Low Sunday duties took me out to Llandough again for my first Eucharist of the day. The sun shone, bluebells and harebells were out in the churchyard and the primroses are still going strong. After the service, as seems to be customary, the congregation of a dozen was served with coffee and home made Welsh cakes. Sun streamed in through stained glass windows, and everyone seemed happy to be there. Such a delight.
Then I went north, and crossed the A48 highway to reach the village of Aberthin, for a Eucharist held twice monthly in the village hall. In former times the hall had been a Wesleyan chapel, but it had been bought and developed for social activities by the local community association. A pre-school play group runs there on weekday mornings, the village pantomime is held there in the winter, and numerous other groups meet there, including the Parish congregation.
The hall is laid out decently with church furnishings normally stowed away in a cupboard between times. Again, a dozen people attended, although I was told this was half of what it was a few years ago, when there was a priest living in the local Rectory. Apparently their organist had died a few weeks ago. I don't think they much felt like signing, but I led them unaccompanied in a few cheery Eastertide hymns. It's planned that the new team Vicar will move in to the Rectory in the summer, so there are high hopes that he will take a pastoral interest in helping the congregation to grow again.
I returned home for lunch a little later than usual, having chatted longer than intended with people after the Aberthin service. Later I went to visit a family preparing for the funeral on Tuesday of a thirty three year old son who'd died of cancer. He'd spent his last years in England, but was being brought home for funeral and burial where his large extended family could more conveniently mourn his loss. Two funerals for me within a week, and both with the same funeral directors. An unusual co-incidence, now that I'm only on the list for casual occasional offices.