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.
Gwyneth in her own words
was born on Wed, 19 April 1961 six weeks prematurely. Mum
and Dad were thrilled to have a daughter and called me
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
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.
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,
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
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.
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
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
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.
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,
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.
AND NOW : CARROTS
& POTATOES AT KITELEWASI : WHAT NEXT?
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
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
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
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
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
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
A “Mafinga Meal” which surely has to include
eggs and/or chickens?
- 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!
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
EVER GIVE UP....ON GOD.
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.
ARE WE GOOD ENOUGH?
When you are tempted to think you aren't
good enough for God, remember, we
aren't. God is good enough for us.
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
TO FAIRTRADE OR
NOT TO FAIRTRADE
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
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
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 Change.org 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
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
2. How many kinds of fruit of the spirit does Paul list in
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
13. When Moses sent his spies to explore Canaan, what three
fruits did they return with to prove the land was richly
14. When Ruth and Naomi went to Bethlehem, what particular
harvest time was it? Submitted by John Pass.
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
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.
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.
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
The Rev’d Nick Sissons,
Chaplain & Uganda Co-ordinator 2017
Organ at St. John's Church
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
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.
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
Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org.uk) 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
4.shop at a Farmer’s Market where produce is not
was World Ocean Day. Tom Gordon has written
‘As You Come and Go - Readings, prayers and poems for this
(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
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.’
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 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
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
The Comfort of a Staff
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me” Psalm 23.4
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
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,
Methodists are Famous
Apart from you, dear reader, and I there have been many
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
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
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
Charlie Allnut: I don't know why the Germans would want this
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…..now is she famous or infamous?
I believe every Christian man has a choice
between being humble and being humbled. C H
We play the game; God keeps the score. Erwin
for the next edition
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
All the colours of the rainbow
Burnt sienna, ochre, raw umber, cadmium red,
ultramarine - whatever am I talking about? Here’s a
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Methodist Church, Mostyn Street, Llandudno, LL30 2NN
Church Council Secretary
Methodist Church, Mostyn Avenue, Craig y Don, LL30 1YY
Church Council Secretary
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
Our minister is
available to discuss any matter of concern,
The baptism of
children and adults;
the Christian faith;
preparation and ceremonies;
If you would like
to talk to Rev Bev about these or any other
matters, she can be contacted on 01492-877799 or