Monday, 3 September 2012

Wales

This weekend I went to celebrate the wedding of Joel and Eleri Barder. I know Joel from university and it was really good to see him. They got married in a beautiful chapel in a town called Pwllheli, on the beautiful Llyn Peninsular. To get there I travelled up from Cardiff, so therefore drove through a lot of the Welsh countryside. It reminded me of how much I love Wales.

I went to university at Aberystwyth, and whilst there I feel in love with Wales. I love the countryside, the wildlife, the people and the constant reminders of God's creative power. In Aberystwyth we got to experience dazzling sunsets and raging storms. Often during the winter, the Irish Sea would pick up the beach and deposit it on the roads around the seafront. The wind would rattle the windows and you could taste the sea spray everywhere you went. I was a real picture of God's power. Whilst I was at Aberystwyth I attended and served St Michael's Church. It's a place I have really fond memories of.

Sunset and starlings
St Mike's from the castle ruins

This weekend I saw stunning beaches, ten red kites, rugged mountains and got to catch up with a lot of people from St Mikes. Whilst this weekend reminded me how much I love the country, it also filled me with a sense of sadness, too. Wales is full of churches and chapels. These are the reminders of the 1904 Welsh revival. It is no surprise to me that a revival could take place in this beautiful part of the world. The wedding also reminded me how passionate the Welsh people can be about God. The service was bi-lingual, and the hymns were sung in both Welsh and English simultaneously. Songs of praises were sung with a rousing volume and both Welsh and English speakers were able to worship God in their mother tongue.

However, the chapels are just a reminder of how vibrant the church of Wales was. We were staying a few doors down from a chapel, and I asked a friend who knew the area well about the churches in the town we were staying in. She told me last year that church had five members, two of which had subsequently died. The church is just a shadow of it's former self.

I really thank God for my time in Wales, and for the beauty of his creation. I really pray that the Church of Wales can was again flourish in this amazing country.

1 comment:

  1. "The service was bi-lingual, and the hymns were sung in both Welsh and English simultaneously. Songs of Praises were sung with a rousing volume and both Welsh and English speakers were able to worship God in their mother tongue."

    This was one of my favourite things about being in Penrallt. It was a perfectly normal thing to do. To begin with, international students would be freaked out about it, but they warmed to it, to the extent that if they knew the song in their mother-tongue, they'd join in. And everyone was ok with it.

    Loved it. Everyone got to express their love and adoration for this mighty God in a way that felt most personal to them.

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