Author Archives: Wendy Barwise

Wales Synod Representative Synod – Saturday 14th September 2019

The Representative session of Synod meets at Theatr Hafren in Newtown, Powys from 10-4pm on Saturday 14th September 2019. Representatives from Circuits across Wales will have the chance to welcome newcomers to Synod, hear reports from Conference and share good news stories from Circuits. We trust this will be an enjoyable and inspirational day for all involved, and if you wish to find out more, please contact your local Minister or Circuit representatives.

New Citizens!

New Citizens!

The Atif family left their home in Pakistan in 2011 and came as asylum seekers to the UK.  Elisha was 9 and Maresha was 5 and life had become increasingly hard for this Christian family.  They were placed in Swansea, and very soon after they arrived, found their way to Sketty Methodist Church (on the advice of Rev Irfan John, the Wales Synod Enabler for Culturally Diverse Congregations).  Here the congregation welcomed them with open arms, arranging lifts to and from church and helping them to settle in the UK.  In return Atif and Saima and the children found their way into the hearts of the members of the congregation through their generosity and deep faith.  When Angel was born, the whole congregation celebrated.

The church was so sad when the family made the decision to leave Swansea and move to London to be nearer Atif’s brother and family.  But members kept in touch, and it felt like an answer to prayer when the family decided to return to Swansea.  It was their church family whom they had missed the most.

Fast forward to 2019.  Elisha and Maresha were confirmed in June and made members of what is now Uniting Church Sketty.  And finally, after much hard work on their part, the whole family became British citizens at a special ceremony at Swansea’s Civic Centre on 22 July 2019.

When arranging the ceremony with the Registrar, Atif asked how many guests they could bring.  “Only two,” was the reply, “unless you pay for a private ceremony, in which case you can bring up to 70”.  There was no question for the Atifs!  Of course they wanted their church family to celebrate with them.

And this is what led to around 60 people from Uniting Church Sketty descending on Swansea Civic Centre to support Atif, Saima, Elisha, Maresha and Angel as they became British Citizens.  When the Registrar opened the door to the waiting room, she did a double-take and couldn’t believe all the people present.  After a wonderful ceremony, in which Atif and Saima made their promises using the Church Bible and all the family, including 6 year old Angel, signed a special book, both the British and the Welsh national anthems were sung.  As you can imagine, the singing completely drowned out the recording of these songs.  Afterwards, the Registrar told Rev Leslie Noon, that never before had they seen so many people come to support one family.  She was simply amazed!  And when she asked Atif which church the family attended, he proudly told her “Uniting Church Sketty.  And they are my family”.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

PHOTOS:  Atif, Saima, Elisha, Maresha and Angel Gill (and with some of the congregation from Uniting Church Sketty at the Citizenship Ceremony)

Momentwm Camp

Paper, feathers, wool and plenty of marshmallows were to be found a-plenty as fifteen young people, and their leaders, from a variety of backgrounds and from churches across the district, came together in July for

This Annual Youth Event explored ‘Courageous Faith’ with workshops offered on Courageous Craftivism, Courageous Prayer, Courageous Body/Spirituality (why did the leaders think jumping jacks in this heat was a good idea?!) and Courageous Church led by our Youth President Jasmine Yeboah.

It wasn’t all workshops however, as the young people had an opportunity to show their courageous spirit by tackling height, balance and aiming skills as they took part in rock climbing, stand up paddle boarding and archery.

Of course, no youth event would be complete without worship, so in another courageous step this year, our worship took the form of two sessions of Forest Church. God was encountered through the natural beauty around us at the Mannor Adventure Centre, and our prayers were lifted on bubbles. There was even a donkey! However, heeding the young people’s feedback from last year there was no singing …..(except around the campfire!)

Overall Momentwm camp was fully enjoyed by all ……and after a little rest… we can’t wait to do it again next year!

Maybe your young people could join us!

50th Anniversary Celebrations

This year Rev Brian Sherrington is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his Ordination this year. Together with his wife Audrey, they shared a cake with those present at the Wesley Day Service on Thursday 23rd May at Rhos-on Sea.

The Birmingham Conference in 1969 was held at Aston University and Brian’s ordination service was at West Bromwich. His first appointment as an ordained minister was to the Liverpool Crosby Circuit where we spent 3 happy years living in Formby before Brian started his 16-year stint as an Army Chaplain.

Also present and sharing in the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of his ordination was Rev John Wiggall, and another colleague in the Conwy & Prestatyn circuit, Rev. David Woodward, was also ordained at the same Birmingham Conference.

If my people – March 2019

The month of prayer in MGM included Saturday morning prayer breakfasts in a different church each week, the Talking Jesus course (in two locations), various times of reflective and creative prayer, a Taize evening, a pilgrimage to Penrhys and finally a prayer walk up Pen y Fan. The various events proved to be a blessing to those who engaged with the call to prayer.

Penhrys Group

Norton Bridge

Breakfast  at Rhydyfelin

A closing thought: If only more of my people ….


If my people – April 2019 – Neath Port Talbot Circuit


Neath Port Talbot Circuit engaged in a variety of prayer events during April 2019. All who attended were enriched by their experience of sharing together in prayer for the Circuits in the Wales Synod, our local communities and the wider world. Some of the prayer activities in the Churches are continuing.  

JERSEY MARINE – We used a prayer leaf to represent a different Circuit for which individuals prayed during the week.

TAIBACH – The focus of our prayer stations were the events of Easter and the empty tomb. We prayed for the distressing situations in our world and asked God to bring to these the victory of the empty tomb and the hope of the resurrection. We each prayed for three people we know who don’t yet know Jesus as their friend and Saviour asking that he will touch their lives and hearts. We committed ourselves to pray for these people every day that they may feel the renewing power of the Holy Spirit.

SANDFIELDS – We hosted a Circuit ‘share prayer’ event and events for families and young people.

NEATH – We visited Gnoll Park Estate and prayed over our town centre and the churches in Neath.

SKEWEN – We held a prayer walk on Good Friday passing through the local park to Ty Santes Fair Church for an ecumenical open air service.

NORTH CORNELLY AND CYMMER – We organised a prayer diary for the whole of the month.

GLYNCORRWG AND GLYNNEATH – We engaged in prayer during weekly Sunday Worship.