Sunday, 13 September 2015

In the steps of St Beuno

Went to the Nefyn village store early to get some sugar and a Sunday newspaper, to learn of Jeremy Corbyn's victory in the Labour leadership election. The tabloids disgraced themselves as ever with their expressions of ill-will in catchy headlines and copy. They've been sniping for weeks, aided and abetted by establishment politicians fearful of losing their grip on the reins of power. Thousands of people have ignored the messages projected by media moguls, to elect Corbyn. I don't much like all of his policies, but he is a decent straightforward man and a radical politician. The vote in his favour is an impressive act of contempt toward to powerful elite of manipulators who have controlled the British mass media for generations. Where do we go from here I wonder?

I found the Parish Church of Dewi Sant in the village, advertising an eleven o'clock service, so I returned for breakfast then came back with Clare to attend the service. It was led by the lay Reader and in the absence of the Vicar, it was Ministry of the Word with Communion by Extension. One priest looking after nine churches, and a group of churches struggling to come to terms with the need to re-shape its offering of services so that one priest and one active lay reader could cope. 

Before the service there was a report on recent meetings held to try and establish a new pattern of services and pastoral revision. Many things are as yet unresolved, people are reluctant to change their worship habits. Thankfully Bishop Andy is not enthusiastic about church closures, but rather looking for fresh ways to ensure they stay in use as assets to aid church growth. But there's no doubt that more ministerial support and leadership is required, even just to make effective change happen. Nine small worshipping groups in small communities in a large rural area that gets lots of visitors. It's a tough challenge indeed, as it is elsewhere across the Province.

After the service and a bit more shopping, we returned, then went for a walk along the coast path, as far as the lovely church of St Deiniol, foundation dating back to the time of the saint himself in the sixth century. This was one of several churches he founded in North Wales. It's on the old pilgrims' route to Ynys Enlli – Bardsey – the island of ten thousand saints, a the end of the peninsula. This was a popular enough route a thousand years ago, for there to be hospices in the area, serving both hale and hearty travellers and the sick. There was a lepers' hospice and the north side of the chancel has a lepers' window. 

The present building dates back to the 11-12th century, and has a beautiful round font carved with celtic knot work, that must be at least nine hundred years old, if not older, like the one in Patricio which I visited earlier in the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment