We've upgraded the design and print of our Annual Report for 2017-2018. If you've not yet seen it you can read it here or ask us to send you a copy. We hope you enjoy the content and please let us know your feedback!
What a fantastic Messy Easter was enjoyed by everyone of all ages - as our photos show! That's the secret of Messy Church - it's all-age and all-fun! From games and songs, to building the Jerusalem arch and enjoying a picnic - it all happened at Messy Easter at St Tydfil's old parish church. Thank you to everyone who attended and to our fantastic Messy Team - we couldn't do it without you.
And don't miss our next event on Saturday 12th May 2-4pm - it's Messy Church does SCIENCE! See you there!
Fr Mark reflects on God's Vision for the parish...
Being a day filled with God it is hardly surprising that three clear things emerged from the parish vision day held at Margam Abbey on 10th February and led by Rev'd Dr Rhiannon Johnson.
First, for each and every person there was a much better understanding of the story of Isaiah and the way the people had gone into exile, and how God, through the prophet, had ministered to them there.
Second there was the journey to understand the different ways of being church. From the ark to the sheepfold via the ladder of perfection.
And finally, there was the story of Merthyr Tydfil from the days of Tydfil the Martyr to today.
These stories showed the faithfulness of God down through many centuries and helped us have an understanding of how His people’s relationship with Him and understanding of Him has developed.
Using this information, we decided that we wanted to be a ‘sheepfold’ church. Jesus said ‘I am the Good Shepherd and my sheep know me.’ All of them know me, not just the Priest in Charge. This means that all of us should be going in and out of the sheepfold doing God’s work. Like having 106 vicars and not just one. The other side of that coin is that although the Priest in Charge has a special job, he or she is only one amongst many.
A number of people already take on responsibilities in the church but each of us needs to encourage more people to help out, more people to witness. Each one feeling confident to share their faith in appropriate ways. At the end of the day, that’s all that Tydfil did and she has affected lives for many generations even if Merthyr has forgotten the story.
The ‘onwards’ part is looking to our structures and making sure they encourage the maximum participation by all. Looking to create opportunities where many with varied talents can exercise those talents. Making sure that we honour the history of this place and yet providing the Gospel message in a fresh way to new generations. I call it my Tesco Theology. Tesco opens new tills when it wants to get more people through. Each of us needs to find our part in getting another ‘till’ open and another cohort of new people relating to God.
We pray for our work together as we seek further understanding of God’s Vision for Merthyr Tydfil St David and Abercanaid.
We had a wonderful Vision day at Margam Abbey on 10th February with the Rev'd Dr Rhiannon Johnson. We listened to stories of God’s faithfulness, and thought about who we are as a parish and as a church. We enjoyed lunch together, provided by members of St Tydfil’s Well Church, before listening to ‘Our Story’. It was a very enjoyable and blessed day, more about our Parish Vision in next month's Highway magazine.
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!