In January I believed this would be my last diary events before handing over to Rev Simon Walkling and planned to run it until the end of April rather than the end of March. Now as a result of Covid 19 our arrangements have had to be changed and members were informed at the end of April that we had determined, following the pattern of several of our Denominations, to cancel the May and November meetings, aiming now to convene a meeting in spring 2021 when the Rev Simon Walkling will be installed into the Presidency.
As in the previous two years there are fewer meetings/events during this period, without any interference by Covid 19, so here are the activities, events and consultations that I attended this spring.
FCCW was represented at the National Commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day held at City Hall by Helen our secretary. I thank her for this and for everything else that she is consistently doing on behalf of the Council.
Attended the launch of Reflecting Wales in running Wales which is a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for Public Appointments in Wales. Held at the Welsh Government’s offices with the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, AM opening the event.
Attended a special service, in Penuel Carmarthen, to celebrate beibl.net ‘s eighteenth birthday and to thank Arfon Jones and Gwenda Jenkins for their special contribution to the work of Gobaith i Gymru over a considerable period of years. The responsibility has now been transferred to the Sunday Schools Council and the new websites that will continue with the work for the future were launched.
Attended, by invitation of Cardiff City Council, The Lord Mayor ‘s St. David’s Day Civic Service at The City Parish Church of Saint John the Baptist. The service was led by the Revd Canon Sarah Jones, and a particularly appropriate sermon for the occasion was delivered by Archbishop John Davies, with myself joining him and Archbishop Stack to present the blessing at the end.
Attended an evening reception in the Senedd as part of the St David’s Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast which focused on the 400th anniversary of the 1620 Welsh Bible and also the 100th anniversary of the disestablishment of The Church in Wales. Valuable contributions were received from Eluned Morgan, AM; Dafydd Tudur (National Library); The Sound of Wales Group; Professor Norman Doe and Dai Lloyd, AM. The organiser, Darren Millar, AM. also presided over the proceedings.
Attended the St David’s Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast in the Pierhead building and with about a hundred invitees there by 7.45a.m. there was a feast of food and talks. The theme was the same as the previous evening including the exhibition of the Bibles by Dafydd Tudur. The contributors were the Most Reverend John Davies; Rebecca Evans, AM; Simon Hart,MP; Huw and Elizabeth Priday and the Sound of Wales group. It was all presided over by Darren Millar, AM.
Attended the service to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the 1620 Welsh Bible at Tabernacle Chapel, the
Hayes, Cardiff. All major Christian denominations were represented in the service together with representatives of Christian Aid, the Bible Society and the Council of Sunday Schools. I was one of those presenting a prayer and the whole service was presided over by Rev. Denzil John. Arfon Jones delivered a powerful sermon which gave a real meaningful challenge to all those present in the congregation
Attended the meeting at Y Senedd which concluded the “Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-18 “ programme. The First Minister thanked all who had participated in the Welsh Government commemorations of the First World War especially the Expert Advisers Professor Sir Deian Hopkin and Linda Thomas.
The Interfaith Council for Wales meeting for March 16 was Cancelled as was the Launch of a new Tourism Toolkit for Nonconformist Places of Worship on March 19.
Participated in two “zoom” meetings organised by CTBI (Churches Together in Britain). In the morning meeting, attended by 27 “Senior Church Leaders”, we all contributed about our various situations in the four nations. A letter was also agreed in principle which we would all sign to be distributed for Easter. In the afternoon 24 “Senior Officers” had a further discussion and the letter was finalised. What was most interesting was how agreed we were about our stances in relation to Covid19. Follow up meetings have been agreed for May 7th. I am sure that you have all seen the Signed letter on web sites or in publications. It was distributed in both Welsh and English in Wales.
Participated in the Welsh Government Faith Communities Forum by means of skype. There were 24 participants – 16 representing the Faith Groups with 7 Officers from Welsh Government and Chaired this time by Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister. There were 5 items on the Agenda – 4 emanating from Covid 19. It was both interesting and gratifying to find that we were all agreed on what should happen in relation to places of worship and associated activities whilst the current unprecedented situation persists. The fifth matter was the notification about an Education Consultation which will be launched on May 5th which will include proposals of changes of legislation in relation to Religious Education and SACREs etc.
Rheinallt A Thomas
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