March 2013

Ad Clerum : 1af o Fawrth 2013 March 1st
Gŵyl Dewi Sant : Saint David’s Day

Dilynwch Fi, medd yr Arglwydd
Follow Me, says the Lord

O Arglwydd ein Duw, ‘rwyt yn ein hannog ymlaen ar y llwybr sanctaidd trwy’n bywyd.
Agor ein calonnau i dderbyn digonedd dy Ysbryd yn ymdrechion ein pererindod, yng nghwestiynnau ein calonnau ac yn y dioddefaint sy’n dod i’n rhan.
Pa ffurf bynnag fydd i’n pererindod a ble bynnag y mae
yn ein harwain helpa ni i dderbyn iachad dy Ysbryd trawsffurfiol i’n harfogi garu’r byd ac i gerdded y llwybr sanctaidd y dewisaist i ni. Amen.
O Lord our God, you urge us onwards in the sacred path through life.
Open our hearts to receive the abundance of your Spirit in the struggles of our pilgrimage, in the questions of our hearts and in the suffering that life can bring.
Whatever form our pilgrimage may take, and wherever it may lead, help us to accept the healing of your transforming Spirit, to equip us to love the world and walk in the sacred path you have chosen for us. Amen.


In this Ad Clerum…

• St David’s Day
• The Chrism Eucharist
• Foodbanks
• Hwyl a Helo

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi

Mae Dydd Gŵyl Dewi, bob blwyddyn, yn rhoi o leiaf un cyfle i mi i gofio defnyddio’r iaith Gymraeg yn fy Ad Clerum. Fel y gwyddoch i gyd, rydw i yn ‘ddysgwr awyddus sydd yn ymdrechu’ pan mae’n dod i ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg. Roedd yr adroddiad diweddaraf i Gorff Llywodraethol yr Eglwys yng Nghymru, ‘Pob un yn ei iaith ei hun’, yn annog yr Eglwys i gymeryd yr iaith Gymraeg o ddifrif, ac yn gwneud nifer o awgrymiadau amlwg ynglŷn â sut y dylem ni, fel yr Eglwys yng Nghymru, amddiffyn yr iaith ac ehangu’r defnydd ohono.

Rydw i eisiau i ni yn Llanelwy fod yn esgobaeth ddwyieithog, Saesneg ydy’r iaith y mae’r mwyafrif yn ei ddefnyddio, ond gallwn weithio’n galed i sicrhau cyfartaledd i’r ddwy iaith, efallai trwy gydbwyso cryfder eangfrydig y Saesneg wrth roi lle anrhydeddus i’r Gymraeg. Fy nod i ydy i ni fedru gwerthfawrogi’r ddwy iaith ar draws yr esgobaeth. Ni ddylai iddo fod yn beth anghyffredin i glywed yr iaith Gymraeg ym mhob addoliad, brawddeg neu ddwy, bydd hyn yn ymddangos yn rhyfedd dim ond os yr ydym ni yn gadael iddo ymddangos yn rhyfedd: yn ogystal, mae’n rhaid bod yna eglwysi yn yr esgobaeth lle mae dim ond brawddeg neu ddwy o Saesneg sydd i’w glywed.

Ymysg ein clerigwyr, synnwn mai dim ond llond dwrn sy’n siarad Cymraeg fel mamiaith; hefyd dim ond ychydig sydd yn uniaith Saesneg, mae’r rhan fwyaf ohonom yn ddysgwyr, rhywle ar y raddfa. Dwi’n meddwl y gallwn helpu wrth fod yn gadarnhaol am y ddwy iaith, mae hyn yn cynnwys bod yn gadarnhaol ynglyn a’r Gymraeg a welwn ac a glywn, hyd yn oed os ydy o ddim bob amser yn cyrraedd y safon uchaf.

Wrth gwrs, mae mwy i ddiwylliant Cymru nag iaith a dwi’n gobeithio y gallwn werthfawrogi pob peth ynglyn a Chymru a’i iaith yn ein hesgobaeth, y tirlun, ein heglwysi, ein seintiau a’n bywyd ysbrydol – heb os, rhywbeth i’w archwilio yn ein ‘Blwyddyn o Bererindod’.

St David’s Day every year gives me at least one opportunity to remember to use the Welsh language in my Ad Clerum. As you all know too well, I am a struggling learner when it comes to using the Welsh language, but I am committed to it. The recent report “Pob un yn ei iaith ei hun” to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales urged the Church to take seriously the Welsh language, and made a number of bold proposals about how we, as the Church in Wales could defend and extend its use.

I want us in St Asaph to be a bilingual diocese. English is the language in majority use, admittedly, but we can work hard to ensure equality of dignity for the two languages, perhaps balancing the predominance of English by giving Welsh pride of place. What I want most of all is to celebrate both languages right across the diocese. It should not be out of place for some Welsh to be heard in all our acts of worship, even if only a phrase or two, and it will only be odd if we allow it to be odd: equally, there must be churches in our diocese where it is only the occasional phrase in English which is heard.

Of our clergy, surprisingly only a handful are mamiaith Welsh speakers; equally only a few are monoglot English – most of us are learners somewhere on the scale. I think we can help by being positive about both languages, and that includes being positive about the Welsh we hear or see, even when it doesn’t quite reach the highest levels.

Of course, Welsh culture is about more than the language, and I hope that we can celebrate all things Welsh in this diocese – our landscape, and our churches, our saints and our spirituality – it will be something to explore undoubtedly in our Year of Pilgrimage.

Chrism Eucharist – 28 March

I look forward to keeping this feast with you at 1100hr on Maundy Thursday in the Cathedral at the Eucharist for the Blessing of the Holy Oils together with our renewal of commitment to diaconal, priestly and episcopal service. You are requested to robe in alb or surplice with white stole in the Translators’ Chapel and then take your seat in the nave by 1050hr.

Lunch will be served afterwards and a ticket will be required by everyone attending the lunch. A free ticket has been allocated to every serving cleric and this can be collected on the day in the Cathedral. If you are bringing retired clergy, Readers or parishioners with you they are warmly invited to the lunch as well, but will require a ticket obtainable in advance from Esgobty by Friday, 22 March. Again these tickets are free, on a first come first served basis, until we reach a total of 200 diners. Once this ceiling is reached tickets can still be obtained but there will be a £5 charge per ticket. To ensure a fair distribution of tickets I would ask that no more than five free tickets are requested per parish grouping.

Pastoral Chaplains

I would like to remind you of the role of the Pastoral Chaplains in the pastoral care of the clergy within the Teulu Asaff. The Pastoral Chaplains are channels of support, apart from the bishop and hierarchy, to whom clergy can go in strict confidence to discuss any matter to do with the conduct of their professional ministry, and in which they feel they need support. I am grateful to Stephen Lowe, Tony Sadler and Margaret Robarts for all the support they are giving to clergy who come to them. I am pleased to announce that Peter Wykes has now accepted my invitation to be available in this capacity too. Please do not forget to make use of this important area of support should you need to, nor forget to refer to the Pastoral Support of the Clergy document that is available on the clergy resources webpage.

Hwyl a Helo

I offer congratulations to Mike West, who has been appointed as Director of the St Seiriol’s Centre in the Diocese of Bangor and Residentiary Canon in Bangor Cathedral. We will be very sorry to lose Mike to the diocese, but I am sure that he will continue to contribute to the life of the Province, and thus benefit St Asaph, in his new role. We wish him well.

We are very grateful to Martin Snellgrove who has been responsible for producing the Calendar of Intercession in recent years. Martin feels that with his impending move to Corwen it is time to lay down this task. I am pleased, therefore, that Ian Day has agreed to succeed Martin in this work and will be responsible for the rebranded "Teulu Asaph Cycle of Prayer" with effect from the June edition.

We send congratulations to Jackie Carter and to Rob on the birth of their grandson, Hywel, who was born just before Christmas, weighing in at a healthy 8lb 15.5oz.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to Stan Walker, on the sudden death of his wife, Julie, on 20th February. Julie was taken ill with very little warning, and we think of all her family at this time. The funeral has been fixed for 12 noon on Friday, 8th March at St Thomas’ Church, Rhyl. It is Julie’s request that black should not be worn at the service.

I am sorry to report that Roger Brignell, NSM priest of the diocese, passed away on 12th February, after a courageous battle against cancer. We extend our condolences to Julie, his widow, and his family. His funeral is at 1.30pm on 6th March at St. Nicholas Church, Montgomery followed by burial in the cemetery. I am also sad to record the death of Carole Poolman’s mother, May Haigh, who died in mid-February. May had been ill for some while, but we join with Carole in our prayers at this time. May all these servants of Christ rest in peace.

Dates for the Diary

04-05 Mar Area Deans’ Residential Meeting, Foxhill Conference Centre, Frodsham
04-05 Mar Office at Esgobty closed
07 Mar 1900hr Licensing of Graham Beckett as Priest in Charge of Mostyn, at Christ Church, Mostyn
21 Mar Enthronement of Justin Welby as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. (I don’t get an invite, but I think we should all be holding Justin in our prayers)
28 Mar 1100hr Chrism Eucharist in the Cathedral
30 Mar 1900hr Easter Vigil and General Confirmation at the Cathedral
14 Apr 1530hr Confirmation, All Saints’, Gresford
29 June 1000hr Petertide Ordination in the Cathedral


Applications for the Parish of Hope are due in to Diane McCarthy, as Secretary of the Diocesan Nominations Board, by Friday, 8th March. Full details of the appointment are available from Diane.

I am still awaiting the parish profile for the Meifod Group of Parishes, but once they are available, an advertisement will be circulated from Esgobty, as we did for Hope. All expressions of interest in this delightful group of rural parishes are directed to the Archdeacon of Montgomery, although applications will be to Diane, as this is another nomination which falls to the Diocesan Board.

Will be advertised in due course.

In line with the Church in Wales review, all posts are now to be seen in the context of building up our ministry areas based upon deaneries. Although these posts are incumbencies, there will be an expectation for those appointed to be part of the deanery ministry team, and licences will be adjusted to reflect this new reality.

Notes and Queries

Bishop’s Second Visitation
A reminder that completed Articles of Enquiry for the deaneries of Cedewain, Mathrafal and Pool should be returned to Esgobty by 12 March please.

In these difficult economic times the sad reality is that there are many who struggle even to put food on the table. The need for crisis food is growing and a foodbank can provide a practical community lifeline to those in desperate need of emergency food and support. There are a growing number of food bank initiatives in our area – in Mold, Denbigh, Wrexham, Oswestry and Chester, with a foodbank in Welshpool under development. I do encourage your parishes to consider supporting their nearest foodbank as an expression of our solidarity with the most needy and vulnerable in our communities. You will be able to read more about the Foodbank initiative in the next edition of Teulu Asaph.

The Good Friday Offering Supporting the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
Amidst the turmoil across the Middle East the situation of Christians and Churches has become significantly more complex and difficult. Support for their presence and witness is particularly needed and for this reason I wish to commend the Good Friday Offering for your consideration.

Collections will help fund the ministry and social engagement of the dioceses, including hospitals, schools and other social welfare programmes that serve the local communities. For example:
• The training of clergy to support Christian communities across the region
• The Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, St Luke’s in Nablus and the Harpur Memorial Hospital in Egypt, each providing quality health care to all in need
• The welcome given by the Anglican churches in the Gulf to the thousands of Christians from Africa and Asia
• The on-going work of educational institutions for children with special needs and vocational training centres
• Support of ministry among prisoners and refugees in Egypt

You can find out more information here.

Cheques for the amount collected made out to ‘The Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association’ should be sent it to: The Secretary at JMECA, 1 Hart House, The Hart, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7HJ with a covering note stating that the money is from a Good Friday offering.

Bishop Mouneer writes: ‘We in the Province of Jerusalem and Middle East are so grateful for the UK churches who are contributing to the “Good Friday Offering” initiative of JMECA. I cannot tell you how much your support to our Province at this very time of hardship and uncertainty mean to us. It reminds us of Saint Paul "it was good of you to share in my trouble" Phil 4:14’

Missing Person
Please find attached details of missing person David Trebble. The police request these details to be circulated widely through the church, since they are very concerned about his welfare and believe he may approach a church.

The Real Easter Egg 2013
A whopping 80 million chocolate Easter Eggs are sold each year, yet the Real Easter Egg (made in Wales) is the first and only Fairtrade chocolate Easter Egg to explain the Christian understanding of Easter on the box. It also supports charity and development projects. The Real Easter Egg is now in its third year of production with more than 200,000 sold so far. This year the Real Easter Egg has a free activity pack in the box which includes the Easter story, activity poster, free itune download and a sticker set. I am pleased to commend the Real Easter Egg 2013 campaign to you and your congregations. For more information please visit their website.

Anniversaries in Ministry
On Sunday June 23rd I would like to invite those who will be celebrating a significant ordination anniversary during 2013 to join me for a special celebratory Eucharist at the Cathedral at 1100hr – anniversaries such as 25 years and the subsequent ‘0’ anniversaries thereafter. If you have a special anniversary this year that you would like to celebrate with us on June 23rd then please contact the Dean by March 15th. We haven’t had takers as yet …

I trust that your observance of Lent passes fruitfully. Thank you for all your support at our CMD day at the beginning of the week. I hope you found it useful, and that you are looking forward to the new Review system. I look forward to receiving the responses of those for whom the review process is already started!

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