CANON PATRICK’S 110th LETTER * 110fed LLYTHYR CANON PATRICK
As Helen and I gradually dismantle the vicarage, we keep on discovering unexpected items
from the past. The most recent was an electric shaver from the late 1960s. In the summer of
1970, I was in Italy (just opposite Milan Cathedral). The shaver’s batteries had gone flat. My
Italian was not good enough to buy new ones, so I decided to grow a beard.
I remained distinctly hirsute until 1975. By that time, I was a research student in
Aberystwyth, having come back to Wales to escape from a vocation to the priesthood. One
of my friends persuaded me to take part in a hideously amateur student production of Dylan
Thomas’s ‘Adventures in the Skin Trade’. I was to act an outrageously camp character who
delivered his lines while bouncing up and down on a trampoline. He was clean shaven, so
the electric shaver (with new batteries) was put to use again. On the final night of the mildly
disastrous production, there was a cast party in Theatr y Werin on Penglais hill. It was a
cheerful affair. In a state of advanced merriment, I decided to take a short cut home down a
steep footpath. It was rather slippery and I ended up falling into a small tree that was just
below me. Although I was undamaged, I lost my glasses. I am desperately short sighted, and
so had no hope of finding them.
The following day I had an appointment with my professor, to discuss the progress of my
doctoral thesis. He was an amiable man, who combined great scholarship with a certain
vagueness that tends to afflict those of us with a literary bent. We talked pleasantly for half
an hour, and it gradually dawned on me that, without my usual distinguishing marks (beard
and glasses), my professor hadn’t the slightest idea who I was. Such an effective disguise
might have tempted me (with the help of contact lenses, perhaps) to take up a life of crime.
It was just as well that a few months later God, Helen and the Church in Wales got hold of
me instead, otherwise who knows where I might have ended up.
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. There will 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 20 June (Trinity 3) 9am HOLY EUCHARIST in church (p.162); 5pm ZOOM
EVENING PRAYER; Wednesday 23 June (Birth of St John the Baptist transferred) 10.30am
HOLY EUCHARIST in church (p.253); Sunday 27 June 9.15am HOLY EUCHARIST (Trinity 4:
Kristie’s first celebration) in church (p.165); 11yb CYMUN BENDIGAID ar ZOOM (t.165);
5pm ZOOM EVENING PRAYER. Please contact ROSEMARY BOWEN (English services) or
MALCOLM JONES (gwasanaethau Cymraeg) to ensure a place at 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