Category Archives: News

Port Talbot: a Methodist response to the job losses at Tata Steel

Port_talbot_largeFollowing the news of the job losses at Tata Steel announced on 18th January, Rev. Chris Gray, Superintendent of the Neath Port Talbot Circuit writes:

“The Neath Port Talbot Circuit consists of nine churches and has two congregations in Port Talbot. One, Taibach Wesley, is a small congregation who worship in the shadow of the steel works. The other, Sandfields, is a church serving a large estate originally built in the 1950’s and 60’s to house steel workers and their families. The members of both churches will continue to bear witness to the God who brings light and hope to all who turn to him. Although there is no formally constituted “Churches Together” in Port Talbot, local churches work together very well in a number of significant ways (foodbank, shopping centre nativity play, CAP and Police Liaison Committee, for example.) So please pray for them and for the wider community of Port Talbot.

The staff of the Neath Port Talbot Circuit, in consultation with Rev Rick Hayes, part-time chaplain to the Port Talbot Steel works, will now be part of a team of people willing to listen to those who need to talk with someone about their situation. As yet, no workers have been told that they have been selected for redundancy; but when that time comes there will be the need for listening ears, support and encouragement for those whose future is now so uncertain.”

We also anticipate there will be an article about this appearing in this week’s Methodist Recorder.

Christmas The Story – Barry

angelmaryjodonkeypicFollowing on from similar productions in Cardiff and Port Talbot in recent years, the Churches of Barry (including local members and ministers from the Methodists, Church in Wales, Catholics) decided to stage a live Nativity. This has run from 14th-19th December, twice a day, hosted by St. Mary’s Church in Wales, in the town centre. Actors have walked around the market and shops and the two donkeys from West Wales have been a big hit with locals passing by!
Deacon Samantha Taylor (aka The Angel Gabriel in the Nativity) has co-led this initiative with Fr. Ben Andrews (Church in Wales) and local Methodist ministers and members have been involved in acting, stewarding and sewing.
christmasthestroyromansit is anticipated that well over 1,000 people will see the performance. 5 local schools have booked to see it. The experience has been really good and the sound and light, costumes are amazing. Good ecumenical relationships are getting stronger too. We thank God for this simple yet powerful act of witness to promote the real Christmas.
For more information contact Deacon Samantha Taylor, Vale of Glamorgan Circuit.
(Photos credited to: Martin Gibson)

Cumbria Floods Appeal

As I’m sure you are aware, Storm Desmond has caused immense disruption, with schools, hospital services and travel all being affected in addition to the thousands of homes that have been damaged and hundreds evacuated.

Many communities are gathering together to provide relief and assistance to the areas worst hit by the flooding, including Sandylands Methodist Church who have worked in conjunction with volunteers and local organisations to offer support.

For those of us who cannot give our practical support, however, there is still much we can do and I know a number of you have already asked how you can donate to the relief and clean-up work. The Revd Richard Teal, Cumbria District Chair, reminds us of the wonderful response that the Methodist people made in 2009 and says that “the devastation this time is worse than before”.

The Cumbria Community Foundation, which played a significant role last time, has set up a Cumbria 2015 Flood Appeal to raise funds to support the individuals and communities devastated by the flooding. Richard suggests that this would be the best conduit for donations and we are very happy to endorse that call.

More information, including full details of how to give, can be found here. Please pass on this information to your circuits, churches and members, as well as considering a one-off donation from your district. I am aware too that Cumbria is not the only part of the country that has been affected by the storms and we are mindful of all those who may be struggling to respond to other pressing priorities locally.

The Revd Richard Teal has asked that you join him in prayer for those affected by the flooding:

Creator God, we remember at this time all those whose homes and communities have been damaged by flooding in Cumbria.

In the name of Jesus we give thanks for the courage and dedication of the emergency services who have come to the help and rescue of all in need.

We celebrate the kindness of neighbours in caring for the most vulnerable.

Lastly, we ask in the power of your healing Spirit to rebuild not just the physical communities which are coping with many problems today but also to give us a sense of trust in your goodness through the kindnesses of one another, in Your Holy Name.


Thank you so much for supporting the people of Cumbria through prayer and action at this difficult time.

God bless,

Martin Ashford
Head of Mission and Advocacy, Methodist Connexional Team

Cardiff celebrates its 8th ‘Multi-ethnic’ Christmas

On Friday 27th November, Cardiff celebrated its eighth ‘Multi-ethnic’ Christmas, organised by the Synod Enabler, Culturally Diverse Congregations Rev. Irfan John at Trinity Centre.


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Some 22 nations were represented by over 200 Christians who attended the event and shared their love for Christ and for each other. We shared in food and fellowship before taking part in a special service introducing carols from around the world in their own language, including Urdu, English, South Indian, Chinese, Korean, Shona, Amharic and of course Welsh. The service began with a prayer and greeting in Welsh, including a message from Rev. Nick Oborski. Superintendent of the Cardiff and Caerphilly Circuit.

The candle of peace was lit by Dr. Harryono Judodihardjo from Malaysia to remind us that the light of Christ brings peace to all. At a time of international tension, it was wonderful to share in such a cosmopolitan congregation and be offered a foretaste of the heavenly banquet prepared for all humankind. Many thanks to Irfan for organising it and to all his team for supporting him.


Multi-ethnic Christmas celebrations in Swansea

Once again the Synod Enabler Rev. Irfan John has been arranging a series of Christmas celebrations sharing the good news of Christ’s coming with music, food and fellowship from around the world. This has been taking place in Cardiff and Newport for a number of years – but this year was the first opportunity to host such an event at Brunswick Methodist Church in Swansea, with choirs and guests from China, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Malaysia and Pakistan – as well as from Wales and England. Greetings were offered from Alan Thomas, Secretary for Swansea City of Sanctuary, and also a collection taken for a charity in Zimbabwe working with HIV orphans established by Rev. Siperire Mugadzweta, the minister at Brunswick. Below is a picture of Irfan singing with the Urdu Fellowship choir.Irfan

Stable Trail comes to Swansea


WHEN? Saturday 12th December 2015.
WHERE? Reynoldston Village Hall. SA3 1AA

TIME? Trails set off about every 10 minutes
from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm.

In 2013 around 600 people came to encounter the Gospel message of Christ’s coming at Christmas. Come and join us this year for an amazing, unforgettable experience!

For Details follow South Gower Messy Church on Facebook
or call 01792 230226

Public Lecture at Swansea University – Exploring the Value of Religious Diversity

Swansea University
Theology Public Lecture Series

“Discourses of Religious Diversity;
Exploring the value of ‘difference’ and ‘diversity’ in debates about religion in the UK”

Prof Martin Stringer by Professor Martin Stringer

Pro Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University;
former Professor of Liturgical and Congregational Studies
in the Department of Theology and Religion at Birmingham University

Tuesday 24th November, 2015

in the James Callaghan Lecture Theatre,
Swansea University,
Singleton Park,

All Welcome – Admission Free