Dear Friends,

 

 I trust that you are all well and that despite the lockdown life is not proving to challenging at this present time.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you one or two things.

Firstly as some parts of the Uk look at life after lockdown and here is Wales there are one or two minor changes then it would be wrong of us not to think about Church after lockdown.

I think when we do return we will be needing to ask ourselves some major questions about our church life and our faith itself.  Whilst many may think we want to get back to ‘normal’ then we will; be needing to ask ourselves what sort of normal do we want to get back to?

 You may be familiar with the story of St Columba who founded a monastic settlement on the Island of Iona and using it as a base set out on the mission to bring the light of Christ to the to the land we now know as Scotland.

 To do so he had to leave everything that was familiar behind and literally he had to make a fresh start.

Well I would suggest to you that our situation in this present time is somewhat similar to Columba’s.

We have come from a place of familiarity to a place of unfamiliarity and call it exile or pilgrimage we are still in a place where a few weeks ago at the start of March we did not think or ever imagine we would be. We have had to adjust to a new routine, a new way of life, a new way of doing things and we have had to make friends with the ‘natives’..those living in close proximity to us (Tongue in cheek of course)

We have had to become familiar with a different way of being church and worshipping in new and inventive ways. Columba had no church building to begin with and no doubt he and his followers simply had to be and do church wherever it was convenient and possible.  They had one constant however and that was the Holy Scriptures and their life of prayer that connected them to God even though they were in a different place and situation.

 They learned to live a different way. As of all of us have had to adjust to lockdown so the brothers and Columba learned a different rhythm of life in this new place, establish their ‘home’ building a place to worship, sewing crops, foraging for food  and tending their gardens that would provide them with sustenance. They had the familiarity of the scriptures and they found familiarity in a daily call to prayer that has no doubt sustained you and I in these different times.

 

They learned a new dependence on God to provide. As you and I have got used to a different way of shopping and living and providing for ourselves and others so did the monks of Iona. Daily they gave thanks for all they had and no doubt like us prayed that others may share in God’s bounty and not go hungry, hence our work to help the foodbanks in this time of greater need.

They learned to look beyond the present situation and to envision what the future held for them. On 31st May we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday the traditional birthday of the church and he beginning of the sending out of the Disciples and Apostles of Jesus into the known world and beyond. In a similar way Columba and his minks were called to do the same, to make Iona their base and then to venture out into Mainland Scotland and spread the word of God in a way that was within their culture and accessible to the people of the places they would visit. In that sense we too are now called to begin to envision just what church may look like after the lockdown has ended and we are allowed to return to our places of worship.

We will need to ask ourselves some hard questions I believe when the time comes and whilst there will be a comfort and familiarity in our four square walls we must also recognise the fact that all we have been doing in lockdown has connected with many more people than the church usually comes into contact with.

We have become more dependant on one another, we have worshipped in different ways, we have been called to look outward into the heart of community and not within the invisible walls we sometimes erect in fear and we have been called to be true disciples of Jesus and ‘go out’.

All these things we should be committing to prayer now for I can guarantee that before Columba and his followers did anything they would first pray long and hard and seek an answer or a sign from God.

 Today on Iona modern day  Pilgrims travel to at St Columba’s bay and here they have been asked to do two things.

One. Pick up a stone and hold it in your hand and imagine that within this stone are contained all the things in life past and present you would wish to be rid of and throw it into the sea.

Two. Pick up a stone and put it in your pocket and take it home with you as a sign and a reminder of a recommitment to God and all you will take with you from your Island pilgrimage.

I believe that you and I can do the same. We can in faith choose to think about and then leave behind after this time all the things that are unhelpful and hinder us in our church life and in our faith and then we can begin to explore together as we leave this place of lockdown pilgrimage what our faith and our church may look like in the future.

 

 

To help us in engaging with this idea the Rev Canon Ian Rees Rector of St Mary’s Swansea has just published a new book dealing with the many issues that face the church in this present age. It is recommended and endorsed by our Archbishop John and part of his forward I reproduce below.

 

a number of places the urgency of the situation to which Ian Rees points has been and is being recognised as is the excitement and new life which embracing change can bring. I commend his efforts and thank him for reminding us again that what does not change iks in danger of dying.

 

The link to the book which is available on Kindle and in traditional form is below

I believe that you and I can do the same. We can in faith choose to think about and then leave behind after this time all the things that are unhelpful and hinder us in our church life and in our faith and then we can begin to explore together as we leave this place of lockdown pilgrimage what our faith and our church may look like in the future.

 

 

The Book is available in traditional and Kindle formats and the link is below

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Church-Confident-Closing-Coronavirus-lessons-ebook/dp/B088GVB2QH/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Church+Confident+or+Closing&qid=1589623842&sr=8-1

It also has its own facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/Church-Confident-or-Closing-110359137342945/

 

However much of the good work is already being undertaken and you can find so many good ideas at

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=swanbrec%20ideas%20exchange&epa=SEARCH_BOX

 

I can seriously recommend this book as a good way for all of us to begin seriously considering the future life of our church and how we will build on our tradition of the past yes but also the way we have had to adapt ourselves in the present time to a new and possibly different and challenging future.

 

 

I have also received this email from Chris Burr one of the Ministry Tutors at St Padarn and the video will certainly give an idea of the breadth of innovation being used out there at this time

 

Dear all,

 

Firstly, I trust that you’re keeping safe and well.

 

We are living in extraordinary times, and Christians from all walks of life have had to rapidly reimagine their work and ministries over the past few weeks.

 

In a bid to try and capture a snapshot of how the Church and its people have adapted to life in lockdown, I have collected a series of short videos (most just 3 or 4 minutes long) from every corner of Wales, and brought them together under the heading of ‘Voices from the Province’. As you attended the pre-retirement conference, I thought you might find this interesting.

 

Amongst these videos, you will find contributions from Bishop Joanna, Bishop Andy and Bishop Gregory, as well as from other Clerics in the Church in Wales, Chaplains, Doctors, Teachers, Youth Leaders, Readers and Lay Ministers, University Students, Ordinands, Funeral Directors and many others besides. We have also collected videos from a few Ordinary Families, happy to share how they are coping and adapting to the new world we find ourselves living in at present.

 

I have been truly inspired and uplifted listening to these stories as I have collated them. They provide a fascinating insight to the new normal for many people, and I would really encourage you to take some time to take a look. Just follow the link here: https://www.stpadarns.ac.uk/en/ministry/voices-province/.

 

It’s probably too much to view them all in one go, but I’m hoping you’ll dip in more than once, especially as more are being added all the time.

 

Pob bendith. Cadwch yn sâff.

 

Chris Burr

Tutor in Ministerial Development, St Padarn’s

 

 

Are you aware…..

 

The Diocese has its own facebook page for ideas for ministry in many areas but especially in these current times.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/swanbrec/

 

 

And Finally…..last but not least…..the M word…

 

Supporting your Church during the Virus Crisis.

Your local parish urgently needs your financial help.

 One of the most underused resources in the whole of the Diocese is the Diocesan Stewardship Officer. Mr Nigel King. I have asked Nigel to put together something for this letter as it has been highlighted to me that some churches are having difficulties with giving at present because of locked churches and of course the impact that this has on

a)    Regular weekly giving

b)    Lack of fundraisers due to COVID 19 restrictions

Nigel has many years experience in  this area and I have asked him to put a few thoughts together that with a little work on our part we can continue to support all our churches in whatever way we can afford at this tough time.

 It isn’t that people don’t want to support the church in this time of crisis; it is the lack of opportunity. Regular churchgoers used to give generously each sSunday during worship. But, of course, there are no longer any services in church for them to go to! So the gift envelopes don’t get used. And the banknotes in the wallets are spent elsewhere. But your Church Treasurer will tell you that he still has church bills to pay: utility bills; insurance bills; day to day expenses. Even though our buildings are closed, the work of ministry goes on and the bills still have to be paid. So your support is still needed.

There are a number of ways you can give.

If you are used to putting your cash on the plate in church then please drop it through the letterbox of your treasurer if you can - or post a cheque.

Or you can arrange for payments to be made directly from your bank account. The easiest way to do this is to fill in the attached �Gift Direct� form. All the information you need is on it. It has been designed by Church in Wales to make it as simple as possible for you. One hundred percent of what you give will go to the parish of your choice on a monthly basis along with any �Gift Aidï due.

 

Alternatively, you could set up a Standing Order with your Bank. The Bank can tell you how to do this. You will need to get the sort code and account number of your parish from the Treasurer.

 

Those of you who have internet banking can make a direct transfer of money yourself. Again you will need the Church sort code and account number for this; and you will need to make sure the Treasurer knows who has given the money. The bank system will have a way for you do to that.

 

However given the situation of people making a bank payment,  the

treasurers need  to be able to identify the payee, so anyone making an

on-line payment or setting up a Direct Debit or Standing Order to be sure to

put their name on it as reference and do contact your treasurer and let them

know what you are doing know. This is to be sure that we can still maximise

the gift aid refund from HMRC.

 

But the simplest way to carry on giving is to fill in the Gift Direct form attached. If you need help with it call Glenda Edwards at 029 2034 8216 email giftdirect@churchinwales.org.uk

https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/clergy-and-members/gift-direct/

If you cannot download the forms speak to your Vicar/Treasurer who can help with this.

Or if you just want to talk to someone about whether this form of giving is right for you then call Rev. Nigel King at 0192 233 124

Rev Nigel King Bishops Officer for Stewardship.

 

Finally, can I again thankyou for all your efforts as the people of God’s Kingdom during this time. Please pray for me as I pray for you.

Blessings

Peter

Reverend Canon Peter Brooks

Area Dean Greater Gower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ardal Weinidogaeth Bro Ystumanner Ministry Area

 

VE DAY - 75TH ANNIVERSARY

A SHARED MOMENT OF CELEBRATION

8 - 10 MAY 2020

 

 

AN ACT OF THANKSGIVING

A Celebration of Peace

 

HISTORICAL NOTE

 

On 8th May 1945, the Allied Powers formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the Armed Forces of Nazi Germany and the end of the Third Reich. Adolf Hitler had committed suicide on 30th April during the Battle of Berlin. The surrender of Germany was therefore authorised by his successor, Grand Admiral Doenitz, and the Instrument of Surrender was signed at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force at Reims on 7th May. This surrender was formally ratified the next day.

More than one million people converged on the streets of the United Kingdom. In London, people thronged the city’s streets and monuments. Winston Churchill made a radio broadcast at 3.00 pm announcing that war in Europe was finally at an end.

In the suburbs, parties were thrown, with furniture and tables brought into the street. Fancy dress parades were held for children, and many people went to church to give thanks to God for victory.

Huge crowds, many dressed in red, white and blue, gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London and cheered as the King, the Queen, and the Princesses appeared eight times on the balcony over the day and into the evening, at one point joined by Winston Churchill.

In the evening, many London landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and Nelson’s Column, were floodlit specially for the occasion. There were fireworks, and effigies of Hitler burned on bonfires around the capital. On the day, crowds sang a popular song which expressed this joyous return to light: ‘I’m going to get lit up when the lights go up in London’. Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret—escorted by Guards Officers—left the palace and mingled anonymously with the great crowds outside, joining in the celebrations. In the course of the day, Churchill delivered two short speeches from the balcony of the Ministry of Health building to the crowds in Whitehall. In the first he told them: ‘This is your victory!’, to which they roared back: ‘No! It’s yours!’. And during his second appearance at 10.30 pm, he conducted the crowds in the singing of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.

The exuberance of the day was tempered by the fact that, for many, this would be a time of sadness and reflection, and that because of the ongoing war in Japan, many other parts of the world would not be able to join in the celebrations. It would not be until the Japanese surrendered to the Allies on 15th August, now known as Victory over Japan Day, that the Second World War would finally come to an end.

Today, in marking the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe, we look back with pride and respect at the remarkable generation of men and women who helped secure peace and freedom.

(Adapted from the Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey

for the 70th VE Day Anniversary.)

Today we commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

We give thanks for all who played their part

in achieving victory in the Second World War.

We remember with sorrow all those who were killed

and whose lives were changed forever.

 

Call to Worship

 

We come before God, not to glorify war,

but to honour and celebrate those

who walked into the chaos and evil that is war:

those who were civilians and those who were military;

those who braved the censure of society

and those who gave of themselves for that society;

those who survived and those who did not;

those who were friends and those who were enemies.

None who have waded through evil, death and sorrow

are untouched in body, mind or spirit;

they are beloved of God.

 

On this day of memory, as we take time to reflect and to pray,

we remember the past and look to the future.

On this day when the guns once fell silent,

we come before you God, seeking your peace.

On this day of hope in the face of terror,

we come before you God, praying with all our hearts:

God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,

help us to find the path that leads to your kingdom of peace.

 

Opening Prayer

 

O Almighty God, grant, we beseech thee,

that we who here do honour to the memory of those

who have died in the service of their country and
of the Crown,

may be so inspired by the spirit of their love and fortitude that,

forgetting all selfish and unworthy motives,

we may live only to thy glory and to the service of humankind

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Hymn (to sing, say or read)

 

O God, our help in ages past,
 our hope for years to come,
 our shelter from the stormy blast,
 and our eternal home:

 Under the shadow of thy throne,
 thy saints have dwelt secure;
 sufficient is thine arm alone,
 and our defense is sure.

 Before the hills in order stood,
 or earth received her frame,
 from everlasting thou art God,
 to endless years the same.

 

 

A thousand ages in Thy sight

are like an evening gone;
 short as the watch that ends the night
 before the rising sun.

 Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
 bears all its sons away;
 they fly, forgotten, as a dream
 dies at the opening day.

 O God, our help in ages past,
 our hope for years to come,
 be thou our guide while troubles last,
 and our eternal home!

Isaac Watts

 

A Litany of Remembrance (for two voices if that’s possible)

 

Remember with clear eyes the horrific cost of war.

Remember with deep sorrow those who killed and were killed.

Remember with grief the blood-stained battlefields.

Remember with tears the rending of people from their homes.

Remember with compassion the bereaved and the wounded.

Remember with reverence those who risked their lives for peace.

Remember with tenderness the children’s longing for freedom.

Remember with gratefulness all who forgave their enemies.

Remember with hope that the kingdom is planted with small seeds.

Remember with confidence that faith, hope and love abide.

All: Remember with joy that our Saviour is the Prince of Peace.

 

Isaiah 58: 6-9a, 10-12

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.

 

Eseia 58: 6-9a, 10-12

“Onid dyma'r dydd ympryd a ddewisais: tynnu ymaith rwymau anghyfiawn, a llacio clymau'r iau, gollwng yn rhydd y rhai a orthrymwyd, a dryllio pob iau? Onid rhannu dy fara gyda'r newynog, a derbyn y tlawd digartref i'th dŷ, dilladu'r noeth pan y'i gweli, a pheidio ag ymguddio rhag dy deulu dy hun? Yna fe ddisgleiria d'oleuni fel y wawr, a byddi'n ffynnu mewn iechyd yn fuan; bydd dy gyfiawnder yn mynd o'th flaen, a gogoniant yr ARGLWYDD yn dy ddilyn. Pan elwi, bydd yr ARGLWYDD yn ateb, a phan waeddi, fe ddywed, ‘Dyma fi.’

Os rhoddi o'th fodd i'r anghenus, a diwallu angen y cystuddiol, yna cyfyd goleuni i ti o'r tywyllwch, a bydd y caddug fel canol dydd. Bydd yr ARGLWYDD yn dy arwain bob amser, yn diwallu dy angen mewn cyfnod sych, ac yn cryfhau dy esgyrn; yna byddi fel gardd ddyfradwy, ac fel ffynnon ddŵr a'i dyfroedd heb ballu. Byddi rhai ohonoch yn adeiladu'r hen furddunnod ac yn codi ar yr hen sylfeini; fe'th elwir yn gaewr bylchau, ac yn adferwr tai adfeiliedig.

 

Luke 2: 8-14

The beginning of the everlasting Gospel of Peace

(as introduced in the Thanksgiving for Victory Order of Service from 1945)

 

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

 

Luc 2: 8-14

Yn yr un ardal yr oedd bugeiliaid allan yn y wlad yn gwarchod eu praidd liw nos. A safodd angel yr Arglwydd yn eu hymyl a disgleiriodd gogoniant yr Arglwydd o'u hamgylch; a daeth arswyd arnynt. Yna dywedodd yr angel wrthynt, ‘Peidiwch ag ofni, oherwydd wele, yr wyf yn cyhoeddi i chwi y newydd da am lawenydd mawr a ddaw i'r holl bobl: ganwyd i chwi heddiw yn nhref Dafydd, Waredwr, yr hwn yw'r Meseia, yr Arglwydd; a dyma'r arwydd i chwi: cewch hyd i'r un bach wedi ei rwymo mewn dillad baban ac yn gorwedd mewn preseb.’ Yn sydyn ymddangosodd gyda'r angel dyrfa o'r llu nefol, yn moli Duw gan ddweud: ‘Gogoniant yn y goruchaf i Dduw, ac ar y ddaear tangnefedd ymhlith y rhai sydd wrth ei fodd.’

 

Credo for Peace

 

We believe in God:

a communion of three Persons,

a communion of Life,

a communion of Love,

a communion of Peace.

 

We believe in Jesus:

God and human,

Prince of Peace.

 

We believe in his Gospel

the Good News,

God’s message of peace.

 

We believe Jesus died, rose,

and sent us the Holy Spirit,

so we could live in his peace.

 

We believe in baptism

that makes us one family in Jesus,

crucified and risen from the dead

to lead us to eternal peace.

He is our hope.

Through him, we pray for peace;

with him, we work for peace;

in him, we live for peace:

the peace of God’s children,

to the glory of God.

Amen.

 

Tribute to the Millions

 

Let us remember those who so selflessly gave

their lives at home and abroad,

whose sacrifice enables us to enjoy

the peace and freedom we have today.

Let us remember those who came home

wounded physically and mentally,

and the friends and family who cared for them.

Let us remember those who returned

To restore their relationships and rebuild their working lives

after years of dreadful conflict and turmoil.

Let us remember the families that lost

husbands, sons and sweethearts.

Let us remember the servicemen, merchant seamen,

miners, brave civilians and others

from Commonwealth and Allied countries

who fought, suffered and died

during four years of war.

Let us remember those in reserved occupation

and the brave people who kept us safe on the home front –

the doctors and nurses who cared for the wounded,

the women who toiled in the fields,

those who worked in the factories,

who all played such a vital role

in the war effort at home.

 

THE LAST POST (find a recording, play your own, or imagine it!)

 

2 minutes silence

 

REVEILLÉ

The Prayers

Trusting the promises of God, and with faith in his mercy,

let us pray to the Lord.

 

Let us give thanks for the selfless and courageous service and sacrifice of those who brought peace to Europe, and for the good example they have given us;

let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

We pray for nations still devastated by war, for their people and their leaders, and for those who suffer the effects or memories of past wars; for veterans, for those who mourn, and for all innocent victims whose lives have been shattered by the cruelty of others;

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

 

Let us give thanks for those who work for peace and liberty throughout the world, for the Armed Forces of the Crown, and for all who strive to bring an end to injustice and oppression;

let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

We pray for those in our own day who have grown weary or lost hope as a result of violence or terror; for all refugees and displaced people, and for those who seek to address the causes of discord and distrust;

Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.

 

Let us give thanks for the reconciliation of former enemies, for the flourishing of goodwill between them, and for the many blessings we enjoy as a result of the sacrifices which have made for peace;

let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

 

We pray for the young people of our own day and for all who will shape the future of this nation, that they may be inspired by those who have gone before them to serve as they have been served;

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

 

Inspired by the remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice,

let us pray for the coming of God’s reign among us

as Jesus himself has taught us:

Ein Tad …                                         Our Father …

Prayer of Confession

 

God of every nation,

as we remember those that gave their life for our sake,

let us be stirred to action in their memory.

We confess that we have not done all that is possible

to promote peace and justice in our world.

We have not loved our neighbours, let alone our enemies.

Forgive us for failing to live up to your commandments.

Empower us to work for your Kingdom in this world,

and welcome us by your grace into your Kingdom in the next.

Amen.

 

Assurance of Forgiveness

 

God is just and forgiving.

God receives us as we are,

lifts us up and calls us again

to be people upholding justice and peace.

We receive God’s pardon and peace,

knowing that all sins are forgiven.

Thanks be to God!

 

Act of Rededication

It was intended that this should be led by a VE Day Veteran and a child. The pronouns have been changed to allow us to use it in our own homes, alone or with others.

 

They fought for peace, that the world might never again know such violence and destruction.

Will we work for peace and reconciliation in our homes and communities, and promote peace throughout the world?

With the help of God, we will.

 

They fought for justice, that the scourge of prejudice and oppression might never again take root in our societies.

Will we work for a world in which hatred and injustice never have the final word, and where all people can flourish with dignity and hope?

With the help of God, we will.

They struggled so that the whole human family might know good will, security, and freedom.

Will we always acknowledge how precious are the gifts which God has entrusted to us, and exercise the freedoms and responsibilities we have with gratitude and humility?

With the help of God, we will.

 

May almighty God, who has given us the will to undertake these things, bless us with the strength to perform them.

Amen.

 

Hymn (Tune: Repton cf Dear Lord and Father of mankind, if you want to sing)

 

Written by Louis Kinsey, a parish minister in Aberdeen and an Army Reserve chaplain with 205 (Scottish) Field Hospital. He has served as a chaplain in Iraq and in Afghanistan. He writes:

‘This hymn was written out of a personal longing for the return of Christ and the advent of his fulfilled and completed kingdom, when young men and women won’t ever have to go to war again. The texts that inform the verses (indicated below) lead from the Old Testament prophetic hope of Isaiah on to the fulfilment of that hope in Jesus Christ, the Lord, who is himself wounded (v.4) as the means by which peace is finally accomplished. The final verse, in this time before Christ’s return and a new heaven and earth are established, is a prayer that the peace of Christ will fill our hearts, in the face of much that could overwhelm us with anxiety, and for boldness when so much of the world’s suffering threatens to quench faith.’

 

Come soon, the day, when peace shall reign
 And nations fight no more
 When spears are turned to pruning hooks
 And love displaces hateful looks
 When none shall train for war
 When none shall train for war                                                (Isaiah 2:4 NIV)

 

Come soon, the day, when Christ the King
 Will rule in all the earth
 When nations live beneath his law
 To glory in their strength no more
 And dwell in love and peace
 And dwell in love and peace                                                  (Micah 4:3 NIV)

 

Come soon, the day when love is crowned
 And sin at last cast down
 When faithful hearts can rest in peace
 And battles of the soul will cease
 When Christ at last appears
 When Christ at last appears                                                 (1 Peter 2:11 NIV)

 

Come soon, the triumph of the Lamb
 Who bears the wounds of love
 The Lord of lords and King of kings
 He comes, and in his victory brings
 All those who love his name
 All those who love his name                                        (Revelation 17:14 NIV)

 

Come soon, eternal day of peace
 May hate and war be gone
 Let justice flow and love abound
 When men and women gather round
 The Lamb upon the throne
 The Lamb upon the throne                                             (Ecclesiastes 3:8 NIV)

 

Come, peace of Christ to fill our hearts
 And make our spirits bold
 A peace, not as this dark world gives,
 The peace of Christ, for Jesus lives
 And fills our hearts with love
 And fills our hearts with love.                                                           (John 14:27 NIV)

 

Peace Prayer

God of many names,

Lover of all peoples,

we pray for peace,

in our hearts,

in our homes,

in our nations,

in our world,

the peace of your will,

the peace of our need,

the peace of Christ.

Amen.

The Blessing

 

God grant to the living, grace;

to the departed, rest;

to the Church, The Queen, the Commonwealth,

and all humankind, peace and concord;

and to us sinners, life everlasting;

and may the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among us and remain with us always.

Amen.

 

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM (sing or listen to a recording)

 

Call to Worship: Adapted from Lisa Frenz, in A Worship Service of Remembrance and Healing (2003), and Gord Waldie, posted on Worship Offerings (worshipofferings.blogspot.ca/).

Opening Prayer: Adapted from A Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph to commemorate 70th anniversary of VE Day.

A Litany of Remembrance: Written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship (carolpenner.typepad.com/).

First Reading from Isaiah: Used in the Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey for 70th Anniversary of VE Day in 2015.

Second Reading from Luke: Used in official Thanksgiving for Victory Order of Service from May 1945.

Credo for Peace: Posted on the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board website (rccdsb.edu.on.ca/religiouseducation/school-prayer-2/monthlyseasonal-prayer/).

Thanks for the Millions: From official VE Day 75 website (veday75.org).

The Prayers: Used in the Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey for 70th Anniversary of VE Day in 2015.

Prayer of Confession: Written by Rev. Robb McCoy, and found on his website (fatpastor.wordpress.com).

Assurance of Forgiveness: From I Was in Prison and You Visited Me, Worship Resources for Social Justice Sunday, posted on the website of the The Social Justice Network.

Act of Rededication: Adapted from the Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey for 70th Anniversary of VE Day in 2015.

Hymn ‘Come soon’: written by Louis Kinsey © Jocky Music 2013. Posted on the Church of Scotland’s Resourcing Mission website (resourcingmission.org.uk/sites/default/files/Come_soon_the_day.pdf).

Peace Prayer: Posted on the All Saints-Fulham website. Adapted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARCHBISHOP OF WALES and BISHOP OF SWANSEA AND BRECON. THE MOST REVEREND JOHN D E DAVIES ARCHESGOB CYMRU ac ESGOB ABERTAWE AC ABERHONDDU. Y PARCHEDICAF JOHN D E DAVIES

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

Wednesday of Holy Week

Much of Lent, all of Holy Week and a significant part of the Easter season have been and will be unlike any most of us have ever known. Lockdown is the new normal - a very abnormal normal. Nevertheless, despite many restrictions, the life of faith, in very different ways, has continued. I have been hugely impressed by efforts made to provide both a variety of broadcast services and other reflective material. Services have been watched by thousands each day, far more than attend regularly, and it is obvious from many comments, that the Gospel message of love and light which lies at their heart has done much to reassure, especially the vulnerable, at a time of anxiety and darkness. I trust that you recognise these efforts for what they are – evangelism and outreach, not simply keeping a show on the road. Such imaginative efforts to communicate with new constituencies show that they are welcomed and valued. May these efforts continue into the future. I place on record my personal thanks for all that has been and will continue to be done.

 

In addition to all of the above, there has emerged and there continues to grow, in our localities, a tangible and renewed sense of community, a new desire to support others. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Spirt which Jesus promised his anxious disciples would encourage them and bring to their minds all that he had taught them, is evident. The Gospel is being lived afresh. I fervently hope that all that we have seen emerging and growing will form part of a new normal when the crisis has passed – for pass it will – for there will remain many for whom ongoing love and support will remain precious commodities, bringing them a kind of ongoing personal resurrection.

 

I wish all of you well in all that you are doing; I hold in prayer you, your families, your communities and their people, not least those who are suffering profound sickness, stress or sorrow; and with you, I continue to give thanks for the kindness shown and work faithfully carried out by so many in so many different ways.

 

God’s blessing be upon you, and love from the Risen Christ strengthen you.

 

Ely Tower, Castle Square, / Sgwâr y Castell, Brecon / Aberhonddu, Powys, LD3 9DJ  01874 622008  01874 623286 E bishop.swanbrec@churchinwales.org.uk

 

 

 

EASTER MESSAGE 2020

 

Most, if not all, of us might wish to live in world where everything is certain, everything is predictable, and everything is controllable.

We’d know where we are. Of course, as recent events make crystal clear, it’s wishful thinking rather than reality to expect such things.

 

Just when we thought, whatever our political views, that the result of the General Election in December 2019 would mean that the seemingly endless political writhing and posturing around the Brexit event would soon be over, came both the warning and then the reality of devastating storms which wrecked lives, homes, livelihoods and hopes. And then, and still now and for a good deal of the foreseeable future it seems, Coronavirus sweeps much of the world, leaving it, in many places, in lockdown, a pattern of life imposed upon us, for our good and the good of others, the like of which few have ever before experienced. A cloud of sickness and distress hangs over many nations, communities and families; precious lives have been lost, healthcare and other services are reaching breaking point, and an entire way of life, thought to be unassailable is in tatters. Fears for the future, personal, economic and national abound, and loneliness, isolation and anxiety are characteristics of the lives of millions across the world and in our local communities.

 

But there, in the very heart of it, amidst all the mess and worry and suffering and inconvenience and darkness, are love and light; love and light which nothing can extinguish; love and light shown willingly, gladly, and sacrificially in countless acts of goodness, kindness, gentleness and generosity, shown by millions of people unwilling to see their fellow human beings, their brothers and sisters, suffer a moment’s more pain and sorrow if they can help it. They demonstrate the things of the Kingdom of God, things which lie at the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and which echo the Old Testament prophets’ call for justice and peace.

 

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was thought by those who worked and plotted to achieve it to bring an end to what he stood for, an end to what he demonstrated, and an end to the kind of life that he said everyone had a right to experience, and for which others had a responsibility to work. This is life, in an evidently frail and fragile world, that is, nevertheless, as full and as just as it can possibly be, life in a world where even the least of those, Christ’s brothers and sisters in the flesh and blood of humanity count, matter and are treated with justice and with dignity.

 

Jesus’s demands for that justice and dignity for others challenged and interfered with the selfish hopes and controlling habits of others – the powerful, the manipulative, the arrogant. Their darkness despised his light; their oppression was threatened by his love. So, he had to go; put to death in front of a baying, mocking crowd, on a rubbish dump outside the walls of their carefully controlled city.

 

For those who had seen in him such great hopes of a new and just order, a bitter blow; the old order still in place. But as history, history not fairy tale, tells us, something more was to come, that showed, after all, that this old order was not for ever. Jesus lived. Jesus lives. The reign of love wasn’t and isn’t quite so easily put aside.

Easter is about facing down the darkness, seeking to call a halt to the pain, and pouring God’s unstoppable love into the lives of the hurting and vulnerable. All around us now just that is happening at the hands of those who are paid to do it and those volunteers who simply can’t stand by and see others suffer; and it happens time and time again whenever disaster strikes, whenever darkness comes and whenever fear threatens.

 

This Easter is unlike any I have known, unlike any most of you will have known. But at its heart is the truth that all generations have known, when hearts bleed, love steps in.

 

If your heart is bleeding, if you are hurting, if you feel threatened, alone or anxious, I hope that you find assurance in the promise that countless people in countless different ways will always believe in you, will always care about you and will always know that you matter. And they are working to bring resurrection to you now. God the Father, who sent Jesus that we might know the reality of his love, is using them to reassure you of this love for you. Here is a certainty and here is a prediction upon which we can rely and which we can trust even if the days are dark and hearts are heavy.

 

+John Cambrensis

The Archbishop’s Easter Message will also appear on the Church in Wales website and the website of the Diocese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Friends

 

When the storms of life are giving you a battering please know that you are all in my prayers.

Please observe Government guidelines on social distancing and also hand washing to keep yourself and others safe.

Blessings

Peter

 

 

CORONAVIRUS – COVID19

FURTHER PASTORAL GUIDANCE
  FROM THE BENCH OF BISHOPS OF THE CHURCH IN WALES

EFFECTIVE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Updated guidance

 

Since our pastoral guidance dated 24 March was distributed, the Government’s guidance on social distancing and staying at home has been codified into law. The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 contain many wide-ranging provisions, including legal confirmation that our places of worship must remain closed to the public. In light of the Welsh Government Regulations, we have made some minor amendments to our pastoral guidance, and this document contains the up-to-date version.

Church buildings.


  All church buildings remain closed until further notice. This means churches must not be open for public worship or solitary prayer.

Worship has been recorded and broadcast both commendably and effectively from parsonages over recent days. Whilst the Welsh Government Regulations now permit a cleric to record or broadcast a service (without a congregation) from church buildings, the desirability and advisability of doing so will vary between different contexts. Individual Bishops will advise further on this matter within their respective dioceses and any such events should be held only in strict accordance with those diocesan guidelines, or with the explicit permission of the diocesan Bishop.

 

The Welsh Government Regulations also permit clergy to visit their churches, and for other church officers and volunteers to visit churches only to undertake a voluntary or charitable duty, where it is not reasonably practicable to undertake that duty from home. It is therefore possible for essential and urgent site inspections to be undertaken by clerics, or by another person nominated by the Incumbent, Ministry/Mission Area Leader, Area Dean or Archdeacon. We ask that such visits are kept to an absolute minimum.

The use of church buildings for essential voluntary services (such as existing foodbanks, soup kitchens and homeless shelters) is permitted by the Welsh Government Regulations. Church buildings may also, upon the request of the Welsh Ministers or a local authority, be used to provide urgent public services. All reasonable measures should be taken to ensure that social distancing practices and other hygiene precautions are followed while those services are provided. Any new use of a church building for essential voluntary / public services should be expressly supported by the incumbent or Area Dean and the diocesan bishop.

 

Further guidance on the care and use of church buildings is being issued by the officers of the Representative Body.

 

Pastoral visiting

Clergy and others duly licensed or commissioned should exercise their ordinary pastoral ministry from a distance, by phone and online. Pastoral visits should only be undertaken where essential; such visits should generally be to the doorstep and social distancing measures must be scrupulously observed. Individual Bishops may issue more detailed advice to their clergy on what they consider to be ‘essential’ visits and may be consulted by clergy in any cases of doubt.

 

Funerals

Funeral services should not take place in churches at the current time. In this case, we are going a step further than legally required, but we believe that the wellbeing of mourners, ministers and other church officers are best served by this additional precaution. Graveside funerals may continue but should now be understood to be private funerals with no more than ten immediate family and friends in attendance, and with social distancing practised among mourners not of the same household. Clergy and others duly licensed

may preside at funerals in crematoria, at which we expect numbers to be strictly limited by the crematoria authorities, with hygiene precautions specified by the authorities, and with social distancing practised among mourners.

 

Marriage

Marriages and marriage blessings can no longer take place in churches. If a couple wish to marry because of an extreme pastoral emergency, it may be possible to obtain an Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Licence for a wedding outside of a church, and clergy should discuss the matter with their diocesan bishop before then contacting the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Faculty Office at faculty.office@1thesanctuary.com.

 

Baptism

Baptisms can no longer take place in churches, and should only take place at home, hospital, hospice or other location in case of an extreme pastoral emergency, where baptism may be administered by a lay person. The order for emergency baptism is appended below.

 

Prayer and witness

The duty of the people of God to witness to Christ is not diminished at this time; neither is our obligation to pray without ceasing for our communities and all in need. We commend all that is being done in God’s service to care pastorally for our communities, and to enable worship, prayer and devotion to continue at home.

We continue to hold all who are anxious, all who are unwell, and all who are grieving in our prayers, asking that the presence of the risen Christ may be near to us all and give us assurance, peace and strength at this painful and anxious time.

 

AN ORDER FOR EMERGENCY BAPTISM

In an emergency, if no ordained minister is available, a lay person may be the minister of baptism. Before baptizing, the minister should ask the name of the infant / person to be baptized. If, for any reason, there is uncertainty as to the infant / person’s name, the baptism can be properly administered without a name (so long as the identity of the person baptized can be duly recorded).

The following form is sufficient:

The minister pours water on the person to be baptized, saying

I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

 

Then all may say the Lord’s Prayer and the Grace.

Any person who has administered baptism privately in an emergency should make a careful record of the date and place of baptism and of the identity of the person baptised. He / she should forward details to the parish priest as soon as possible and without delay.

The parish priest should ensure that the customary record is entered in the baptismal register.

 

The Bench of Bishops 31 March 2020

 

 

 

CORONAFIRWS – COVID19

CANLLAWIAU BUGEILIOL PELLACH
  ODDI WRTH FAINC ESGOBION YR EGLWYS YNG NGHYMRU

MEWN GRYM NES CLYWIR YN WAHANOL

Canllawiau wedi’u diweddaru

Ers dosbarthu’n canllawiau bugeiliol sy’n ddyddiedig 24 Mawrth, mae canllawiau’r Llywodraeth ar bellhau cymdeithasol ac aros gartref wedi eu mynegi’n gyfreithiol. Mae Rheoliadau Diogelu Iechyd (Cyfyngiadau Coronafirws) (Cymru) 2020 yn cynnwys nifer o ddarpariaethau eang, gan gynnwys cadarnhad cyfreithiol bod yn rhaid i’n haddoldai aros ar gau i’r cyhoedd. Yng ngoleuni Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru, rydym wedi gwneud rhai mân newidiadau i’n canllawiau bugeiliol, a’r ddogfen hon yw’r fersiwn gyfredol.

Adeiladau eglwysig

Mae pob adeilad eglwysig yn parhau i fod ar gau nes bydd rhybudd pellach. Mae hyn yn golygu na ddylai eglwysi fod yn agored ar gyfer addoliad cyhoeddus nac ar gyfer gweddi bersonol.

Bu i addoliad clodwiw ac effeithiol gael ei recordio a’i ddarlledu o bersondai dros y dyddiau diwethaf. Tra bo Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru yn awr yn caniatáu i glerig recordio neu ddarlledu gwasanaeth (heb gynulleidfa) o adeiladau eglwysig, bydd dymunoldeb a doethineb gwneud hynny yn amrywio rhwng gwahanol gyd-destunau. Bydd Esgobion unigol yn cynghori ymhellach ar y mater hwn yn eu priod esgobaethau a dylid cynnal unrhyw ddigwyddiadau o’r fath yn unol yn llwyr â’r canllawiau esgobaethol hynny, neu gyda chaniatâd penodol yr Esgob cadeiriol.

Mae Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru hefyd yn caniatáu i glerigion ymweld â’u heglwysi, ac i swyddogion a gwirfoddolwyr eglwysig eraill ymweld ag eglwysi i gyflawni dyletswydd wirfoddol neu elusennol yn unig, lle nad yw’n rhesymol ymarferol cyflawni’r ddyletswydd honno gartref. Felly mae’n bosibl i glerigion, neu berson arall a enwebwyd gan y Periglor, Arweinydd yr Ardal Weinidogaeth/Genhadaeth, Deon Bro neu Archddiacon, gynnal archwiliadau safle hanfodol a phan fo’u dwys angen. Gofynnwn i ymweliadau o’r fath ddigwydd mor anaml ag a ellir.

Mae Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru yn caniatáu defnyddio adeiladau eglwysig ar gyfer gwasanaethau gwirfoddol hanfodol (megis y banciau bwyd, ceginau cawl a llochesi i’r digartref sydd eisioes yn cael eu cynnal). Gellir hefyd defnyddio adeiladau eglwysig, ar gais Gweinidogion Cymru neu awdurdod lleol, i ddarparu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus brys. Dylid cymryd pob mesur rhesymol i sicrhau bod arferion pellhau cymdeithasol a rhagofalon hylendid eraill yn cael eu dilyn wrth i’r gwasanaethau hynny gael eu darparu. Dylai unrhyw ddefnydd newydd o adeilad eglwysig ar gyfer gwasanaethau gwirfoddol / cyhoeddus hanfodol gael ei gefnogi’n benodol gan y periglor neu’r Deon Bro a’r esgob cadeiriol.

Mae swyddogion Corff y Cynrychiolwyr yn cyhoeddi arweiniad pellach ar ofal a’r defnydd o adeiladau eglwysig.

Ymweld bugeiliol

Dylai clerigion ac eraill sydd wedi’u trwyddedu neu eu comisiynu’n briodol arfer eu gweinidogaeth fugeiliol arferol o bell, dros y ffôn ac ar-lein. Dim ond pan fo’n hanfodol y dylid cynnal ymweliadau bugeiliol; yn gyffredinol dylai ymweliadau o’r fath fod at stepen y drws a rhaid cadw’n llym at fesurau pellhau cymdeithasol. Gall Esgobion unigol gyhoeddi cyngor manylach i’w clerigion ar yr hyn y maent yn ei ystyried yn ymweliadau ‘hanfodol’ a gall clerigion ymgynghori â hwy pan fo amheuaeth.

Angladdau

Ni all gwasanaethau angladd gymryd lle mewn eglwysi ar hyn o bryd. Yn yr achos hwn, rydym yn mynd gam ymhellach na’r hyn sy’n ofynnol yn gyfreithiol, ond credwn dyma’r rhagofal ychwanegol hwn yw’r ffordd orau o amddiffyn lles galarwyr, gweinidogion a swyddogion eglwysig. Erbyn hyn dylai angladdau wrth lan y bedd

fod yn angladdau sydd fwy neu lai yn breifat gyda dim mwy na deg aelod o’r teulu agos neu ffrindiau yn bresennol, a gyda phellter cymdeithasol yn cael ei arfer ymhlith galarwyr nad ydynt o’r un aelwyd. Gall clerigion ac eraill sydd â thrwydded briodol lywyddu mewn angladdau mewn amlosgfeydd, lle rydym yn disgwyl y bydd niferoedd yn cael eu cyfyngu’n llym gan awdurdodau’r amlosgfeydd, gyda rhagofalon hylendid wedi’u nodi gan yr awdurdodau, a gyda phellter cymdeithasol yn cael ei arfer ymhlith galarwyr.

Priodas

Ni all priodasau na bendithio priodsas ddigwydd mewn eglwysi mwyach. Os yw cwpl yn dymuno priodi oherwydd argyfwng bugeiliol eithafol, efallai y bydd yn bosibl cael Trwydded Arbennig Archesgob Caergaint ar gyfer priodas y tu hwnt i’r eglwys, a dylai clerigion drafod y mater gyda’u hesgob cadeiriol cyn cysylltu â Swyddfa Hawleb Archesgob Caergaint ar faculty.office@1thesanctuary.com.

Bedydd

Ni all bedyddiadau ddigwydd mwyach mewn eglwysi, a dim ond gartref a mewn ysbyty, hosbis neu leoliad arall y dylid eu cynnal mewn argyfwng bugeiliol eithafol, lle gall bedydd gael ei weinyddu gan berson lleyg. Mae’r drefn ar gyfer bedydd mewn argyfwng wedi’i atodi isod.

Gweddïo a thystiolaethu

Nid yw dyletswydd pobl Dduw i dystiolaethu i Grist wedi ei leihau un dim, na’r alwad ddwyfol i weddïo’n ddi-baid dros ein cymunedau a phawb mewn angen. Rydym yn cymeradwyo popeth sy’n cael ei wneud yng ngwasanaeth Duw i ofalu’n fugeiliol dros ein cymunedau, ac i alluogi addoliad, gweddi a defosiwn i barhau ar yr aelwyd.

Rydym yn parhau i gynnal yn ein gweddïau bawb sy’n bryderus, pawb sy’n sâl, a phawb sy’n galaru, gan erfyn ar i bresenoldeb y Crist atgyfodedig fod wastad gerllaw, yn rhoi inni fendithion sicrwydd, tangnefedd a nerth yn y dyddiau poenus a phryderus hyn.

BEDYDDIO MEWN ARGYFWNG

Mewn argyfwng, onid oes gweinidog ordeiniedig ar gael, gall person lleyg weinyddu bedydd. Cyn bedyddio, dylai’r gweinidog ofyn am enw’r plentyn / person sydd i’w fedyddio. Os oes amheuaeth, am ba reswm bynnag, ynglŷn â’r enw, gellir gweinyddu’r bedydd heb enw (ar yr amod y gellir cofnodi’n gywir pwy yn union a fedyddiwyd).

Y mae’r ffurf a ganlyn yn ddigonol:

Y mae’r gweinidog yn tywallt dŵr ar y sawl sydd i’w fedyddio, gan ddweud Yr wyf yn dy fedyddio di yn Enw’r Tad a’r Mab a’r Ysbryd Glân.

Amen.

Yna gall pawb ddweud Gweddi’r Arglwydd a’r Gras.

Rhaid i bwy bynnag a weinyddodd fedydd preifat mewn argyfwng wneud cofnod gofalus o ddyddiad a lleoliad y bedydd ac o’r y person a fedyddiwyd. Dylid anfon y manylion at offeiriad y plwyf yn ddi-oed.

Cofnodir y bedydd yng nghofrestr y bedyddiadau yn y modd arferol.

Mainc yr Esgobion 31 Mawrth 2020

 

Contact:

Rev Canon Peter Brooks

01792 232928 - Email

 

 

 

Rev Nigel King

01792 233124 - Email

The Church in Wales

Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru

©The Parish of Three Cliffs is part of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in the Church in Wales