It’s 2020 and the year of Pilgrimage in Llandaff Diocese in the Church in Wales. As such in the Deanery of Bridgend we have decided to let you see behind the scenes, so to speak, and come for a year long pilgrimage walk with us.
Tedi Su decided not to tag along with Rev Suz today – a funeral in the rain would mean one soggy bear. So instead, she thought she might begin to get ready for Sunday’s first All-Age Service. She began by looking at the different bible readings; the xylophone proved just too tempting though…
Popped around to visit Rev Maggie for a chat and give some blog tuition this afternoon and so the Teds got to meet Bridgend’s pilgrim bear Penny-Pere. I don’t know if it was the colour of Penny’s trousers or something else but they were positively taken with her.
It’s good to talk. It is really really good to talk. And so a handful of us gather together every few months to do just that under the wise guidance and care of retired Canon John Parkin and his wife Angie (The freeloader in the picture is the Area Dean of Margam who said she would cry if not allowed in the photo).
In one sense there is change all the time in church and in other ways there is nothing new really. So it’s good to chew the fat, so to speak, with other colleagues and retired colleagues who have been through all phases of life before you. There is nothing that does not seem better after a cup of coffee and a chat and a pray.
It’s been another busy day for Tedi Su as today she got to find out what it’s like preparing for occasional offices. From the baptism visit to preparing the service with a funeral in between, it’s been quite a hectic day! Right now, it’s time to prepare for another funeral tomorrow though.
Took the Teds along to see Steve at the local garage which is also one of our ‘magazine distribution centres.’ Steve is happy for us to leave a pile of magazines there each month for his customers to have a nose at while their cars are being worked on by his team.
It’s also a place I go regularly as I live in a multiple car family. I really wanted to be a mechanic when I was younger but life took me on a different path. Dreaming aside we sometimes need to know an ‘expert in the field’ in this life and I have taken many questions to Steve for his advice. As has he asked me a few things too.
A Ministry Review is a serious business but Tedi Su quietly sat in as the Archdeacon for Margam, the Venerable Mike Komor met with Rev Suz to have a chat about her first six months in Parish. Our photogenic bear couldn’t wait to snatch a shot with the Archdeacon though she did manage to wait until after the official business was finished!
Following a quiet day yesterday where Rev Suz was busy with all sorts of desk work and sick of hiding from the Vicarage cat, Tedi Su was glad to be out and about again today. She went back to St Bride’s for the midweek Eucharist and met some lovely new people. She thoroughly enjoyed taking part as everyone held hands to say the Grace together.
After the service, Tedi Su was mesmerised by the Crib – especially as there are so few days left before it is put away. What might have gone through this little bear’s head is anyone’s guess but she looked quite thoughtful on leaving the church. Perhaps she was wondering what it might have been like to have been in the manger alongside baby Jesus.
I believe that before you start anything in the real world you need to get down on your knees and pray to get God’s perspective and leading and insight and blessing. So we generally pray every time we gather as a church but also have other times of nothing but prayer. Once a month at each of the three churches in rotation we spend three hours praying.
The first hour we pray for the world, the second hour we pray for the United Kingdom and the third hour we pray for the locality. We stop on the hour for a cup of tea and a natter as I know I’d fall asleep otherwise – praying for long periods is not my forte.
The Teds came along with me to this months session which was in St Paul’s Heol-Y-Cyw. Three hours sounds such a long time but some people come for one hour others two and some for the whole session. It really does fly by faster than you think though. Maybe you could come give it a try?
It is becoming well known that diversity is a good thing and so the Teds came along to the Messy Church preparation meeting to increase the diversity of the already very diverse group. For over five years we have been running monthly Messy Church services and each one starts with the team gathering together two to three weeks before to plan what needs to be done before going off and making it happen.
The table full of food? Well we used to meet in the church but then decided it was better to meet in each others homes and then decided it would be good to have refreshments and then – lets just say each prep meeting has a party atmosphere. Sometimes there is wine too!