CANON PATRICK’S 108th LETTER * 108fed LLYTHYR CANON PATRICK
I’ve just come back from returning the officially closed final marriage register of Christ
Church to the registrar and witnessing the destruction of our remaining stock of wedding
certificates. This was the result of the first major change in marriage registration since 1837.
The legal side of conducting a church wedding has always filled me with trepidation. As a
young curate, I was warned by a possibly overzealous senior cleric that any mistake in
registering a wedding could lead to my deportation to the colonies as a transported felon.
The prospect of having to spend several years doing hard labour in the Falkland Islands was
distinctly daunting. In fact, the registrar this morning turned out to be charming, patient
and kindly, and very far from the terrifying figure of my imagination – and all was well.
My most nerve-wracking registration moment was in Brechfa. I was officiating at the
wedding of a state registered chiropodist to a chartered land surveyor. As the bride was
Welsh-speaking they requested a bilingual marriage certificate, and I cheerfully agreed. Five
minutes before the ceremony, with the bridegroom and best man already nervously in
place, it suddenly struck me that I hadn’t the faintest idea what the Welsh version was of
the couple’s highly qualified callings. I hitched up my wedding vestments to my knees, and
dashed to the Rectory, nearly being run over on the way by some late arriving wedding
guests. Frantically, I leafed through an enormous Welsh dictionary in the Rectory study and
found the magic words: ceiropodydd cofrestredig and tirfesurydd siartredig. I got back just in
time to greet the bride at the church door. The ceremony was a bit breathless, but (though I
say it myself) the marriage certificate was really quite impressive.
The Reverend Kristie Godden-Griffiths, our curate, will be ordained priest on Saturday 26
June at St Davids Cathedral. Please keep Kristie and her family in your prayers over the
coming weeks. Because of Covid limitations her only guests will be some close family
members and her mentor, the aged Cathedral Chancellor (me). There will however be a
chance for us as a church to give thanks for Kristie’s priesting when she celebrates the
Eucharist for the first time in Christ Church on Sunday 27 June at 9.15am.
SERVICES: Sunday 6 June (Trinity 1) 9.15am FAMILY EUCHARIST in Christ Church; 5pm
ZOOM EVENING PRAYER; Wednesday 9 June (St Barnabas transferred) 10.30am HOLY
EUCHARIST in Christ Church (p.250); Sunday 13 June (Trinity 2) 9am ZOOM EUCHARIST
(p.160); 11yb CYMUN BENDIGAID yn Eglwys Crist (t.160); 5pm ZOOM EVENING PRAYER;
Wednesday 16 June (St Richard) 10.30am HOLY EUCHARIST in Christ Church (p.287).
Please contact ROSEMARY BOWEN (English services) or MALCOLM JONES (gwasanaethau
Cymraeg) to ensure a place at Sunday services in church. The Reverend Delyth Richards
can provide information about Llangunnor services. I can let you know about services at
Llannewydd/Newchurch. Canon Patrick