Pam Pasg? / Why Easter
Holy Week 12 - 20th April 2014
Llanbadarn Fawr Deanery invited Through Faith Missions to lead a Holy Week mission this year. This gave us the opportunity to team up with ordinands from Trinity College, Bristol, and also one ordinand from St Michael’s Llandaff in Cardiff – Mark – who is actually coming to be curate in nearby Aberaeron this summer. We had a team of about 25 in total, working to one degree or another with 24 of the 25 churches in the deanery. This was broken down into the following teams / areas:
Aberystwyth Town Centre
Early in the week there was survey work in Morrison's supermarket; over 150 people surveyed, some prayed for, and one event from this – at a care home for those with disabilities. There were a couple of very good Welsh-language events from the church of St Mair; Emma Whittick hosted one & realised how far her Welsh language has come since Taith Dewi Sant. John Hibberd preached at the Good Friday march of witness in the town centre.
St Anne’s has a tremendous presence in the community & lives up to the sign on its building. The team there had some fantastic events, including some at its associated country parish church. One of the highlights of the mission was the Narnia themed evening around the Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Over 90 people were present (70 or so were guests, not church members). The hall had been prepared to make this a wonderful experience including a 6’ origami dragon.
Llandre / Llangorwen / Talybont
These churches were participating in this kind of mission for the first time & had some great encouragements. A community survey in Llangorwen has yielded a whole host of contacts to follow up. The quiz night was full and also had a good ‘Any Questions’ slot at half-time, which I shared with the vicar and a talented team member from Trinity. Some of these churches are part of the new Heritage Trail (see below).
Borth / Eglyws Fach / Taliesin
The donkey processions at each church on Palm Sunday set the ball rolling on the week with a bang; people at Borth told us later in the week how encouraged they were by the additional families this attracted. Eglyws Fach, a church associated with the poet & priest RS Thomas, had a Christian Passover Seder meal for the first time that attracted 24 people – a huge number for a small congregation. As in other communities, people responded to the gospel in 1-to-1 visits on the doors too.
There was a service at the crematorium for those who had been bereaved; this drew in people from church, chapel, and no religious affiliation. The crematorium staff and the minister leading the service handled the whole thing with great sensitivity and it was a privilege to preach & give them something to remember the hope that comes from Jesus’ resurrection. Easter Eve took in a large number of churches on the Heritage Trail (which opens officially in June); numbers on this were small but it should provide an opportunity for witness and welcome, including tourism evangelism over the coming years.
Quote of the week!!
‘'What a week! All I've heard from every quarter has been positive’ Rev Canon Stuart Bell, Area Dean