Your News – February/March 2017
St Asaph Diocese Mothers’ Union held a celebration of Australia Day recently. On a very cold January day about 80 members of Mother’s Union attended a service celebrating our link with Australia. This year it’s Bendigo. A table with Australian fayre and Welsh fayre was admired and eaten. A table with memorable items from various trips to Australia was well viewed and the service had a special slice of Australian organ music!
Revd John Thelwell took the service at the start of his new role as MU chaplain. More information about the St Asaph MU Is available here.
Grant Balmer and Dylan Bird place the three kings in the crib (left) at the All Age Worship Family Service held at Guilsfield on the first Sunday after Epiphany.
Your News – December 2016/January 2017
Road Peace Service
A Road Peace service on Sunday 19 November at Christ Church, Bwlchgwyn near Wrexham, was attended by families who had lost loved ones on our roads. Alan Cronin (Alyn Mission Area Chair and Reader) spoke of his experiences as a retired Chief Inspector of breaking the news of road deaths to family members and the part that faith has played in his life in helping to give God’s message. The service was also attended by Police and Fire officers.
For three weeks in August-September, Adrian and Hilary Murray from Christ Church, Bala, with Kevin Simmons – IT co-ordinator from Rhuthin and two 18 year olds from Ysgol Y Berwyn who had just had the results of their A levels, Mael Evans and Rhys Hughes, visited Bala’s linked village, Milo, in Tanzania.
Earlier this year, Hilary walked the length of the River Dee from source to sea to raise awareness and funds to supply IT for Milo Primary School. Over £3,000 was raised by this and several other fundraising events – Crowdfunding by Rhys Hughes, a charity concert by Mael Evans, fundraising by Ysgol Y Berwyn in Bala and gifts from churches in the Diocese and Bala Rotary.
While Adrian taught in the hospital, the others installed six new laptops to add to four second hand ones previously given in a newly dedicated IT classroom in Milo Primary Scho
ol. The teachers had already paid from their own pockets for electricity to be installed in the room and we provided security bars for the windows and computer desks. Kevin installed Ubuntu on the laptops and he and the team taught the teachers basic IT skills, word processing, spreadsheets and the Libre Office equivalent of Power Point. The Head Teacher at the school already had his own laptop and was more familiar with IT. A projector and screen were also gratefully received.
Now, not only will the children be familiar with IT before they start Secondary School, but 30 members of the village are also taking IT lessons with the Head Teacher plus children from nearby Secondary Schools will have access to laptops during the holidays and at weekends.
Prior to our link, only about 50% of students passed the national exam to be able to progress to Secondary School. Since we provided a laptop and printer four years ago, 90% have passed each year. We have been thrilled since our return to receive via Whatsapp this message from Casimir Kayombo, Head Teacher:
“It’s a very joyful day in Milo Primary School in co-operation with you and all the people of Bala – really lovely thanks. Your love to us has made Milo Primary School to be the third out of 77 schools in our district in the National examination of Standard Seven. All our pupils have passed the National examination (100%).”
This is so encouraging and demonstrates what can be achieved with a Parish link, not only for the village in Tanzania but for our local community and young people. Our church link now has support from the schools, chapels, Rotary, WI, Teulu Berwyn, Mayor and town council, Football Club, Coleg Y Bala and many individuals.
As always, we were received with great warmth and provided with comfortable accommodation and generous meals. At each visit we feel we receive more in love and hospitality than we provide in gifts.
See the Archive page for previously Extra bits!