UNITED PARISH of SOUTH WEST GOWER
Comprising St Cattwg’s, Port Eynon; St Mary’s, Rhossili;
St David’s, Llanddewi; St Illtyd’s, Oxwich; St George’s, Reynoldston; St Andrew’s, Penrice; and St Taurin’s, Knelston.
Facebook: Parish of Southwest Gower
OCTOBER Worship and Meeting times on Zoom
Sundays at 10.15/10.30am Worship with hymns
Wednesdays at 9.30am Holy Communion
at 2.30pm Prayer Study Group
Thursdays at 10am Methodist Chapel Prayer Meeting
Fridays at 10.30am Coffee Morning
We thank Revd. Justin for leading/co-ordinating/delivering etc the Zoom activities above. We should also like to thank Peter Davies for all his work each week in preparation for our virtual worship.
At the recent South West Gower Annual Vestry Meeting Peter was also warmly and gratefully thanked for all his work as Treasurer for many years in South West Gower but also for his contribution to the Ministry Area and Diocese. This is a very large act to follow but we are delighted that Caroline Johnson has agreed to become the Parish Treasurer.
Sunday October 4th at 3pm Llandewi Church is proposing to hold an open-air Harvest Thanksgiving Service in Llandewi Castle Farm yard.
Unfortunately due to new restrictions in mid-September the Harvest Thanksgiving Service planned for Sunday 27th September has had to be cancelled.
At the recent PCC meeting Rev. Justin said that he was very conscious of the needs of those not online and who miss not being in a church building with others for services and private prayer. In spite of the uncertain future, it was important to develop a mixed economy of real and virtual worship. It was agreed after discussion to hold a service at 9.am in a different church each week on the four Sundays in October for approx 30 to 40 minutes before the weekly Zoom time. Oxwich, Port Eynon, Reynoldston and Rhossili were proposed and each church would be asked to agree or not to this proposal for live worship. Trace and track would be necessary to identify everyone in the building.
The recent PCC meeting also agreed to invite those who usually support the May Plant Sale to make a donation to the Welsh Refugee Council of the money they could have spent at this year’s cancelled Sale – on baking or buying cakes, other stalls and raffle - to add to the plant sales proceeds.
We all send our good wishes and prayers for Revd Justin as he takes over as Gower Ministry Area Leader on October 1st. We look forward to his continuing leadership and care of us and to the other parishes in Gower being able to share our good fortune in his ministry. At the same time we thank Revd Peter Brooks for all his work and support as Ministry Area Leader, particularly during our Interregnum, and we are pleased that he is not retiring from his parish yet!
REPORTS FROM THE CHURCHES
St David’s, Llanddewi
Repairs to the damaged memorial stone have been completed very beautifully by Philip Chatfield. The monument safely back on the wall, and the writing on the inscription is clearly visible. It is a joy and inspiration to read - paying tribute to Anne Shaftesbury Phillips, (wife of a Vicar of the parish and niece of Bishop Horsely, formerly Bishop of the Diocese), and her life of faith in the Lord.
We are most grateful to the Gower Society for awarding a grant to cover the cost of the repairs and reinstatement of the monument, in addition to covering the cost of earlier floor repairs.
We are hoping to hold an outdoor Harvest celebration service in Llanddewi Castle Farm farmyard on 4 October at 3.00 pm, and are planning for it. Any service will involve strict Covid regulations, sadly limiting attendance numbers. More information will be given via Zoom or newsletter once plans are more certain.
On-line facility has served us well in bringing us together on-line, and we thank those who facilitate this. New ideas and opportunities are being found through the changed circumstances to gathering corporately again.
We wish Ioan Jeffreys a good recovery, and hold friends and family who are unwell in our thoughts and prayers.
St Illtyd’s, Oxwich.
The Rev. Justin is currently taking a well earned break so Worship Leaders are filling the breach. At the first of these services in Oxwich on Sunday 13th September, I was pleased to lead as Worship Leader with several other Oxwich members taking part – Peter and Jean Davies, David Workman and Alan Glass. Happily this went without a hitch thanks to the Zoom expertise of Anne and David Pope. We are very pleased that they have a holiday home in the village and are regular members of our congregation, on occasions leading our services here.
We will be having our first wedding in the church in early October with all the required care and social distancing.
These are very uncertain times and they might even be called stormy. The situation keeps changing all the time and the limitations are different in each country of the United Kingdom and so difficult to comprehend. There are many accounts of ‘stormy’ times in the Bible both literal and metaphoric . We could do with some divine intervention now though there have been positive outcomes of Covid such as the development of a community spirit and numerous individual acts of kindness
It looks as though normality will not be achieved for quite some time but in the meantime we keep contact as best we can and have found new and varied ways to worship our Lord.
St Andrew’s, Penrice
Another quiet month for St. Andrew’s as the visitors gradually leave the area to return to work or school.
All good wishes to Lazlo Pazmany who is in hospital in Shropshire. Lazlo and his partner, Sue Singleton, have been regular attenders at St.Andrew’s in normal times and had planned to marry here in October. We hope that it won’t be too long before we see them again.
Cathy Dorran raised £750 from her sale of plants in May. Well done, Cathy, and thank you for all your hard work growing the plants, selling them and collecting the proceeds. The money raised is going towards the Welsh Refugee Fund. Many will remember representatives visiting last year which brought home the sadness and anxieties that the refugees have to cope with when arriving in a new country.
We have all appreciated having the Church Magazine back in its original form - so much easier to read and enjoy.
St Cattwg’s, Port Eynon
Most of our churches must be finding it hard to supply any news of their activities as the lockdown drags on; however, Justin gave us a hint of hope recently that some form of service may be available in church before too long (latest Senedd decrees permitting). We would still have to space out and receive Communion in one kind only, but it will be great to see our fellow-worshippers face to face, even at a distance. It is still hoped to celebrate Harvest Festival, probably out-of-doors.
Many people hope that singing will be allowed soon, as scientists have decreed that it is no more dangerous than talking and we normally all face the same way when singing.
Please continue to pray for Paul Carman after his gruelling operation and for Nova Hearne, facing weeks of treatment.
Justin and family will be back from their short break by the time this magazine comes out, but we all trust they have had a restful time; Justin will be taking on the leadership of the Ministry Area as well as all the hard and unfamiliar work of coping with the covid situation.
The Council has done a good job of clearing out the ditch running past the churchyard wall, which has been overgrown as never before after all the sun and rain of the summer. Pity they haven’t extended their efforts to repairing the huge pot-hole in the road, which has been there a full year.
St George’s, Reynoldston
We were delighted that the wedding of Megan Fisher and Robin Lawrence took place in St Georges on the 5th September. A group of friends, many from the Chapel, clapped and cheered as the bride arrived with her father, Rob while the bridegroom was inside the church helping guests to find their allocated seats. The Service was simple and relaxed but moving and it was very uplifting to see the church being used for worship and celebration again.
We are disappointed that it was decided in these uncertain times to cancel the planned Parish Harvest Service in Reynoldston Hall but we hope that there may be actual worship in St George’s on one of the Sundays in October. Although there is no village Harvest Supper this year we still plan to organize the annual Harvest collection of food to send to the Salvation Army. This year we would like to invite anyone from the other five churches in the parish to give as well, if they are not already supporting other organizations at this time. Throughout October, tinned goods and long-life packages such as rice or pasta can be left in the porch of St Georges if you would like to contribute and help the Salvation Army.
We are sorry that Claire Dinsdale has moved from the village, leaving a large gap in our church where she was a Eucharistic Assistant and valuable contributor to our music life. Above all she was a good friend and great support to anyone ill and suffering, not only in the church but also in the village, often calling after a long day’s work to check on progress. We miss Claire but wish her well in her new home and very much hope she keeps in touch. Our thoughts are with those we know or the relatives of others, who are recovering or receiving treatment for serious illnesses. We especially think of Helena Wilkinson, Lily Vine, Howard Davies and Angharad, daughter of Heather and Anthony Snow and pray for their progress.
St Mary’s, Rhossili'
Greetings from St Mary’s to all our church members and friends in Rhossili. Though the church is closed we remain in contact with each other through neighbourly garden visits, phone calls, WhatsApp, Zoom services and Revd Justin’s regular newsletters. This month we congratulate Cathy Dorran of Horton who, on her own, collected more than £750 by the sale of the seedlings because of the cancellation of the May Plant Sale. Now we are asking everyone who would have been involved in baking cakes for the day, or would normally have bought raffle tickets or crafts, to perhaps top up this amount now with a small contribution to further boost Cathy’s amazing achievement. If you’d like to give a little, please get in touch with Gill Wales or Caroline Johnson. So schools are back, sunflowers are gone, families have reunited, visitors have retreated, and covid-19 cases are rising again across Britain. St Mary’s opened in August for a wedding, and will do so again for a baptism in September. Discussions about re-opening the churches are ongoing, and we hope for a socially distanced united coming-together for Harvest. In Rhossili, those for whom Zoom services haven’t been possible, may welcome an opportunity for a short communion service at St Mary’s in October – we are trying to arrange it. If you haven’t been able to give your weekly collection during the last few months, please do consider making a donation to the Church to help meet regular costs and maintenance of the building and graveyard as well as our monthly ‘ministry share’ contribution.
We wish everybody a happy, healthy and enjoyable Autumn season.
Roger Button/ Caroline Johnson
P S. Congratulations from everyone at St Mary’s to Roger and Eira Button who celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary on 25th September. CJ
Rev Justin Davies
©The Parish of South West Gower is part of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in the Church in Wales