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!
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.