CANON PATRICK’S 114th LETTER

Dear friends,
St James’ tide is the anniversary of my ordination to the diaconate (1979) and the
priesthood (1980) by Bishop Eric Roberts. In those days curates in St David’s Diocese were
ordained a month after those in other Welsh Dioceses. A relic of that time is the tradition of
holding the annual Cathedral Chapter Day on the Thursday after St James’s Day, which
means that I shall be off to the Cathedral on Thursday for my final meeting of the Canons. It
will be the end of an era, not just because I’m the longest serving Canon (I was appointed by
Bishop Huw Jones back in 2000), but also because, with my retirement, the members of the
Chapter will no longer contain a Canon surnamed Thomas (probably the first time that this
has happened in several centuries). At one time the Thomases were a significant force
among the Canons: Randolph (St Peter’s), Sid (Pontyberem), Alan (Pembroke Dock) and
Euros (Cilgerran) are four who immediately spring to mind from my years in the Chapter.
The disappearance of the Tomosiaid may perhaps be a sign of much more profound changes
in the Diocese.
I’ve been richly blessed during 21 years as a Canon. Not only did I have the chance to write
several books while in residence at the Canonry, but I was also present at some significant
events. When Her Majesty the Queen visited St Davids for the Millennium, her Canon’s stall
was next to mine, and we exchanged a few polite words. Later on, the nave of the Cathedral
was used to film ‘The Hollow Crown’, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s history plays – and the
following Sunday I administered the chalice to David Suchet (‘Hercule Poirot’), who is a
devout Anglican. When the Shrine of St David was restored, I was asked to advise on the
iconography. Archdeacon Dorrien insists that I was the model for the icon of St Patrick (I
can’t see the likeness myself). The highlight for me, however, was the dedication of the
Armenian Genocide Memorial in the Cloister Garden in 2015 by Bishop Hovakim and Bishop
Wyn – an unforgettable experience, despite the torrential rain.
My last Welsh service in Christ Church will be on Sunday 8 August at 11am and my last
English service in Christ Church will be on Sunday 15 August at 9.15am.
Services: Sunday 25 July (St James the Apostle) 9.15am HOLY EUCHARIST in church
(p.260); 11yb CYMUN BENDIGAID ar Zoom (t.260); Wednesday 28 July (St Samson)
10.30am HOLY EUCHARIST in church (p.287); Sunday 1 August (Trinity 1 / Lammas Day)
9.15am FAMILY EUCHARIST in church (I have been asked to write a final Cosmo the Christ
Church Cat story for the occasion); Wednesday 4 August (Transfiguration transferred)
HOLY EUCHARIST in church (p.262). 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 the Zoom Evening Prayer at 5pm
on Sundays (which has sometimes had to be cancelled recently) and about Llangunnor
services. I can let you know about services at Llannewydd/Newchurch. Canon Patrick

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