Epiphany is here already. Here's a look back at Christingle and the Crib service to remind us of our young people and the wonder of Christmas. Happy New Year everyone!
It was a privilege to have our new Bishop, Bishop June, to visit us on Wednesday 15th November. We had a delightful evensong at St Tydfil's old parish church, where our choir led with their now accustomed musicality and enthusiasm. Bishop June preached sharing her confidence in a God who is incredibly generous and, from the story in Matthew of the feeding of the 4000, a God who will provide the resources necessary to grow His kingdom today. We look forward to her next visit to Merthyr - hopefully in the daylight!
Thank you so much to everyone who took part in our Animal Service at St Tydfil's old parish church on Sunday 8th October. Not only were we blessed with beautiful Autumn sunshine, but we had lots of adults and children who brought their animals to be blessed, and a lovely petting zoo and owls as well.
Thank you very much to Hayden from Nant-Y-Coed Farm in Ynysybwl for bringing his donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens and rabbits and Alan from Owls 4 U in Barry for bringing three beautiful owls. And thanks as always to Elaine, Liz and the other ladies for the tea and cakes.
Hello! I’m Charlotte Rushton and I’m so proud and happy to be curate in the Parish of Merthyr Tydfil, my home town. This is me and some of the young people at Messy Church last Saturday (23 September 2017) in our ‘Messy Selfie’ photo at St Tydfil’s old parish church. I say ‘some’, because a fair few youngsters, and their parents, were still making toffee apples at the back of the church! ‘Toffee apples’ I hear you say, ‘Why toffee apples in church?’ Well, we spent the afternoon thanking God for the harvest; and as part of our celebration we made messy things like toffee apples, pinecone bird feeders, seed art, autumnal name plaques, and many other crafts.
But this wasn’t a quiet, calm service by any means. We kicked off with parachute games before crafts, and then the black team and the orange team had a race to see who could fill their team bucket with the most apples by carrying them under their chin. The youngsters were brilliant, not an apple was dropped! It ended in a draw, but next time…
The action didn’t stop there, we had some high-octane worship with action songs, and of course our Messy Anthem, Jesus you’re my Superhero. I love storytelling, and I shared the story of Our Superhero’s amazing picnic, where Jesus showed us that by trusting God, amazing things can happen… like feeding over 5,000 people with just two fish and five loaves of bread! While we were jumping around, singing and dancing, the Mams and Dads enjoyed a nice cuppa and a chat.
This Messy wasn’t just celebrating the harvest. We also gave thanks for and celebrated the newest members of the Church. Those who were baptised in the parish over the past few months received their baptism candle and certificate. This was a very special time, and we are all looking forward to watching the children grow and getting to know our amazing Jesus better.
As usual, Messy church was full of energy, glitter, building, singing, praising, storytelling and laughter for all the family, regardless of their age. I’d love to see you at our next Messy Church – Messy Christingle between 2-4pm, on Saturday, 23 December 2017. Get into the Christmas mood with all of us here. I can promise you one thing… it will be Messy!!!!
This photograph of David G Thomas, organist of Llandaff cathedral, with our own Dr Chris Wilkinson and Fr Mark Prevett, really sums up the wonderful recital David gave on Friday 28 July, full of firm favourites, special treats and lively anecdotes. It was the last of our Summer Organ Recitals at St David’s parish church and was a truly lovely afternoon, with marvellous music, fine food, good wine and lashings of homemade lemonade. Over £750 was raised on Friday – thank you everyone and thanks again to our recitalists, Emma Gibbons, Stephen Moore and David, who all showed the organ at its best. Thanks also to the lovely ladies who provided the food; to our sponsors, David Crandon, Undertaker, Merthyr Tydfil; Harp Funeral Services, Merthyr Tydfil, and St David's Church Choir. Also thanks to the hundreds of people who came to listen to the music and who generously gave well over £2,500 over the three recitals, in aid of our organ repair fund. We are all feeling truly thankful.
We had a fantastic time at Caper Creations Messy Church at St Tydfil's old parish church last Saturday 8th July. One of the highlights was a lively rendition of 'Jesus is our Superhero' complete with actions and dance moves! It's such a catchy tune, you can enjoy it here on Youtube. We also heard the story of the Creation and did lots of activities including making (and eating!) food, planting sunflowers, colouring, face painting and mask making - phew! Things were so fast moving that our trusty photographer and her camera couldn't keep up so the photos are a bit blurrier than usual, oops.
Thank you to everyone who took part and made it such a special occasion, and especially to our lovely ladies who work so hard to make things happen! Our next Messy Church - 'Messy Harvest' - is on Saturday 23rd September from 2 to 4pm and everyone is welcome to join us. See you there!
What a weekend! The sun shone, the bubbles popped, the glasses chinked and a great time was had by all who attended the Parish Champagne Tea party at St Tydfil's Church on Saturday afternoon. It was a sell out event and in having so much fun £500 was raised for the Welsh Air Ambulance as well. Thanks go to those who organised the party and then served us so well on the afternoon.
And that was only the half of it as on the Friday we were blessed with a magnificent organ recital at St David's by Stephen Moore from Llandaff Cathedral. We realised nearly £600 for the organ fund so thank you to everyone who attended and to those who organised the refreshments and crafts.
What a delight to welcome Charlotte Rushton, our new curate, and her husband, Craig, and daughter, Grace, to the parish yesterday. A full weekend of celebrations were had with her ordination as a deacon the previous day at Llandaff Cathedral. Thank you as always ladies for the wonderful spread at St Tydfil's and the beautiful cake.
If you haven't already met Charlotte I'm sure you will in the next few days as she starts her work in this parish, and when you do you will meet someone who is full of passion for Merthyr and its people. Please pray for Charlotte and her family, especially for the speedy resolution to the housing situation.
Looking forward to the future and our mission in this place.
What a week it has been! Today, Wednesday, is a special birthday for Fr John, and we celebrated yesterday at St David's with eucharist followed by a fantastic buffet lunch. It was good to see so many visitors from Rhymney, Barry, Nottingham and France. John received a new Kindle so we might get him on to Facebook yet! And a peal was rung in Scotland by members of the Llandaff and Monmouth association of church bellringers who are on their Summer tour, to commemorate John’s 70th too. Many happy returns John and have a great holiday.
In addition we are still celebrating last Friday's wonderful organ recital at St David's, which has now raised over £1000 towards the organ fund. The recital was given by Dr Emma Gibbins of Newport Cathedral and it was a joy to listen to her. Thank you Emma, from your friends in Merthyr Tydfil. Diolch also to Nancy, Elizabeth and Lynda for the fundraising cards, bags, key rings and organ pipes, and to the ladies of the Quar for the lovely lunches. Our next recital is on Friday 30 June, do join us!
Fr Mark writes: The history of St Tydfil’s Church in Merthyr is a long one with many chapters. Since coming here nearly four years ago it has been a great joy to see new chapters in that history being written. On Sunday evening we saw another chapter started with the introduction of a tabernacle in which the ‘Blessed Sacrament’ can be reserved. This also means that there will now be a regular eucharistic service at St Tydfil’s. Initially this will be on a Saturday evening at 6pm. Christ has, of course, always been present in Merthyr, but this tangible sign, for all those who visit St Tydfil’s for whatever reason, emphasises His ever present journey with us all.
Thank you to Archdeacon Christopher Smith for blessing the tabernacle and to Mrs Elaine Fisher, the donor. The photograph above shows Fr John Hughes, Fr Mark Prevett, Mrs Elaine Fisher and Archdeacon Christopher.