Parish Report 2015

THE ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL OF THE PARISH OF LLANGIWG PRESENTED TO THE ANNUAL VESTRY MEETING HELD ON 17 APRIL 2016

The Parish of Llangiwg is a parish situated in the lower Swansea Valley in the Deanery of Afon Tawe (Swansea) within the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in the Church in Wales.

BUILDINGS AND CHURCHYARDS

St Peter’s Church:
St Peter’s Church is a large Gothic Victorian building and serves as the Parish Church.  It was consecrated in 1862, and was the gift of the Parson’s family.  It is located in its own grounds in High Street, Pontardawe.  The building is a grade 2* listed structure.  William Parsons’ tomb and the surrounding railings are situated outside the chancel’s east window.  The tomb and railings, along with the main gates and gate piers are grade 2 listed monuments.

During the latter part of 2008 and early 2009, a major renovation was undertaken on the church.

For the last few years, the churchyard, which surrounds the church, has been strimmed by a small band of men, and the Parochial Church Council is extremely grateful to them for undertaking this labour of love.

 

St Peter’s Schoolroom:
St Peter’s Schoolroom is situated about 200 metres away from St Peter’s Church, but is also in High Street, Pontardawe.  It dates from 1856.  It is a grade 2 listed building and, as its name suggests, was built as a school by Mr William Parsons.  In 1885, the new Llangiwg Primary School was built in Brecon Road, and the children transferred to the new school.  Since that time, the Schoolroom has been a church hall for the parish.  Currently, the building needs a lot of tender loving care to bring it back to its former glory.

 

Churchyards
In addition to the churchyard surrounding St Peter’s Church, the Parish is also responsible for three other churchyards.

(1)    Llangiwg Churchyard:    Llangiwg Church was declared redundant in August 2004, and sold during 2006.  The churchyard is situated around the church on Llanguicke Church Road.  During 2005, the local authority placed Tree Preservation Orders on three trees in this churchyard.  They are a Yew at the East end of the Church, an Ash and a Corsican Pine on the North side of the churchyard.  The Parochial Church Council is grateful to the Friends of Llangiwg for the way in which they maintain the churchyard.

(2)    All Saints Churchyard:     All Saints Churchyard is situated behind the former All Saints Church on Glanrhyd Road.  Due to the immense efforts of the new owner of the church building, Mr Philip Davison, we can report that the churchyard continues to look better than it ever has.  The Parochial Church Council would once again wish to thank Mr Davison for his hard work in bringing this churchyard back to such a beautiful condition.

(3)    St Mary’s Churchyard:    St Mary’s Churchyard is situated to the west and north of the former St Mary’s Church on Ynysmeudwy Road in Ynysmeudwy.

 

OBJECTS AND CONSTITUTION

The Parish of Llangiwg is part of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon within the Church in Wales.  The Church in Wales is part of the one, holy, catholic Church and is a province of the Anglican Communion and, as such, exists to advance the Christian religion through its worldwide mission.  The object of the Parochial Church Council is to ensure that the life and work of the Church within the parish helps to fulfil that mission, both locally and more widely.
The Parochial Church Council is not a body corporate.  Its composition, procedures and powers are regulated by the Constitution of the Church in Wales, as amended from time to time by its Governing Body, set up under section 13(1) of the Welsh Churches Act, 1914.  Elections are held at an Annual Vestry Meeting which must take place on or before 30 April each year.  The persons whose names are entered on the Electoral Roll are entitled to vote and to stand for election.  Before assuming office, every member of the Council must sign a declaration that (s)he will be bound by the Constitution of the Church in Wales.
The Representative Body of the Church in Wales holds the land and property of the Church in Wales, including St Peter’s Church and St Mary’s Church, that is, their buildings, contents and grounds.  The Representative Body is an Exempt Charity and was set up under section 13(2) of the Welsh Churches Act, 1914.  It acts on behalf of the Province in paying the stipends of full-time clergy.
It is the responsibility of the Incumbent and the Parochial Church Council to consult together and to co-operate in all matters of concern and importance to the Parish for the promotion of the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic social and ecumenical within the parish setting.  The Parochial Church Council is also responsible for the parish budget, and all expenditure, thereunder, the care and maintenance of the fabric, grounds and churchyard.  The Parochial Church Council is also the normal channel of communication between parishioners and the Bishop of the Diocese.

 

NAMES AND ADDRESSES

Incumbent:

The Reverend Gary Green
1 Clos yr Hen Ysgol
PONTARDAWE
SA8 4AZ

Auditor: 

Mr. Dudley Roberts,
2 Brecon Road,
PONTARDAWE
SA8 4PA

Bankers:

Lloyds TSB Plc
66 Herbert Street,
PONTARDAWE
SA8 4ED

Quinquennial Architect:

Mr. Dewi Evans, BSc., RIBA
Unit 7, Langdon House,
Langdon Road
SWANSEA,
SA1 8QY

 

Membership of the Parochial Church Council
During the year, the following persons served as members of the Parochial Church Council.

Incumbent:

The Reverend Gary Green

 

Ex-Officio:

Mrs. Sue James                                                               Churchwarden

Mrs. Rhian Jones                                                              Churchwarden

Mrs. Joy Jagoe-Williams                 Parochial Church Council Secretary

Mrs. Janice Thompson                   Parochial Church Council Treasurer

 

Elected:

Mrs. Christine Biston
Mrs. June Booth
Mrs. Shirley Edwards
Mrs. Jean Jones
Mrs. Avril Nicholson

The Parochial Church Council instituted three sub-committees during the year.  One was asked to look at all aspects of mission in the parish.  The second was charged with looking at the fabric of the parish.  The third committee to deal will all matters.

 

The Electoral Roll

The number on the electoral roll at Easter Vestry 2015 was 87.  At the end of February 2016, the number on the revised electoral roll stood at 89.  During the year to 31 December 2015, no members of the electoral roll have died.

 

Parish Share

The Parish share for 2015 was £20,284.47.   Since January 2013, the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon has operated a new system of Parish classification which will involves six bands ranging from A to F.  The Parish of Llangiwg now finds itself in Band E for the purposes of Parish Share.   Our Parish Share for the coming year, which has to be paid to the Diocese, will be £20,649.59.

 

ACTIVITIES

Gathering as God’s people

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On 31 January, Barry and Ena Niedergang invited parishioners to their home for a Chinese Brunch to celebrate Chinese New Year – and it was delicious.  They raised £520 for the restoration appeal into the bargain.

On Shrove Tuesday, (17 February) parishioners tucked in to the traditional pancake.  This year once again, we held the “pancake social” in church, rather than decamping to the Cross Community Centre.

During Lent, parishioners gathered at St Peter’s church for Lent lunches.  The money raised for these lunches was donated to our two children’s charities.

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On 27 March, parishioners gathered at Christine Biston’s home for an Indian inspired evening, complete with saris.  Chris’ efforts raised £320 for church funds.

 

 

Throughout Holy Week, (29 March-5 April) the Parish of Llangiwg joined the Parish of Clydach on Tawe to mark this solemn time.  The services ranged from Morning and Evening Prayer to the Holy Eucharist; from Celtic style worship to devotional and reflective services.

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The Easter Vigil ended on a very joyful note with a chocolate party and wine, and fireworks in the grounds of St Michael’s Church.

 

 

On 31 March, a dozen members of the Parish joined other members of the diocese at Brecon Cathedral for the Chrism Mass celebrated by the Bishop.

On 27 June, a number of parishioners from Pontardawe joined parishioners from the Parish of Clydach on Tawe to support Dorothy Lewis in the Cathedral Church of St John in Brecon, as she was ordained deacon by Bishop John.

On 3 July, the parish gathered in St Peter’s Church for the annual Strawberry Tea.  This was preceded by a short service of thanksgiving and raised £236 for church funds.

On 15 August, the Parish held an open day.  Visitors, both local and from afar, were free to look around church.  A display of parish life was available for people to browse, games were available for children.  Most visitors were expecting the annual flower festival, which unfortunately had to be postponed this year.

IMG_4096On 4 October, the parish celebrated Harvest Festival.  Following the service in church, parishioners retired to the Dillwyn Arms for lunch, where we were joined by some of our brothers and sisters from the Parish of Clydach on Tawe.

On 8 November, St Peter’s Church was again the venue for Remembrance Sunday.  It was once again our pleasure to welcome  the members of the British Legion, the Naval Reserve, the Air Training Corp, the Army Training Corp, and various other uniformed organizations, along with the general populace of Pontardawe who wished to mark this opportunity to remember the ultimate sacrifice made by our armed forces.

Between 12 and 20 December, the parish staged its fourth Christmas Tree Festival, in aid of local charities and voluntary organisations. Twenty-four organisations displayed a tree in church telling us about their activities. The total raised was in excess of £510 and this included donations to St. Peter’s and monies raised for our Memorial Tree and from serving Refreshments.

On 14 December, Rhydyfro Primary School came to church to share take on the Nativity story, including Joseph fainting at the news that Mary was going to have a baby. The various items were interspersed by the school’s orchestra showing us their talent.

On 12 December, the Osprey Supporters Choir came to church to perform a Christmas Concert.  The Concert also included some audience participation with carols.

On 24 December, the parish hosted a short children’s service of Christingle.  The children were very attentive despite a certain ‘visitor’ being expected only a few hours hence.  Later that evening, our Christmas celebrations came to a climax with a Midnight Mass and the Blessing of the Crib.  Despite the appalling weather, nearly 90 people were present to welcome the Christ-child to our parish.

 

Growing more like Jesus

Over the year, the Parish has grown more like Jesus in its care and concern for the world and individuals he came to save.

When an earthquake struck Nepal in April, and another major aftershock in May, St Peter’s members were so moved by the scenes of devastation that they rolled up their sleeves to do something about it.  They baked, provided raffle prizes and made coffee, and raised £573 through a coffee morning. The money went straight to emergency disaster appeal.

Ty Olwen cheque, Oct 2015In September, rather than join the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Macmillan, our members turned their gaze to somewhere nearer to home – Ty Olwen Hospice at Morriston Hospital – a place so cherished by people in our community, and a place needing funds.  The Coffee Morning this time raised £670, which was gratefully received by two of the trustees, who came to a service at St Peter’s in October.

In July, a member of our community had a serious accident which required him being flown by Air Ambulance to the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff.  When his mum wished to thank the Air Ambulance by organising a Coffee Morning, the experts, by this point (!!), stepped in and organized it for her.  The Wales Air Ambulance received a cheque for £595.

Throughout the year, at baptisms taking place in St Peter’s, the loose collections have been set aside in support of two children’s charities.  This year the two charities have been the Noah’s Ark Appeal in Cardiff and the Romanian Aid Foundation which supports orphaned children in North Eastern Romania. In December, both causes received cheques for £373.

IMG_4503For the last few years, the Parish has supported the Mr X appeal which seeks to provide Christmas presents for underprivileged children in Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Neath Port Talbot.  This year 50 children were in receipt of a present through the generosity of our parishioners.

In addition to this local appeal we also supported an international appal run by the Romanian Aid Foundation called the “Joy in a Box” appeal.  Twenty five shoe boxes made their way to Romania packed with goodies.

One of our parishioners also got the recycling bug.  Having found loads of copper nails on the floor following the re-roofing of the side aisle, Sue Northcott turned them into crosses, which she sold for church funds.  The crosses were snapped up, purchasers got a little bit of parish history, and Sue raised £500 for her efforts. This was one lot of scrap metal which didn’t find its way to the scrap yard.

On 29 November, St Peter’s Church hosted the young folk of Class Act Theatre School (CATS) who performed songs from the shows in the first half, and various Christmassy songs in the second half.  As a result of their amazing talent, they raised a considerable sum of money for the Swansea Lions Club charities.

 

Going in the power of the Spirit

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On Palm Sunday, (29 March) our Palm Procession began in Farm Foods car park and wended its way to church.  This has become an annual act of witness to Pontardawe that the church is very much alive, but it was also a chance to remind the residents of our town that we were beginning one of the most solemn weeks in the Christian year.

IMG_4478On December 4th and 5th, St. Peter’s had a stall at the local Winterfest, selling all things home-made, including Christmas cakes and puddings, biscuits and sweets, jams and preserves, wooden gifts and Christmas baubles and this raised £560 for church funds.

On 20 December, the parish went carol singing in Tesco’s and Home Bargains.  People were very complimentary of our singing, and we raised over £125 for our efforts.

During 2015, the pastoral visiting team have had a very active year, and their visits to the elderly, the sick and the housebound have been well received.  As a result of these visits, and with the parish’s connection with the Romanian Aid Foundation, some of the residents of Riverside Court have knitted over 40 blankets which have found their way to Romania for use in the orphanages.

In mid-December, the pastoral team visited Cwm Cartref Nursing Home to hold a carol and communion service.  The residents delighted in joining in the carols, hearing the Christmas readings and receiving communion.

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES

Following the service each Sunday, worshippers have been able to enjoy a chat over a cup of tea or coffee.  The Parochial Church Council wishes to extend its thanks and appreciation to the happy band of regulars who put themselves forward to ‘man and woman’ the ‘cafe’ to allow this act of fellowship to flourish.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

Adam Jagoe-Williams – who achieved sufficient grades in his A levels to land him a place at Huddersfield University.

Rachel Martin – on achieving 10 GCSEs, and is continuing her studies at Gorseinon College.

The Reverend Gareth Morgan Jones – Gareth completed fifty years in the ministry of the Annibynnwyr denomination on 6 September 2015.  Much of his ministry has been undertaken in the chapels of this area.

The Reverend Owen Pugh – Owen was ordained this year as the minister for Capel Annibynnwyr Tabernacl, here in Pontardawe.

Ena Niedergang – on the completion of her opus magnum “Wales – China: 250 years of History.”  Ena has spent the last twenty years researching it and taking photographs for it.

Geraint Nicholson – on gaining 9 GCSEs, a Welsh Baccalaureate and a B.Tech in Business.  Geraint is now continuing his studies at Gorseinon College.

Ben Williams – on gaining 13 GCSEs. Ben is now studying at Gorseinon College for his A levels.

Beth Williams – on achieving her Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and landing a job at Porthcawl Comprehensive School

The Parochial Church Council offers its heartiest congratulations and best wishes to each of them.

 

THE EBB AND FLOW OF LIFE

Births
Families in our parish have had cause to celebrate this year with the arrival of the following bundles of joy for their parents:

Leo Benjamin Rees  (born 11 February 2015)
Jaxon Douglas James (born 14 February 2015)
Malcolm Jack Craig (born 6 March 2015)
Ioan Rhys Kerry (born 15 March 2015)
Iestyn Mark Thompson (born 27 June 2015)
Molly Lloyd James (born 17 October 2015)
Nia Anne Biston (born 20 December 2015)

The Parochial Church Council sends its heartiest congratulations to their proud parents, grandparents (and in some cases, great grandparents), and our good wishes and prayers for these little ones in the years which lie ahead.

 

Baptisms
During the year, and through the waters of baptism, the Parish of Llangiwg welcomed the following into the family of God’s Church:

Lottie Haf Davies
Leo Aron Goss
Jack Haydn Jarrett
Amelia Lily Jones
Isaac Rhys William Jones
Indie May Lacey
Lola Ana Waters

 

Confirmation
On Sunday, 10 May 2015, a service of Confirmation was held in St David’s Church, Neath presided over by the Most Reverend Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales.  Rhidian Kinsey-Jones was confirmed at this service along with his classmates from Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School, Neath.

 

Marriages
During 2015, there was only one wedding at St Peter’s, which took place on the last day of the year.

Luke James David Davies and Amy Morgan

The Parochial Church Council wishes Luke and Amy every happiness in their married life.

 

Wedding Anniversaries
We likewise send our congratulations to those who marked their special wedding anniversaries during 2015. These include:

Iris and Tal Williams  (Diamond – 60 years)
Terry and Betty Jones (Golden – 50 years)
Dorothy and Gareth Lewis (Ruby – 40 years)
Susan Northcott and Andrew Nicholson (Pearl – 30 years)

 

Deaths
During the year, our community bade a sorrowful farewell to a number of our residents, whom we commended to God’s gracious keeping.  Among them were:

Emily Margaret Atkinson
Anne Blackburn
Mark Anthony Brown
Glenn Cornwall
Anita Davies
Merlin Davies
Catherine Doreen Edwards
Moreen Evans
Thomas Glenville Evans
Shaunna Herbert Eynon
John Hampson
Olive May Jeremiah
Caitlyn May Jones
Douglas Glyndwr Jones
Margaret Leonora Jones
Sarah Elizabeth Mary Jones
Gwynfor Lewis
Richard Denzil Daniel Lindell
Helena Christina Neale
Sandra Smith
Thelma Taylor

The PCC extends its heartfelt sympathies to their families.  May they rest in peace, and be raised in glory.

 

CHILD PROTECTION

Under the terms of the Children’s Act, the following people have undergone Disclosure and Barring checks, and have been cleared for working with children and vulnerable adults in Parish activities:

Mrs Christine Davies
The Rev’d Gary Green
Mrs Lesley Harris
Mrs Heather James
Mrs Sue James
Mrs Rhian Jones
Mrs Jean Jones
Mrs Janice Thompson
Mrs Helen Whyment

Each of the above has a duty to abide by the Child Protection policy of the parish.  In keeping with this policy, Mrs Helen Whyment has been appointed to advise on child safety issues and she is our Child Protection Officer.  The Parochial Church Council thanks Helen for the work she does in this capacity.

Blessed Mary and St Peter, pray for us.

 

THE PARISH ACCOUNT

Income                                                          £

Direct Giving                                                    23,513.97

Other Income                                                    6,911.75

Restoration Fund                                              4,415.56

Oak Cottage                                                        697.14

Schoolroom and House                                       374.00

Contra Entries                                                   3,184.15

Investment Account                                             188.91

Subtotal                                                         39,285.48

Balance at 1.01.15                                          52,589.32

Total                                                               91,874.80

 

Expenditure                                                £

Maintenance of Church and Ministry            34,438.45

Maintenance of Services                                1,872.28

General Expenses                                         1,192.92

Schoolroom/Oak Cottage                            10,470.65

Contra Entries                                               3,184.15

Subtotal                                                      51,157.81

Balance carried forward 31.12.15                40,716.99

Total                                                            91,874.80

 

ST PETER’S CHURCHYARD ACCOUNT

Income                                                       £

Fees                                                           2,576.00

Donations                                                      300.00

War Graves Commission                                 10.00

Subtotal                                                     2,886.00

Balance at 1.01.15                                      8,591.44

Total                                                         11,477.44

 

Expenditure

Petrol, Strimmer Servicing, etc                       53.14

Gifts                                                             600.00

Repairs                                                        145.52

Qualcast Petrol Mower                                 169.99

Subtotal                                                      968.65

Balance carried forward 31.12.15            10,508.79

Total                                                        11,477.44