A Happy New year to all our Readers…
January is called after the Roman god Janus who was the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, one looking to the future and one looking back to the past. This month is the time when looking back into the year that has ended, reminds us of what has happened in St. Mary’s Church and what we are hoping and looking forward to in 2019. It is a time of reflection, a time of recalling events in the year of 2018, a time of taking stock of the position we find ourselves in the life of the parish church in the community of Wenvoe.
There have been times when our church has been bursting at the seams with the nave and transept full and people standing in the tower vestry. The Remembrance Sunday service when we marked the 100 years since the signing of the Armistice in the 1st World War, was one such occasion. The services and Carol Concerts during the Christmas celebrations always bring in the crowds. We have conducted some very large funerals, with many standing in the churchyard, unable to get a seat inside the church. The Scarecrow Festival and Harvest Celebration in September, despite the bad weather, brought hundreds of visitors to the church. Our Parish Priest Jon works tirelessly in producing services that catch the mood of the seasons throughout the year, and the congregation really appreciates all that he does to enliven the message of salvation that he brings to each and everyone in the community.
He is supported in his work by the many volunteers, who give cheerfully of their time, who see to the daily running of the church. The two Churchwardens, the men and women who are on the church cleaning rota, the men who wind up the church clock, week by week, those who raise and change the flags flying on the flagpole on the tower, the ladies who arrange the flowers, the members of the Social Committee for catering and providing delicious cakes etc, at the many times during the year when hospitality is offered to visitors, and to all who donate cakes and biscuits so willingly during the year. Mention must be made of the members of the Music Group who play at the all Age Service on the 4th Sunday of the month. This informal worship is enhanced by their playing, and the hymns and songs often go with a swing and much clapping. The Chattery meets in the Church Hall on the 2nd Thursday of the month, offering a time for Tea/Coffee and a chat, with a raffle and a Tradecraft Stall. There are many regular customers but there is always room for more with a great welcome thrown in. Our 200 Club continues to grow and there are now more than 300 shareholders at £12 per share. The prizes are drawn at the Coffee/Tea in the church hall following the morning service on the 4th Sunday of the month. Dickon Oliver is pleased to welcome more shareholders as the proceeds are a major
contributor to our Building Fund, which is used to fund many of the day to day repairs to the fabric of the church building.
Mention must also be made of the two services recorded for BBC Wales in October with one broadcast on Advent Sunday and the other will be broadcast on Epiphany – Sunday the 6th January 2019.
Our churchyard is often commented upon as to how well it is being kept, thanks to Mike Tucker who keeps an eye on it, and who also works in areas not seen such as the tower, roof and gutters. Our electrics are kept in order by Neil Bainbridge, who for a number of years has replaced fittings and bulbs when necessary. All these people and many more all work together to keep the doors of St Mary’s open, to offer a welcome into God’s house that is sincere and caring for everyone’s wellbeing.
During the year our Pebbles Group, who meet in the Church Hall, join with the 9.30 am congregation and what joy and happiness they bring with them. Leaders and parents we thank you for being with us and sharing the activities they have been working on during their Sunday morning session. There is always room for more and Alyson Williams and her team are ready to welcome new children at any time. Likewise the Messy Church sessions on selected Saturday afternoons are well supported. These are run with the Vale Church and are great fun with worship, singing, craft activities and at the end a meal is shared and all of this is FREE.
So much for what has been happening, now we look forward to seeing the plans for relaying the chancel floor into a gradual gradient, to take away the chancel step, which is considered a hazard to the congregation and wheelchair users alike. We also await the revised plans for our proposed church extension on the North side of Nave; they will be different from the previous plans we were considering, but will be more user friendly. So we welcome 2019 in, knowing that the future looks bright, and that there remains much work for willing hands.
A date for your diary The Family Fun Quiz will take place on Saturday 16th February 2019 in the Community Centre, Wenvoe at 7.00pm for a 7.30 start with our quiz master Ian Moody ably assisted by his daughter Kim. Raffle and nibbles available. Tickets on sale NOW..
A Blwythyn Newydd Da. Happy New year 2019 — bring it on!