Author Archives: Lisa Medina

Pakistani Christians in Wales

This post is from the Methodist Church Website Blog. It can be read below or on their website with an image.

The contribution of Pakistani Christians to the community and society has been recognised at the Senedd Cymru – the Welsh Parliament.

A Christmas celebration, with a live nativity scene and, of course, a Christmas tree covered in twinkling lights, took place at the Pierhead building in Cardiff, Wales to recognise the Pakistani Christians’ contribution to the Welsh community and to society. Let your light shine in the world, like the Light of Christ.

The Welsh Parliament is a secular institution, nonetheless by the invitation of the Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan, the event recognising the life and contributions of Pakistani Christians took place in an atmosphere of Christmas festivity. The Urdu-Punjabi speaking community from all over Wales were represented during the event. The Superintendent Minister of the Cardiff Circuit, the Revd Catherine Gale, was present and cut a cake to move the celebration towards food and drinks.

This event is the result of a long-term ministry by the Methodist Church in Wales. This ministry started with the welcome that the Wales Synod gave to Revd Irfan and family when they arrived in the UK leaving behind persecution in Pakistan. The Methodist Church in Wales welcomed the family and the rest is history. The event at the Parliament is the culmination of 16 years of ministry working with Christians coming from Pakistan and other parts of the world.

The Synod had the vision for welcoming, bringing them in, and integrating them in the life of the Methodist Church. Revd Irfan became the enabler of Culturally Diverse Congregations in Wales. Since their arrival, Revd Irfan – and family – are coordinating a ministry of mobilising the Pakistani Community across the Synod, and also of planting new language diverse congregations. They have a Guinness Book of Records entry for the most ‘Most Nationalities in a Nativity Play’ with performers from 56 different countries taking to the stage. There are now Urdu-Punjabi-Hindi speaking congregations at Trinity Centre in Cardiff and in also in Swansea. These are part of the Circuit Preaching Plan as language diverse congregations. 

Beyond gathering the people from Pakistan, enabling a sense of being a community, of welcome and support for the new arrivals, Revd Irfan is very much focusing on encouragement for the second generation, the young people. At the event in the Welsh Parliament, the youngsters were recognised for their role in society as doctors, lawyers and business people. Amongst them, there was a well-known figure in Methodism, Daud Irfan, a former Methodist Church Youth President, and a new leader in the making, the Global Church Youth representative: Elisha Atif. Other youngsters were recognised. They also presented the live nativity scene, sang Christmas songs, and played their instruments.

The Revd Stephen Poxon, Chair of the Fellowships Sub-Committee, and R. F. Leão-Neto were present at the festivity representing the wider Connexion language diverse ministry. The Gospel of John 9:5 was read as part of the final blessing, Jesus saying: ‘As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world’. Let that light continue to shine in the wider Welsh community through the ministry of the Pakistani Christians in Wales.

Leão Neto

Global Communities Officer

Welcome Christmas 2023 in the Swansea and Gower Methodist Circuit

What a delightful day it was on Sunday 3rd December as members of the Swansea Urdu/Hindi/Punjabi Fellowship led the day with a wonderful nativity play in the Murton Methodist Church Hall. Organised by the Rev. Irfan John who is the Synod Enabler for Culturally Diverse Congregations Wales, with great support from the Rev. Howard Long (Superintendent) alongside Rev. Andy Walker, the gathering was attended by many people from within the circuit in addition to guests from other churches in the surrounding areas.

The members of the Fellowship which is led in Swansea by Rev. Irfan, joined together to participate in a nativity play and afterwards the Word of God was shared by Rev. Howard Long who also celebrated the Welcome Christmas event by cutting the cake. Another surprise for the guests in attendance was when Santa came in to give some gifts out to those who were present and was then by the Methodist Church’s Youth Rep to the Methodist Conference, explained the true meaning of Christmas and the reason for the season, Jesus. The day was truly a great of example of the work that Rev. Irfan John is carrying out in Wales to build a bridge of care between the local communities and those who have come here to Wales seeking sanctuary.

Stephen’s Farewell Services

The tour of Farewell Services for Rev. Dr. Stephen Wigley are now complete and Stephen has some much deserved time off to relax before starting his new post in September. Thank you Stephen for all you have done for Wales Synod Cymru and we wish you well for the future. Here are some photos from all three Services.

‘Recalling the Miracle: Reflections through Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas’.

This accessible little book provides a short written reflection and an image for every day between 1st December and Epiphany. It’s suitable for individual study and, with a bit of adaption, group bible study. Here is a ‘quick link’ to where it is sold on Amazon:

Further details are also available on my website: which contains plenty of material that may be used by churches free of charge.

Anyone who’s on Facebook might be interested in the daily reflection material found at

Many thanks,


Part time Deacon – Cardiff Methodist Circuit

Youth President Elections – Etholiadau Llywydd Ieuenctid

It’s not long now till some of the Young People from across the Synod are off to 3Generate. While they are away they will get the chance to vote for the next Youth President, and this year one of the candidates is Rachel Barwise, who grew up in the Cardiff Circuit before moving away for University in the Ceredigion Circuit (her Mum is also our Synod Secretary!).
Here’s what Rachel has to say:
‘Hello everyone! Helo pawb! My name is Rachel. I’m colourful, energetic, Welsh and I am hoping to be your next Youth President! I want to focus on exploring identity. I want to ensure that you have the space to discover your “I am…” as an individual and as an important part of the Methodist Church. I’m raring to lead from behind, to empower you and I am excited to see what we can achieve together!’


Nid yw’n hir nawr nes bod rhai o’r bobl ifanc o bob rhan o’r Synod i ffwrdd i 3Generate. Tra eu bod i ffwrdd byddant yn cael cyfle i bleidleisio dros yr Arlywydd Ieuenctid nesaf, ac eleni un o’r ymgeiswyr yw Rachel yn Barwise, a gafodd ei magu yng Nghylchdaith Caerdydd cyn symud i ffwrdd i’r Brifysgol yng Nghylchdaith Ceredigion (ei mam hefyd yw ein Ysgrifennydd Synod!).
Dyma beth sydd gan Rachel i’w ddweud:
‘Helo pawb! Fy enw i yw Rachel. Rwy’n lliwgar, egnïol, yn Gymraeg ac rwy’n gobeithio bod yn llywydd ieuenctid nesaf i chi! Rwyf am ganolbwyntio ar archwilio hunaniaeth. Rwyf am sicrhau bod gennych y lle i ddarganfod eich “Rydw i…” fel unigolyn ac fel rhan bwysig o’r Eglwys Fethodistaidd. Rwy’n rasio i arwain o’r tu ôl, i’ch grymuso ac rwy’n gyffrous i weld beth allwn ni ei gyflawni gyda’n gilydd! ‘

Meeting of the New Synod – Cyfarfod y Synod Newydd

This Saturday September 10th marks the inaugural meeting of the new Wales Synod Cymru, bringing together the English and Welsh language work of the Methodist Church in Wales, and meeting at Theatre Hafren, Newtown. In addition to commissioning the two Synod Chairs, Revs. Dr. Jennifer Hurd and Stephen Wigley, the Synod will also welcome the Secretary of the Methodist Conference, Rev. Dr. Jonathan Hustler, who will share in the opening event and also give a presentation to the Synod.

Ddydd Sadwrn Medi 10fed nodwch gyfarfod cyntaf Synod Cymru newydd, gan ddod â gwaith Cymraeg a Saesneg yr Eglwys Fethodistaidd yng Nghymru at ei gilydd, a chyfarfod yn Theatr Hafren, y Drenewydd. Yn ogystal â chomisiynu’r ddwy Gadair Synod, Parchg.Dr. Jennifer Hurd a Stephen Wigley, bydd y Synod hefyd yn croesawu Ysgrifennydd y Gynhadledd Fethodistaidd, Parch.Dr. Jonathan Hustler, a fydd yn rhannu yn y digwyddiad agoriadol a hefyd yn rhoi cyflwyniad i’r Synod.

Fellowship Convention in Swansea

After a few years break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, once again the Cardiff and Swansea Urdu/Hindi/Punjabi Church hosted their annual Convention organized by the Revd Irfan John (Synod Enabler Culturally Diverse Congregations). Over 70 people from Wales and a few friends from England gathered on 13th August 2022 in Sketty Methodist Church, Swansea for the one-day convention with the topic of ‘Choose Life’. This was the first time this convention has taken place in Swansea, previously being held annually at the Trinity Centre, Cardiff.

The key verse for the day Deuteronomy 30:19 which reads: ‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live’, was explored through various sessions across the day by different leaders. 

The first session led by local preacher Mr Munawar Amaf was a morning devotion followed by a session led by Mr Yaqoob Bashir. Mr Daud Irfan, Methodist Youth President lead a session for the participants with a focus on blessings and curses, which was aimed towards the youth as on the day there were over 25 children and young people. Furthermore, as the day went on, Mrs Esther Yaqoob lead a session for women in the sanctuary, whilst Mr Bashir led the men in the Church Hall, and Daud focused a youth session on covenants and what it means to walk beside God each and every day.

Worship was led by Mr Khuram Obaid who is a professional Pakistan gospel singer and travels all around the world to minister through singing. This was the final session of the day before the Revd Irfan John led communion and a time of prayer. Throughout the day, in between sessions and breaks, the Church choir led by Mr Atif Gill led the congregation in different hymns and psalms in Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi languages.


Overall, the convention in Swansea was a blessed time focused on the Word, prayer and fellowship. As those in attendance shared in fellowship over food there was also continuous discussions over the topic ‘Choose Life’ and the conversations revolved around what had been shared that day and what this means for people’ individual and family lives.