Sunday reflection

Today is the sixth Sunday after Easter – it’s easy to forget we’re still the Easter season which lasts until Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, and includes Ascension Day which will be marked this Thursday.

That’s why the words of Jesus in the Gospel reading for today are so significant:
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.” St John 14: 15,16 NIV

These words were said at the Last Supper, when Jesus not only prayed for himself and his disciples, but also commissioned his followers to continue what had been begun as he prepared to leave them. After his crucifixion, the disciples were too scared to do that at first and locked themselves away in fear. The resurrection and later ascension of Jesus changed that: not only was God made visible here on earth, humanity was also raised to new heights too in Jesus’ return to the glory whence he came. That meant that the disciples were then left without their leader and had to wait and trust in his words telling them of love, obedience and the Spirit which would come when the time was right – but hadn’t yet.

That waiting can’t have been easy and, as we hear of these events so long ago, we now know the outcome and sometimes forget how challenging it must have been for those first followers of Jesus. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that they waited prayerfully and actively, eventually rising to the challenge of a new way of life when they were inspired by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the good news of resurrection hope through God’s love and the obedience of Jesus began to be shared more widely.
As Covid-19 continues to spread amongst us, we also have to wait – we’re told that there is a timetable for the restrictions eventually to be lifted, but that hasn’t fully happened yet. Perhaps it’s making some of us afraid, like the first disciples initially, and anxious about whether or not to wear face masks, what may happen when we go out or if it might be a risk to hospital for an assessment. Others may be impatient, wanting more to happen and sooner – but, for now, the time is not yet right. The risk may be diminishing but restrictions remain. 
Perhaps the example of those first disciples will enable us to take heart from the words of Jesus today. For these are not just words – Jesus showed the truth of what he said through his obedience to what was asked of him. He endured great suffering and a terrible death, followed by a time of waiting before a new way of being was revealed at the resurrection. The truth of this was shown in the transformation of those frightened followers who emerged from their fear and found the trust and obedience to let themselves gradually to be transformed into people who believed in God’s love and shared it. A new way of being began then – and it can do for us, too, as we try to rise to the challenges before us. Just as those first disciples were not left alone, neither are we – may the Counsel of the Holy Spirit strengthen us also to wait prayerfully and hopefully until the time is right. 
With my prayers, 

From Bishop Gregory Oddi wrth Esgob Gregory


A Pastoral Letter for the Teulu Asaph, 4th May 2020

From Bishop Gregory


Llythyr Bugeiliol ar gyfer Teulu Asaph, 4 Mai 2020

Oddi wrth Esgob Gregory

Not the Bible, but Jesus Christ Superstar. When Lloyd Webber and Rice took their show based on the Passion of Jesus to the West End, they wrote a new song to go into the production. It was sung by Mary Magdalene just after Jesus has been arrested, and events are spiralling out of control. Mary catches a glimpse of Jesus during the trial and scourging, and sings:

I think you’ve made your point now You’ve even gone a bit too far to get the message home Before it gets too frightening we ought to call a halt So could we start again, please?

Nid y Beibl, ond Jesus Christ Superstar. Pan aeth Lloyd Webber a Rice â’u sioe yn seiliedig ar Ddioddefaint Iesu i’r West End, roedden nhw wedi ysgrifennu cân newydd ar gyfer y cynhyrchiad. Roedd yn cael ei chanu gan Mair Magdalen ychydig ar ôl i Iesu cael ei arestio ac mae pethau’n chwalu allan o reolaeth. Mae Mair yn cael cip o Iesu yn ystod y treial ac yn cael ei fflangellu ac mae’n canu:

Rwy’n meddwl dy fod wedi gwneud dy bwynt nawr

Rwyt ti hefyd wedi mynd braidd yn rhy bell wrth ddweud be di be

Cyn i bethau fynd yn llawer gwaeth, beth am roi’r gorau iddi

Felly, gawn ni ddechrau eto, plîs?

I saw the show again recently on the video performance production put up on You Tube during the Easter weekend, and it’s a poignant song, reminding us that when things get out of control, we all of us tend to rethink our actions, and wonder about how things could have been done differently. There’s also a God dimension, a crying out to the Father asking for things to be different.

Well, the good news is that it can be. With God, we can always start again. It’s called repentance, and figures rather largely in the message of the scriptures. I wrote last week about Jesus being ahead of us, in our future, and God calls us to repentance and faith – to start again – in our discipleship, in our societies, in our faith.

Fe welais y sioe unwaith eto yn ddiweddar, ar y cynhyrchiad fideo a oedd wedi’i osod ar You Tube yn ystod penwythnos y Pasg. Mae’n gân ingol, mae’n ein hatgoffa, pan fydd pethau’n mynd allan o reolaeth, ein bod ni i gyd yn tueddu i ail ystyried beth ydym ni wedi’i wneud a phendroni sut y gallen ni fod wedi’u gwneud yn wahanol. Mae yna hefyd ddimensiwn o Dduw, o alw ar y Tad a gofyn i bethau fod yn wahanol.

Wel, y newyddion da yw y gallai pethau fod yn wahanol. Gyda Duw, mae yna gyfle i ailddechrau bob amser. Dyma yw edifeirwch, sy’n codi ei ben yn eithaf aml yn neges yr ysgrythur. Roeddwn i’n ysgrifennu yr wythnos diwethaf fod Iesu o’n blaen ni, yn ein dyfodol, a bod Duw yn ein galw i edifeirwch a ffydd – i ddechrau eto – yn ein disgyblaeth, yn ein cymdeithas ac yn ein ffydd.

The first call to repentance comes with baptism, when we are called to put off the old, and put on the new clothes of God’s Kingdom. Anglicans choose, like many other Christians, to do this on behalf of their children, having them baptised so that they’re claimed for the Kingdom of God from the very earliest days of their lives, and it is not always followed through, although God often has a way of worming his love in. It took fifteen years for my baptismal faith to flare into life, and I still have to turn to Christ and start again from time to time. Repentance is a way of living, of bringing ourselves always back to God. “Grant me, O Lord, to make a real beginning this day, for what I have done so far is hardly anything.” was a prayer written by Thomas a Kempis, one of the great late mediaeval spiritual writers, and it is reflects in the writings of St Paul in scripture:

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Beloved, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should embrace this point of view. (Phil.3.10-15)

Daw’r alwad gyntaf i edifeirwch gyda bedydd, pan fyddwn ni’n cael ein galw i ddiosg yr hen dillad a gwisgo rhai newydd, rhai Teyrnas Dduw. Mae Anglicanwyr yn dewis, fel llawer o Gristnogion eraill, gwneud hynny ar ran eu plant, yn eu bedyddio er mwyn iddyn nhw cael eu hawlio ar gyfer Teyrnas Duw o dyddiau cynharaf eu bywydau. Nid bod hyn yn datblygu’n ôl y disgwyl bob tro, er, yn aml, mae gan gan gariad Duw ffordd o dreiddio yn annisgwyl. Cymerodd bymtheg mlynedd i’m ffydd fedyddiol ddod yn fyw ac rwy’n dal yn gorfod troi at Grist a dechrau eto o dro i dro. Mae edifeirwch yn ffordd o fyw, o ddod â’n hunain yn ôl at Dduw pob tro. “Gad i mi, O Arglwydd, wneud dechreuad go iawn heddiw, oherwydd nid yw’r hyn rwyf wedi’i wneud hyd yma ond bron iawn ddim.” oedd y weddi a ysgrifennwyd gan Thomas a Kempis, un o’r ysgrifenwyr mawr ysbrydol yn niwedd y canol oesoedd, ac mae’n adlewyrchu ysgrifau Sant Paul yn yr ysgruthyr:

Fy nod yw ei adnabod ef, a grym ei atgyfodiad, a chymdeithas ei ddioddefiadau, wrth gael fy nghydffurfio â’i farwolaeth ef, er mwyn i mi, os yw’n bosibl, gyrraedd yr atgyfodiad oddi wrth y meirw. Nid fy mod eisoes wedi cael hyn, neu fy mod eisoes yn berffaith, ond yr wyf yn prysuro ymlaen, er mwyn meddiannu’r peth hwnnw y cefais innau er ei fwyn fy meddiannu gan Grist Iesu. Frodyr, nid wyf yn ystyried fy mod wedi ei feddiannu; ond un peth, gan anghofio’r hyn sydd o’r tu cefn ac ymestyn yn daer at yr hyn sydd o’r tu blaen, yr wyf yn cyflymu at y nod, i ennill y wobr y mae Duw yn fy ngalw i fyny ati yng Nghrist Iesu. Pob un ohonom, felly, sydd o nifer y rhai aeddfed, dyma sut y dylai feddwl. (Phil.3.10-15)

I want to write further about what repentance might mean for our society and for our Churches, but for now, let’s concentrate on where all change begins, with a change in the heart. Coronavirus has stopped our lives and our busyness. It has stopped our public rituals, whether they be our worship, our shopping, or our socialising. But we still have time to turn to God, and think about how to do our faith differently. If Jesus was calling us for the first time today, what would we want to differently? Could we start again please? May the Lord bless you with the opportunity to reset your own faith in this out-of-joint season,

Rwyf eisiau ysgrifennu ymhellach ynghylch beth allai edifeirwch ei olygu i’n cymdeithas ac i’n Heglwysi, ond am rŵan, gadewch i ni ganolbwyntio ar ble mae’r holl newid yn dechrau, gyda newid yn y galon. Mae Coronafeirws wedi stopio’n bywydau a’n prysurdeb. Mae wedi atal ein defodau cyhoeddus, yn ein haddoli, yn ein siopa neu yn ein cymdeithasu. Ond mae yna ddal amser i droi at Dduw ac i feddwl sut i wneud ein ffydd yn wahanol. Pe byddai Iesu’n ein galw am y tro cyntaf heddiw, beth fydden ni eisiau ei wneud yn wahanol? Gawn ni ddechrau eto plîs? Boed i’r Arglwydd eich bendithio gyda’r cyfle i ail osod eich ffydd eich hunain yn y tymor hwn sydd wedi mynd oddi ar ei echel.

Christian Aid Week

Hello one and all
Today is the start of Christian Aid week and, as the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic continue, I’ve attached the information Rev’d Hermione Morris has kindly sent round for use at home. Further details are available from the Christian Aid website and you’re invited to register to receive daily prayers and reflections. A daily prayer forms part of what Hermione’s sent and I hope we’ll use it each day as we think of the plight of others as well as ourselves and of the effect the Coronavirus is having on charities, churches and many voluntary organisations as well as the national economies.

Meanwhile, these perplexing times continue and, in the Gospel reading for today, it’s clear that the disciples were bewildered too. Jesus asks his disciples to trust him, giving them words of comfort:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” St John 14: 1, NIV
He talks of going ahead of them and Thomas gets anxious:
“Lord, we don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered: I am the way, the truth and the life.” St John 14: 5,6 NIV

These verses are often read at funerals because of the consolation and hope they can bring to all who mourn a loved one or experience loss of any kind. In the face of the deaths and suffering of so many people, the current loss of liberty and such uncertainty about the future as the pandemic continues, we may be anxious, too. Jesus’s words of trust were uttered as he faced his own death and his resurrection enabled those frightened disciples to understand them in a new way and become people of hope. As we continue with a new way of life and face the uncertainties ahead, may we rediscover the trust of which Jesus spoke to his followers then and know his words still to be the means of hope today. 
With my prayers,

Sunday reflection

Good Shepherd Sunday

While walking my dog at a different time recently, the behaviour of the sheep and their lambs in a nearby field stopped me in my tracks. At first, I thought something was wrong, but then I heard what they already knew: the shepherd was on his way with his trailer containing their food. When he arrived and opened the gate, he called to them and they answered back as they flocked to him – it was a wonderful sound to hear! 

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, named after the Gospel reading:
“The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep…. and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…… I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” St John 10: 2-3,11 NIV 
Jesus later showed the reality of those words when his life was laid down that first Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Day. He also told his followers that this might be asked of them, too: “Greater love has no-one than this, than they lay down their life for their friends.” St John 15: 13, NIV.
In the contemporary version The Messenger, by Eugene Peterson, this is translated as “Put your life on the line” and as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, these words have a new significance. There were initially thoughts of promoting ‘herd immunity’ but what’s been striking during this pandemic is the number of NHS staff, care workers and key workers whose lives have been laid down for those in their care. They have put their lives on the line for the sake of others and it’s a costly business as we all come to terms with the huge human, pastoral and financial price being paid by so many.
Following in the footsteps of Jesus the Good Shepherd, bishops today still carry a crosier or pastoral staff as a sign of their care for the flock they also shepherd. The photo that follows is the crook used by one of the shepherds in this valley when he left it at the gate after moving sheep to greener pastures in another field. As we begin to ponder the complex implications of some of the restrictions upon us being eased, I use it with his permission, alongside these words from the shepherd boy David. A flawed character, like all of us, he later knew agony of mind and terrible suffering but was nevertheless able to trust that God would help him. David’s words may bring hope as we also face the uncertainties and perplexities before us as individuals and part of the flock:
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23: 4.
With my prayers,




“I am going fishing” said Simon Peter.

“We will go with you”, [the other disciples] replied.” (John 21.3)

After all that had happened – three years of ministry with Jesus, the tumultuous events at Jerusalem, the betrayal of Jesus, the trials, the crucifixion, the tomb, the empty tomb, the resurrection appearances – at the end of it all, Peter says that he cannot think of anything better to do than to go fishing.

The story comes right at the end of the Gospel according to John, and Peter basically decides to go back to his old ways. It feels almost as if he’s said, “Right, that was exciting, but back to normality now everyone.” And we know what is going to happen in the story: the most life changing episode for Peter of all is just around the corner. (I’m not going to tell you; if you don’t know, go and read Chapter 21 of John’s Gospel.)

 “Rwy’n mynd i bysgota” meddai Simon Pedr.

“Rydym ninnau yn dod gyda thi”, atebodd [y disgyblion eraill].” (Ioan 21.3)

r ôl popeth oedd wedi digwydd – tair blynedd o weinidogaeth gydag Iesu, y digwyddiadau terfysglyd yn Jerwsalem, bradychu Iesu, y treial, y croeshoeliad, y bedd, y bedd gwag, ymddangosiadau’r atgyfodiad – ar ôl hyn i gyd, ddiwedd popeth, mae Pedr yn penderfynu na allai feddwl am unrhyw beth gwell i’w wneud na mynd i bysgota.

Mae’r hanes yn dod ar ddiwedd yr Efengyl yn ôl Ioan, ac, mewn gwirionedd, mae Pedr yn penderfynu mynd yn ôl i’w hen ffyrdd. Mae’n teimlo bron iawn fel petai’n dweud, “Oedd, roedd hynny’n gyffrous, ond yn ôl i fel yr oedd hi rŵan.” Ac fe wyddom beth sy’n mynd i ddigwydd yn y stori: mae’r digwyddiad a newidiodd fwyaf erioed ar fywyd Pedr ar fin digwydd. (Dydw i ddim yn mynd i ddweud wrthych chi; os nad ydych yn gwybod, ewch i ddarllen Pennod 21 o Efengyl Ioan)

We might be forgiven for wanting to go back to normality. We’ve had the strangest Easter of our lifetimes, and things may have been absolutely awful, and, for others, in some way perhaps a little bit exciting, but we’re probably all ready for lockdown to be over, and to get back to normality.

It is not going to happen. First of all, lives have been changed, scarred by tragedy, swayed by experience in caring for Covid patients, by the experience of isolation. Society, I think, will be more wary, and even when the Government lets us, we may not want to rush back into crowded rooms and occasions, especially if the virus is still lurking around somewhere. Secondly, the Church has changed. We’ve learned to hold meetings remotely; we’ve learned to worship and to pray differently. We’ve missed some things, but perhaps have unconsciously already let go of others. The diocese’s budget is completely thrown out, and for some, businesses are undermined, and work isn’t coming back.

Efallai y gellir maddau i ni am fod eisiau mynd yn ôl i’n hen ffyrdd, at normalrwydd. Rydym ninnau hefyd wedi cael y Pasg rhyfeddaf ein bywydau, ac efallai bod pethau wedi bod yn ofnadwy, ac, i eraill, mewn rhyw ffordd, ychydig bach yn gyffrous, ond mae’n debyg fod pob un ohonom yn barod i gael gwared ar y cyfyngiadau symud a mynd yn ôl at normalrwydd.

Ni fydd hynny’n digwydd. Yn gyntaf, mae bywydau wedi’u newid, wedi’u creithio gan drychineb, wedi’u siglo gan y profiad o ofalu am gleifion Covid, gan y profiad o ynysu. Bydd cymdeithas, rwy’n meddwl, yn fwy gwyliadwrus, ac hyd yn oed pan fydd y Llywodraeth yn caniatáu i ni, efallai na fyddwn innau eisiau rhuthro’n ôl i ystafelloedd ac achlysuron gorlawn, yn enwedig os yw’r feirws dal i lechu yn rhywle o’n cwmpas. Yn ail, mae’r Eglwys wedi newid. Rydym ni wedi dysgu cynnal cyfarfodydd o bell, rydym wedi dysgu addoli a gweddïo’n wahanol. Rydym wedi colli rhai pethau, ond, efallai, eisoes, yn ddiarwybod, wedi gollwng gafael ar bethau eraill. Mae cyllideb yr esgobaeth wedi mynd i’r pedwar gwynt ac i rai, mae eu busnesau wedi’u tanseilio ac nid yw gwaith yn dod yn ôl.

The Easter message is really telling us not to look back. Jesus is in our future, not our past. (Well, he may have worked great miracles in our past, and changed lots, but he doesn’t stay there.) He beckons us onward, and says “Come and follow me, I am making all things new.” We have a great opportunity now, to look at our Church, and at the mission of our Churches, in a new way. What is really important? What does Jesus say about clinging onto “this” or letting go of “that”? We can look at our faith, and say, “Where now, Lord?” Almost certainly, it will be for us as it was for the disciples – not back to the same old ways.

Mae neges y Pasg mewn gwirionedd yn dweud wrthym i beidio ag edrych yn ôl. Mae Iesu yn ein dyfodol, nid yn ein gorffennol. (Wel, efallai ei fod wedi gweithio gwyrthiau mawr yn ein gorffennol, ac wedi newid llawer, ond nid yw’n aros yno.) Mae’n ein galw ymlaen, ac yn dweud “Tyrd a’m dilyn i, rwyf i’n gwneud popeth yn newydd.” Mae hyn yn gyfle gwych i ni edrych ar ein Heglwys ac ar genhadaeth ein Heglwysi mewn ffordd newydd. Beth sy’n wirioneddol bwysig? Beth mae Iesu’n ei ddweud am lynu wrth ”hwn” a gollwng y “llall”? Gallwn edrych ar ein ffydd a dweud, “Ble nawr, Arglwydd?” Mae bron yn sicr y bydd hynny’r un fath i ni ag yr oedd i’r disgyblion – dim mynd yn ôl i’r hen ffyrdd.

Catherine of Siena broke all the rules. A Dominican nun, she rebuked bishops and kings, and, in a man’s world, she held her own ferociously. She was simply amazing. She winkled the Pope out of exile in Avignon, and chivvied him back to Rome, brokered peace between the Pope and Florence, marshalled the Church and wrote a spiritual classic. She was among two women (with Theresa of Avila) who were the first to be recognised as Doctors of the Church – the top slot as a Christian teacher. She died on this day in 1380. Her vision was quite simply that the Church needed to be what Jesus wanted it to be – effective in witnessing to God’s truth and God’s love.

Roedd Catrin o Siena yn torri pob rheol. Yn lleian Ddominicaidd, roedd hi’n ceryddu esgobion a brenhinoedd ac, mewn byd o ddynion, roedd hi’n dal ei thir yn ffyrnig. Yn syml, roedd hi’n anhygoel. Fe lwyddodd i berswadio’r Pab i roi’r gorau i’w alltudiaeth yn Avignon a’i annog i fynd yn ôl i Rufain, bu’n gyfryngwr hedd rhwng y Pab a Florence, cafodd drefn ar yr Eglwys ac ysgrifennodd glasur ysbrydol. Roedd yn un o’r ddwy ddynes gyntaf (Theresa o Avila oedd y llall) i gael eu cydnabod fel Doethuriaid yr Eglwys – y pinacl i athro Cristnogol. Bu farw y dydd hwn ym 1380. Ei gweledigaeth oedd, yn syml, y dylai’r Eglwys fod yr union beth yr oedd Iesu eisiau iddi fod – tystiolaethu’n effeithiol wirionedd Duw a chariad Duw.

I take heart from Catherine because her indefatigability, and I pray that when the day comes for us to come out of lockdown, we won’t just want to go back to the old ways; to be tempted, like the disciples, to go back to fishing. “We are an Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song” said St Augustine.: Hallelujah is, of course, the Hebrew for “Let’s praise the LORD God”, and praise we must, not only with our lips, but in our (changed) lives.

Mae Catrin yn fy nghalonogi i oherwydd ei dycnwch, ac rwy’n gweddïo pan ddaw’r dydd y bydd y cyfyngiadau symud yn dod i ben na fyddwn ni ddim ond eisiau mynd yn ôl at yr hen ffyrdd; na fyddwn ni, fel y disgyblion, yn cael ein temtio i fynd yn ôl at bysgota. “Rydym yn bobl y Pasg, ac Haleliwia yw ein cân” meddai Awstin Sant.

Every blessing be with you,

Haleliwia yw, wrth gwrs “Molianwn yr ARGLWYDD Dduw” , mewn Hebraeg, a rhaid i ninnau foli, nid yn uni

The Emmaus Road

The Emmaus Road
Some years ago, I travelled in a group along the Camino, the pilgrim’s route to Santiago de Compostella. One of the companions was a woman who carried with her a book of poems by the Polish poet Roman Brandstaetter. I happened to sit near Maria one day as she was reading his work and she tried to translate a poem for me but couldn’t find the right words as her own English was limited. As we talked, I began to make suggestions and, throughout the journey, we eventually translated his poems. One sticks in my mind: 
“We ran in a panic…. Despair entered our hearts, earth seemed to be in the depths of hell….. We did not recognise your steps, not even as the sand whispered under your feet … We heedless disciples who ran in fear from your empty tomb.”
From Litany in Emmaus by Roman Brandstaetter.
These words seem particularly appropriate as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Like those disciples Brandstaetter describes, some people initially panicked and then rushed to stock up so much that the shops ran out of essential items that others needed too. Many are in despair and, for some, there have been hellish experiences with others unable to recognise where any hope might be in amidst so much anguish and grief. Rumours abound about the way ahead as the health of the population and the economy create different needs and expectations, causing speculation and confusion about when the restrictions being faced may ease. In the face of all that’s happening, it’s hard in ways great and small: today is the anniversary of my father’s death and usually I would travel to Derbyshire after the service here to be with my mother who is alone and disabled. That’s not possible, and is only a small sacrifice compared with what so many others are enduring, but these perplexing times do mean it’s sometimes challenging to understand what’s happening, how to manage it and where hope could be.
It was the same that first Easter Day. As two companions travel to Emmaus, Cleopas and a unnamed disciple meet someone they don’t recognise on the same road and we’re told that they stand still with their faces downcast as they tell him:
“Jesus of Nazareth was….powerful in word and deed before God and all the people….. and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one…. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body…..” St Luke, 24: 18-23, NIV.
These disciples are clearly sad and crushed by events, understandably seeking the familiar as they try to leave behind the anguish and uncertainty of what has happened in Jerusalem. The person they meet talks with them and explains the scriptures to them but so much do their worries overwhelm them that they still don’t recognise who it is. It’s only when he breaks bread for them in a meal they share that these disciples’ eyes are opened and they see Jesus with them. They realise that what’s happened is not rumour but actually the start of a new way of life, which transforms their sorrow:
“They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them….saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen!” “St Luke 24: vv 33, 34, NIV.
The word companion derives from com panio, with bread, and it’s as they share what’s happened and the food they have that hope transforms those frightened lives then – and it will do when we seek it during the pandemic too. Those who usually break bread together are often not able to at the moment – but one of the signs of hope during the pandemic is the way that businesses, shops and community organisations have donated food to the NHS and the foodbanks. There have been some supply problems and it’s true that the supermarkets have made a lot of money from the panic buying that’s happened – but there have also been very significant donations to foodbanks and charities. As the numbers of those in need rises with the uncertainty over the economy, the Oswestry and Borders Food Bank has openly acknowledged the generosity of our local supermarkets, shops and volunteers and that can be seen in so many ways across the UK as virtual meals, gatherings and fundraising events are still held via the Internet.
The road ahead is very uncertain for us all – but  in the astonishing circumstances in which we find ourselves, Brandstaetter reminds us that those “heedless disciples who ran in fear from the empty tomb” were transformed when their eyes were opened and they could see Jesus with them. Due to Covid-19 and its consequences, we have good reason to fear – but we also have good reason to hope, because the tomb was empty and Jesus risen. Who knows where our road will lead or how long it will take? What we do know is that the love of Jesus, who called himself the Way, can transform our lives too – but as our eyes are opened, we may have to look at life very differently due to the new realities we are beginning to see ahead of us all.
With my prayers,






Updated guidance

Since our pastoral guidance dated 31 March was distributed, Welsh Government Regulations regarding funerals have been amended. In light of this, we have also amended the “Funerals” section of our pastoral guidance, and this document contains the up-to-date version.

Canllawiau wedi’u diweddaru

Ers dosbarthu’n canllawiau bugeiliol sy’n ddyddiedig 31 Mawrth, mae Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru ynghylch angladdau wedi cael eu diwygio. Yn sgil hyn, rydym ninnau hefyd wedi diwygio adran “Angladdau” ein canllaw bugeiliol, a’r ddogfen hon yw’r fersiwn gyfredol.

Church buildings

All church buildings remain closed until further notice. This means churches must not be open for public worship or solitary prayer.

Adeiladau eglwysig

Mae pob adeilad eglwysig yn parhau i fod ar gau nes bydd rhybudd pellach. Mae hyn yn golygu na ddylai eglwysi fod yn agored ar gyfer addoliad cyhoeddus nac ar gyfer gweddi bersonol.

Worship has been recorded and broadcast both commendably and effectively from parsonages over recent days. Whilst the Welsh Government Regulations now permit a cleric to record or broadcast a service (without a congregation) from church buildings, the desirability and advisability of doing so will vary between different contexts. Individual Bishops will advise further on this matter within their respective dioceses and any such events should be held only in strict accordance with those diocesan guidelines, or with the explicit permission of the diocesan Bishop.

Bu i addoliad clodwiw ac effeithiol gael ei recordio a’i ddarlledu o bersondai dros y dyddiau diwethaf. Tra bo Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru yn awr yn caniatáu i glerig recordio neu ddarlledu gwasanaeth (heb gynulleidfa) o adeiladau eglwysig, bydd dymunoldeb a doethineb gwneud hynny yn amrywio rhwng gwahanol gyd-destunau. Bydd Esgobion unigol yn cynghori ymhellach ar y mater hwn yn eu priod esgobaethau a dylid cynnal unrhyw ddigwyddiadau o’r fath yn unol yn llwyr â’r canllawiau esgobaethol hynny, neu gyda chaniatâd penodol yr Esgob cadeiriol.

The Welsh Government Regulations also permit clergy to visit their churches, and for other church officers and volunteers to visit churches only to undertake a voluntary or charitable duty, where it is not reasonably practicable to undertake that duty from home. It is therefore possible for essential and urgent site inspections to be undertaken by clerics, or by another person nominated by the Incumbent, Ministry/Mission Area Leader, Area Dean or Archdeacon. We ask that such visits are kept to an absolute minimum.

Mae Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru hefyd yn caniatáu i glerigion ymweld â’u heglwysi, ac i swyddogion a gwirfoddolwyr eglwysig eraill ymweld ag eglwysi i gyflawni dyletswydd wirfoddol neu elusennol yn unig, lle nad yw’n rhesymol ymarferol cyflawni’r ddyletswydd honno gartref. Felly mae’n bosibl i glerigion, neu berson arall a enwebwyd gan y Periglor, Arweinydd yr Ardal Weinidogaeth/Genhadaeth, Deon Bro neu Archddiacon, gynnal archwiliadau safle hanfodol a phan fo’u dwys angen. Gofynnwn i ymweliadau o’r fath ddigwydd mor anaml ag a ellir.

The use of church buildings for essential voluntary services (such as existing foodbanks, soup kitchens and homeless shelters) is permitted by the Welsh Government Regulations. Church buildings may also, upon the request of the Welsh Ministers or a local authority, be used to provide urgent public services. All reasonable measures should be taken to ensure that social distancing practices and other hygiene precautions are followed while those services are provided. Any new use of a church building for essential voluntary / public services should be expressly supported by the incumbent or Area Dean and the diocesan bishop.

Mae Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru yn caniatáu defnyddio adeiladau eglwysig ar gyfer gwasanaethau gwirfoddol hanfodol (megis y banciau bwyd, ceginau cawl a llochesi i’r digartref sydd eisioes yn cael eu cynnal). Gellir hefyd defnyddio adeiladau eglwysig, ar gais Gweinidogion Cymru neu awdurdod lleol, i ddarparu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus brys. Dylid cymryd pob mesur rhesymol i sicrhau bod arferion pellhau cymdeithasol a rhagofalon hylendid eraill yn cael eu dilyn wrth i’r gwasanaethau hynny gael eu darparu. Dylai unrhyw ddefnydd newydd o adeilad eglwysig ar gyfer gwasanaethau gwirfoddol / cyhoeddus hanfodol gael ei gefnogi’n benodol gan y periglor neu’r Deon Bro a’r esgob cadeiriol.

Further guidance on the care and use of church buildings is being issued by the officers of the Representative Body.

Mae swyddogion Corff y Cynrychiolwyr yn cyhoeddi arweiniad pellach ar ofal a’r defnydd o adeiladau eglwysig.

Pastoral visiting

Clergy and others duly licensed or commissioned should exercise their ordinary pastoral ministry from a distance, by phone and online. Pastoral visits should only be undertaken where essential; such visits should generally be to the doorstep and social distancing measures must be scrupulously observed. Individual Bishops may issue more detailed advice to their clergy on what they consider to be ‘essential’ visits and may be consulted by clergy in any cases of doubt.

Ymweld bugeiliol

Dylai clerigion ac eraill sydd wedi’u trwyddedu neu eu comisiynu’n briodol arfer eu gweinidogaeth fugeiliol arferol o bell, dros y ffôn ac ar-lein. Dim ond pan fo’n hanfodol y dylid cynnal ymweliadau bugeiliol; yn gyffredinol dylai ymweliadau o’r fath fod at stepen y drws a rhaid cadw’n llym at fesurau pellhau cymdeithasol. Gall Esgobion unigol gyhoeddi cyngor manylach i’w clerigion ar yr hyn y maent yn ei ystyried yn ymweliadau ‘hanfodol’ a gall clerigion ymgynghori â hwy pan fo amheuaeth.


Funeral services should not take place in churches at the current time. In this case, we are going a step further than legally required, but we believe that the wellbeing of mourners, ministers and other church officers is best served by this additional precaution.


Ni all gwasanaethau angladd gymryd lle mewn eglwysi ar hyn o bryd. Yn yr achos hwn, rydym yn mynd gam ymhellach na’r hyn sy’n ofynnol yn gyfreithiol, ond credwn mai’r rhagofal ychwanegol hwn yw’r ffordd orau o amddiffyn lles galarwyr, gweinidogion a swyddogion eglwysig.

Funeral services at the graveside may continue. Clergy and others duly licensed may also preside at funerals in crematoria. However, the Bishops strongly urge ministers who fall into any of the UK Government’s categorisations of persons at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus not to undertake such ministry personally, and to delegate to colleagues instead. The full list of such categories is available here.

Gall gwasanaethau angladd ar lan y bedd barhau i gymryd lle. Gall clerigion ac eraill sydd â thrwydded briodol hefyd lywyddu mewn angladdau mewn amlosgfeydd. Fodd bynnag, mae’r Esgobion yn annog yn gryf na ddylai gweinidogion sy’n perthyn i unrhyw un o ddosbarthiadau Llywodraeth y DU o bobl sydd mewn mwy o berygl o salwch difrifol yn sgil y coronafirws ymgymryd â gweinidogaeth o’r fath ar hyn o bryd, gan yn hytrach ei dirprwyo i gydweithwyr. Mae rhestr lawn o’r dosbarthiadau hyn ar gael yma.

In accordance with the most recent Welsh Government Regulations, attendance at these funerals must now by limited to the person responsible for arranging the funeral and a small number of mourners (who may be accompanied by a carer if necessary) invited to attend by the person responsible for arranging the funeral. Our view remains that for funerals at the graveside the ‘small number’ should not exceed ten. Everyone attending a funeral must take all reasonable measures to stay two metres away from someone not of their household.

Yn unol â Rheoliadau diweddaraf Llywodraeth Cymru, rhaid cyfyngu presenoldeb yn yr angladdau hyn i’r person sy’n gyfrifol am drefnu’r angladd a nifer fach o alarwyr (a all fod yng nghwmni gofalydd os oes angen) sydd wedi eu gwahodd gan y person sy’n gyfrifol am drefnu’r angladd. Ein barn ni o hyd yw na ddylai’r ‘nifer fach’ mewn angladdau ar lan y bedd fod yn fwy na deg. Rhaid i bawb sy’n mynychu angladd gymryd pob mesur rhesymol i aros oleiaf dau fetr i ffwrdd oddi wrth rywun nad yw o’u haelwyd hwy.

We encourage clergy to communicate carefully with funeral directors, and to confirm that the funeral director will assume responsibility for compliance with the Regulations, including inviting mourners to be present and ensuring that social distancing measures are observed. The funeral should be kept brief, omitting optional parts of the funeral service.

Rydym yn annog clerigion i gyfathrebu’n ofalus â threfnyddion angladdau, ac i gadarnhau y bydd y trefnydd angladdau yn arddel y cyfrifoldeb o gydymffurfio â’r Rheoliadau, gan gynnwys gwahodd galarwyr i fod yn bresennol a sicrhau bod mesurau pellhau cymdeithasol yn cael eu dilyn. Dylai’r angladd fod yn fyr, gan hepgor rhannau dewisol o’r gwasanaeth angladd.

The Church in Wales permits fees due under Welsh Church (Burial Grounds) Act 1945 to be waived in exceptional circumstances. We are sure that clergy will be sensitive to the current circumstances, and clergy are reminded that they are permitted to waive their ministry fees if they consider it appropriate to do so.

Mae’r Eglwys yng Nghymru yn caniatáu hepgor, mewn amgylchiadau eithriadol, y ffioedd sy’n ddyledus o dan Ddeddf Eglwys Cymru (Claddfeydd) 1945. Rydym yn sicr y bydd clerigion yn sensitif i’r amgylchiadau presennol, ac atgoffir clerigion y caniateir iddynt hepgor eu ffioedd gweinidogaeth os ydynt o’r farn ei bod yn briodol gwneud hynny.

It is likely that Welsh Government Regulations regarding funerals will be further amended over coming weeks, in which case our guidance will be reviewed and amended. In due course we will issue guidance on services of remembrance for use once we are able to return to our church buildings.

Mae’n debygol y bydd Rheoliadau Llywodraeth Cymru ynghylch angladdau yn cael eu diwygio ymhellach dros yr wythnosau nesaf, ac os felly bydd ein canllawiau yn cael eu hadolygu a’u diwygio. Maes o law byddwn yn cyhoeddi canllawiau ar wasanaethau coffa i’w defnyddio unwaith y byddwn yn gallu dychwelyd i’n hadeiladau eglwysig.


Marriages and marriage blessings can no longer take place in churches. If a couple wish to marry because of an extreme pastoral emergency, it may be possible to obtain an Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Licence for a wedding outside of a church, and clergy should discuss the matter with their diocesan bishop before then contacting the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Faculty Office at


Ni all priodasau na bendithio priodsas ddigwydd mewn eglwysi mwyach. Os yw cwpl yn dymuno priodi oherwydd argyfwng bugeiliol eithafol, efallai y bydd yn bosibl cael Trwydded Arbennig Archesgob Caergaint ar gyfer priodas y tu hwnt i’r eglwys, a dylai clerigion drafod y mater gyda’u hesgob cadeiriol cyn cysylltu â Swyddfa Hawleb Archesgob Caergaint ar


Baptisms can no longer take place in churches, and should only take place at home, hospital, hospice or other location in case of an extreme pastoral emergency, where baptism may be administered by a lay person. The order for emergency baptism is appended below.


Ni all bedyddiadau ddigwydd mwyach mewn eglwysi, a dim ond gartref a mewn ysbyty, hosbis neu leoliad arall y dylid eu cynnal mewn argyfwng bugeiliol eithafol, lle gall bedydd gael ei weinyddu gan berson lleyg. Mae’r drefn ar gyfer bedydd mewn argyfwng wedi’i atodi isod.

Prayer and witness

The duty of the people of God to witness to Christ is not diminished at this time; neither is our obligation to pray without ceasing for our communities and all in need. We commend all that is being done in God’s service to care pastorally for our communities, and to enable worship, prayer and devotion to continue at home.

Gweddïo a thystiolaethu

Nid yw dyletswydd pobl Dduw i dystiolaethu i Grist wedi ei leihau un dim, na’r alwad ddwyfol i weddïo’n ddi-baid dros ein cymunedau a phawb mewn angen. Rydym yn cymeradwyo popeth sy’n cael ei wneud yng ngwasanaeth Duw i ofalu’n fugeiliol dros ein cymunedau, ac i alluogi addoliad, gweddi a defosiwn i barhau ar yr aelwyd.

We continue to hold all who are anxious, all who are unwell, and all who are grieving in our prayers, asking that the presence of the risen Christ may be near to us all and give us assurance, peace and strength at this painful and anxious time.

Rydym yn parhau i gynnal yn ein gweddïau bawb sy’n bryderus, pawb sy’n sâl, a phawb sy’n galaru, gan erfyn ar i bresenoldeb y Crist atgyfodedig fod wastad gerllaw, yn rhoi inni fendithion sicrwydd, tangnefedd a nerth yn y dyddiau poenus a phryderus hyn.


In an emergency, if no ordained minister is available, a lay person may be the minister of baptism. Before baptizing, the minister should ask the name of the infant / person to be baptized. If, for any reason, there is uncertainty as to the infant / person’s name, the baptism can be properly administered without a name (so long as the identity of the person baptized can be duly recorded).

The following form is sufficient:

The minister pours water on the person to be baptized, saying

I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


Then all may say the Lord’s Prayer and the Grace.


Mewn argyfwng, onid oes gweinidog ordeiniedig ar gael, gall person lleyg weinyddu bedydd. Cyn bedyddio, dylai’r gweinidog ofyn am enw’r plentyn / person sydd i’w fedyddio. Os oes amheuaeth, am ba reswm bynnag, ynglŷn â’r enw, gellir gweinyddu’r bedydd heb enw (ar yr amod y gellir cofnodi’n gywir pwy yn union a fedyddiwyd).

Y mae’r ffurf a ganlyn yn ddigonol:

Y mae’r gweinidog yn tywallt dŵr ar y sawl sydd i’w fedyddio, gan ddweud

Yr wyf yn dy fedyddio di yn Enw’r Tad a’r Mab a’r Ysbryd Glân.


Yna gall pawb ddweud Gweddi’r Arglwydd a’r Gras.

Any person who has administered baptism privately in an emergency should make a careful record of the date and place of baptism and of the identity of the person baptised. He / she should forward details to the parish priest as soon as possible and without delay.

The parish priest should ensure that the customary record is entered in the baptismal register.

Rhaid i bwy bynnag a weinyddodd fedydd preifat mewn argyfwng wneud cofnod gofalus o ddyddiad a lleoliad y bedydd ac o’r y person a fedyddiwyd. Dylid anfon y manylion at offeiriad y plwyf yn ddi-oed.

Cofnodir y bedydd yng nghofrestr y bedyddiadau yn y modd arferol.

The Bench of Bishops Mainc yr Esgobion

Maundy Thursday, 9 April 2020 Dydd Iau Cablyd, 9 Ebrill 2020

Thomas and Tom

As I write, Captain Tom Moore has raised over £25,000,000 for the NHS at the age of 99 years old! He’s done it by slowly walking in his garden using a stroller and, having hoped to raise £1,000 before his forthcoming 100th birthday, his expectations have been far exceeded. With the fundraising still going on, there are now calls for him to be knighted and Captain Tom has vowed to continue for as long as the money still comes in. He’s been able to do it with the help and support of his family and has now become a hero in the eyes of many people, at a time when heroes are needed in the face of so much gloomy news about the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of my heroes is another Tom, Doubting Thomas, the focus of the Gospel reading for today. When Jesus first appeared to those frightened disciples who had locked themselves away that first Easter Day, Thomas was not there. He refused to believe it when they then told him they had seen Jesus – but he was present when Jesus returned a week later. Despite all he had been through, Jesus nevertheless invited Thomas to see and touch him as Thomas had insisted he would need to do, and something wonderful then happens:
Jesus said to Thomas,”….. Stop doubting and believe.” 
Thomas said to him, “My  Lord and my God.”
Then Jesus told him,  “ Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” St John 20: 27-29, NIV
Thomas refused to believe just because he was told to but, when confronted with the reality of the risen Christ, he then takes a huge leap of faith and becomes the first person after the resurrection to call Jesus not just his Lord but also his God. That’s why, for me, he’s a hero: in being honest about his doubts and in wanting to find out for himself, Thomas shows us that, as we wrestle with our own questions, greater understanding can result when the time is right. Doubt can be an honest part of faith and so this simple image of a person in prayer forming the shape of a question mark follows. I was given it when I was ordained thirty years ago as an encouragement to keep on asking questions about faith throughout my ministry. It still reminds me of Thomas, who doubted but realised before all the other disciples who Jesus really is. Such was the effect on him that Thomas is thought to have taken the Gospel to southern India and, through him, Jesus charges us to see and explore faith at work in our world today – and to find ourselves blessed when we do. 
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, we may have many questions to ask of God, the authorities, those around us and ourselves. As the struggle for understanding goes on in these troubled times, may the example of Doubting Thomas enable us to see the other heroes who are all around us today in obvious and unspoken ways. Centenarian Captain Tom found his expectations were exceeded beyond anything he’d anticipated when he put his belief that he could raise £1,000 into action and is now being called a hero. He achieved what he’d set out to do by tackling his target in small ways, not trying to do it all at once, and the anxious weeks ahead of us can also be tackled one day at a time. In the midst of doubts about the future, we may find our own expectations being challenged and greater understanding may eventually result if we don’t give up. There is consternation and anguish as the pandemic continues – but there times when we may also have to be heroic as life changes so radically and when our actions can make hope and blessing realities too. That’s beyond doubt! 
With my prayers,
Priest Guardian

The Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, 15th April, 2020 Llythyr Bugeiliol yr Esgob, Ebrill 15fed, 2020

The Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, 15th April, 2020 Llythyr Bugeiliol yr Esgob, Ebrill 15fed, 2020

“They left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy.” (Matthew 28.8)

“…dyma’r gwragedd yn rhedeg ar frys o’r bedd i ddweud wrth y disgyblion. Roedden nhw wedi dychryn, ac eto’n teimlo rhyw wefr.” (Mathew 28.8)

It is clear from the Gospel stories that the Resurrection of Jesus took the disciples by surprise. The stories in the four Gospels read slightly differently, but a common thread is the chaotic and shambolic response of the disciples: confusion, hope, faith, disbelief, and here in Matthew’s Gospel, “Fear and great joy.”

Mae hi’n glir o’r hanesion yn yr Efengylau bod Atgyfodiad Iesu wedi dal y disgyblion yn ddisymwth. Mae’r straeon yn y pedair Efengyl ychydig yn wahanol, ond un dolen-gyswllt rhyngddyn nhw ydy ymateb dryslyd ac anniben y disgyblion: anobaith, gobaith, ffydd, anghrediniaeth, ac yma yn Efengyl Mathew, “dychryn… a gwefr.”

Key women disciples went to the tomb early on Easter morning intending to finish the embalming process and expecting to have to find a way to tackle the heaviness of the stone sealing the tomb; they came away, having experienced the emptiness of the tomb and the presence of strange angelic figures who communicated the message of resurrection. This filled them with hope, but also bewilderment, not sure what they believed.

Aeth rhai o’r gwragedd allweddol at y bedd yn gynnar ar fore’r Pasg, gan fwriadu gorffen y broses o bêr-eneinio a disgwyl gorfod canfod ffordd i fynd i’r afael â’r dasg sylweddol o symud y garreg oedd yn selio’r bedd; fodd bynnag, dychwelyd wnaethon nhw wedi profi golygfa’r bedd gwag a phresenoldeb angylaidd fu’n cyfleu neges yr atgyfodiad. Fe blannodd hynny obaith yn eu calonnau, ond hefyd penbleth llwyr, gan eu gadael heb wybod yn iawn beth i’w gredu.

This mixture of emotions is very similar to what many of us are experiencing at the moment. There are the beauty of the Spring, happy moments with family in the household or over social media, but also the fear of infection, the sad news of people close to us suffering, which create in us a mixture of emotion. Are we to be happy, sad, frightened or joyful?

Mae’r cymysgedd hwn o emosiynau’n debyg iawn i’r hyn mae llawer ohonon ni’n ei brofi ar hyn o bryd. Dyma ni’n cael profi hyfrydwch y Gwanwyn, cyfnodau gwerthfawr yng nghwmni’r teulu, un ai ar yr aelwyd neu trwy’r cyfryngau cymdeithasol, ond hefyd ofn yr haint, y newyddion dyddiol torcalonnus am anwyliaid a chymaint o rai eraill yn dioddef, gan greu pair o deimladau cymysg. Ydyn ni i fod yn hapus, trist, ofnus neu’n llawen?

The central message of the visit to the tomb is that God takes the heaviness of the stone sealing the tomb and dislodges it with his action of raising Jesus from the dead. He wishes to take our heaviness away and imbue in us instead the joy of new life and hope. It is not so much that God will magically remove the challenges, but calls us to see them in a new perspective, in which the power and promise of the Resurrection tells us that in God, there is a victory to be won.

Neges ganolog yr ymweliad â’r bedd ydy mai Duw sy’n cymryd pwysau trwm y garreg sy’n selio’r bedd, gan ei symud trwy ei weithred yn codi Iesu o farw’n fyw. Ei ddymuniad ydy cymryd yr hyn sy’n pwyso’n drwm arnon ni a’n llenwi ni â llawenydd bywyd a gobaith newydd. Nid bod Duw trwy ryw hud a lledrith am symud yr heriau, ond yn hytrach yn ein galw i’w ystyried trwy bersbectif newydd, lle mae grym ac addewid yr Atgyfodiad yn datgan bod buddugoliaeth, yn Nuw, i’w gael.

The question is whether we will allow God to work the changes needed in our hearts, and orient us towards joy. Now that we have celebrated a virtual Easter, there comes the reminder that the Resurrection is not only about what happened then, but how Jesus seeks to bring new life into our situations now. We may well be embarking on the coming weeks with a sense of fear – the chance of infection coming our way is still high – but God wants to encourage us to go forward in joy also, knowing that Jesus has won the victory over the perils of evil, suffering and death to become a source of life, of strength and of hope.

Y cwestiwn ydy p’un ai a wnawn ni ganiatáu i Dduw weithio’r newidiadau sydd eu hangen ar ein calonnau, a throi ein gogwydd tuag at lawenydd. Gan ein bod bellach wedi dathlu Pasg rhithiol, cawn ein hatgoffa nad hanes yr hyn ddigwyddodd bryd hynny yn unig ydy’r Atgyfodiad, ond sut mae Iesu’n ceisio dod â bywyd newydd i’n sefyllfaoedd heddiw. Mae’n ddigon posib ein bod yn wynebu’r wythnosau sydd i ddod gydag ymdeimlad o ofn – mae’r posib inni ddal yr haint yn dal yn real iawn – ond mae Duw am ein hannog i fynd ymlaen mewn llawenydd hefyd, gan wybod fod Iesu wedi ennill y fuddugoliaeth dros beryglon y drwg, dioddefaint a marwolaeth i ddod yn ffynhonnell bywyd, nerth a gobaith.

I am grateful to all my clergy who have been finding new ways to bring help and succour to you, and inventive ways to invite you into worship and faith at this time. Most of what I have seen has been of a very high standard, and makes me think that we are learning a new way of being virtual Church which will impact on us in a permanently different way of engaging with faith and worship in the future. As we move into the fifty days of Easter, let us resolve to discover how God’s message of new life in Resurrection can assist us to discover new things in life and the journey of faith which we can carry into the future – not just ways of worship, but life-changing decisions about our discipleship which will bring us closer to the Risen Lord and open our hearts more fully to the grace and strength and faith which he longs to impart to us.

Rydw i’n ddiolchgar i bob un o’m clerigwyr sydd wedi bod yn canfod ffyrdd newydd o ddod â chymorth a chysur ichi, a ffyrdd dyfeisgar i’ch gwadd i addoli ac at ffydd yn yr amser hwn. Mae’r rhan fwyaf o’r hyn dwi wedi’i weld o safon eithriadol, gan wneud imi ystyried ein bod yn dysgu dull newydd o fod yn Eglwys rithiol a fydd yn gadael ei ôl mewn modd gwahanol a pharhaol o ymgysylltu â ffydd ac addoliad yn y dyfodol. Wrth inni symud i mewn i hanner can niwrnod y Pasg, dewch inni benderfynu darganfod sut y gall neges Duw am fywyd newydd trwy’r Atgyfodiad ein helpu ni i ganfod pethau newydd mewn bywyd a thaith y ffydd fydd yn gwmni inni i’r dyfodol – nid yn unig ffyrdd o addoli, ond penderfyniadau trawsnewidiol am ein siwrne fel disgyblion a ddaw â ni’n agosach at yr Arglwydd yr Atgyfodiad ac agor ein calonnau fwyfwy i’r gras a’r nerth a’r ffydd y mae’n dyheu i rannu â ni.

Dear friends, keep well and keep safe at this time, and may the Risen Lord sustain you in unexpected ways, to lift the heaviness of fear with the light of his love,

Annwyl ffrindiau, cadwch yn iach a chadwch yn ddiogel yn ystod y cyfnod hwn, a boed i’r Arglwydd Atgyfodedig eich cynnal mewn ffyrdd annisgwyl, i godi llethdod ofn trwy oleuni ei gariad,

Bishop of St Asaph Esgob Llanelwy