Congratulations to Keith Tewkesbury, Assistant Chair and Superintendent of the Conwy & Prestatyn Circuit who last Saturday ran the Snowdonia Half-marathon. Keith completed the gruelling course in the very creditable time of 2hrs 02mins and 18secs coming 157th out of 373 runners – and in the process also managed to raise over £2000 for All We Can, the Methodist Relief and Development Charity. So many thanks also to all those who supported him.
Introduction to the New Local Preacher and Worship Leader Pathway
for Tutors and other Circuit Representatives
6th June 2015
At Newtown Methodist Church, Back Lane, Newtown SY16 2NH
From 11am till 3 pm
Light lunches will be provided for those who book in advance.
To confirm your attendance, please contact Peter Swindale at:
There is a new Asian Fellowship (Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi) each month in Swansea with Rev. Irfan John. It would be lovely to see anyone wishing to share in Worship with us.
Sketty Park Road, Sketty Swansea SA2 9AS
3rd Sunday of every month at 5pm
Contact Rev. Irfan John for more information
Rev. Irfan John, our Synod Enabler (Culturally Diverse Congregations) has been appointed First Ambassador of Cardiff City of Sanctuary. We are delighted to hear this and send Irfan our congratulations and best wishes.
On 5th June 2014 Cardiff became the seventh UK city to officially be recognised as a ‘City of Sanctuary’. To receive this accolade, Cardiff had to demonstrate that it is a city that welcomes new arrivals seeking a safe place to live after fleeing war or persecution. The Wales Synod along with many other groups and organisations have signed up to this and pledged to support new arrivals.
Jennie Hurd and Stephen Wigley, the Chairs of Synod Cymru and Wales Synod, took the opportunity of the glorious spring weather to undertake the Mary Jones Walk last week, together with a dozen colleagues from across the Connexion.
This scenic walk from Llanfihangel-y-Pennant to Bala in North Wales commemorates the 28 mile walk which 15 year old Mary Jones made in 1800 to travel to Bala to purchase a Bible from Revd. Thomas Charles. Her story was one of the inspirations which led to the foundation of the Bible Society in 1804, and so it was also fitting that in addition to enjoying the historical setting and wonderful countryside of North Wales, that the walk should also lead to a contribution of over £150 toward the work of the Bible Society.
You are warmly invited to the launch evening of Cardiff Asylum Support Advocacy (CASA) – an initiative of the Trinity Centre which works to reduce destitution in the asylum system in Cardiff by assisting asylum seekers and new refugees to appeal decisions to refuse or discontinue asylum support. Please see the attached poster for the event and circulate to your networks.
This event will celebrate the opening of CASA, and will include engaging speakers on the subject of destitution in the asylum process, including Adam Hundt from Deighton Pierce Glynn and Rossen Roussanov from the British Red Cross.
Through appeals to the asylum support tribunal we can provide clients with an opportunity to have Home Office decisions reviewed by an independent adjudicator, and in doing so we can help to protect their rights to food and shelter. Although CASA is a new project we have already enabled 6 people to obtain accommodation and support or prevented them from being made destitute and homeless by assisting them to access the appeals process.
I hope that you can join us on 13 March. Should you have any questions about the event or about CASA please do not hesitate to contact me.
Trinity Centre Cardiff
Tel: 029 2115 5011
Eighteen young people came together overnight at Ebeneser Chapel Caernarfon at the beginning of February as part of the Big SleepOver, the connexional programme for holding local events for young people. The group included young people from Wrexham, Buckley, Menai Bridge and Chwilog, together with young leaders from Buckley. It was also a privilege to have the Methodist Church Youth President Megan Thomas join us.
There was a varied programme of activities on Saturday including a guided tour of Caernarfon, games sessions, and a login session on miracles ar wyrthiau. Megan led a session on the place of young people in the church and topics for the youth and children’s assembly 3Generate which will be held in November and we managed to hold a three way disussion via the web with the other two Big SleepOver groups in Wales, one in Llanelli and the other in Cardiff. A badgemaking session was led by Angela Roe and an epilogue led by Trish, Abby and Vikki and then we had a film before bedtime.
On Sunday morning, it was good to join with the congregation at Ebeneser in a bilingual service led by Deacon Stephen Roe with the young people taking part and then to chat and get to know each other better over refreshments after the service.
Thanks to all who helped make the weekend possible, to the members of Capel Ebeneser for their warm welcome and to those who prepared the meals or led sessions. We had lots of fun and an opportunity to develop friendships and, believe it or not, we even had some sleep!
The Wales Synod was delighted to welcome Gill Dascombe, the Vice President of the Methodist Conference to the Newport & Lower Wye circuit over this last weekend 21st/22nd February. There is a sense in which we were welcoming Gill and her husband Mike back ‘home’ as she was visiting the churches, and indeed staying overnight in the manse, where her father Rev. Vic Staton had been the minister in his last appointment in 1976/77.
On the Saturday afternoon, Gill led a workshop for Local Preachers and Worship leaders on what it means to preach the Gospel to a 21st century congregation, before meeting with members of the ecumenical ‘Lab’ team over an evening meal in the manse. Then on Sunday morning, Gill preached at a communion service at Bishpool where the Synod Chair, Rev. Dr.Stephen Wigley presided, before going to visit Tintern (sadly in the pouring rain!) in the afternoon. Gill’s visit came to a close as she preached at a circuit service at Trinity led by Rev. Anne Ellis, in which many Local Preachers and members of the ‘Lab’ team took part.
The service concluded with a moving moment when Anne presented Gill with a Preacher’s edition of the old Methodist Service Book which had been dedicated to her father’s memory, and which had been found in the Chepstow Road manse.
We were delighted that Gill and Mike were able to find time in the midst of her busy year of office to renew acquaintance with old friends in Wales; and we wish her well as she continues to represent the Conference and the ministry of lay people in the Methodist Church during her travels for the rest of this connexional year.
The first edition of the new Methodist magazine the connexion has been published. It’s full of encouraging stories from around the Connexion, including three from Wales (about the Lab project in Newport, Irfan John’s work with the Trinity project in Cardiff, and the visit of the Methodist Modern Art Collection to Wrexham) together with an interview with Megan Thomas our Youth President. 3 copies have been sent to everyone on the Methodist mailing list to share with others, so if you want to see a copy, please contact your local minister or church officer – they will be delighted to hear from you.
‘Heaven and Earth’
January 19th – March 26th 2015
The Methodist Modern Art Collection
Wrexham is to host what has been described as ‘the best denominational collection of modern art outside the Vatican’. For ten weeks between January 19th and March 26th forty works from the collection will be on display across two venues; Wrexham Methodist Church in Regent Street and Oriel Sycharth at the University.
“I first came across the Methodist Collection of Modern Art when I stumbled into a tent at the Greenbelt Festival. I could not believe that the Methodist Church – my Church – had such a wonderful collection. I was so overwhelmed that I wept,” recalls Rev Richard Sharples, Minister at the town centre Methodist Church.
The collection is one of the best kept secrets of the Methodist Church. It was the initiative, in the early 1960s, of a Methodist layman, Dr John Morel Gibbs of Penarth, just outside Cardiff. He was very conscious that within the Methodist Church and indeed within Non-Conformist Churches in general there was little appreciation of the insights that contemporary artists could bring to the Christian story. Today the collection comprises 50 works including works by Patrick Heron, Graham Sutherland, Eric Gill and Ceri Richards, and is regularly exhibited across the UK.
“We are thrilled to be partnering the Wrexham Methodist Circuit in this project,” enthuses Prof Estelle Thompson, Head of Division, Media, Arts & Design at Glyndŵr University. “The collection covers most of the significant movements/artists from the last 50 years.”
Both venues will be open 9.30am-4pm Monday to Saturday. In addition a full programme of concerts, seminars, conversations and workshops will accompany the exhibition. Entry to the exhibition and to all events on the programme is free.
“I see the arts as a common language shared by people inside and outside the Church,” explains Rev Richard Sharples, “We hope that the exhibition will open up a space for conversation between the artist and the viewer, between the Church and the University, between the sacred and secular, between the believer and the non-believer.”
Guided Tours (English or Welsh) are available by arrangement and sessions tailored to both Primary and Secondary Schools are being offered to schools across and beyond the Borough.