CANON PATRICK’S 101 st LETTER

Dear friends,
For eccentrically old-fashioned Anglicans like me, today is known as ‘Good Shepherd
Sunday’. It’s a day to celebrate Jesus the Good Shepherd’s caring and kindness which
provides a pattern not just for clergy, but for all Christians. I spent a large chunk of my
ministry in parishes where sheep far outnumbered people. For many years I was Vice-
Chairman of the Brechfa Sheep Dog Trials, even though I knew very little about dogs and
even less about sheep. I did, however, get to know some extremely good shepherds.

One of the most remarkable among them was Defi Gilfach-goch, a former churchwarden,
who possessed a wonderful combination of practical common sense, good humour and
deep Christian faith. Defi always used to say that the 6am Plygain on Christmas Day was the
most important service of all, because that was when the shepherds were the first to come
and worship the Christ-child in the manger. When he was told that he was terminally ill, we
sat together in his farm kitchen and Defi quietly recited some words from a Welsh hymn:
‘pwyso ar Iesu, dyma gryfder sydd yn dal y pwysau i gyd’ (‘lean on Jesus, that’s a strength
that holds all the weight’). In hospital Defi was in the next bed to a non-church-going former
member of one of my Welsh classes. As Defi was being taken down to the operating theatre,
his neighbour wished him good luck. “Luck has nothing to do with it,” Defi responded gently.
“If the good Lord wants me, I am ready to go to him.” My agnostic ex-student was
profoundly moved: “I’ve never seen such faith,” he said. “I’ll never forget it.”

Bank standing order forms are at the back of the church (please contact our Treasurer, Mr
Nigel Roberts, for any further advice). Our Pre-vestry meeting (the equivalent of the old
Easter Vestry) will be held on Zoom on 22 April at 7pm. The LMA Easter Vestry will be held
on Zoom at 7pm on 27 April (those intending to attend should e-mail
admin@brocaerfyrddin.org.uk by 7pm on 20 April).

Sincere thanks to all those who gave so generously to our Christmas/Lent Appeal for the
Salvation Army and Armenian refugees.

SERVICES: Sunday 18 April (Easter 2/Good Shepherd Sunday) 9.15am FAMILY EUCHARIST
in Christ Church (p.129); (11am services in Llangunnor and Newchurch); 5pm ZOOM
EVENSONG; Wednesday 21 April 10.30am HOLY EUCHARIST in Christ Church (p.285);
Sunday 25 April (Easter 3) 9.15am HOLY EUCHARIST in Christ Church (p.134); 11yb CYMUN
BENDIGAID ar ZOOM (t.134); 5pm ZOOM EVENSONG. Seats for services in church have to
be pre-booked because of limitations caused by social distancing. Please contact
ROSEMARY BOWEN (English services) & MALCOLM JONES (gwasanaethau Cymraeg) to
ensure a place. Canon Patrick

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