The Grouped Parishes of Llanasa and Ffynnongroyw in Flintshire, North Wales
29 May 2016
Time is flying, it only feels like a few minutes I was starting here and yet I also feel like I have been here for ages.
The little challenges I have been setting each week will continue, but I wonder how you are really getting on with the main one which is to love God, love others as well as you love yourself? I am currently doing the spiritual formation course with Mark Yaconelli, which has been affirming the loving self in order to love others. I love God, because He first loved me, I can love myself because He first loved me and I am commanded to love others because He first loved me.
I am writing this on the Friday before Trinity Sunday which is one of the days when preachers across the world, groan due to the ‘problem’ of trying to explain God the Holy Trinity. However for me it isn’t really an issue as I believe that at the heart of the Trinity is a loving relationship, between Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that is what we are here to reflect on, to mirror and to try to achieve! A loving relationship takes the rough with the smooth, and if it is really love, is transforming and freeing. This is all very well and good, and loving people is right, but how are we going to let others know about God.
I wonder whether in all our relationships outside of the church the love that is shown to us through the Trinity is in evidence? If we really love Jesus and are being transformed into his likeness, then perhaps other people might want to know what is different about us! My prayer for all of us, me included, is that we would want to become more like Jesus, who is the author of our faith, the one who sent the Holy Spirit to guide, challenge/disturb us, protect and comfort us.
One of the things that I spoke to both PCC’s about at the Easter Vestry was about the possibility of getting to know the congregation at Ffynnongroyw as well as I am getting to know the congregations at Llanasa and Gronant. I can’t stay afterwards to chat and have a cuppa as I have to be in Llanasa by 10.50 or 10.55 at the latest. So from the 2nd week of June, the services will be changing in order for me to do that. Sharon has included a rota in the magazine, which goes up to the end of September as we said it would be a trial that we would then speak about at the September PCC’s, which will I hope be a joint one or it may be difficult to see the way forward.
We will be hearing about the report from Ann Ashcroft this coming week, and there may well be other things we need to think about in terms of our services, the different things we perhaps ought to be offering to the people of these parishes. My hope is that we all take on board what God is saying to us in order that His Kingdom might come and that His will be done.
First of all may I say, thank you to everyone who has made my first 2 weeks a real joy to be here. Secondly a huge thank you to the churchwardens, worship leaders, clergy and basically everyone who has worked together to keep the parishes in a good place.
I have already started to ‘gently’ challenge the congregations to live as Disciples of Christ in this context and culture. So much of what we see and hear is governed by social media, often before the news hits our radios and televisions, and yet so much of it is not the sort of thing by which we are encouraged or grow in our faith and discipleship. St Paul in Philippians Chapter 4 verse 8 says
“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”.
I am not saying don’t use social media, I would never know what most of my family and friends were doing if I couldn’t catch up with what they are doing by Facebook, but it isn’t something that I take seriously and if there are things that I see that are not good, I will either delete (if I can) or hit the block button.
Some of you may well be thinking what is she talking about, social media, Facebook etc, I don’t use it, have never heard of it, well even if you haven’t people in your family or friends group may well be using it and may well be hurt by some things that they see or hear, young people in particular. So whether we use it or not, let us be careful of what we say and hear, by asking ourselves, is it true, is it just, pure, commendable and if not, let’s change our way of speaking and also the things which we listen to, so that our minds would be filled with good things and so we can perhaps hear more from God.
Looking forward to getting to know more of you in the coming weeks and months.
The Institution and Licensing Service of Rev Dot Gosling 11 April 2016
It was a very enjoyable service on the evening of Monday, 11 April, and was conducted by Bishop Gregory and Arch Deacon John Lomas. A packed church of parishioners’, local clergy and civic dignitaries came to welcome Rev. Dot to her new post as vicar of our Grouped Parishes. Dot’s daughters were also present at the service.
There was plenty of music provided by Dot’s band, and members of the Chester Nave Choir, and St Asaph’s Voluntary Choir. Many members of both parishes were also involved in the service.
Afterwards there was a wonderful buffet across in the village hall. A very big thank you to everyone involved with the catering, and to everyone who worked in the kitchen and helped clear up.
BLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDA HAPPY NEW YEAR.
A new year. Fresh beginnings, looking forward with hope.
Just before Christmas we finally received the good news we had all been waiting for. We will be getting a new vicar.
The Rev Dot Gosling will be joining us just after Easter. Dot has two daughters and enjoys singing and plays guitar and keyboard.
Dot was ordained in Chester in 2010, and has been working as a pioneer priest for the Dyffryn Clwyd Mission Area for the last year and a half, working across all the parishes in the Mission Area with a special responsibility for engagement with families and young people.
Dot’s life experiences have been varied, she has been a caterer, night nurse, parish administrator, night shelter coordinator, youth worker, mentor, family support worker, Diocesan Youth Officer, and senior lecturer and chaplain at Chester University.
With her experience with mission areas, and her energy and passion for life, we are sure that Dot will ably lead us into this new era of the church.
We would like to thank everyone working to keep the Parishes running through this interregnum, and look forward to Dot taking up her Post in April.
Ann and Sharon (Wardens of Llanasa Parish) – David and John (Wardens of Ffynnongroyw Parish)
St Winifred’s Church, Gronant
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” Matthew 18:20
We are sure that many of you will have already heard that the Parochial Church Council (PCC) have been holding discussions regarding St Winifred’s Church building.
Gronant is in the parish of Llanasa, and in years gone by worshippers from the other villages of the parish would travel, probably on foot, to worship at the Parish Church in Llanasa. Worship in Gronant started in a small way, meeting at Anwyl Cottage, Lower Gronant. Alternative accommodation for the services was required as the congregation grew. The first service in the present Church building was held on 28th November 1948, and the building was dedicated to St Winifred on 28th January 1949. It was hoped that the building would accommodate worship for the next 20 years. This hope was surpassed, worship having been held in the building now for almost 70 years. Unfortunately, we have now reached a point where the fabric of the building is in need of a great deal of work at huge cost, and the difficult decision to close the building has been taken by the PCC.
However, St Winifred’s Church will continue to worship in Gronant.
Looking to the future, the PCC has agreed that they apply to the County Council to look at Stage 1 – Expression of Interest, regarding Community Asset Transfer of Gronant Youth and Community Centre building in Pentre Lane. Stage 1 will enable the PCC to visit the building to assess its suitability.
For the present, St Winifred’s services will be held at the Rural North Flintshire Family Centre, Gronant, on Sundays at 4 pm. The Midweek Services will return to Llanasa on Wednesdays, as in Spring/Summer of previous years.
The final service to be held at St Winifred’s Church building will be a Service of Thanksgiving for the years of Worship at the Building, on 28th February at 4 pm.
Our usual joint service will be in Llanasa on Mothering Sunday, 6th March at 11 am.
The first service to be held at the Family Centre will be Sunday 13th March at 4 pm.
Sharon Ellmore and Ann Johnson, Church Wardens, Llanasa Parish
FUTURE SERVICES AND EVENTS
The First Sunday of each month is normally a Joint Service.
SUNDAY 7 FEBRUARY
9.30 am – Joint Holy Eucharist Service at All Saints, Ffynnongroyw will be taken by Canon John Glover.
WEDNESDAY 10 FEBRUARY – ASH WEDNESDAY
11:00 am – Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes St Winifred’s Gronant will be taken by Canon Clive Southerton.
SUNDAY 28 FEBRUARY
4 pm – St Winifred’s Gronant, Service of Thanksgiving for the years of Worship at the building.
SUNDAY 6 MARCH
11 am – Mothering Sunday. Joint Holy Eucharist Service at Llanasa.