Sunday reflection – Fourth Sunday after Trinity

Dear all

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” St Matthew 11: 28 – end.

“He felt “feeble” and “lopsided”. It had shown him that vulnerability was part of it and not separate.” The writer Rhidian Brook, quoting Michael Rosen.

As a trained singer, I have often performed the solos from Handel’s “Messiah” – sometimes, with mum playing the accompaniment! – of which these words from Jesus form a part. Whenever I read them, I’m reminded not only of that glorious oratorio, but also of my father telling me how a yoke could be easy. With dad growing up in Abercannaid and mum being evacuated to a farm as a young child, both of my parents could remember milkmaids carrying full, heavy pails on a yoke made specifically for them. I remember Dad explaining that not a drop was lost because it fitted their shoulders so well that they could carry the load easily whilst other milkmaids had an ill-fitting yoke which gave them sores or made them lopsided. They were unable to bear the burden so well and so some of the precious milk was lost.

Jesus urges those who will listen to him to take his yoke, telling them that it is easy and they will find their burden light. That doesn’t mean that what they carry IS light – just that a well-fitting yoke will enable a greater weight to be safely carried. Jesus’ whole life showed that, although even he found the burden too much to bear and fell under the weight of what he was made to carry to the cross. Even Jesus needed a helping hand and Simon of Cyrene provided it, albeit reluctantly. Describing himself in St Matthew’s words as “gentle and humble in heart”, Jesus nevertheless faced and endured terrible suffering at the hands of those who opposed him – yet that gentleness proved to be invincible! For Jesus, vulnerability was part of his strength and not a weakness.

Today, vulnerability can still sometimes be seen as a weakness and those people described as such have been asked to shield themselves by staying at home during the ongoing pandemic. It’s also been a factor for those coming off ventilators, as in the case of the children’s writer Michael Rosen who had been dependent on one for seven weeks. It was feared that he wouldn’t survive at all but the intervention and skill of the NHS staff caring for him meant that he was put into an induced coma so that their treatment and support could help his body bear what he was facing. Although the after effects of Covid-19 have left him feeling feeble, lopsided and vulnerable, Michael Rosen is still alive where so many are not, although he still faces many challenges ahead – as do we all.

For its 60th birthday, Rosen had written a poem called ‘These are the hands’ which celebrated the hard work and team effort of all those who work in the NHS. He could not have known then that, 12 years later, he would be in such need of it himself and his poem was reissued in a musical version while he, the medical staff and his family were fighting for his life in May. That can be found on YouTube but the original follows, as a tribute to the NHS staff, carers and key workers as well as all those who help others bear whatever burdens they face or who have much to handle today.

Today – virtually, or from a social distance! – can you give or receive a helping hand, so that a burden can be eased and hope renewed?

With my prayers,

Christine.

These are the hands

These are the hands

That touch us first

Feel your head

Find the pulse

And make your bed.

These are the hands

That tap your back

Test the skin

Hold your arm

Wheel the bin

Change the bulb

Fix the drip

Pour the jug

Replace your hip.

These are the hands

That fill the bath

Mop the floor

Flick the switch

Soothe the sore

Burn the swabs

Give us a jab

Throw out sharps

Design the lab.

And these are the hands

That stop the leaks

Empty the pan

Wipe the pipes

Carry the can

Clamp the veins

Make the cast

Log the dose

And touch us last.

Michael Rosen.

The Diocesan Prayer for the week

Ever-present God;

In all the difficulties we encounter, the joys we experience, or the pains we bear,

show us how we can learn and grow through every situation.

We pray that we may not lose heart,

nor forget the treasures we can find even in the hardest times.

For this world that we pass through is the one you love;

and in your love, nothing is lost or wasted. Amen.

(Canon Carol Wardman)

LOOSENING LOCKDOWN  LLACIO’R CYFNOD CLO

LOOSENING LOCKDOWN  LLACIO’R CYFNOD CLO

A PASTORAL LETTER FROM BISHOP GREGORY

for Thursday, 2nd July, 2020

LLYTHYR BUGEILIOL ODDI WRTH ESGOB GREGORY

ar gyfer dydd Iau, 2 Gorffennaf 2020

I think that we’ve all been surprised by the lockdown. When it began in mid-March, we were uncertain how long it would last, but it looked like a period of time with a definite start and a definite finish. One day the danger of the virus would be past, and we would resume life. Now we’re learning that the lockdown is going to be lifted step by step – rather like treading one’s way across a treacherous frozen lake, we’re having to test the ice ahead to see if it will bear us – whether this step can be taken safely, or whether we shall have to retreat if the virus surges once again.

Dwy’n meddwl ein bod ni i gyd wedi cael ein rhyfeddu gan y cyfnod clo. Pan ddechreuodd ganol Mawrth, doedden ni ddim yn sicr am faint y byddai’n parhau, ond roedd yn edrych y byddai’n gyfnod go hir, gyda dechrau pendant a gorffen pendant. Un diwrnod, byddai perygl y feirws y tu ôl i ni a ninnau’n ail gydio yn ein bywydau. Erbyn hyn, rydyn ni’n deall y daw’r cyfnod clo i ben gam wrth gam – rhywbeth yn debyg i droedio’n ofalus ar draws rhew twyllodrus ar lyn, mae’n rhaid i bob cam newydd fod yn ysgafn i ddechrau rhag ofn na fydd y rhew yn ein dal – a yw’n ddiogel cymryd y cam yma neu a fydd yn rhaid i ni gamu’n ôl os bydd y feirws yn codi ei ben eto.

So the rules change; in England one day the schools are returning, the next day they’re not. The rules in Wales are different from the rules in England. Is it two metres distance we must maintain, or one plus? One plus what? We can travel five miles – or more, if there’s good reason, but what would a good reason look like? Garden centres were amongst the first to open, barbers and hairdressers are taking bookings, but can they open yet? I must admit I’ve begun to get confused.

Felly, mae’r rheolau’n newid, yn Lloegr, un diwrnod mae’r ysgolion yn agor, y diwrnod nesaf maen nhw’n cau. Mae’r rheolau yng Nghymru’n wahaol i’r rhai yn Lloegr. Ai dwy fetr yw’r pellter y dylen ni gadw oddi wrth ein gilydd neu un plws? Un plws beth? Fe allwn ni deithio pum milltir, neu ymhellach os oes yna reswm da, ond sut beth yw rheswm da? Roedd canolfannau garddio ymysg y cyntaf i agor, mae barbwyr a thrinwyr gwallt yn cymryd archebion, ond a ydyn nhw’n cael agor eto? Mae’n rhaid i mi gyfaddef fy mod i’n dechrau cael fy nrysu.

Even the rules for the churches are changing frequently. One week we’re open for private prayer, but it looks as if the resumption of weddings are on their way, and new announcements are in the pipeline. The Sunday celebration of the Eucharist in our local churches for all God’s people seems a way off yet however.

Mae hyd yn oed y rheolau ar gyfer eglwysi’n newid yn aml. Un wythnos rydyn ni ar agor ar gyfer gweddïo’n breifat, ac y mae’n ymddangos y bydd priodasau’n cael eu cynnal cyn bo hir, a bod cyhoeddiadau newydd ar ei ffordd. Ond, mae’n ymddangos na fyddwn ni’n cael dathlu’r Ewcharist i holl bobl Dduw yn ein eglwysi lleol am sbel go lew eto.

We’re going to have to learn the rules of loosening lockdown, and live by them. However, the situation has become complicated, and the united front of commitment and resilience is under pressure. The beaches have become too appealing for some, the chance to renew friendships is too attractive for others, and yet many, if not most have become more cautious, we’ve learned to dance around the supermarket, weaving to preserve the two metre rule.

Bydd yn rhaid i ni ddysgu rheolau llacio’r cyfnod clo, a byw efo nhw. Ond, mae’r sefyllfa wedi dod yn gymhleth a’r ymrwymiad a’r cadernid unedig o dan bwysau. Aeth atyniad y traethau’n drech na rhai, denwyd rhai eraill gan y cyfle i adnewyddu cyfeillgarwch ac eto, mae llawer, os nad y rhan fwyaf, wedi dod yn fwy gofalus, rydyn ni wedi dysgu troedio’n ysgafn o gwmpas yr archfarchnad, gan droelli i gadw’r rheol dwy fetr.

What are the loosening lockdown rules of faith that apply in these times? How does God call upon us to relate to one another? Here are just three that are close to the top of my list.

Pa lacio ar reolau ffydd sydd yna yn y cyfnod clo? Sut mae Duw’n galw arnom ni i wneud efo’n gilydd? Dyma ddim ond tri o’r pethau sy’n agos at frig fy rhestr.

Compassion. I’ve written before about the way in which we’ve put the vulnerable in the centre of our society at this time. Our churches have done humble but important things well in these days – checking up on the shielded, delivering medicines, cooking and delivering meals, ensuring support. As we loosen lockdown, how can we remain compassionate, and as the business of life resumes, how do we find the space for others? “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful”, said Jesus (Luke 6.36), and this is one of the chief marks of a loving Christian community.

Trugaredd Rwyf wedi ysgrifennu o’r blaen ynghylch sut rydyn ni wedi rhoi pobl fregus yng nghanol ein cymdeithas yr adeg yma. Mae ein heglwysi wedi gwneud pethau eithaf wylaidd ond go bwysig hefyd y dyddiau hyn – cadw llygad ar y rhai sy’n ynysu, danfon meddyginiaethau, coginio a danfon prydau, sicrhau cefnogaeth. Wrth i ni lacio’r cyfnod clo, sut allwn ni ddal i fod yn dosturiol, ac wrth i ni ail gydio ym manion bywyd bob dydd, sut allwn ni gadw’r lle i bobl eraill? “Byddwch yn drugarog, fel y mae eich Tad yn drugarog” meddai Iesu (Luc 6.36) a dyma un o’r pethau pwysicaf sy’n dangos cymuned Gristionogol ofalgar.

Collaboration. One of the phrases I’ve heard frequently is that “We’re in this together”, but it has, it seems to me, become far more than words. We’ve been learning to co-operate. The things that we’ve done, the things that we’ve achieved, have often been because, like the Body of Christ, we’ve acted as a body. Too often we can make Christianity a religion of private faith: my prayers, my faith, my salvation. Yet there’s always a corporate dimension – it is when two or three are gathered that Christ is among us, and together we can do more. I hope that we’ll invest in the Church, as lockdown loosens. “In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2.22) What a vision for the Teulu Asaph, that God should at home among us.

Cydweithio Un o’r dywediadau rwy’n eu clywed yn aml yw “Rydyn ni i gyd yn hyn gyda’n gilydd”, ond mae hynny, mae’n ymddangos i mi, wedi dod yn fwy na geiriau. Rydyn ni wedi bod yn dysgu cydweithredu. Mae’r pethau rydyn ni wedi’u gwneud, ein llwyddiannau, wedi digwydd oherwydd ein bod ni, fel Corff Crist ,wedi gweithredu fel un corff. Rydyn ni’n gallu gwneud Cristionogaeth, yn rhy aml, yn ffydd breifat: fy ngweddïau, fy ffydd, fy iachawdwriaeth. Eto, mae yna ddimensiwn corfforaethol bob tro – pan mae dau neu dri wedi ymgynnull, dyna pryd y daw Crist i’n plith, a gyda’n gilydd, gallwn wneud mwy. Rwy’n gobeithio y byddwn ni’n buddsoddi yn yr Eglwys wrth i’r cyfnod clo lacio. “Ynddo ef yr ydych chwithau hefyd yn cael eich cydadeiladu i fod yn breswylfod i Dduw yn yr Ysbryd.” (Effesiaid 2.22). Dyna weledigaeth i Deulu Asaph, bod Duw gartref yn ein plith.

Courage. I’ve been amazed by the way that the Church family has been bold in facing the future. We’ve not put off decisions on finance, co-operation and evangelism. We’ve not abandoned worship or mission, as if these can wait for the future. And this commitment must continue, indeed, this must be accelerated as the lockdown loosens: what new things is Christ calling us to? “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed” God urged Joshua as he took over from Moses (Joshua 1.9), and I am sure that God speaks the same words to us today.

Dewrder. Rwyf wedi rhyfeddu pa mor ddewr mae teulu’r Eglwys wedi bod wrth wynebu’r dyfodol. Dydyn ni ddim wedi gohirio penderfyniadau ariannol, ar gydweithredu nac ar efengylu. Dydyn ni ddim wedi troi cefn ar addoli na chenhadu, fel petai’r rhain yn gallu aros tan yn nes ymlaen. Ac mae’n rhaid i’r ymrwymiad hwn barhau, yn wir bydd yn rhaid iddo gynyddu wrth i’r cyfnod clo lacio: at ba bethau newydd y mae Crist yn ein galw ni? “bydd wrol a dewr, paid ag arswydo na dychryn” oedd anogaeth Duw i Joshua wrth iddo gymryd yr awenau oddi wrth Moses (Joshua 1:9) ac rwy’n siŵr mai dyma eiriau Duw i ni heddiw hefyd.

These are big words – and yet I think it’s fair to say that they have already been true of us over the last three months. May they also be watchwords for our future: rules for loosening lockdown, and being faithful to Christ.

Mae’r rhain yn eiriau mawr – ac eto rwy’n credu ei bod yn deg dweud eu bod eisoes wedi dod yn wir i ni yn ystod y tri mis diwethaf. Bydded iddyn nhw hefyd fod yn arwyddair i’n dyfodol ninnau hefyd: rheolau ar gyfer llacio’r cyfnod clo, a bod yn ffyddlon i Grist.

Teulu Asaph Circle of Prayer

Teulu Asaph Cycle of Prayer: Text

– July 2020

During this time of restricted social interaction churches are developing new ways of being church. Below is the text from the Teulu Asaph Cycle of Prayer which can be cut and pasted into leaflets produced by the local church. This is in addition to the pdf version of the Teulu Asaph Cycle of Prayer which is ready formatted for printing duplex on A4.

This month we pray for Gregory, our Bishop; Andy, Archdeacon of St. Asaph;

for the Aled Mission Area, and Clive Myers MA Leader

The Aled Mission Area is a worshipping community that is urban, rural and coastal. There are 17 churches serving the Mission Area, which stretches along the coastline between Rhos on Sea to Pensarn and inland as far as the villages of Bryn y Maen and Llansannan, bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to all who we serve.

More details can be found on our developing MA website: aledmissionarea.org

Information about all the Mission Areas can be found online at https://churchnearme.co.uk

1st – Wednesday – Euddogwy (6th c.), Bishop

Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean & Aruba (West Indies) – L. Errol Brooks, Bishop

Diocese of Attooch (South Sudan) – Moses Anur Ayom, Bishop

Aled MA; Clive Myers, newly appointed MA Leader, Buzz Squires and Huw Lloyd, MA Wardens.

Give thanks for the dedication and commitment of our lay leaders

Pray for those who are isolated, lonely or feeling vulnerable

2nd – Thursday

Diocese of North Karamoja (Uganda) – James Nasak, Bishop

Diocese of Auckland (Aotearoa NZ & Polynesia) – Ross Bay, Bishop

Diocese of Magwi (South Sudan) – Ogeno Charles Opoka, Bishop

Give thanks for all who serve on the Mission Area Conference and our Mission Area Executive

Pray for those who have experienced Domestic Violence during the pandemic

3rd – Friday- Thomas, Apostle

Diocese of North Kigezi (Uganda) – Benon Magezi, Bishop

Diocese of Aweil (South Sudan) – Abraham Yel Nhial, Bishop

Give thanks for the work of the Buildings’ Committee

Pray for all suffering with mental health issues, that they can access appropriate support

4th – Saturday – Peblig (4th C.), Abbot

Diocese of North Mbale (Uganda) – Samuel Gidudu , Bishop

Diocese of Awerial (South Sudan) – David Akau Kuol Mayom , Bishop

Diocese of Kadugli & Nuba Mountains (Sudan) – Andudu Adam Elnail, Bishop

Give thanks for the work of church treasurers, especially in these challenging financial times.

Pray for Bishop Gregory and those he is making Deacon today:

George Bearwood, who will serve in Alyn Mission Area; Luke Bristowe, who will serve his curacy at the Hope Street project in Wrexham; Helen Dawson, who will

serve in Borderlands Mission Area; Toby Jones, who will serve in Pool Mission Area; Gregor Lachlann-Waddell, who will serve in Bryn a Môr Mission Area; Ben Lines, who will serve in Aberconwy Mission Area; Jo Mackriell, who will serve in Wrexham Mission Area; James Thompson, who will serve in Pool Mission Area; and Gail Woodward, who will serve in Borderlands Mission Area

5th – Sunday – Pentecost 5: Trinity 4 – (Proper 9)

Pray for the United Church of Pakistan: Humphrey Peters – Bishop of Peshawar & Moderator of the Church of Pakistan

Give thanks for the Shared Ministry Team, meeting virtually twice a week, and that through Zoom it has been strengthened and become closer as a team

Give thanks on this day for the NHS as it celebrates its 72nd birthday and for all who have helped with the Covid19 Crisis.

6th – Monday – Thomas More (1535), Martyr

Diocese of North Queensland (Australia) – Keith Ronald Joseph, Bishop

Diocese of Awgu / Aninri (Nigeria) – Emmaunuel Ugwu, Bishop. Diocese of Kaduna (Nigeria) – Timothy Yahaya, Bishop

For the Shared Ministry Team and especially the people of Llandrillo yn Rhos as we await the appointment of a priest, rooted in the Rhos on Sea churches

Pray for strength and inspiration in the challenges ahead, as we look to the future.

Pray for those who will be ordained to the Presbyterate later this year: Gareth Erlandson, who will serve in the Borderlands Mission Area; Sally Harper, who will serve in the Elwy Mission Area; Simon Piercy, who will serve in the Alyn Mission Area; Christopher Spencer, who will serve in the Aber-Morfa Mission Area; Sue Storey, who will serve in the Aled Mission Area; Carol Thomas, who will serve in the Denbigh Mission Area; James Tout, who will serve in the Wrexham Mission Area

7th – Tuesday

Diocese of North West Australia (Australia) – Gary Nelson, Bishop.

Diocese of Awka (Nigeria) – Alexander Ibezim, Bishop

Diocese of Kafanchan (Nigeria) – Marcus Dogo, Bishop

Give thanks for the people of St George’s Church Rhos on Sea and St Trillo’s

Pray for new and creative ways to proclaim the Gospel across our Mission Areas

8th – Wednesday

Diocese of Northern Argentina (South America) – Nicholas James Quested Drayson, Bishop

Diocese of Awori (Nigeria) – J Akin Atere, Bishop

Give thanks for St Trillo’s Chapel, that it may again be the sacred place of pilgrimage and prayer it was before lock-down.

Pray the online-presence churches have found can be maintained, as well as a physical one

9th – Thursday

Diocese of Northern California (Episcopal Church, USA) – Barry Beisner, Bishop

Diocese of Badagry (Nigeria) – Joseph Adeyemi, Bishop

Diocese of Ballarat (Australia) – Garry Weatherill, Bishop

Give thanks for those from St Paul’s, Colwyn Bay who are helping the congregation stay together by post, phone-trees, Zoom and telephone-worship.

Pray for new ways to interact with our Coastal Communities

10th – Friday

Diocese of Northern Indiana (Episcopal Church, USA) – Douglas Sparks, Bishop

Diocese of Bangor (Wales) – Andrew John, Bishop

Give thanks for the small, dedicated Welsh speaking community at Eglwys Dewi Sant, Colwyn Bay

Pray for our Rural Communities

11th – Saturday – Benedict (c.540), Abbot

Diocese of Northern Luzon (Philippines) – Hilary Ayban Pasikan, Bishop. Diocese of Banks & Torres (Melanesia) – Alfred Patterson Worek, Bishop

Diocese of Kagera (Tanzania) – Darlington Bendankeha, Bishop

Give thanks for the Cathedral of the Hills, Christ Church, Bryn y Maen – hoping that those who find solace here will soon do so again.

Pray that we seize the opportunity these new circumstances bring, to grow and reach out to people in our communities

12th – Sunday – Pentecost 6: Trinity 5 – (Proper 10)

Pray for the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea: Allan Migi – Archbishop of Papua New Guinea

Give thanks that more people from St Catherine and St John’s, Old Colwyn are venturing onto Zoom and other forms of media to ensure continued worship.

Pray that we will continue to be enthused as we seek new patterns of worship

13th – Monday

Diocese of Kajiado (Kenya) – Gadiel Katanga Lenini, Bishop. Diocese of Kajo-Keji (South Sudan) – Emmanuel Murye Modi, Bishop. Diocese of Kamango (Congo) – Sabiti Tibafa Daniel, Bishop

Give thanks for the people of Llanelian, for Ysgol y Plas VA School and the continuing development of its relationship with St Elian’s Church.

Pray that we will develop a clear vision and strategies for the future in our Mission Areas

14th – Tuesday – John Keeble (1886), Priest & Teacher

Diocese of Northern Malawi (Central Africa) – Fanuel Emmanuel Magangani, Bishop. Diocese of Barbados (West Indies) Michael Maxwell, Bishop

Diocese of Kampala (Uganda) -Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba (Primate), Bishop

Give thanks for St Michael’s Church, Ysgol Betws yn Rhos and a small but faithful community of believers in the community of Betws yn Rhos

Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all we seek to do

15th – Wednesday

Diocese of Northern Mexico (Mexico) -Francisco Moreno (Primate), Bishop

Diocese of Bari (Nigeria) – Idris Zubairu, Bishop

Give thanks for the community of St Cynbryd’s, Llanddulas and the staff and pupils of Ysgol Llanddulas

Pray that we can spend as much time listening to God as talking to him

16th – Thursday

Diocese of Northern Michigan (Episcopal Church, USA) – Rayford Ray, Bishop

Diocese of Barisal (Bangladesh) – Shourabh Pholia , Bishop

Diocese of Barrackpore (North India) – Paritosh Canning, Bishop

Give thanks for St Cynfran’s Church, Llysfaen

Pray for people to find the good things that are in creation

17th – Friday

Diocese of Northern Philippines (Philippines) – Brent Alawas, Bishop

Diocese of Bath & Wells (England) – Peter Hancock, Bishop

Give thanks for St Sannan’s Church and the vibrant community in Llansannan

Pray our church buildings will be places of welcome again

18th – Saturday – Elizabeth of Russia (1918), Religious & Martyr

Diocese of Northern Territory, The (Australia) – Dr Greg Anderson, Bishop. Diocese of Bathurst (Australia) – Mark Calder, Bishop. Diocese of Kano (Nigeria) – Zakka Nyam, Bishop

Give thanks for those who normally visit St Digain’s Church, Llangernyw

Pray that we will continue to be the Church in the World

19th – Sunday – Pentecost 7: Trinity 6 – (Proper 11)

Pray for Episcopal Church, USA in the Philippines: Joel Atiwag Pachao – Prime Bishop of the Philippines

Give thanks for the people of St Mary’s Church, Llanfairtalhaiarn and the extensive reordering project to make the church more welcoming for community use

Pray for openness and cooperation within Mission Areas as we move forward

20th – Monday

Diocese of Northern Uganda (Uganda) – Johnson Gakumba, Bishop

Diocese of Bauchi (Nigeria) – Musa Tula, Bishop

Diocese of Kansas (Episcopal Church, USA) – Cathleen Bascom, Bishop

Give thanks for the people of St Michael’s Church, Abergele and for the care and concern shown for each other during lockdown

Pray for growth within our Church communities

21st – Tuesday – Howell Harris (1773), Preacher

Diocese of Northern Zambia (Central Africa) -Albert Chama, Archbishop. Diocese of Belize (West Indies) – Philip Wright, Bishop. Diocese of Kanyakumari (South India) – Dr A R Chelliah, Bishop

Give thanks that Canolfan Dewi Sant, Pensarn, is a Hub-for-Scrubs at this time

Pray for ways to encourage new Christians, through Explorer Courses

22nd – Wednesday – Mary Magdalene

Diocese of Northwest Ankole (Uganda) – Amos Magezi, Bishop.

Diocese of Bendigo (Australia) – Matt Brain, Bishop

Give thanks for the people of St George’s Church and for the staff and pupils of Ysgol St George, praying for them and their families during this challenging time.

Pray for our Mission Areas as we seek to engage in active discussion about the future life of Mission Areas

23rd – Thursday – Bridget of Sweden (1373), Abbess

Diocese of Northwest Texas (Episcopal Church, USA) – Scott Mayer, Bishop

Diocese of Benin (Nigeria) – Peter Imasuen, Bishop

Diocese of Bermuda (Bermuda) – Nicholas Dill, Bishop

Give thanks for our five Messy Churches and two Express Churches and the way we have kept in contact with the families

Pray we can move away from being Church-goers, to being more fully followers-of-Jesus

24th – Friday

Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania (Episcopal Church, USA) – Sean Rowe, Bishop

Diocese of Bethlehem (Episcopal Church, USA) – Kevin Nichols, Bishop

Give thanks for our retired clergy and their ministry

Pray we can move away from being loyal to A Church, to being ambitious for The Church

25th – Saturday – James, Apostle

Diocese of Norwich (England) – Graham James, Bishop

Diocese of Bhopal (North India) – Manoj Charan, Bishop

Diocese of Kapoeta (South Sudan) – Isaac Deu Chol, Bishop

Give thanks for the Covid19 Emergency Food Bank in Old Colwyn, the Foodshare in Abergele, The Kind Bay Initiative in Colwyn Bay, the Conwy Food Bank, for the generosity of those who donate to the food banks and for all the volunteers, working hard to make sure people do not go hungry

Pray we can move away from guarding our patch, to enabling new life in others

26th – Sunday – Pentecost 8: Trinity 7 – (Proper 12)

Please pray for the team responsible for preparing the Lambeth Conference, which was due to be taking place now – please pray for them as they consider the implications of its postponement in light of the Covid-19 pandemic

Give thanks for the fellowship that is found in ‘Singing for Fun’, ‘Tea Together’, ‘Cuppa and Chat’, ‘The Kind Bay Initiative’ and pray that these, and other activities, will be able to resume again

Pray we can move away from being led, to sharing in leadership

27th – Monday – Martha & Mary of Bethany

Diocese of Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island (Canada) – Ronald Wayne Cutler), Bishop

Diocese of Bida (Nigeria) – Jonah Kolo, Bishop

Diocese of Karachi (Pakistan) – Sadiq Daniel, Bishop

Give thanks for all Primary and Secondary schools in Aled, especially for the Head teachers, staff and pupils, as they prepare for the new academic year in schools and online

Pray we can move away from looking inwards to active outreach and service

28th – Tuesday – Samson (5th C.), Bishop

Diocese of Nsukka (Nigeria) – Aloysius Agbo, Bishop

Diocese of Biharamulo (Tanzania) – Yusuph Vithalis, Bishop

Diocese of Karamoja (Uganda) – Joseph Abura, Bishop

Give thanks for all who work in our hospitals and who put their own lives at risk to care for others

Pray for those who mourn but are unable to grieve properly at this time

29th – Wednesday – William Wilberforce (1833), Josephine Butler (1906) and all Social Reformers

Diocese of Nyahururu (Kenya) – Stephen Kabora, Bishop

Diocese of Birmingham (England) – David Andrew Urquhart, Bishop

Give thanks for all who work within our residential homes and pray for the residents

Pray for those couples who have had to postpone weddings

30th – Thursday- Silas, Missionary

Diocese of Nzara (South Sudan) – Richard Bbikoyesu Aquilla, Bishop

Diocese of Blackburn (England) – Julian Tudor Henderson, Bishop

Diocese of Bo (Sierra Leone) (West Africa) – Solomon Leonard Scott-Manga, Bishop

Give thanks for the work of Cytun and the unity we have between churches and chapels of all denominations

Pray for families and children waiting to be baptised

31st – Friday – Joseph of Arimathea or Ignatius of Loyola (1556), founder of the Society of Jesus.

Diocese of Missionary District of Oeste-Brasil (Brazil) – Naudal Alves Gomes (Primate) , Bishop

Diocese of Boga (Congo) – Mugenyi William Bahemuka, Bishop

Diocese of Port Elizabeth (Southern Africa) – Edward Ronald Daniels, Bishop

Give thanks for the technology available that has enabled the Aled Mission Area to deliver a wide range of worship during Covid19

Pray for wisdom in all that we say and do

Sunday reflection

Third Sunday after Trinity
“Anyone who gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of these….. will certainly receive a reward! “ Matthew 10:40-42, Good News Bible.

“In the past two days, with the confidence he has gained from this experience, he has tried to stand up and take a step unaided – this will be his next challenge.” The adoptive father of Tony Hudgell, aged 5.
When I was a prison chaplain, I was frequently reminded of how important small things could be in daily life when each day was very similar. A good book to read, matchstick models to make or a jigsaw puzzle to complete could really help a prisoner pass the time without getting so bored that trouble was likely. Having been on the wing when a riot broke out and being locked by the Senior Officer into a cell with a murderer (now reformed, thankfully!) for safety’s sake gave me a good insight into the wisdom of prisoners having something to occupy them. There were those who really appreciated having things to do although others would tear out pages from the book or remove the picture on all the jigsaw pieces and return a box of shapes so that it was useless. Nevertheless, the chaplaincy kept on giving out these things in the hope that some would benefit – and some did! Others did not and the consequences of restrictions and unresolved mental health issues have also, sadly, been seen this week in a Glaswegian hotel used for housing about 100 asylum seekers during the pandemic. Those concerns have been issues for some in lockdown, too, with a good daily routine and varied tasks to occupy mind and body being recommended for improving mental and physical health as the days pass in isolation or restriction.
It’s the case, too, with Tony Tudgwell, the brave boy who’s raised over a million pounds for the Evelina children’s hospital by walking 10k a day on crutches and prosthetic legs. His own had to be amputated when he was 41 days old due to terrible abuse inflicted by his birth parents and Tony was inspired by the efforts of Captain Tom, who raised over £30 million by walking in his garden. I was struck by the two extremes: a veteran now aged 100 and a young boy of 5, each doing something to help others when their ages and circumstances might have meant that they expected help from others. It was because they’d received that help in the past that they now wanted to say thank you and raise funds for the benefit of others. They are examples of some of the amazing things that have happened amidst the terrible suffering of the ongoing pandemic and part of the reward for both Tom and Tony has been the improvement in their own health as well as the financial support their efforts have received from those who admire their endeavour, courage and perseverance, simply by doing what they could: walking.
In the Gospel reading today, Jesus speaks of the reward of doing what can be done, even just by giving a drink of cold water to those who need it. Today, his words have to be seen in the light of the Covid-19 guidance and the water would have to be given and received in a safe way – but the crowds flocking to the beaches or wanting to celebrate Liverpool winning the Premier League title this week seem to have forgotten some of the restrictions still necessary as we begin to emerge from lockdown. Ministers and the NHS are said to be preparing for an increase in cases as risk is still present despite restrictions easing still further. As Captain Tom and Tony showed, we will also need endeavour, courage and perseverance as we face whatever lies ahead – but concentrating on the needs of others as well as ourselves and doing the simple things we can, rather than can’t, do in the situation could make a big difference, as they did. 
Having made a difference for others as well as himself by raising such an astonishing amount of money for one so young, Tony’s adoptive dad says that taking a step unaided will be his next challenge. What will ours be?
 
Diocesan prayer of the week
Please pray for all in the prison, probation and asylum systems, where tensions continue to rise due to the Coronavirus pandemic – CB.
God our Saviour, we give thanks for freedom to express our beliefs, choose our path in life and participate in our communities. Open our eyes and hearts to the plight of all who do not, through law or circumstances, enjoy such liberty; but suffer persecution, abuse and oppression. Strengthen all efforts to overcome these persistent evils, that the whole human race may come to know and experience your loving care and perfect will. 
Amen.  (Canon Carol Wardman)
With my prayers,
Christine

Update 26th June 2020 – St Melangell’s Church is reopening for private (personal) prayer today

Update 26th June 2020

We are happy to announce that we have reopened today for private (personal) prayer. 

Please note that we have taken a cautious approach and you will need to adhere to the restrictions we have placed if you wish to visit at this time.

Please follow the signs and any instructions given by staff or volunteers and check the government advice before travelling. Current advice is to ‘stay local’.

Thank you.

 

Weddings and Funerals Update June 25

Weddings and Funerals
Update June 25
Following the re-opening of various Church in Wales churches for private prayer from Monday 22 June, the Bishops of the Church in Wales thank all clergy and volunteers who have made such re-opening possible in a responsible and safe manner.

Subject to any updated guidance from Welsh Government, we hope to permit those churches with the resources to manage re-opening safely to do so for funerals and weddings from Monday 6 July. Such events will be subject to strict regulation in respect of numbers, physical distancing and hygiene. The Representative Body will issue further guidance on this during the course of next week. We reiterate that no church will be required to open, and that no clergy should feel pressured to do so at this time.

We await further news as to when church buildings in Wales may be able to re-open for regular services of public worship and continue to liaise with Welsh Government closely in preparation for this.

https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/clergy-and-members/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance/

Sunday reflection – Second Sunday after Trinity

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known…… 

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” St Matthew 10:26, 28, NIV.

“Can you take us through your summer solstice experience? How’s it been?” Interviewer. 

“Very wet.” King Arthur Pendragon, Druid. 

These words of Jesus from the Gospel set for today are very appropriate after the shocking stabbings in Reading. Just as all UK Governments are announcing details of the easing of restrictions with the risk of Covid-19 judged to be diminishing, those emerging from lockdown and celebrating this in the sunshine at Forbury Gardens found that risk is everywhere and not only caused by Coronavirus. On the longest day of the year, when it was least expected and being so enjoyed, life was cut away, terrible injuries inflicted and traumatic memories seared into the minds of all involved – and all in the context of Father’s Day. What an irony that, after surviving the pandemic, lives should now be lost in what seems to have been a terror-related incident and, with so many families also devastated by Covid-19, many will find this Father’s Day a difficult time.

So often, the present moment, the future we anticipate and the experiences we seek do not turn out as hoped, which is why King Arthur Pendragon’s words are also so relevant. Social distancing prevented this year’s gathering at Stonehenge itself and dawn clearly wasn’t the wonderful experience he had anticipated. Nevertheless, come rain or shine, the sunrise can’t be cancelled and the previous generations of those who built Stonehenge and first began to gather in that mystical place clearly had faith that it would happen. Given that they had little scientific information compared with today, this must have developed through their affinity with creation itself and, as King Arthur Pendragon said, “Pagans worship the divine but we see the divine through nature…… We believe the earth itself is sacred and we also believe that the ancestors who came before us throughout time should be honoured.” 

His words have a wider resonance as the reassessment of historical public lives, companies and statues continues with regard to slavery and the current expectations of diverse communities. Even the Church of England owned sugar plantations worked by slaves in the West Indies and many organisations and individuals slave traders made fortunes out of human trafficking. What was part of how things were then is now being reinterpreted, as it should be. But, without justifying the means of making their money, so many used their wealth for good, too, such as Sir Thomas Guy. He was a wealthy bookseller who owned shares in a slaving company and his statue is now to be removed from the grounds of Guy’s hospital, which was founded with his money and is still so involved in the work of healing today. Edward Colston, Cecil Rhodes, Robert Baden-Powell – so many said or did awful and yet wonderful things too in the circumstances in which they lived. 

This is often seen in an historical light but, with the recents deaths of so many young people being smuggled into the UK in a refrigerated lorry, it’s clear that human trafficking and forced labour still continue here today. Every generation has its shame as well as its glory – each individual, too – and much is being and will be disclosed, whether or not it is initially successfully hidden or brought out into the open. Once again, the words of Jesus are so pertinent and, as he later speaks of hell, they should be taken seriously. As the beloved Son who trusted his Father in the agony of Gethsemane and the terrible death on Calvary when his body was also stabbed, Jesus’ resurrection, example and love remind us that there is also hope as we consider the hellish and heavenly experiences we all face which can affect and deaden not only the body but the soul too. Every day offers the opportunity to be alive rather than deadened to the possibility of change and new beginnings as we still have time to make choices sometime denied to others. As the ongoing struggle between light and darkness, sorrow and hope continues in our lives, minds and communities, we in our turn will also find ourselves subject to reassessment by those who may judge us when our legacy is entrusted to their care. What will be thought about this era and the responses our generations made when we become ancestors?

Meanwhile, if we allow it to and despite the risks before us, each day will bring another dawn, fresh hope and new opportunities – whether or not it’s wet! 

 The Diocesan Prayer for the Second Sunday after Trinity

Sovereign God;

Even as the inequalities of race, health, wealth, and opportunity lie painfully exposed across our world, we become more aware of our mutual dependence across national and social divides. Give us the courage to make love the foundation of all our decisions, knowing that this will not be without cost, but that it is the only way to righteousness and reconciliation. Amen. (Canon Carol Wardman)

With my prayers,

Christine

Neither Jew nor Greek Ddim yn Iddew nac yn Roegwr

Neither Jew nor Greek

A Pastoral Letter to the Teulu Asaph from Bishop Gregory Thursday, 18th June, 2020

Ddim yn Iddew nac yn Roegwr

Llythyr Bugeiliol at Deulu Asaph oddi wrth Esgob Gregory

Thursday, 18th June, 2020

Dydd Iau 18 Mehefin 2009

I was supposed to be writing to you about the Trinity today, but another subject has become so pressing in our national life that it cannot be avoided. It may seem peculiar that the death in custody of a detainee in the United States should spark huge demonstrations and even violent disorder on the streets of Great Britain, but this is what we have witnessed in the last two weeks. A death in custody should always be treated with the utmost seriousness. In 2015, the latest statistic I found, there were 14 deaths in police custody in the United Kingdom, while, more recently, in the year to March 2019, there were 286 deaths in prisons in the UK, many of which were suicide. These are disturbing statistics, because every death is someone’s child, husband, parent, daughter or relative. We hardly hear about them. Yet, in the case of George Floyd, protests in the UK have been widespread, and we have seen violence on our streets.

Roeddwn i fod i ysgrifennu atoch ynghylch y Drindod heddiw, ond mae mater arall wedi codi cymaint ar ei ben ym mywyd ein cenedl fel nad oes modd ei osgoi. Efallai ei bod yn ymddangos yn rhyfedd fod marwolaeth dyn wrth gael ei arestio yn yr Unol Daleithiau wedi esgor ar brotestiadau mor enfawr a hyd yn oed ar anhrefn treisgar ar strydoedd Prydain Fawr, ond dyma rydyn ni wedi’i weld yn ystod y pythefnos diwethaf. Dylai marwolaeth yn y ddalfa gael ei drin, bob amser, fel rhywbeth hollol ddifrifol. Yn 2015, yn ôl yr ystadegau diweddaraf y gallwn i eu cael, bu farw 14 o bobl yn nalfa’r Heddlu yn y Deyrnas Unedig, ac, yn fwy diweddar, yn y flwyddyn hyd at Fawrth 2019, bu farw 286 o bobl mewn carchardai yn y DU, llawer o hunanladdiad. Mae’r rhain yn ystadegau poenus, mae pob un a fu farw yn blentyn, gŵr, rhiant, merch neu berthynas i rywun. Ond prin ein bod ni’n clywed amdanyn nhw. Eto, yn achos George Floyd, bu protestiadau lu yn y DU ac rydyn ni wedi gweld trais ar ein strydoedd.

Someone might be tempted to ask “Why all this fuss about an American situation, appalling though it is?” “Why do we have to say Black Lives Matter, when surely all lives matter?” It would take more than a pastoral letter to address this subject properly, but I suppose this one death, swiftly followed by a second actually, the death of Rayshard Brooks, causes worldwide reaction. It is partly because their ends were caught on video, and live footage seems to indicate that these deaths arose out of trivial offences, and were completely avoidable, were it not for police brutality – and colour.

Efallai bod rhai’n cael eu temtio i ofyn “Pam yr holl stŵr ynghylch y sefyllfa yn America, er mor ofnadwy y mae hi yno?” “Pam bod rhaid i ni ddweud bod Bywydau Du’n Cyfrif, pan mae pob bywyd, siŵr iawn, yn cyfrif?” Byddai’n cymryd mwy na llythyr bugeiliol i drafod hyn yn iawn, ond mae’n debyg fod yr un farwolaeth hon, yn cael ei dilyn yn fuan wedyn gan ail un, marwolaeth Rayshard Brooks, wedi creu adwaith fyd-eang. Mae hyn yn rhannol oherwydd fod eu diwedd wedi’i ddal ar fideo, ac mae’r lluniau i’w gweld yn dangos mai o droseddau pitw y cododd eu marwolaethau ac y gellid fod wedi’i hosgoi’n hawdd oni bai am gieidd-dra’r heddlu – a lliw.

One of the truths about life is that oppression can be almost invisible to the more privileged party. Men can be completely oblivious to sexism, and straight people to homophobia. Sadly, it is also true that the white middle-classes can wonder why racism is an issue. I can tell you now that if it wasn’t an issue, it would not have brought thousands out on the streets. Law abiding citizens from the better backgrounds might see our police as the upholders of law and order, but those who are black or coloured are much more likely to be subject to stop and search. I write as an extremely privileged white university-educated male, favoured to be admitted to the bastions of ancient and privileged halls of learning. For me, the police are pillars of society, and I will always voice my support for them, and deplore any violence against them. I am not so sure that those who are disaffected in our society can see things in the same way. This is not to accuse the police of anything, I am their supporter, but it is to acknowledge that such trust is not readily forthcoming across all sections of society.

Un o wirioneddau bywyd yw y gall gorthrwm fod bron yn anweledig i’r breintiedig. Gall dynion fod yn gyfangwbl anystyriol o rywiaeth a phobl syth o homoffobia. Yn drist, mae hefyd yn wir y gall fod yn syndod i’r dosbarth canol gwyn pam fod hiliaeth yn broblem. Gallaf ddweud wrthych nawr, pe na byddai’n broblem, na fyddai wedi dod â miloedd allan ar y strydoedd. Efallai fod dinasyddion da sy’n cadw’r gyfraith ac o gefndiroedd gwell yn gallu gweld ein heddlu fel ceidwaid cyfraith a threfn, ond mae’r pobl ddu neu liw yn llawer tebycach o gael eu stopio a’u chwilio. Rwy’n ysgrifennu hyn fel dyn gwyn hynod freintiedig, yn ddigon lwcus i fod ymysg y breintiedig rai a gafodd addysg yn rhai o gadarnleoedd dysg hynaf a gorau’r wlad. I mi, mae’r heddlu’n bileri cymdeithas, ac fe fyddaf yn eu cefnogi bob amser ac yn gwaredu unrhyw drais yn eu herbyn. Dydw i ddim mor siŵr y byddai’r rhai mwy anniddig yn ein cymdeithas yn gweld pethau’n union yr un fath. Nid cyhuddo’r heddlu yw hyn, rwy’n un o’u cefnogwyr, ond cydnabod nad yw’r fath ymddiriedaeth i’w gael ym mhob carfan o gymdeithas.

The ancient world was one which was highly stratified. Roman patricians were at the top of the pile, the plebs were the poor, but even poor Roman citizens counted for more than foreigners – the barbarians, who couldn’t speak Latin or Greek properly, and mocked for saying “Ba, ba, bar …” Even they counted for more than the slaves. Jesus and Christianity literally overturned all that with the radical claim that everyone was God’s child, and that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3.28). Now in context, this is a claim about our new identity in Christ, once we are baptised and reborn, but Christianity shook classical civilization to its roots because it said that anyone could be the equal of Caesar.

Roedd yr hen fyd yn un o haenau pendant. Roedd byddigion Rhufain ar ben y domen, y werin oedd y tlodion ond roedd hyd yn oed tlodion Rhufain yn cyfrif mwy na thramorwyr – y barbariad na allai siarad Lladin na Groeg yn iawn ac yn cael eu gwatwar am ddweud “Ba, ba, bar …” Ond roedden nhw, hyd yn oed, yn cyfrif mwy na’r caethion. Trodd Crist hyn i gyd a’i ben i lawr, yn llythrennol, gyda’r honiad radical fod pawb yn blant i Duw ac “Nid oes rhagor rhwng Iddew a Groegwr, rhwng caeth a rhydd, rhwng gwryw a benyw, oherwydd un person ydych chi oll yng Nghrist Iesu” (Galatiaid 3.28). Yn y cyd-destun hwnnw, honiad yw hyn ynghylch ein hadnabyddiaeth newydd yng Nghrist, ar ôl cael ein bedyddio a’n hail eni, ond ysgydwodd Cristnogaeth seiliau’r gwareiddiad clasurol i’w seiliau drwy ddweud y gallai unrhyw un fod yn gyfartal â Caesar.

In just this last week, I have been accused of meddling and of grandstanding, because I’ve voiced again my personal dislike of statues to one particular local lad made good. Let me not start discussing that here! However, as a bishop, as a Christian, I believe that the followers of Jesus are bound to do what Jesus and the prophets themselves did, and that is to speak up always on the side of the least privileged. All lives matter, yes, and for each one Christ died, but we have to say Black Lives Matter because black and coloured communities have come to believe that their lives don’t matter as much.

Ddim ond yr wythnos ddiwethaf, roeddwn yn cael fy nghyhuddo o ymyrryd ac o ymddygiad ‘welwch chi fi’ am ddweud nad ydw i’n rhy hoff o gerfluniau o un bachgen lleol a gododd yn y byd. Ond, byddai’n well i mi beidio â thrafod hynny yma! Ond, fel esgob, fel Cristion, rwy’n credu fod yn rhaid i ddilynwyr Iesu wneud yr hyn yr oedd yr Iesu ei hunan a’r proffwydi’n ei wneud, ac mai hynny, bob amser, yw codi llais o blaid y lleiaf breintiedig. Mae pob bywyd yn cyfrif a bu Crist farw dros bob un, ond mae’n rhaid i ni ddweud fod Bywydau Du’n Cyfrif oherwydd daeth cymunedau du a lliw i gredu nad yw eu bywydau nhw’n cyfrif gymaint.

Today our faith compels Christians to stand with the outsider. “If you do it for the least of these my sisters and brothers” said Jesus, “you do it as for me.” (Matthew 25.40) Rowan Williams once said that Christians should be very careful about drawing boundaries, because they will generally find Jesus waving at them from the other side of the boundary.

Heddiw, mae ein ffydd yn gorfodi Cristnogion i sefyll gyda phobl y tu allan. “Yn gymaint ag ichwi ei wneud i un o’r rhai lleiaf o’r rhain, fy mrodyr” meddai Iesu, “i mi y gwnaethoch”. Dywedodd Rowan Williams unwaith y dylai Cristnogion fod yn ofalus iawn wrth godi ffiniau oherwydd, fel arfer, bydd Iesu i’w weld yn codi ei law arnyn nhw o ochr arall y ffin.

 

Churches remain closed in Wales until further notice – Archbishop’s message

The Archbishop of Wales has made an announcement about the continued closure of churches in Wales and plans to move forward towards reopening.

Please note: St. Melangell’s Church and Centre and all other churches in Wales remain closed until further notice.

Click here to view the video of the Archbishops announcement.

Click here to view the Church in Wales information and updates on Covid-19.