Church Reports from South West Gower

REPORTS FROM THE CHURCHES

SW Gower PCC Special Meeting Minutes

Monday July 11th 2022 2.30pm Reynoldston St George’s church

Attendees: Alan Glass, Mike Barnett, Mary Attwell, Rosemary Wigley, Peter Williams, Caroline Johnson, Nigel Clarke, Sheila Williams, Vicky Charles, Val Fuller, Gill Wales, Hugh Dunthorne, Roger Donaldson

Opening Prayer from Rev Roger

1. Apologies: David and Diane Workman and Peter Davies

 It was agreed that the minutes of previous meeting would be agreed at the next regular meeting of PCC in September but in the interim a brief update was provided re the plant and cake sale proceeds which are being distributed to Ukrainian families hosted locally at £400 per family in cash (with a Ukrainian teddy kindly knitted by Gill)

2. HD provided calendar of services scheduled for July and August and it was agreed that we will aim to maintain this format requesting support from visiting clergy as needed. Wednesday 13/7 is the final Zoom service as Justin will be licensed in his new position on 17/7 His last service will be the joint Rhosilli on 14/8.

 The Port Eynon service 7/8 to be live-streamed to enable access for those affected by road closures.

Reynoldston and Port Eynon will continue to livestream some services (and Rhossili once connected)

CJ to check whether parish share is reduced as a consequence of not having a full stipendary during interregnum

The ministry leader going forward will be Peter Brookes

It was agreed that any 5th Sundays to be allocated on a rota basis with 30/10 being Llanddewi for Harvest Festival

Second Sunday in November 13/11 to be at Reynoldston, not Rhosilli for Remembrance Sunday service

CJ will produce and circulate a leaflet of Summer services very shortly

 3. CJ will continue to circulate the Redemptorist reading sheets electronically which will be printed locally with immediate effect

CJ will purchase and provide a lectionary for each church

Wine, wafers and candles to be purchased by each church separately from their preferred source

 The weekly newsletter will be temporarily discontinued during interregnum

CJ to obtain the email circulation list from Rev Justin

SW Gower parish Facebook to be updated by Karen Haynes kh852369@gmail.com on receipt of any articles forwarded to her

The rectory is responsibility of PCC during interregnum and the parish wardens (HD, AG) will have a set of keys. CJ is establishing process for payment of bills and transfer of costs to the diocese.

 The building is to be reroofed during Winter whilst permitted due to bats

Gardening contract with Fall Bay to be maintained

Ogi contract for Port Eynon to be transferred and paid locally PW to action

4. HD and AG have a parish profile drafted based on 2018 version. This is to be reviewed and updated as required. VLC will circulate to enable PCC members to give their input re section 3 The Clergy we seek. CJ to check financial section

 Vacancy has been announced and will be advertised in clerical press soon.

Interregnum expected to last until Easter at earliest

Key aspects to include are mission, youth and children (Knelston school) and the parish contribution to various charities (St Thomas, Welsh Refugee Council and Tir Dewi

 5. Following recent meeting with the Bishop various potential changes were discussed that are in the pipeline. These may include centralising of PCCs, employment of administrators to replace current local volunteers, and changes to the number of churches within a parish. However as these are all proposals at this stage we cannot plan until details are known. Agreed that a letter/ email be sent to Archdeacon Jonathan indicating some of our concerns about the proposals (AG,HD)

 6. Date of next PCC meeting 5/9/2022 5.00pm at Reynoldston Minor Village Hall

REPORTS FROM THE CHURCHES       

The Parish Plant, Cakes and Craft Sale held in the Rectory was a great success and much enjoyed. In two hours, £2,300 was raised to support Ukrainian refugees in Gower and the DEC Ukraine Appeal. That figure has now increased to £2,500 and donations are still coming in!  Plants galore, a never-ending supply of delicious cakes as well as several crafts, refreshments and a raffle were the result of the great effort of members from all six churches working together. It was also particularly pleasing to see so many buyers, several from other Gower parishes as well as visitors to the area.  Thank you all – providers and purchasers – for your wonderful support and generosity.

The paragraphs which follow were originally part of Penny Henderson’s report from St David’s, Llanddewi. They express so well the feelings of everyone in the Parish of SW Gower that, with Penny’s permission, we print them here to express collectively our gratitude and good wishes to Justin and Heather.


The prospect of losing Justin as our Vicar has just become a reality. We congratulate him, and give thanks for the many gifts he used in his service among us, in the name of the Lord Jesus. Holding us together over a difficult period, he has managed, ministered, pastored, prayed, worshipped and learned with us in church, in house groups and in the communities around us. 

We recognise that his move to be vicar at Swansea St Mary’s, and to serve the wider city, will enable many more people to share with him all that he has to offer in practical, management and spiritual gifts, and so enable the Kingdom of God to grow there. 

We recognise also the contribution that Heather has made to the life of the Parish, through her participation in study groups, children’s ministry, choir, her personal commitment to the Lord Jesus and her support of Justin.  With thanksgiving, we hold Heather and Justin in our prayers as they prepare to move on.

                                                                   

St David’s, Llanddewi                                                                                       

We have had a quiet month at Llanddewi. The door is open at all times, ready to welcome pilgrims and other visitors, as well as worshippers at our services. The swallows have returned and built their nests in the porch, their summer home. Meantime we are preparing for the summer talk, which Gary Gregor will give after these notes are submitted.

We remember Alan and Valerie Miles and their family in our prayers.

Prayer spaces are everywhere! They are the spaces in time and place that we make to engage with God, and the spaces where God comes, sometimes unexpectedly, and makes himself known to us, both alone and in the fellowship of others. These encounters with God are channels of grace, through which the Word touches us, inspiring, transforming and empowering us: spaces where our longing for faith, hope and love for God and for His world are expressed and fulfilled, and where our spirits are lifted to rejoice and trust in Him. The Holy Spirit waits for us to open our hearts and minds to him, to know the presence of the Lord Jesus who hears and responds to our prayers in ways that are trustworthy, wise and loving.  Pray that in our prayer spaces we might find more of him, and be strengthened to follow him with joy.

Penny Henderson                                                                                        

St Illtyd’s, Oxwich
St Illtyd’s of late has had a bit of a facelift. New radiators have been installed, the electrical system has been updated and we now have comfortable, upholstered chairs. The painting of a rainbow on the chancel roof is now floodlit. All this is very acceptable but does it add to the spirituality of the building? We no longer shiver when trying to worship and pray. Are we too comfortable?


The approach to the church through the beautiful woodland along the sea wall makes one acutely aware of God’s wonderful creation, whatever the weather.


I have always thought that there is no limit to prayer spaces where one is able to call on our Father in times of trouble and also to thank him for all the things we have received. Karl Barth said, ‘One drop of eternity is of greater weight than a vast eternity of futile things’. How easy it is to forget this in our acquisitive world.


St. Illtyd’s is a very precious place to those of us who worship there and we are greatly concerned for the future as our numbers decline. A great deal of prayer is needed to discern what God would have us do with all the beautiful old churches on Gower and how we can encourage others to see their worth.


We are renewing our Songs of Praise services on August Sunday evenings and are entertaining children from St Thomas to a happy day at the seaside.


There are those who find their prayer space in a synagogue, a mosque or temple. These places are endless and do not necessarily need walls. Islands such as Bardsey, Iona and Holy Island in their beauty and isolation are extremely conducive to prayer.  The natural beauty of sea, lakes and mountains in God’s wonderful creation are precious spaces too and often move us to consider the most important aspects of our spiritual lives.


As Justin prepares to leave us, we give thanks in prayer for the way in which he has enhanced our lives and pray for him and his family in their future ministry in Swansea.
Perhaps we should follow Mahatma Gandhi’s observation that no matter where we are ‘Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening’.
Rosemary Wigley

St. Andrew’s, Penrice                                                                                                                       

The Rev Roger Donaldson led the Service on Ascension Day and although the congregation was not large it was a happy occasion celebrating Christ’s Ascension into Heaven. Everyone stayed for coffee after the service and it became a convivial and social end to the morning.

 The celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee were many and varied ranging from a beacon being lit at Penrice within sight of other beacons across the channel, followed the next day by a concert at St. Cattwg’s. Varied musical talents were put to good use and the community singing seemed a fitting celebration of the occasion. Many thanks to Mary Attwell, alias the Maestro, and her team for organizing such a happy event. On Saturday there were lunches and parties and on Sunday a Family Day in Horton which included, despite the wet weather, a photograph of all the Horton residents. As the weather deteriorated it was followed by a party in the Village Hall. The weekend was a welcome change from all the depressing news we are hearing every day.                                                                                                                    

The theme this month is ‘prayer spaces’ which I understand to mean a calm, peaceful space set aside for personal reflection which might inspire people to linger and maybe pray. This need not necessarily apply to churches or holy places but could be schools, places of work or busy hospitals. I vividly remember whilst working in a busy central London hospital that the hospital chapel was an oasis of calm, although being right at the heart of the building. Patients and staff frequently used it when they needed some peace and respite from the activity and noise of the busy hospital. Prayer spaces could also be in your own mind, maybe whilst sitting on a train (in the quiet carriage), taking a walk alone or sitting quietly in your own home.                             

 Tickets for the Garden Tour at Penrice on July 13th are selling well but there are still some See advert elsewhere available. in the magazine.       

Angela Barnett    

St Cattwg’s, Port Eynon                                                                         

St. Cattwg’s Jubilee weekend got off to a great start as the church filled up on a lovely summer’s evening with an audience ready to hear our special concert. The first item was a recording from Westminster Abbeyof the Psalm ‘I was glad when they said unto me’; the Abbey’s organ thundered around our small space, seeming to shake the foundations as they had never been shaken before. The choir ‘Lleisiau Gwyr’ then performed the Jubilee anthem ‘In Your Service’, augmented by several new members, including a few welcome male voices. The congregation joined in ‘Guide me, oh thou great Redeemer’ and ‘Calon Lan’, the choir sang several other songs, an accordion duo got our feet tapping, a recorder group played a number of delightful tunes and a celebratory poem was read. Then, turning our thoughts to the plight of Ukraine, a select group of singers performed a poignant ‘Song of Peace’ and the full choir rendered the anthem from ‘Chess’, with apt words for Ukraine’s situation. The concert ended with the National Anthem, the Welsh National Anthem and a repeat of ‘In Your Service’. A retiring collection produced £200 for Ukraine charities. Caffi Cattwg entertained another full house to coffee and cake onSaturday June 4th.

‘Prayer spaces’:  surely anywhere and everywhere are spaces for prayer, which can be silent or spoken as appropriate. A well-known poem says ‘you are nearer to God in a garden than anywhere else on earth’, which might not be agreed by a traditionalist, but there is no doubt that nature as a surround, especially when full of beautiful flowers, is conducive to joy, awe and thankfulness to God, the provider. Those who attend church will endorse the peaceful surroundings of a religious building as the perfect place to be quiet and pray; many people find their own home, maybe kneeling by their bed at night, is where they feel near to God. No-one can have failed to notice that people in extremis, whether they are religious observers or not, will cry ‘Oh, God!’  –  surely a heartfelt prayer, when they are witnesses to, or involved in, an accident or disaster. Physical space is not essential to prayer, either. God will hear even an unspoken prayer, one existing only as a thought in one’s mind. Just remember that prayer should be thankful as well as demanding, wherever and whenever it is expressed.                                                           

Susan Morris

St George’s, Reynoldston    

The Jubilee Service on Pentecost or Whitsunday was suitably celebratory using content prepared by the United Reformed Church. The opening music was Handel’s Fireworks music, Maria Jones, Sue Hutson and Heather Davies gave beautiful readings and the hymns were rousing. Afterwards prosecco and snacks were served and members enjoyed the chat in our comfortable north transept. We were delighted to welcome a number of visitors. Thanks are due to Rev. Justin for planning the Service and Sheila Williams and other members of the congregation for appropriate refreshments on the occasion.

St George‘s has been opened daily since early June and we have been pleased to report several visitors who leave kind and prayerful messages.  The Social Committee has announced that plans are well ahead for organising some favourite events, after the inactivity of the past two years. These include the Harvest Supper in the autumn and Carols on the Green at Christmas.

The Gower Festival of two weeks of music with internationally renowned  artists is back after two years silence. St Georges is delighted to host a concert on Tuesday 5th July at 2.30pm. Under the intriguing title Myths and Fairy Tales it will include music by Rossini, Gluck, Britten and Handel. This will be performed by the London Conchord Ensemble, one of whose members is Tom Carroll, from Kittle, now a professor of music in Germany.

On 16th July the final event of the Festival is an evening of Gower- influenced poetry and jazz, featuring Mal Pope, Bob Pugh with the Geoff Eales Jazz trio. This will take place in Reynoldston Hall at 7.30pm. Details on www.gowerfestival.org Tickets online and from the Grand Theatre tel. 01792 475 715

Valerie Beynon

St Mary’s, Rhossili                          

St Mary’s was the venue for the official launch of the Gower Pilgrimage Way, the Lord Lieutenant  of West Glamorgan  Mrs Louise Fleet, CStJ, JP performing the honours. Also present were the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan, Mr Stephen H. Rogers JP, Tonia Antoniazzi, MP  for Gower, Adrian Chiles, Honorary  Patron, Mal Pope, radio presenter, Rev Canon Peter Brooks and Archdeacon Jonathan Davies.  Rev Justin introduced the proceedings with David and Anne Pope each making a presentation.

Following the placing of a way marker on the gate by the Lord Lieutenant, the Way was officially declared open. Refreshments were provided in the church grounds by The Lookout, a local business, on a warm  sunny afternoon.

St Mary’s has hosted two parish services – on the fifth Sunday ‘Pentecost’ the service was led jointly by Rev Justin and Rev Roger, and on Trinity Sunday by Rev Justin. Both services were well attended with tea, coffee and cakes provided afterwards.

Roger Button

%d bloggers like this: