Theology Public Lecture Series
“Discourses of Religious Diversity;
Exploring the value of ‘difference’ and ‘diversity’ in debates about religion in the UK”
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,
All Welcome – Admission Free
A Unique and dynamic concert will take place on Thursday 12th November at the Newport Centre, when the International performing arts group GEN VERDE presents START NOW, a 2-hour performance of song, dance, drama and percussion.
Further details (including where to get tickets – priced £10) are available on this Press Release, and all Christians and Church leaders from across South Wales are invited to attend.
This September we are delighted to welcome some 12 new ministers who have come to serve in the Wales Synod, with special Welcome services taking place across the Synod in Cardiff, Penarth, Buckley, Newtown, Newport, Porthcawl, Llanelli, Aberdare and Old Colwyn.
This photo is from the service which took place in Hall Street (Meth/URC) Church in Llanelli, and shows the new minister at Hall Street Rev Dee Yeadon, being welcomed (from left) by Revs Simon Walking (URC Moderator) Flis Randall (Superintendent of Llanelli & Carmarthen circuit) and Stephen Wigley (Chair of the Wales Synod.) We wish all our new colleagues well as they begin their ministry among us and look forward to welcoming them again at Synod on 19th September.
We look forward to welcoming representatives from churches and circuits across Wales to our annual Synod meeting at Theatre Hafren in Newtown, Powys on Saturday 19th September.
During Synod we shall be welcoming new ministers and officers, meeting the new Director of the Amelia Farm and the Vice President designate of Conference, Rachel Lampard, as well as hearing stories from across the circuits and a presentation from the Commission of Covenanted Churches in Wales.
We will also be sharing with young people from across the Methodist Church in Wales who are meeting in their own parallel Youth Forum, and if you have any questions or queries about the event, please contact the Synod Office.
On Sunday, 6th September 2015, Asian Christian Fellowship, Swansea lit candles and prayed together as a sign of support for the thousands of refugees fleeing war and persecution.
They lit these candles of peace, not only physically but also in their hearts to signify that we stand with our fellow humans. The prayer was lead by Rev. Irfan John (Synod Enabler Culturally Diverse Congregations, Wales)
A Journey with God was the title and theme of our celebration weekend as Bethel URC and Sketty Methodist formally became Uniting Church Sketty. After many years of working closely together and after one year of worshipping together, the weekend celebrated the formal coming together of what we have been in our hearts for some time and launched Uniting Church Sketty.
The flower festival, with different scenes from the Bible allowed people to reflect on their own journey with God. Hundreds of visitors came and gazed at the beautiful displays, drank tea and coffee and partook of delicious home-made cakes. Each one passed through the display at the entrance to the church – an archway with carnations going up one side, roses going up the other to symbolise the two churches – and meeting in the middle in a heart shape with the flowers now intermingled. A moving and symbolic arrangement saying all that needed to be said.
Uniting Church Sketty was packed!
The church was packed with church family, with friends from around the Methodist Circuit and the URC region, with past ministers from both churches and with clergy from other churches in Sketty.
Rev Stephen Wigley represented the Methodist denomination and Rev Sally Thomas represented the URC denomination. We gave thanks for all that is past, as we reflected on the origins of both churches and we put our trust in God for all that is to come, as we shared the new vision statement of the church, developed in the Lent Faith and Fellowship groups – Uniting together, Caring for all, Seeking God.
Then the congregation was treated to something a bit different: our very own ‘Happy’ video which used the music from the very popular Pharrell Williams song Happy, and video clips of the church congregation and all the different groups that use the church. It reminded us how happy we are to come together. Then, before the Constitution was officially signed, the congregation took part in an Act of Commitment as we each committed ourselves to journey into the future with God.
The celebrations continued all day Sunday as well. The morning service included cutting a celebration cake (which we shared after the service), making a gigantic jigsaw of our new Uniting Church Sketty logo and sharing communion together. It culminated in writing our names on a friendship bracelet each and then exchanging these with others in the service. Although the 130 friendship bracelets wasn’t quite enough for the whole congregation, nevertheless wonderful chaos ensued as we swapped our bracelets in the last hymn. Each person went home with another’s bracelet and committed to pray for that person – reminding us finally that we are all one in Christ.
We thank God for the wonderful weekend and trust that it is in fact, only the beginning!