In Brechfa in the 1980s and 90s a few ancient children’s traditions survived. Before a
wedding, ropes would be stretched across the road, and the bride or her father would have
to pay the children a generous toll in order to get to the church on time. Dydd Calan (New
Year’s Day) was an even more lucrative occasion. The children would be up bright and early
to start on a carefully planned route around the village, knocking on doors and reciting or
singing ‘Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi, ac i bawb sydd yn y tŷ. Dyna ein dymuniad ni: Blwyddyn
Newydd Dda i chi’ (‘A Good New Year to you, and to everyone in the house. This is our wish:
a Good New Year to you). The verse would be rewarded with a calennig (New Year’s gift) of
50p or £1, as well as some sweets or a tangerine. At mid-day my own little tribe would
arrive home cheerfully, to enthusiastically tot up the morning’s takings.
The calennig that we are all waiting for at the beginning of 2021 is the vaccine against Covid.
Although we have now got used to a rather depressing combination of over-promising and
under-performing by some of those in prominent positions, there is now a very real hope
that by Easter things will start getting back to normal. In the meantime, the important thing
is for people to stay safe, and for our hard-pressed NHS workers, carers, teachers and other
key workers to receive the support that they need. At the moment Christ Church remains
closed. We are fortunate in having an extremely able, wise and sensible team of church
officers, who will help me to decide when it is most appropriate for us to re-open. In the
meantime, thanks to Delyth and Kristie, we are able to Zoom our services. This Sunday (with
Val’s help) we have a family service at 9am. The following Sunday (when we celebrate
Armenian Christmas) there will be an English service at 9am and a Welsh service at 11am.
An American publisher wants (surprisingly) to print my old sermons. I’ve never had much
confidence in my preaching since the Sunday 40 years ago in Aberystwyth when, as I got into
the pulpit, a female student exclaimed loudly “Oh, no! It’s that ghastly little man again!”
Our Christmas Appeal (divided between the Salvation Army and an Armenian charity to help
victims of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh) will continue until our church reopens for services.
Services: Sunday 3 January (CHRISTMAS 2) 9am ZOOM FAMILY EUCHARIST; 5pm ZOOM
EVENSONG; Wednesday 6 January (EPIPHANY) 10.30am ZOOM EUCHARIST (readings,
p.47); Sunday 10 January (ARMENIAN CHRISTMAS/NADOLIG ARMENAIDD) 9am ENGLISH
ZOOM EUCHARIST (readings p.41 from Christmas Day); 11yb CYMUN ZOOM CYMRAEG
(darlleniadau t.47 o Ddydd Gŵyl yr Ystwyll); 5pm ZOOM EVENSONG; Wednesday 13
January (St ILAR’S DAY) 10.30am ZOOM EUCHARIST (readings, p.287) Canon Patrick