Christmas 2017

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Saint Johns Methodist Church



Congregation     Celebrate Christmas 2017     God please show me


Issue 2017       



We've had a lot going on over the summer, our usual open church at St John's and holiday club at St David's for example. But this summer will always stand out for me as being the summer that Gwyneth died - Gwyneth, lay worker at St David's, known and loved by many. I was her manager, yes, but I was also her colleague, and more importantly, she was my friend. I will miss her terribly. So will we all.

What will St David's do now she has gone? We will have to adjust, that's for sure. Gwyneth did so many things, she kept her eyes and ears open and did what needed to be done when nobody else had thought of it. She kept her eyes and ears open for jobs needing doing and more importantly still, she kept them open to people in need, people needing a visit, a helping hand, and she provided it. How will we manage without her? Well, we will. We are grieving, yes, but we are also strong. We know what we're about and we will keep doing it, for the glory of God. Please pray for us as we work out how to manage the future work at St David's.

Meanwhile, St John's organ has been "put down." A commissioned report confirmed that it was no longer fit for purpose and we are working on getting the necessary agreements and grants to enable us to replace it with a modern high quality digital organ. We are fund-raising and will be holding a gift day on 15th October. Please pray that we find the resources to enable us to provide the quality of music in worship that we want to for the glory of God.

We are also going for planning permission for a development to connect the hall side of the premises to the church sanctuary via a welcome area,
in order to provide better facilities, hospitality and a link to the sanctuary. We want to be as accessible and available as possible to the people who pass by on the busy high street of Llandudno.

That's a lot to be thinking about for both churches. And one thing I am hoping to enhance is our working together. Both churches have so many skills and resources but they are not the same as each other. If we can better complement one another both churches will benefit.

As you can see, my thinking is "start of year" thinking. And it is the start of the Methodist year, Harvest too. I hope and pray that this year will be fruitful for us all as we seek to fulfil God's mission to our town.

Rev Bev.


Gwyneth in her own words

I was born on Wed, 19 April 1961 six weeks prematurely. Mum and Dad were thrilled to have a daughter and called me Gwyneth.

Ours was a loving family and I spent my early years on the poultry farm at Longton, near Preston in Lancashire: helping Dad collect eggs, playing on my 3-wheel trike in my dungarees and walking around the garden with my ‘baby’ Silver Cross pram. Mum and I would go off in an afternoon on the back of the bike singing songs etc around the country lanes.

Across the way from the farm over the field was Uncle Roy and Aunty Margaret with Lesley, their daughter. There was only 6 months between our ages. I would go and play with Lesley at her house with our Teeny Tiny Tears and Tiny Tears dolls. We had crimplene hot pants – I had a blue pair and Lesley had a pink pair. After lunch, we got some money and cycled on our bikes down to the shop on the corner to buy penny sweets and then cycle back. Happy memories.

Our holidays for many years were spent in Scarborough at the Methodist Guest House on North Parade although one of my first holidays was spent in Llandudno. We also had shared holidays with Mum’s Cousin Wilfred and Margaret and their four children, Clive, Anne, David and Ruth who were living in Deal, Kent. I remember being up early in the morning being woken with a wet flannel on my face, having breakfast, preparing a picnic for the day out and off by 9 a.m.! We returned home to tea, bath and bed by 9pm. I made many protestations of not being able to sleep because of night lights but to little avail. Happy holidays altogether and again many memories.

We moved from the farm to the village of New Longton, also near Preston, when I was 4-yrs old, one year before I started school at New Longton All Saints CofE Primary School, where Mum taught. The house in New Longton was a 4-bedroom house next to the Post Office and two doors away from the Methodist Church which we already attended. I attended Sunday School and when I got to 11-yrs old I went into the choir along with Dad, Cousins and Uncles. I was crowned Sunday School Queen for a year in my early teens – a proud moment for the family.

I enjoyed Penwortham Secondary School, as it was then called, and took part in after-curricular activities especially hockey. I tended to panic at school exams but got through to be admitted to the National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) 2-year course at Tuson College, Preston. I really enjoyed the Nursery Nursing course and met Sue together with many good friends, Jane being one of them. I was a bridesmaid when she married Paul. They now have three children and I am Godmother to Hannah. After I qualified, I went to work for the National Children’s Home at Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, in a residential home as a house-mother. There are many tales that I could retell of outings, holidays, etc.

It was a happy environment to work in and I met Sue from Cheshire and we have been long-time friends ever since. During this time, I met Shaun and we started going out. On the 31st May 1986 we got married in New Longton and I left the NCH. As Shaun had a job with North Wales Police, we moved to Rhos-on-Sea. Four years later we moved to Hawarden, Flintshire as he had taken a bigger job with Merseyside Police. He travelled to Liverpool and I travelled every day to Colwyn Bay for my school work. While at Hawarden I met and became good friends with Richard and Jayne and am Godmother to their two girls, Ruth and Catrin. Sadly, however, the marriage broke down on Shaun’s part and I went through a particularly difficult divorce. With support of friends and family I stayed in North Wales and moved to Penrhyn Bay.

Living in Penrhyn Bay, I joined the Colwyn Bay Choral Society and enjoyed performing in the Easter and Christmas concerts each year. I also joined the Colwyn Bay Operatic Society and made good friends with Sue and Geoff. There was also a very tall man in the Chorus… named Ian. We were friends for many years going out with a group from the Operatic Society on social occasions, doing shows, etc., until we decided to go out as a ‘couple’ some 16 years ago. We have seen each other most weekends, been on some fun holidays and just been ‘together’. I know this is very hard for him but he will be upheld and supported by many.

When Mum came to retire she bought a lovely Apartment on the front at Colwyn Bay and so we were near to each other but far enough away from each other to keep our independence although I saw her every day.

I have been at St Joseph’s for nearly 30 years and it has been the most happy of schools and work environments. It is a great support network and my work experience has been enhanced by the colleagues I have worked alongside.

I, too, have enjoyed my time as a Lay-worker at St David’s. It has involved mainly pastoral work but I have enjoyed waiting alongside people in their needs and being involved in the many other jobs that I have taken up.

Although my family are very dispersed it has been lovely to keep in touch with Denis, Jennifer, Tracey, Simon, James, Samantha and Alexander. Also, twice a year, to visit Cousins around the Preston area. My dear brother has loved me since I was born. We had the same father but mum was step-mum to Denis. I know we were loved dearly by both as was Jennifer and the grand-children. Thank you to you all for your love and support and I know this is not easy for you to bear but we have to think of our Heavenly Father and what plans he has for us and to know that he is with us now and always.

I was brought up to be kind, thoughtful and loving to others with a happy outlook on life and fun loving, and have always tried to live my life in that way with my Christian values at the forefront. Our Heavenly Father has been a big part of my life through trials and tribulations but He has always put me back on the path. ‘Where I lead, you shall follow’ - may that be true as I go on my next journey in the life ever after.



The Colour Run

On Sunday 10th September 29 brave souls met on West Shore beach to take on the challenge of the St. Davids Hospice Colour Run.

The 5k race is an annual event to raise much needed funds for the ongoing amazing work of the hospice. Each person had their own reasons for doing the race, people they wanted to remember, but as a group, we were there in memory of our friend Gwyneth, who so recently passed away after being cared for in her final weeks by the wonderful staff at the hospice.

We were excited, pumped up and looking fit for a washing powder ad in our white clothes as we headed over en masse to register and get our dye packs. And then the fun began! We shook coloured powder all over each other, laughed lots at our appearance and started a time of great fellowship.

After a short warm up, which some did better than others, we headed down to the start line. And we ran.....Sort of. Well, the youth did a fantastic job of showing how it should be done. Well done Timmy, Bethany, Jack, Matthew and Emma. Then the families proudly crossed the line. Then came the chatty, slightly older gang. But wait......With 100m to go, the final group back decided to jog over the finishing line.

And then someone decided to show his true racing potential!!!! He lifted his walking stick in the air and sprinted leaving us all standing. So funny and amazing to see. Run Colin, Run!!!!

After that display of Olympic standards the only thing left to do was have an ice cream. A fab day all round. Everyone was so smiley. Great fellowship had by all. Sue Weir.




So, what’s all this about?

18 months ago at St David’s we launched a partnership project with Mafinga Parish in Tanzania to support each other. Tanzania is a much poorer country than ours and so far we have raised funds of nearly £2,500 which have helped them, in particular, to start building a new church, at Kinyanambo, an outlying village set up an ambitious poultry and agricultural business in Mafinga itself, providing funds for their outreach activities and also much needed employment for local young people (the Chicken Project).

We support each other in prayer (our Mission Team is in constant touch with Mafinga by email and they often send us photos showing how their projects are developing and “You tube” clips of their singing and dancing in worship services).

In February this year, on their behalf, Bishop Matthew Mhagama of S.W. Tanganyika and his wife visited us while he was here in the UK and worshipped with us. In June Rev Mike and Roz Harrison visited Mafinga and saw how successful the Chicken Project is. They were struck by how outward-looking the churches are in their thinking of others in time of need and in what they hope to achieve in the future and assure us any fundraising we do here at St David’s will be put to excellent use.

Our friends in Mafinga itself are always expressing their thanks for our support and have sent us gifts of dark wooden elephant candlesticks, an elephant bowl, an African cloth and a dark wooden chalice. The joy and enthusiasm which they express both for the spreading of the gospel message and giving practical help to their communities really inspires us.

So what about CARROTS & POTATOES AT KITELEWASI? Kitelewesi is another of their outstations and they have started there a “farm” project to grow carrots and potatoes for the community with profits raised providing another source of income for their church activities. Another outlying village within their parish, Mapogoro, is so poor that last year they started to send them, when they could, second hand shoes and clothes. They are now hoping to start a project to help orphan and vulnerable children in that area.

So, what now?
It is harvest time again and you will remember that last year our harvest activities included a Jazz Concert given by Rydal Penrhos Jazz Band to raise funds for the Chicken Project which is now well established. This year’s harvest funds are also going to Mafinga and again it is for a specific project. St Andrew’s, the new church at Kinyanambo which they started building last year and which the first funds we raised went towards, is an ongoing project and they are still, as they say, “collecting trips of bricks” as and when they can afford to do so. They are currently “raising the walls” and we have decided to send the money we raise at harvest this year as a further contribution for this. They say that any funds we can raise “will sure give them a new hope to finish the building this year” and that our contribution, whatever it is, is “great news”.

Our Harvest Celebrations begin on the evening of Saturday 30 September when we shall have an” all age” get together to celebrate our link with Mafinga and we hope this will be an evening of fun and laughter as we relax and chat with friends.. At the time of writing our plans are being developed but will include

A “Mafinga Meal” which surely has to include eggs and/or chickens?
Activities - perhaps a Tanzanian Fun Quiz - singing a Tanzanian chorus - team games (e.g. building lego bricks, perhaps a church, might be appropriate, or, Hunt the Chickens - not live ones, honestly!) - watching “You tube” clips from Mafinga? Whatever, we shall enjoy ourselves!


On Sunday 1 October we shall have our Harvest Thanksgiving Services and the evening service will include Holy Communion.

Finally, a piece of really good news. In the Methodist Prayer Handbook for 2017/18 you will find that the entries for day 8 include a prayer for our partnership with Mafinga Parish which means that throughout the whole period from September this year to August next year the projects we are supporting there will be upheld in prayer throughout the UK.

Great - Prayer changes things !

St David’s Mission Team: (Kathryn, Elizabeth, Jodie & Jack)




For many years I have been out of contact with my eldest Grandson. This has been a source of great sorrow for me, but, like the rest of my Grandchildren I have kept him in my prayers. On his birthday this year I sent him birthday wishes through a family member who I thought might know where he was. To my amazement I was suddenly in voice contact with my precious Grandson. It might take a decade for your prayers to be answered but NEVER, EVER GIVE UP....ON GOD.

When you are tempted to think you aren't good enough for God, remember, we aren't. God is good enough for us. Sue Harwood.

Your choice: One beautiful Sunday morning, a minister announced to his congregation: ‘My good people, I have here in my hands three sermons...a £100 sermon that lasts five minutes, a £50 sermon that lasts fifteen minutes, and a £10 sermon that lasts a full hour. "Now, we'll take the collection and see which one I'll deliver.’



Why is 31st October so special this year?

Yes we all know this date is Hallowe’en (short for All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve) but what about 31st October 2017? Here’s a clue. It is lawfully recognized in parts of Germany, Slovenia and even Chile! In addition, countries like Switzerland and Austria refer to it in laws pertaining to Protestant churches. Its importance in Germany can be confirmed by my wife who recently visited Wittenburg where there are huge celebrations this year.

Wittenburg? This is where on 31st October 1517, Martin Luther struck the metaphorical match which set European Christianity ablaze. The Protestant Reformation began here. Without it there would be no Anglican church (begun by Henry VIII in 1534), no Baptists (1609 Amsterdam, John Smyth), no Methodists (18th century John Wesley), no Presbyterians (theologically rooted in the Reformer John Calvin of Geneva), and so on through the wide range of Protestant denominations; we would all be Roman Catholics. So, on 31st October 2017 we celebrate the great Reformation and 500 years of Protestantism. But how did it start?

Firstly, Martin Luder (as it would have been written) was born on Nov.10th 1483 into a new sort of family – the commercial middle class. His father Hans was a successful businessman who owned a copper mine and had become relatively wealthy. They were part of the social novelty which we would call middle class – literate, informed, educated, economically strong, confident and not dependent on the aristocracy for their survival. The middle class questioned, challenged traditions and even abolished them. For example, in Zurich in the late 1490’s, the new mercantile class replaced the traditional aristocratic government with a Great Council of 200 city fathers chosen for life by the merchant guilds. In other great cities there was the same climate of change – a new social order was emerging. The Medieval world was passing; the Renaissance was here.

Secondly, the local clergy were often illiterate, having to memorise the words of the Latin mass, whereas literacy in the middle class soared in the later 1400’s. This meant the “laity” could spot errors where the priest’s memory failed, and therefore they were increasingly critical of their clergy. To make matters worse, whereas the laity had to pay taxes on their earnings, the clergy were often exempted from all forms of taxation. Many educated laity resented the distinction between “sacred” and “secular” which implied that the clergy enjoyed a closer relationship with God than they did. Luther’s doctrine of the priesthood of all believers would find fertile soil here.

Thirdly, the laity had good reasons for complaining about the church from top to bottom. The Renaissance papacy was preoccupied with social status, wealth, political power. For example, Pope Alexander VI, a member of the rich and powerful Borgia family (lethal dinner parties!), bribed his way to being elected pope in 1492 despite having several mistresses and seven known illegitimate children. Dukes often appointed their family members to bishoprics e.g. Duke Amadeus III of Savoy ensured his 8-year-old son became bishop of Geneva in 1451. Little did he know that this abuse of power would pave the way for the Reformer John Calvin to take over the city in 1555.

Fourthly, in the 1300’s, a movement began in Italy which spread across what we now call Europe, and reached its peak in the 1500’s – the Renaissance. It was a call to renew present culture by resurrecting the cultural legacy of the past – the glories of ancient Rome and Greece. This movement was named Humanism and its basic method can be summed up in the Latin slogan ad fontes – back to the sources! Most humanists of this era were Christians (what a contrast with today!) They were concerned for the renewal and reform of the church based on ad fontes - return to the original Greek and Hebrew texts instead of relying on the Latin Vulgate produced by Jerome in the 4th century. Given the run-down corrupt state of the church, the humanists asked, “Could the vitality and simplicity of the Apostolic church be regained?” This powerful inspirational vision captured the imagination of ordinary lay people, and scholars. Those wanting to advance the Renaissance therefore pursued the study of Greek, Hebrew and Latin. In some universities new professorships in 3 languages were founded. One of these was in Wittenburg – where in 1512 Luther would become a lecturer in biblical studies, and would use his knowledge of the 3 languages to produce his hugely important ground-breaking translation of the Bible into German – the language of ordinary citizens.

Fifthly, in 1486 just 3 years after Martin was born, one of the leading voices of the Italian Renaissance –Giovanni Mirandola aged just 24 – published the famous “Manifesto of the Renaissance”. This depicted mankind as having the capacity for self-determination of personal identity, urged on by the Creator of humanity to shape its own destiny. In other words, the idea of the “self-made man” – the person who is free from the fixed social order and capable of challenging traditions and developing new ideas, new lifestyles, and improving social status. This Renaissance humanist philosophy which emphasised the cooperation of God and humanity in an upward journey, gripped the imagination of the middle class across much of Europe. But it clashed with the existing Church culture which was based on the fixed rule of the wealthy over the poor. Tensions rose, traditional stability teetered on a knife edge. All it needed was a sight push for it to topple. The scene was set for a revolution.

Viewing this from a Christian perspective, we see the pattern of God’s preparation for a revival of moribund Christianity. Gradually all the pieces are being moved into position. Why did God take so long? Why the centuries of decline from the vitality and explosive growth of the early church, into the Dark Ages and Mediaeval ignorance? Although we cannot know the full answer, we find the same pattern in God’s dealings with His people in the Old Testament. Four centuries of decline from David’s reign - rebellion, idolatry, and apostasy - are followed by defeat and captivity, then restoration, then another four centuries of decline until Jesus comes to bring salvation. God does not rush.

At the personal level, how often do we ask, “Why are you waiting, Lord? When will you come in power? How long will I have to put up with this?” But, difficulties and opposition are part of God’s plan for us. Why else would Paul invite Timothy to join him in suffering (2 Tim.1:8)? How about Peter who wrote, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Pet.2:21).

And James, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance…Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:2,3,12). But many of us can testify that, looking back, we can see a pattern in our lives and God’s purpose being worked out even in the hard times. Persevering through disappointments, holding on to our hope in God when discouraged and feeling low, trusting that He knows what He is doing when it is hard going, that he loves us and is keeping a careful eye on us, can be the spark which sets our faith on fire.

And now, at the dawn of the sixteenth century, all it needed was a small spark to ignite the powder keg. A young lecturer in an obscure German university lit that vital spark on October 31st 1517. Neil McKenzie.


Thank you Asda

Last month Cath Holt of Asda, Llandudno, called me to say that St John’s Mums and Toddlers were runners-up in the green token charity event and they wanted to give us a cheque for £200! It was wonderful news for us as we were in the process of searching for a new kitchen for the toddlers after getting rid of our old one. I managed to get this one (see pictures) for less than half price (retail price £240) and so could buy some extras, e.g. kettle and toaster, and some pots and pans.

On 6 September we had our first toddler session of the new term and the new kitchen was so popular. All the time children came to play with it and the new items, which was so pleasing.

So thank you to everyone who put their green tokens in our “box” and helped us buy this new kitchen with the gift from Asda. Thank you Asda! David McKinlay.




The FAIRTRADE mark is well recognised on many goods including teas, coffees, sugars, biscuits, chocolates, sweets, nuts, jams, marmalades, cereals, rice, cleaning products for hands, dishes and clothes and so on. Independent research shows it is the most trusted and recognised of ethical Marks.

The FAIRTRADE movement is global involving millions of people - farmers, workers, shoppers, campaigners and not-for-profit organisations - working with businesses across the world to make trade fair.

To gain the FAIRTRADE Mark the product must comply with the Fairtrade Standards, global trading standards for products and ingredients, sourced ethically and sustainably. At the heart of the standards is a commitment by businesses to pay a guaranteed minimum ‘safety net’ price to cover producers’ basic costs and on top of a minimum price, or market price if it is higher, companies also have to pay a set agreed amount extra called the premium, for producers to improve their quality of life - invest in projects that enhance social, economic and environmental development. It is the farmer networks who have the final say in what the Fairtrade movement does.

In May Sainsbury’s launched their Fairly Traded tea pilot scheme - dropping the FAIRTRADE Mark from their own-brand tea and replacing it with their own ‘Fairly Traded’ label. This means their Red and Gold Label, Green and Rooibos teas are no longer FAIRTRADE certified. The Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference and Organic will continue as FAIRTRADE. Bananas may be the next product to join the ‘Fairly Traded’ scheme.

Sainsbury’s asked the Fairtrade Foundation to work with them on their scheme, but the Fairtrade Foundation have some major concerns about it. One is the fact that the farmers who grow their ‘Fairly Traded’ tea do not have a fair say in how the scheme is run. They will not be allowed to decide themselves how they invest the cash bonus they get on top of what they earn for their tea (similar to the Fairtrade Premium), but will have to apply to a board in London to find out if they can have it. Affected farmers have stated the Sainsbury’s ‘model will bring about disempowerment. We are extremely concerned about the power and control that Sainsbury’s seeks to exert over us’.

Another major concern is how the ‘Fairly Traded’ label on their own-brand tea could be misleading customers. It is very clearly written on the front of packs but the tea is not independently Fairtrade certified, it is selfaccredited by Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s are the largest retailer of Fairtrade products in the UK and have supported it for many years, with thousands of farmers and workers relying on their business. You can show Sainsbury’s you support Fairtrade by signing the petition set up by Barbara Gwinnett. It is backed by Oxfam, Christian Aid, CAFOD, Traidcraft Exchange and Tearfund.

Please do your bit to help marginalised farmers and their communities benefit by buying FAIRTRADE.

Kingdom Krafts shop in Madoc Street, open 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday, stock a wide range of Fairtrade products as well as religious material and have a small café with homemade cakes and Fairtrade drinks.

Arline Griffith and Mary Jones.



Reap a Good Harvest

If you’ve been out and about in the countryside in recent months, you’ll have noticed that there was a bumper crop of blackberries and other fruit this year. That was no accident. It was because, from Spring onwards, there has been just the right amount of heat and cold, rain and sun, to make the plants bring forth their best.

It’s the same when we are making Jesus known. Only God knows if the people we meet are ready to respond to the Gospel. We might be simply planting a seed, and that person still has years to go, or it may be that the person is finally ready to become a follower of Jesus.

This autumn, as we prepare for Christmas, let’s be intentional – praying for friends and family members who don’t yet know Jesus. Let’s ask God for opportunities to sensitively share the Good News of Jesus. And let’s be ready to serve and speak in Jesus name. Roy Crowne, HOPE 2018


A Quiz for Harvest
Note: all Bible quotations are from the NIV. Answers on page 29

1. On which day of creation did God create fruit bearing trees?

2. How many kinds of fruit of the spirit does Paul list in Galatians?

3. Why were the Israelites told not to gather the gleanings of the harvest?

4. What sort of tree did Jesus curse for bearing no fruit?

5. Which prophet saw a basket of fruit signifying the end was near for Israel?

6. Proverbs says “He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is ....” what?

7. For how many successive years did the crops fail when Joseph reigned in Egypt?

8. Jesus said that Solomon’s finest glory could not match the beauty of which flower?

9. In the parable of the sower, what yields did Jesus say would be produced by seed that falls on good soil?

10. How many fish did the disciples catch when Jesus told them to fish again on the right side of the boat after they’d fished all night and caught nothing?

11. What foods did God give to the Israelites during their sojourn in the desert?

12. Who said and to whom “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses?”

13. When Moses sent his spies to explore Canaan, what three fruits did they return with to prove the land was richly fertile?

14. When Ruth and Naomi went to Bethlehem, what particular harvest time was it? Submitted by John Pass.



Rydal Penrhos Uganda Link

Since 2009 Rydal Penrhos School, the only Methodist Independent School in Wales, has been taking a group of staff and students to Uganda every other year in the summer vacation with the intention of creating and growing partnerships with schools and charities in the country. This is one expression of the school’s commitment to World AIMS (World Action in Methodist Schools) and in this instance challenges pupils to engage with global issues as they are experienced by the inhabitants of developing nations and to feed these direct experiences of life abroad into the life of our school in Wales.

On each visit we engage in a varied programme of activities, some one-offs and some on-going: this year, for example, we had a first meeting with the Street Kids of Kampala whilst revisiting the blind students at an Anglican Primary school in Kabale. However, there has been one constant partnership, which has been founded on shared Methodist roots.

Prior to the school’s very first trip the Methodist Relief and Development Fund (now re-named 'All We Can') put us in touch with one of the small charities they had been working with in Uganda and the World AIMS Schools Officer, based with MRDF, provided valuable and practical expertise to support the creation of a meaningful link between us.

As a result Rydal Penrhos established relations with a charity called RUHEPAI (Rural Health Promotion and Poverty Alleviation Initiative), whose headquarters are in the capital Kampala, but who do a great amount of valuable work with local farmers around the southern town of Mbarara; their goal there is to set up small co-operatives aimed at improving the lives of their members through income generation and improved farming techniques to counteract the effects of environmental degradation and climate change.

Each time we visit RUHEPAI they provide us with a new programme of activity allowing the students to work and interact with local farmers through share labour on various projects e.g. in 2011 we built a toilet block, in 2013 we learnt about banana plantation management, in 2015 we planted a mango orchard and, this summer, we helped rebuild a mudhouse damaged by winter hailstorms.

Fredica Baguma, the indefatigable Director of RUHEPAI, and her team travelled out with us to a beautiful valley south of Mbarara where we were introduced to Francesca, the owner of the house, and neighbours who had come along to help. One day was spent preparing the mud, mixing water with the rich red soil, and then passing the mud from hand to hand up to the house. The second day was spent flinging the mud onto the interior and exterior walls of the house, an exhilarating task requiring a fair amount of skill and quite weary on the wrists. The locals were very impressed by the work rate of the students and they commented that they were not expecting them to put so much effort in.

We were also able to offer the necessary money for Francesca to purchase windows and a door and one of my highlights of the trip was to see the face of this gracious elderly woman light up as our words were translated into her local language and then to see her stand, ululate and begin to dance.

Our job this autumn will be to share these stories and others with the school community, increase awareness of life in Uganda, inspire some to think about coming next time and encourage everyone to engage actively in the various projects as they move forward.

The Rev’d Nick Sissons, Chaplain & Uganda Co-ordinator 2017



Organ at St. John's Church

As some of you may be aware, our organ at St. John's has succumbed to age and is no longer playable and we now have to use our excellent piano for church services. The cost of a new digital organ is in the region £35,000. We are holding various events to raise funds and so far we've had a "Garden Party" at the manse, although because of the rain this turned out to be a house party. A great time was had by all. We held a "Treasure Hunt" in town which was organised by Arline Griffiths and was enjoyed by all who attended. Last week we held a "Beach Party" in the church hall which was arranged by Ann Hughes. This again was great fun with many people dressing up appropriately. We have had several coffee mornings and received donations and collected quite a lot in the donation buckets which are in Church. We sell crafts at the Friday Coffee Mornings with the proceeds going to the organ fund.

On 13th September, Ann Singer from St. John's and Nicky from St. David's are doing at sponsored walk from St. Trillo's Church in Rhos-on-Sea to St. David's Church. A lot of people are doing various fundraising events and we are grateful to each and every one of them. The new organ will have 198 keys and the cost per key £177.00. So far we have covered the cost of 82 keys, thanks to a very generous large donation. We still have some way to go but hopefully before too long we will have our new organ.

Lyn Brown.


Oceans and the Plastic Challenge
The Marine Conservation Society as set a Plastic Challenge for the month of June.
‘Can you live without single-use plastic?’
( also includes a tip swap)

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. Our seas are under immense pressure: too many ...

We do not need all the plastic bags, bottles and packaging that pass through our hands daily.

The reason the Society is so concerned about plastic is because much of it ends up in our oceans. One estimate is up to 12 million tonnes of plastic are entering our oceans each year - equivalent to a rubbish truck dumping its load into the sea every minute. It is now found in every corner of our planet. If nothing changes there could be more plastic than fish in oceans by 2050.

Once in the ocean it takes hundreds of years to degrade. It traps and entangles marine life from seabirds to turtles while everything from zooplankton to great whales can mistake it for food, clogging stomachs and sometimes leading to starvation. It has even been found in seafood for human consumption. The UN has called the situation a toxic time bomb’.

Greenpeace ( defends the natural world and promotes peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, and championing solutions. Learn more and join us!

Last year much was achieved to ban the use of microbeads, tiny pieces of plastic added to exfoliating cosmetics, toothpaste, cleaning products. Work is in progress to increase reduce, reuse and recycle’ of plastic, encouraging businesses to reduce the amount of plastic they produce by redesigning their packaging, developing a circular system of production that eliminates waste, commit to use 100% recycled plastic rather than using virgin plastic. More refillable containers, eliminating problem plastics that cannot be reused or recycled, supporting recycling schemes, deposit return schemes (found across Europe, as well as in the US, Israel, Fiji , Canada and Australia. They can raise bottle collection rates to as high as 98.5%).

It is practically impossible to live completely plastic free in this day and age but we can try to reduce the amount of plastic we use.

So here are some suggestions:

1.swap single-use water bottles and coffee cups for reusable wherever you can

2.make sure all recyclable material is disposed of in the most appropriate manner

3.use bars of soap instead of soap dispensers at a Farmer’s Market where produce is not pre-packaged


June 8th was World Ocean Day. Tom Gordon has written

‘As You Come and Go - Readings, prayers and poems for this special day’.

(Available from Wild Goose Publications )

To quote from his poem ‘Saying sorry to the oceans’

‘You feed me, and I give you garbage.’

‘God of the ocean’s plenty, forgive me for taking all your goodness

and offering you only my scraps’.

‘You need me, and I don’t care any more.

Help me to live in partnership with your oceans and care more than I do.’


Mary Jones.



Sobering Thoughts

Together with a pleasing number of people of all ages, on the evening of Friday, 7th July, several of us from the Reach out for Justice Group went to St. Asaph Cathedral to attend



Reflections in Words and Music

an event organised by Amnesty International Colwyn Bay Group (with Youth Group Ysgol Parc Eirias).

Before, during the interval and after the presentation we were urged to look round the amazing exhibition that had been set up. Starting way back in the 1930’s with the “Kinder Transports” of Jewish children from Germany and continuing through the 1990’s with its tide of Rwandans fleeing genocide to the present day refugees from war, abject poverty and natural disaster, this comprehensive collection of photographs demonstrated just what these people had been through. But it also brought home another fact – how willingly they had been welcomed into this country.

This fact was also brought home by the many exhibition tables run by organisations and groups working to welcome and help the refugees; not only well-known, multinational groups such as Oxfam, the Red Cross and Medecins sans Frontiers, but much smaller, local groups such as ShareAid based in Mold, CEFN/Supporting Refugees in Blaenau Ffestiniog and Haven of Light. We were actually given lists of 18 groups and organisations working in this sphere. What a sad reflection on the British Government and its failure to step up to the mark and accept its fair share of desperate fellow human beings.

The presentation took the form of a programme consisting of informative addresses by local and national Amnesty speakers, the personal stories of two refugees, one from the Middle East, the other from Rwanda, and poetry, including “We Refugees” by Benjamin Zephaniah, all interspersed with topical music played or sung by local musicians and school choirs.

The story of one of the refugees who spoke is told in full in her book, “The Search for Home. The True Story of Beatrice Smith”, which was on sale. Told in the first person, the book tells Beatrice’s story in full detail, realistically recreating her thoughts and feelings in good times and bad, and as both child and adult. Born in 1983, she was only 7 years old when the troubles began in 1990, and from then on she was forced to hear and then see things that no child should have to experience. From a life of ease with her father a lawyer and her mother a teacher, the family was impoverished and in constant danger. They were forced to move on time and time again until they were finally able to make their home in England in 1998.

Sadly, her troubles had still not finished, but throughout she and her family were sustained by a strong Christian faith which, despite everything, never quite disappeared. Arline Griffith (Reach Out for Justice)

The Comfort of a Staff

“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me” Psalm 23.4

Shepherds used to use a tall staff with a crook neck for caring for their sheep. They could slip the crook end around a lamb that had wandered off and fallen into a ditch, and lift it out to safety and comfort. At other times, the shepherd would use his staff to deftly prod a wayward sheep back onto the right path. Then again, there were always the reluctant sheep who were simply afraid to go forward.

Many a Christian has found that our Good Shepherd uses his heavenly staff in much the same way. Sometimes we fall into circumstances beyond our control, and need rescuing and comfort. Other times, we are stubborn and going our own way – and need a firm hand to prevent us causing even more trouble. And finally, there are those times when we are too timid to move forward and grasp what God has given us for the next stage in our lives. Then, we need a firm, loving push!

Whatever way we need the staff, the Bible assures us that our Good Shepherd will take good care of us. As long as we are following Him, nothing can get at us without first coming past Him. Parish Pump, Editorial.



Methodists are Famous

Apart from you, dear reader, and I there have been many famous Methodists.

I do not just mean Beyonce Knowles the popular entertainer, a member of St John’s Methodist Church ( Houston Texas) .There is a whole pantheon of our great and good.

We have the late Baron Donald Soper pacifist , socialist and Methodist minister who did a great job of exploring the political interface of God’s Kingdom and our imperfect society. An inspirational speaker and preacher he was unashamedly optimistic and passionate. Sadly missed since 1998.

Paul Boateng of the Labour Party ,is not only a Methodist lay preacher but also the first black member of a cabinet in this country. He is not the only Methodist to hold high political office there was Issac Foot who was President of the Liberal Party and Colin Breed Liberal Democrat member of the Shadow Cabinet. Margaret Thatcher’s dad Alf Roberts (not the one on Corrie) was a Methodist.

Internationally there have been some statesmen and women who are avowed Methodists. These have included Taufa'ahau Tupou IV a King of Tonga, Boris Trajkovski a former President of Macedonia, Hillary Clinton of the USA who recently came second to the current President .Methodist Fidel Ramos was President of the Phillipines, a country ‘christianized’ by the work of Methodist missionary William McKinley.

Chiang Kai Shek and his wife were Methodists I am not sure if he should be described as famous or infamous. The same applies, perhaps, to President George W. Bush, President Rutherford Hayes, General Ulysses Grant and founding President of South Korea Syngman Rhee- all Methodists.

You cannot leave out Africa. Starting with Nelson Mandela, though rejecting faith he often said his Methodist upbringing was a considerable influence on his morality.

Who was the President of Zimbabwe before Robert Mugabe? It was Bishop Abel Muzorewa another of our internationally famous Methodists.

The world of entertainment would not have been the same without Methodists Tallulah Bankhead, Patricia Neal and Kate Capshaw. The super talented but tragic Karen Carpenter of The Carpenters was also one of us.

Politics is not the only area in which Methodists excel. I can name three Methodists Nobel prize winners -Ernest Walton, William Daniel Phillips and Arthur Leonard Schawlow all Physicists. I reckon Rev.Mike Long would know what they won them for.

Anti slavery and civil rights leaders Harriet Tubman and Annie Sweitzer were Methodists.

Inspirational leader of Native Americans Geronimo converted to our faith.

All these people were or are real. What about fictional Methodists? We have Superman raised by his (non alien) earth parents Jonathan and Martha Kent both devout Methodists. Linda Danvers was a real life Methodist too. For those of you who do not know her she played Superwoman. Who can beat us now that we have Superman and Superwoman on our side?

Robert Morley and Katherine Hepburn played Methodist missionaries in The African Queen. Who could forget this tetchy exchange’

Charlie Allnut: I don't know why the Germans would want this God-forsaken place.

Rose Sayer: God has not forsaken this place, Mr. Allnut, as my brother's presence here bears witness.

I think that is enough Methodists to get us started.

Now it is over to you to tell me in the ensuing days which famous Methodists I have left out. Maybe I should have mentioned Rev. Bev… is she famous or infamous? Graham Morgan.


I believe every Christian man has a choice between being humble and being humbled. C H Spurgeon.
We play the game; God keeps the score.
Erwin W Lutzer.




Articles for the next edition

  Our next edition will be for Christmas. Please can you get any contributions for this edition to me by Sunday 3 December.
My email address is
Telephone: 01492 460702 Thanks very much. Maria

All the colours of the rainbow

Burnt sienna, ochre, raw umber, cadmium red, ultramarine - whatever am I talking about? Here’s a clue!

Yes, they’re colours that might appear in a paintbox.

A few years ago I took the bold step of joining a watercolour painting class, never having held a paintbrush since schooldays. Would I be any good? Probably not. But it would be fun to try. That’s when I came across the names of the colours you’ve already seen.

Mixing the colours was fun. But drawing the initial design - well, drawing was never something I was good at. Presented with a picture of a swan I swallowed hard. Then when we were asked to turn the picture upside down to make the drawing I wasn’t the only mystified member of the class. Turn the picture upside down? Yes - it makes you look more carefully, and without relying on what you imagine is there, we were told. And it was true. The final painting of a (slightly lopsided) swan wasn’t too bad.

I love colour. Seeing all the different shades of autumn colour on trees I marvel at God’s palette. I wonder how many paints it would take to make up a paintbox of every hue in nature? and how far the box would stretch? The mind boggles!

‘Who put the colours in the rainbow?
Who put the gold into the sunshine?
Who put the sparkle in the stars?
Who put the silver in the moonlight?

A prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of the landscape of colour we see around us. Thank you for the joy and delight of the harvest season with its splashes of gold and bronze, blackberry and burnished browns. As the days shorten and the darkness increases, thank you for the everchanging hues - but also for your ever-unchanging love and care for each one of us. Amen. Elizabeth Pass.


Answers to Harvest Quiz

1. The Third day.. Genesis1:11/12
2. NINE kinds of fruit. Galatians 5:23
3. They had to LEAVE THEM FOR THE POOR & ALIEN. Leviticus 19:9/10
4. The FIG tree. Matthew 21:18/22
5. AMOS. Amos 8:1/2
6. A DISGRACEFUL SON. Proverbs 10:5
7. SEVEN years. Genesis 41:53
8. The LILY. Luke 12:27
9. 30,60 and 100 times what was sown. Matthew 13:8
10. 153 fish. John 21:11
11. MANNA and QUAILS Exodus 16:11/16
12. PAUL TO TIMOTHY. 1 Timothy 5:23
13. GRAPES, FIGS, & POMEGRANATES. Numbers 13:23
14. BARLEY harvest. Ruth 1:22.

Forthcoming Events at St John’s

Sun 5th Nov to Sun 12th Nov - Through a Glass Darkly

A pilgrimage through grief, the story of one person's journey through bereavement, an exhibition in paintings and audio.

To be confirmed. Look out for more details.

Forthcoming Events at St David’s

Sat 4th Nov - Sausage Sizzle

Prior to fireworks on the prom. Time to be confirmed.

Sun 5th Nov at 3:30 PM. Remembering Service

for all those who are bereaved or who have suffered loss.


St John’s Methodist Church, Mostyn Street, Llandudno, LL30 2NN

Church Office

Community Worker

Senior Steward

Church Council Secretary

Pastoral Secretary


Church Treasurer

Toddler Groups

Sunday Seekers
Lyn Brown

David McKinlay

Linda Harper

Lyn Brown

Eileen Bennett

Jenny Anderson

Ron Jones

David McKinlay


St David’s Methodist Church, Mostyn Avenue, Craig y Don, LL30 1YY


Senior Stewards

Church Council Secretary

Pastoral Secretary

Bookings Secretary

Church Treasurer

Toddler Group

Gill Baggs

John Pass

Caris Williams

Colin Stewart

Hilary Roberts

Tom Williams

Caris Williams

Francine Moores



Llandudno Methodist Churches

St John’s and St David’s Churches are part of the Conwy & Prestatyn Circuit of the Methodist Church. They share a minister, Rev Beverley Ramsden.

A leaflet is available at the back of both churches with further details about Methodism, its beliefs and practices.

Our minister is available to discuss any matter of concern, including:

The baptism of children and adults;

Information about the Christian faith;

Preparation for church membership;

Marriage preparation and ceremonies;

Funeral and memorial services.

If you would like to talk to Rev Bev about these or any other matters, she can be contacted on 01492-877799 or emailed at