One of the first things that struck me as a newly fledged curate, knocking on doors in the
obscurer side streets of Aberystwyth, was the unsung heroism of so many people. There
were husbands and wives caring for partners with dementia, single parents coping with
problem children, people in constant physical pain, and others carrying crushing burdens of
different kinds. ‘Pob un â’i groes’ – everyone has his or her cross, but some seem to have a
heavier one than others, and it is often borne with astonishing resilience and courage.
Those people who impressed me so much were on a list of church members, but their
circumstances meant that they rarely, if ever, appeared in the pews on Sundays. Yet their
Christian faith was what sustained them in the face of daily challenges that must sometimes
have seemed almost impossible to cope with. My training incumbent (the wonderful pastor,
preacher and future archbishop George Noakes) helped me to be aware of this, to value the
courage of the people I met, and to learn from them. By doing so he tried to teach me to see
people in the way that Jesus did.
My youngest daughter’s condition has deteriorated recently and she has now had to return
to hospital. Over the past few months, however, we have had carers coming in three times a
day to feed her. Their help and support sustained my wife Helen during times of intense
difficulty, helping her to care for Gwenllian in physically and emotionally demanding
circumstances. We have all learnt this year how much we owe to those who devote their
lives to caring for others. Perhaps in the future the contribution made by carers (both
professionally and voluntarily) will receive the respect that it deserves. It is truly Christ-like.
Everything is provisional this year: some of the children of our Sunday School and Small
Church are isolating, and Kristie our Curate is waiting for the result of a Covid test. This
means that our Christmas schedule may have to be tweaked at times. Watch this space!
SERVICES: SUNDAY 6 December 9am ZOOM EUCHARIST (English); 11yb CYMUN
BENDIGAID yn yr Eglwys; 5pm ZOOM EVENING PRAYER; Wednesday 9 December 10.30am
EUCHARIST in Church; SUNDAY 13 December 9.15am NATIVITY EUCHARIST in Church;
11am ZOOM EUCHARIST; Wednesday 16 December 10.30am EUCHARIST in Church;
SUNDAY 20 December 9.15am ANGEL EUCHARIST in Church; 11am ZOOM EUCHARIST;
5pm ZOOM 9 LESSONS & CAROLS; Wednesday 23 December 10.30am EUCHARIST in
Church; CHRISTMAS EVE 5pm CRIB SERVICE in Church; 11.30pm ZOOM MIDNIGHT MASS;
CHRISTMAS DAY 8am CYMUN Y WAWR/DAWN EUCHARIST in Church. To book seats (first
come, first served) and in case of Zoom difficulties please get in touch with Delyth, Kristie,
Rosemary Bowen, Malcolm Jones, or myself.