Church Reports from South West Gower


REPORTS FROM THE CHURCHES                                                                   

St David’s, Llanddewi  

Before looking to what lies ahead in this new year, there are reports to be made about events during the Christmas season.

At Llanddewi, we had a delightful, well attended Carol service with an Advent flavour led by Rev Roger on the afternoon of Sunday 15 December.  There were readings from the prophet Isaiah and from Matthew’s gospel, throwing light on the identity of Jesus. The carols were accompanied by musicians playing accordion, viola and flute as well as the organ: the variety of instruments added a lovely touch, and we are grateful to Mary, Hugh and Sheila for playing.  Tea, mince pies and cake were served afterwards, providing a welcome opportunity for friendship.

A Parish service followed on New Year’s Day.  At short notice owing to illness, Barry faithfully led a service of Morning Prayer, Roger took the prayers and Carl played the organ, and together they provided a great service of Morning prayer. This was followed by coffee and mince pies.  Thank you to everyone who helped and who came, making this an occasion that was greatly enjoyed and appreciated: a time of blessing.

There will be Coffee Morning and Bring and Buy at Burry Farm on Saturday, 11 February at 10.30 am.  by kind invitation of Marian and Leslie Tucker, who have again offered their delightful converted barn for us to use.  Please join us if you can.

The winter months have so far brought changeable weather; unchanged have been the dark days, with bare trees, fields and gardens seemingly dormant. Winter is a time for preparation for new life.  Already, Spring stands at the gate: there are signs of new growth and new life. May we emerge from any dormancy that has affected our lives, confident that the Lord of creation is with us, and ready to bring revival.   Let us pray, as Jesus taught us.

Penny Henderson                                                                                               

St Illtyd’s, Oxwich

“Spring stands at the gate” The joyful celebration of our Lord’s birth at Christmas has passed and the dreary month of January is passing but even this weekend there are signs of Spring and new growth bringing us hope of better times to come.  The first signs of new life with the appearance of the first snowdrops with their delicate white blossoms, are heralding a much brighter future. The birds will be singing, the trees will start to bud and the first daffodils will remind us that St David’s Day is not too far away.

A time of hope and new beginnings gives us a wonderful positive outlook on life. There are always new beginnings to be had for our church and the world. We should be praying for the start of a new Ministry Area and a new incumbent for SW Gower before long.
This is the time for Hope too – for cooperation between churches and denominations as we were reminded recently in the Week for Christian Unity, for hostilities to cease in Ukraine, for the starving population of the world and those in our country reliant upon food banks and those suffering from unemployment, low wages and ill health.

The list of those in need of Hope is endless but with Christ at our head and the tenets of our belief, Faith, Hope and Charity there is the possibility for the world and all its inhabitants to live without war, with good health and enough to eat. These desires should continually be in our prayers.

Everything that is done in the world is done by Hope” Martin Luther

Rosemary Wigley

St Andrew’s, Penrice                                                                                           

It has been a quiet month at St. Andrew’s. We are fortunate in having had three Sunday services in January conducted by the Rev Roger. Although we are a small congregation each service is consistently attended by the regular parishioners, boosted sometimes by visitors. The theme this month is ‘Spring stands at the gate’ part of a quotation from Patience Strong. Looking out of the window today, in mid-January, as the wind and rain beat against the window, Spring feels a long way away and endurance would be a good word to describe the long wait to Spring. But optimistically maybe tomorrow will be a quiet dry day with even a glimpse of some blue sky and soon there should be a sight of the snowdrops appearing in the graveyard and hedges at Penrice. As a group we are thinking about events for the Summer and hope to restart the Penrice lectures which have been missing for several years.

We await the creation of the new Ministry Area promised for the Spring and also a new stipendiary vicar. The uncertainty of what this will bring together with the preparation of the end of year accounts and the Interregnum has given Hugh Dunthorne, Caroline Johnson and Alan Glass an enormous amount of extra work for which we are all most grateful.  

 David Armstrong of Eynons Ford died recently and a large number of his family and friends gathered to pay their respects at his funeral service which was held at St. Andrew’s on January 19th. David, or Dai as he was known, was described as ‘A kind and gentle man’ who will be missed deeply and remembered with great affection by all. We send deepest sympathy to all who knew David. His family had long connections with St. Andrew’s and although David did not attend services he supported us in other ways.

 Angela Barnett

St Cattwg’s, Port Eynon

The Christmas season got off to a joyous start. On December 17th, Caffi Cattwg held a special morning of Christmas treats: mince pies and sausage rolls, cake too. That evening villagers paraded their beautifully crafted paper lanterns around the village in a spectacular procession, passing the Christmas tree, kindly presented by Adrian Chiles, and house windows transformed into stained glass with further skilled paper work. Carols were sung along the way and drumbeats accompanied the marchers. Christmas Communion service was held in the afternoon of Christmas Eve, with Rev. Canon Roger inspiring us as ever.

Our prayers are with Kay Lee, who is very unwell.                                              

Caffi Cattwg returns on January 28th and February 11th and 25th.             

 ‘Spring stands at the gate with her finger on the latch’ is reminiscent of another famous quotation, from M.L. Haskins’ ‘The man who stood at the gate of the year’ which continues with ‘the breaking of day in the lone East’ and in turn reminds us of the hymn ‘But lo there breaks a yet more glorious day’.  The whole imagery of brightening prospects is encouraging to Christian and unbeliever alike. Lately, the seasons have appeared confused, with roses persisting into late December, annuals becoming perennial, violets in my lane in November and other anomalies. We can still be cheered by the emergence of new shoots and by the hope of new ideas and changes in the way we worship. We must accept that young generations have their own spiritual aspirations which aren’t necessarily those that have sustained older people through their lives. That the youngsters do not appear often in church at formal worship shouldn’t discourage us. Their fingers may be on the gate of an undreamt-of Spring and wonderful future.    

Susan Morris

St George’s, Reynoldston                                                                              

 We began our Christmas celebrations on the 18th December when part of the Eucharist Service included a selection of short readings and verses of several favourite carols, prepared by Jenny Cooper. For some days the shining stars and lights around the Lower Green, thanks to the members of the Social Committee, had been reminding us of the Christmas message. The 19th December was the lighting of the Christmas tree on the Lower Green but in view of the weather the Carol Singing with mulled wine and mince pies took place in the Hall. As usual we were pleased to welcome the Salvation Army Band and their members who were delighted to receive the £318 collection.  In addition they also received half of the parcels given to the Reynoldston Food Bank, the rest going to the North Gower Food bank. Many thanks were expressed to all who had very generously contributed to this initiative.                                                                                                            

On Christmas Eve the 4pm Eucharist Service included readings and poems and it was very pleasing to welcome nearly forty people in the congregation.

 The recently renovated area in the north transept of St George’s has become much appreciated as a social area where coffee and tea are served after the Sunday Service. The comfortable chairs plus the opportunity to catch up encourage long conversations and it is especially good to give a warm welcome to visitors. This has been a very successful change and Hugh Jones is to be thanked warmly for planning and managing this transformation.                                         

 Valerie Beynon

St Mary’s, Rhossili

February is often associated with lighter evenings, the first of the Spring flowers and new growth in the garden.  Our church and the other congregations in the S W Gower parish look forward with anticipation for the appointment of a parish priest. These things seem to take a long time but “The Lord works in mysterious Ways” and we must have patience.

December saw the passing of Elizabet Harry-Thomas. Paviland Farm, Trevor Morris, New Park Rhossili, Morfydd Button . Sketty  and* Melvyn Maltz, Uxbridge . Our thoughts and prayers are with the families at this sad time.  Melvyn was with the late Stephen Dew when he fell to his death in the Himalayas.

Our Christmas Eve service was well attended with families and lots of children. Rev Roger involved many of the congregation in creating the Stable Scene on the steps of the Chancel using the figurines kept in the church.

Looking ahead the church will be closed for much of February for a much needed “lick of paint” the last service being on Sunday 29th of January.

Roger Button

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 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

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