March 2012

Ad Clerum : 1af o Fawrth 2012 March 1st
Gŵyl Dewi Sant : Saint David’s Day

Take hold of the life that is truly life (cf. 1 Timothy 6.19)
Gafaelwch yn y bywyd sydd yn wir fywyd (1 Timotheus 6.19)


Annwyl Gyfeillion,

Gweddi y Garawys

Download it here.

Arglwydd Dduw, fe rhoddaist yr Iesu fel anrheg i ni fel y gallwn etifeddu llawnder bywyd trwyddo ef.
Caniata i ni, trwy gymorth dy Ysbryd Glan, i ddal ein gafael yn y bywyd sydd yn wir fywyd yng nghyfoeth dy fendith, ynghyd a’r llawenydd sydd i’w ganfod mewn addoliad a’r gwasanaeth sydd yn deillio o’th gariad.
Arweinia fywyd ein Esgobaeth i ffyrdd tangnefedd a sancteiddrwydd, i’r naill gryfhau y llall, ac i bob peth ogoneddu dy enw. Amen
Lord God, you gave us the gift of Jesus so that we might inherit the fullness of life in him.
Grant that with the help of your Holy Spirit, we may take hold of the life that is truly life in the richness of your blessing, the joy that comes from worship and the service that comes from love.
Guide the life of our diocese into the ways of peace and of holiness that each may strengthen the other, and all things glorify your name. Amen.

Gŵyl Dewi Sant

Mae’r ŵyl hon yn achosi llu o wasanaethau Cymun i’w drefnu yn y Gymraeg dros yr esgobaeth, ac unwaith eto fe ddathlwn ein nawddsant Cymreig. Eleni, yr ydym yn falch tu hwnt, gan ystyried y canlyniad a’r fuddugoliaeth yn y rygbi ddydd Sadwrn diwethaf. Ond yn esgobaeth Llanelwy, beth yw ystyr bod yn esgobaeth yn yr Eglwys yng Nghymru?

Yn gyntaf, ystyriaf ei bod hi’n tynnu ar gyfoeth ein hetifeddiaeth dros bymtheg can mlynedd o Gristnogaeth. Y mae nifer o’n heglwysi wedi eu cysegru i’n seintiau na fyddant yn adnabyddus y tu allan o’u llan fechan, ond bod eu bodolaeth yn arwydd o’r ffaith bod Cymru yn genedl sy’n gweddïo, a chenedl lle y bu nifer yn gweddïo ac wedi ei gweddïo amdani dros y canrifoedd. Fy nghred i yw bod yr Ysbryd Glân wedi gorlifo’r wlad hon a bod hi’n bosib synhwyro’r sancteiddrwydd os yw’n bosib bod yn llonydd ac yn agored yn ein heglwysi sy’n rhan o’n hetifeddiaeth.

Yn ail, mae’n golygu bod gennym addewid arbennig i’n cenedl; addewid i ofalu bod cyfiawnder a heddwch yn rhan o’n cymunedau a bod gofal dros fywyd i gyd. Yr ydym yn byw mewn dialog gyda’n byd, ac mae’n rhaid i ni dystiolaethu i angerdd arhosol Duw am gymod gydag ef a’n gilydd sy’n arwydd o’r Efengyl Gristnogol. Dylai Cristnogion fod yn asiantau o drawsnewid yng Nghymru er mwyn adeiladu cenedl lewyrchus.

Yn drydydd, yr ydym yn geidwaid yr iaith Gymraeg a’n diwylliant. Yr ydym yn ymwybodol bod yr iaith Gymraeg wedi ei hachub i raddau gan ymdrechion yr eglwyswyr mawr o’r unfed ganrif ar bymtheg a’r ail ganrif ar bymtheg, gan gynnwys fy rhagflaenwyr enwog yn eu mysg. A heddiw, yr wyf yn obeithiol ein bod ni’n ymrwymedig o fod yn esgobaeth ddwyieithog. Er fy mod i ddim ond yn ddysgwr sâl, yr wyf eisiau gweld yr iaith Gymraeg yn cael ei defnyddio a’i ddathlu yn yr esgobaeth hon – o’r perfeddwledydd yn y gorllewin i’r ffin Saesneg yn y dwyrain.

Nid yw’n hawdd defnyddio’r iaith yn yr esgobaeth. Nid yw’n naturiol i lawer, a pan mae’r iaith yn cael ei ddefnyddio, mae’r safon yn cael ei beirniadu’n aml gan y sawl sy’n Gymraeg iaith gyntaf o fod yn ymylol ac yn wan. Tra nad wyf am ganiatáu unrhyw beth ond y safon uchaf, yr wyf o’r farn bod angen gofyn am gymorth y sawl sy’n gallu cefnogi ac annog y rhai sy’n ceisio eu dilyn. Os nad yw’n bosib i’r dysgwr mwynhau defnyddio’r Gymraeg yn yr esgobaeth hon, mi all defnydd yr iaith gael ei weld fel hawl y lleiafrif yn unig.

St David’s Day

The Feast of St David causes a rash of Welsh Eucharists to break out across the diocese, and once again we celebrate our Welsh patron saint. This year, we’re particularly pleased, given the impressive game and victory at the rugby last Saturday. But in the diocese of St Asaph, what does it mean to be a diocese of the Church in Wales?

First, I think it means to draw on the vast heritage of fifteen hundred years of Christianity. Many of our churches are dedicated to saints who would not be known outside their own small llan, but they do point to the fact that Wales has been a praying nation, and a nation much prayed in and prayed for down the centuries. This means, I think, that the Holy Spirit has drenched this land, and that holiness can be sensed, if we can be still and receptive in the holy places that are our heritage.

Secondly, it means that we have a special mission to our nation: a mission to care for justice and peace in our communities and to be concerned for the whole of life. We live in dialogue with our world, and we must witness to God’s abiding passion for reconciliation with him and with each other that is the hallmark of the Christian Gospel. Christians should be agents of transformation in Wales to build up the flourishing of the nation.

Third, we are custodians of Welsh language and culture. We all know that the Welsh language was in part saved by the efforts of the great churchmen of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, my illustrious predecessors among them. And today, I hope we are committed to being a bilingual diocese. Although only a poor learner myself, I do want to see the Welsh language used and celebrated in this diocese – from the Welsh heartlands in the west to the English border in the east.

Using the language in the diocese isn’t easy. It doesn’t come naturally to many, and when we do use it, the standard of Welsh is often faulted by those whose Welsh is purer as too little, too weak. While I don’t want to sanction anything but the highest standards, I think I do want to ask those who can lead the way to support and encourage those who seek to follow. Unless using Welsh in this diocese can be enjoyed by the learner and the amateur, then it is in danger of exiling itself to an ivory tower.

Chrism Eucharist (5th April)

The Chrism Eucharist will be held, as usual, at 1100hr on Maundy Thursday (5th April) in the Cathedral. Once again, I look forward to celebrating this particular Eucharist with all serving clergy, with the opportunity to renew our ordination vows and express our collegiality by concelebrating. Lunch will be provided afterwards for all members of the congregation. I would particularly like to affirm the invitation to all retired clergy in the diocese, as it is good to celebrate their ongoing priesthood and collegiality with us, and extend an invitation through the clergy for lay people to attend and support this event. It would be extremely helpful for catering purposes, however, if clergy could let the office in Esgobty know if they are aware of groups coming from parishes to this event as it could have a significant impact on the catering. Dress for clergy will be alb or surplice with white stole as usual.

Ministry and Calling Sunday (20th May)

The Provincial Vocations Strategy is now entering its third year, and the Sunday after Ascension (20th May) will be observed by the Church in Wales as Ministry and Calling Sunday once again.

The vitality of this project depends on making something of the Sunday, and not just noting it in passing in the notices or intercessions. I would hope that all clergy would take the opportunity to preach about vocation and ministry at the main service that Sunday, and possibly speak about their own vocation and journey into ministry. We need to convey to all the members of our congregations that vocation is not just of concern to the diocese and province, but to every member of the Church, either in responding to God’s call themselves, or in praying for vocations, or in supporting the discernment of another.

Last year we were let down rather disastrously in the distribution of literature by the printers, and I know that some of you received material far too late to use on the Sunday itself. That material can, of course, be used this year, if you are not already displaying it. It will be supplemented with liturgical and preaching resources that will be sent out well in advance by email, and other new literature available through the Provincial website, or the Revd John Harvey as Director of Ordinands.

The need, in particular, for fresh vocations to ordained ministry is becoming pressing, as those who come forward in discernment now, if accepted, will be those whose ordinations will be most vital to replace clergy who will be retiring after 2013. It is an urgent matter in which Ministry and Calling Sunday plays an important part as the opportunity to stir up the life of the Church.

Hwyl a Helo

I am delighted to be able to announce that Sarah Hildreth has accepted my invitation to take up the role of Parish Priest and Incumbent to Llanrwst and Llanddoged. The Standing Committee will be considering my proposal to group these parishes with Llansanffraid Glan Conwy and Eglwysbach later this month, with the hope that Sarah could become incumbent of the group of four parishes in May, although we shall be looking for a House for Duty priest to assist particularly at the Glan Conwy end of the parish.

I am also pleased that Vera Lewis is taking up the position of Priest in Charge of the Grouped Parishes of Henllan, Llannefydd and Bylchau, on a House for Duty basis. Vera is well known to many of you, and we welcome her back to parochial ministry now.

Congratulations to Alan and Kate Tiltman on the birth of a grandchild, Thomas James Tiltman, who was born on Candlemas. We wish the family all prosperity for the future.

I was sorry to hear of the death of Ronald Miller, the father of Andrew Miller, who ministers alongside Ian Day at Bodelwyddan. Andrew has our prayers and condolences.

I am reminded by John Bernard Jones that he and other of our colleagues will have trained alongside John Suddards, the priest so tragically murdered in the Diocese of Gloucester in February. I am sure that many of us share the sense of shock that follows this death, and will mourn John’s violent end. We hold him and all who feel his loss in our prayers.

Dates for the Diary

12,13 Mar Residential Area Deans Meeting, Loreto, Llandudno.

15 Mar 0930hr Open House Eucharist at St Margaret’s Church, Wrexham. All clergy are warmly invited to share in the Eucharist with the bishop and fellow clergy, also some study and conversation. We finish by 12 noon.

1900hr The Induction of Aidan Coleman as Vicar of Holywell at St James Parish Church, Holywell, followed by refreshments at St Peter’s Church.

17 Mar 1400hr The Induction of Rex Matthias as Vicar of Mold, at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Mold.

19 Mar 1900hr The Induction of Christine Owen as Vicar of Colwyn Bay and Bryn-y-Maen, at St Paul’s Church, Colwyn Bay.

28 Mar 1930hr Licensing of Vera Lewis as Priest-in-charge of the Henllan Group of parishes at St Sadwrn’s Church, Henllan.

05 April 1100hr Chrism Eucharist and Renewal of Ordination Vows at the Cathedral

07 April 1900hr Easter Vigil and Confirmation in the Cathedral.

Notes and Queries

Ordination dates
I have received the request for advance notice of dates of the Petertide Ordination for future years so that the diary can be kept clear of weddings and other engagements that might prevent attendance: 29 June, 2013 and 28 June, 2014.

I have been asked to circulate to the clergy a letter from Tenovus (English & Welsh) highlighting their St David’s Day Appeal, as they seek to help prevent, treat and find a cure for cancer and offer support, advice and treatment for cancer patients, information on cancer prevention and funding for research to improve the outcomes for people with cancer. The letter is attached.

I trust that your observance of Lent is rigorous and spiritually enlivening. Warmest good wishes as ever,