Your News – February/March 2017
Celebrating Australia Day
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.
All age Worship at Guilsfield
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.
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAM COAT
This is the seventh year that St Paul’s Church Youth and Children’s Enterprise (SPYCE) has put on the week – it promised to be the biggest ever and it certainly lived up to its expectations.
The week was full of drama and singing, craft and dance as the children worked towards a performance of JOSPEH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAM COAT (Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber) on the Friday evening. They learnt the songs and dance routines, they designed and made the scenery, they even made Joseph’s coat!
We are indebted to the church’s Director of Music, Bryn Heywood, for all his hard work in preparing the children for such a polished performance – and our thanks to the numerous volunteers who so willingly gave of their time and talents throughout the week who helped with the music, choreography, craft and catering.
This year, as well as offering a simple snack – we fed the children throughout the day – and we are grateful to Sarah Wheat (Diocesan Engagement Officer) for her support and advice in applying for a grant from the Diocese towards the food to feed the children (and for coming along to help us on the Wednesday!) and to the PCC for its contribution.
SPYCE meets at St Paul’s Church each Friday in term time between 345pm and 545pm.
Dyma oedd y thema ar gyfer ein Clwb Haf eleni – a son am hwyl! 35 o blant o bob oedran gan gynnwys ieuenctid oedd yn cynorthwyo a o leia 15 o oedolion oedd yn arwain a choginio a darparu bwyd a diod! Tridiau gwerth chweil a chyfle i ddysgu caneuon newydd a storiau o’r Beibl i’r plant. Stori Joseff, Moses a’r Mab Afradlon. A’r thema – Helfa Aur – yn mynd a ni nol mewn hanes i fyd y cowbois a’r indiaid!
This was our theme for this year’s Children’s Summer Club which ran for three days – Monday – Wednesday. There were 35 children of all ages, youth assistants and at least 15 adults dressed up as a cowboy or an indian – travelling back in history and continent. It was a wonderful experience of opening the Scriptures to the children – we had the story of Joseph, Moses and The Prodigal Son all with movement, dance, song, activities of craft and baking including worship and prayers. What a wealth of talents among the leaders and children and what a busy and happy and joyfull time we all had. The session ended with a quiet time of reflection, an opportunity to give thanks to God for experience.
Sow, Grow and Celebrate
On Sunday 31st July people from across the Vyrnwy Mission Area (VMA) gathered in St Mary’s Church, Llwydiarth to celebrate Rural Mission Sunday, an event initiated and supported by ‘Germinate! new life in the countryside’ and The Arthur Rank Centre.
This year the theme centred on God’s work and ours in sowing, growing and celebrating the mission of God in and around our communities.
Individuals from the churches in the VMA contributed to the service leading prayers, and reading. Revd Hermione Morris (MAL) told part of her story of growth in faith, also highlighting the current growth in faith of new Christians in the Mission Area.
PROMS Y BALA
Cafwyd cyngerdd gwahanol iawn yn Eglwys Crist ar brynhawn Sul, Gorffennaf 17.
Roedd Mael Evans wedi trefnu y cyngerdd i godi arian ar gyfer ei daith i Milo, Tansania.
Cyflwynwyd nifer fawr o ddarnau gan gyfansoddwyr enwog megis Mozart, Bizet, Ravel, a Charpentier gan y grŵp – a oedd yn gyfuniad o offerynnau llinynnol, a chwyth yn bennaf. Clywyd darnau cyfarwydd ynghyd â rhai llai cyfarwydd. Cafwyd rhai unawdau llinynnol, chwyth (gan Mael ei hun) a llais. Ond prif atyniad y cyngerdd oedd cael clywed cyfansoddiadau roedd Mael ei hun wedi’u cyfansoddi dros y ddwy flynedd olaf tra ei fod yn astudio Cerddoriaeth i Lefel A. Roedd rhain yn amrywiol iawn ac wedi eu symbylu gan wahanol bethau e.e. ymweliad a Beamish, ei chwaer Sanant, ei Fam Bedydd a theithio yn y car.
Daeth tyrfa dda ynghyd i glywed darnau newydd sbon ac i gael lluniaeth ar y diwedd. Roedd Rheithor Elaine o’r farn na fyddai y cyngerdd wedi bod allan o’i le yn yr Albert Hall. Yn sicr roedd wedi bod yn llwyddiant mawr ac roedd sawl un yn sôn bod angen mwy o’r math yma o beth yn y dyfodol agos. Gwell i ti ddechrau cyfansoddi eto Mael. A phwy ŵyr, efallai byddi mor enwog a Mozart rhyw ddiwrnod.
A concert organised by Mael Evans at Christ Church, Y Bala was held on Sunday, July 17th. It was to raise money for Mael’s visit to Milo, Tanzania. Many familiar and not so familiar pieces were played by ranging composers such as Mozart, Bizet, Ravel and Charpentier. Stringed and brass instruments played by Mael’s musician friends gave the renderings. There were string and brass solos( played by Mael himself) and also vocal solos. There was much excitement as Mael’s own compositions were played on the various instruments. The compositions having been inspired by a visit to Beamish, his sister Sanant, his God Mother and travelling in the car. Rector Elaine felt that we had our own “ Bala Proms”. It was discussed that we should have such events again. Mael you need to start composing once more. Perhaps you will as famous as Mozart one day.
11th TREEmendous Festival
Prestatyn Parish Church is looking forward to welcoming everyone to their 11th Festival of Christmas Trees from November, 21-26. With approx. 30 trees decorated by local schools and organisations, as well as musical interludes, gift stall and refreshments, it promises to be a wonderful event, says Sue Rowans.
My visit to St Paul’s Cathedral by Hannah Davies
Hannah Davies from Prestatyn was chosen to represent St Asaph Cathedral at the recent launch of the Diamond Fund for Choristers launch concert at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. In what’s thought to be the first time ever, every Cathedral choir in the UK was represented by one chorister and Hannah was the lucky one from St Asaph. In her own words, Hannah describes the experience:
I was really excited to be chosen to represent St Asaph Cathedral in a unique concert at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on 27th April 2016. The concert was held to launch The Friends Of Cathedral Music Diamond Fund for Choristers.
On Tuesday 26th April I travelled down to London by train with my mum and dad. I had to be at a rehearsal for 2pm which was held in a small church near St Paul’s. There were lots of pieces to rehearse including a specially commissioned piece, Bring us O Lord God, by Phillip Stopford. I had been practicing with Mr McGuinness, the Director of Music at St Asaph Cathedral, for a couple of months before. The rehearsal lasted most of the day and I made a new friend from Newcastle Cathedral.
The next day, which was the day of the concert, we were up early as a car came to collect us to take us to the BBC Studios. I had been asked if I would like to be interviewed on the BBC Radio Wales breakfast show about the concert with Maurice Kenwrick Piercy who was on the Diamond Fund for Choristers Committee. It was all very exciting as I have never been on the radio before. After the interview Maurice asked if we would like to go to the Radio 4 Studio next door where Andrew Carwood and some of the St Paul’s Choristers were being interviewed too.
After we got back from the BBC Studios my mum and dad took me to The Tower of London where I got to see The Crown Jewels. Later that day there was another rehearsal, this time at St Paul’s. We rehearsed inside the Cathedral for a while and then we got to go up in the whispering gallery, we were very high up. Before the concert we all went over to the St Paul’s school so we could have our tea.
The concert started at 7:30pm and it went really well; we sang all the pieces with some speeches in between. Aled Jones introduced the concert and Alexander Armstrong gave a speech about how being a chorister had helped him in his life and in his career.
I really enjoyed singing in such a special building and it is an experience I will never forget.
The Friends Of Cathedral Music Diamond Fund for Choristers aims to raise £10 million by 2020 to address the developing pressures in cathedral choir finances across the nation. In addition, St Asaph Cathedral has launched its own £1m endowment fund appeal to provide a legacy to build upon the excellent musical standards and education already provided by the Cathedral.