather at Llandaff to make their decision and will be literally locked in while the world is locked out. Later the commission will meet again to elect a new Archbishop from among the other diocesan bishops, Until this decision is arrived at the present senior bishop, who the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon has the responsibility of looking after day to day running of the Church in Wales.
The current programme of work in the churchyard is coming to an end with the drainage around the transept and vestry completed and the trenches filled with aggregate to make French drains to take the water off the roofs into another soak away. The church porch is completed with work to the paving slabs and the curved ceiling repaired and repainted. Shortly the cleaning of the stained glass of the East Window will be carried out before new stainless steel window guards are to be fitted. The church gates have been removed to receive the top coat of paint, and the Kissing Gate between the church and the Old Rectory will also be refurbished. Mike, our contractor, has been a most efficient worker, meticulous in his care, and with due respect for the surroundings. We have been very fortunate in having him, and hope he will be the choice for the work we have planned for 2017.
There are in church, leaflets from a Christian Charity called TWAM CYMRU, based in Penarth who collect tools and other items, which are refurbished and sent abroad to equip craftsmen and women to earn a living in the developing world. If you wish to get rid of any tools, of any kind, contact Andrew on 029 2007 05614.
TRAIDCRAFT during the year was well supported with stalls at the various events and coffee mornings. The FOODBANK regular collections have continued, plus the special collections for Christmas goodies and there was an impressive selection of toys and gifts for the Big Wrap. Once again we thank Jude Billingham and her team of helpers for the hard work they put into organising not only the work they do for the Food Bank but also for the time and effort they put into the Christian Aid appeal every year.
During the year, at the many social events held in the church hall and elsewhere, a thank you is due to the Social Committee for all the preparation made for the serving of tea and coffee after services and the “Chattery”. They have arranged that the Lenten lunches will begin on March 8th in the Church Hall and volunteers are asked for to make the soup etc. The Annual Fun Quiz is booked for February 4th at 7.30pm in the Community Centre, Tickets are £6 available from Carol and Sandra. Once again we thank Ian Moody for not only devising the quiz, but also acting as Quizmaster on the night
The Parish Magazine has a new name… it is called CONNECTIONS and is available for collection in church, priced 50p a copy. This month’s front cover is a lovely photograph of Snow Drops, a sure sign that Spring is on the way, and that in church, the season of Lent, followed by Easter is on the horizon, more next month on Lent services. In the meantime please submit any writings or articles or any newsworthy items for the magazine to me for inclusion as part of the Wenvoe contribution.