The Benefice of South West Gower
Comprising Port Eynon, Rhossili and Llanddewi with Oxwich and Reynoldston with Penrice
REPORTS FROM THE CHURCHES OF THE BENEFICE
St David’s, Llandewi: Congratulations and thank you to all who contributed to the celebration of 150 years of the new Church in Reynoldston, with the wonderful exhibition of history, people and place. The excellent meal and superb service, when so many worked so hard, completed a day to remember.
On the second Sunday, the 10th December, the United Benefice service will be in Port Eynon at 10.00 am.
Llandewi St David’s Carol service will be on Tuesday, 12th December, at 6.00 pm. All are welcome.
On Christmas Day the Holy Eucharist will take place at 9.30 am. We look forward to a good Congregation. There will be no service on Sunday, Christmas Eve.
St George’s, Reynoldston: November has been an especially busy month at St George’s.
On 3rd November the 150th Anniversary of the re-opening of the church in 1867 was celebrated with more than seventy past and present members and friends, some of whom had made long journeys to join us. We were pleased to welcome the Archdeacon, Ven. Jonathan Davies and Canon Peter Brooks as well as Rev. Joe and Rev. Ron from Essex and Revs. Hilary and Nigel (King). It is always pleasing to see Ven. Rev Robert Williams with Ann in our church again. He gave an absorbing address describing the historical background of the C19th church (in the diocese of St David’s then) and at the same time reminded us of the challenge and responsibilities of being ‘living stones’, going forward in our journey and in the community we serve. The uplifting Service was followed by an excellent lunch, co-ordinated by the Social Committee. Hugh Jones’ research over many years on the Church, the families and events in the Reynoldston community, had resulted in a fascinating Exhibition on the previous days which was much appreciated by numerous visitors. All these events combined to make the 150th Anniversary a very memorable and happy time.
Two days later we were more sombre since it was Revd. Carol’s last Service in the parish. We gave thanks again for her two years here and sent our very best wishes for her move to Cardiff. She will be very sadly missed for her worship and for her ministry to us all.
We also said ‘au revoir’ to Peter Bowen-Simpkins who is moving to Hampshire. He leaves an enormous gap not only in St George’s where he was Warden for many years and Chair of the Church Committee, but also in several village organisations in which he had played a key role. His organising skills and willingness to help in many ways will be much missed. We give Peter and Kathrin our very best wishes and blessings.
At 11.am on the 11th November a small group gathered at the War Grave of Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Benson where a wreath was laid and the Last Post sounded.
The Benefice Remembrance Service took place the next day at 10.45am so that, after the readings and laying of wreaths by James Hutson and by Mia Thomas on behalf of the Scouts, we were all able to join the rest of the nation at 11am in the two minutes’ silence. We were very pleased to welcome Rev.Peter Barnett to lead the service and we appreciated his sermon on the importance of silence, of prayer, and the need for forgiveness and search for peace.
After the Service a smaller number than usual joined for a ‘Bring and Share‘ lunch in the Village Hall.
We wish all a Happy Christmas and Blessed 2018
St Cattwg’s, Port Eynon: The Senior Citizens enjoyed a lunch in the Caffi Cattwg premises on October 19th, at which everyone seemed to have a good time, though a few regulars were absent. It is always a happy occasion with lively conversation and exchange of reminiscences over good home-cooked food.
We were sorry to hear that Pat Davies had suffered another fall in her house and was in hospital. We send her good wishes and hope for a speedy recovery.
St. Cattwg’s church flowers were especially beautiful on November 5th. Mary Grove made her customary donation in memory of her dear father and Chelsea Flower Show medallist Daphne Furneaux set scarlet carnations and gerberas in four tall arrangements on the altar and two side tables. With the Remembrance Sunday artificial poppies it made a spectacular display.
We say goodbye to Revd. Carol with heavy hearts; we have greatly appreciated her sermons, her humour and her empathy with all. We wish her every happiness in her new home and parish.
Rev. Justin Davies was our latest visiting priest, giving a most interesting sermon.
Anyone who would care to is invited to pin up Christmas Greetings to friends and neighbours, in the church porch, from Advent onwards.
St Mary’s, Rhossili: The fifth Sunday in October provided a perfect final occasion for the whole Benefice to come together at St Mary’s with Rev’d Carol, and Lay Reader Ross Davies. It was an uplifting service, made special by the inclusion of a ladies choir, led by Mary Attwell, performing Carol’s favourite version of The Lord is my Shepherd, hymns and music chosen for Carol, a presentation gift from the Benefice, and a basket of flowers from Rhossili – all given with love and best wishes as Carol leaves us and moves to Cardiff. A very good turn-out by local people, and several of Carol’s friends and well-wishers joined us from near and far.
Sadly we also mourned the passing of Captain Christopher Davies who was well known to many in Rhossili and Gower. His funeral and burial took place at St Mary’s on 1st November, and, as so often happens at such times, the church was full to capacity.
In December our thoughts turn to Advent and then Christmas. We shall join with the Methodists at Pitton Chapel for our annual combined carol service on 14 December at 6.45pm – everyone is welcome. On Christmas Eve, in a change from our Midnight Mass tradition, there will instead be a morning celebration of Christmas with Holy Eucharist at 10.30am. This will be a family service so bring your grannies, aunts and uncles, children and babies, friends and neighbours, to hear the Christmas story one more time.
Until such time as Rev’d Carol is replaced, we are grateful to Revd Canon Peter Brooks, Ministry Leader and Area Dean, who will take responsibility for Rhossili, Port Eynon and Oxwich, and we welcome Peter to our church.
A reminder that the Gower Ministry Area magazine annual subscription will be due in January, and remains at the bargain price of £7.20.
St Illtyd’s, Oxwich: With the disappointing departure of the Rev. Carol, it becomes more important than ever for the six churches of the Benefice to work together. Since the creation of the Parish we have come to know one another quite well and this should be our strength as we carry on without a Priest in Charge.
Carol left us with a legacy of cooperation, innovative worship, and we were introduced to new and stimulating hymns. It would be a great shame if we did not follow the direction which she has shown us and for us not to continue in this vein. She has left her mark for good on the Parish, in spite of being with us for only two years
We are about to have our first Benefice service without her and this is the Service of Remembrance for all who gave their lives in conflict for their country. The service will take place at St. George’s, Reynoldston and be conducted by the Rev. Peter Barnett. Following the service we will be having a Bring and Share Lunch, which is something we have not done for some time, but will be very useful in cementing the churches of the Benefice.
We hope that you will be able to join us for one of our Christmas services to celebrate the birth of our Lord and wish you all a happy and blessed Christmas with friends and families.
The Village Carol Service (with mince pies and mulled wine), Friday, December 15th at 6 pm
A Christmas Eve service of Readings and Carols, Sunday, December 24th at 5 pm
We are now organising a Coffee and Cake event in the Hall, each first Saturday in the month from 10.30-12.30. So if you want to get out of the house and have a chat do pop by. Everyone is welcome.“
St Andrew’s, Penrice: Our Harvest Festival Service was held on 15th October. The Church was beautifully decorated with quantities of fruit, vegetables and fresh bread including a Harvest Loaf made by Ann Blue. We were very glad to be able to give a large box of mixed vegetables, fruit and fresh bread to the Missionaries of Charity in the Strand , Swansea who help to feed those in need in the town. We were also able to send a cheque with money raised from the sale of produce at the service to the Sisters. The service was followed by a very pleasant dinner at The Britannia at which we were able to say goodbye to Carol.
The Penrice calendar is available and contains photographs by Harold Grenfell which are of his usual high standard. The calendar is £7.00 and available from any member of the congregation.
Since Carol has sadly left us we are anxious to hear the Diocese plans for the Benefice. By the time this is published there will have been a meeting with the Archdeacon and we anticipate the outcome with interest and hope. In the meantime we are planning our Christmas services. The Carol Service, a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, will be on Saturday December 23rd at 4 pm, followed by seasonal refreshment. On Christmas Day, the service will be at 10.00 am.