As most in the Parish know, Jean O’Keefe regularly purchases group tickets (20+) for many of the shows that come to Cardiff and this enables a discount of about £6 on the seat price. It is a nice casual evening out when we share cars and go together; it really works well.
Most of the tickets for the popular shows sell out many months (if not a year) in advance, so currently she is ‘Looking Forward’ to shows coming in 2018.
There has been a cancellation or two for the following shows which are coming soon. If you would like to take advantage of one of these shows, don’t hang about as the tickets will go on a ‘first come, first served basis’.
Tuesday 31st October: the Musical “Beautiful”, which is the Carole King Musical. The untold story of her journey from school girl to superstar,
Features the Carole King classics including, So Far Away, It Might As Well Rain until September, Take Good Care of my Baby, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Up on the Roof, Locomotion, One Fine Day, You’ve Got a Friend, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Feel the Earth Move.
Tuesday 12th December: Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon – a recent smash hit in the West End and now on a major UK Tour.
Winner of a record-breaking nine Whats-on-stage Awards 2015 including Best Show, this epic love story tells the tragic tale of young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with an American GI called Chris – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.
[ Why not ask Jean o’Keefe about shows, ‘in the pipeline’.]
Weren’t we blessed once again with the weather this year … on balance, I think that we are often lucky with our Annual Strawberry Teas. I know that it is held in June … but lets face it, we do need to contend with the ‘British summer’ and be prepared for anything
This year the weather was sunny and warm, with the gentlest of breezes and that’s something that we don’t take for granted. Yes it was lovely.
Tea was of course strawberries, however before these, there was a delicious array of sandwiches, quiche, sausage rolls, fresh meats, salads and, … well the list goes on.
Then strawberries with an array of cream and followed by the most indulgent of cakes; small large and in-between, the variety of which was amazing and of course delicious, (perhaps too much so!).
Throughout the afternoon, tea and coffee was a constant and to follow that, by choice, a refreshing glass of Pimms.
The amount of work for that one afternoon is quite phenomenal, the planning and preparation, baking and making, prepping and setting things up. Such a huge task.
Then in addition to all this, the afternoon itself needed to flow, ‘guests’ seated, table service under way and such a commitment to ensuring that everyone had the best of experiences.
Pauline Boughton and her team once again did us proud. Providing such a lovely afternoon and raised the grand total of £813 for Parish funds. Truly amazing.
So I think I speak on behalf of all those who shared Pauline’s garden on the 17th June, “Thank you so very much to you all. You could not have done more than what you did to give each and every one of us a truly wonderful time. You were brilliant!”
It’s been quite a busy time for the parish bank account this month.
We paid out £6,620 for the replacement fascia boards at St Timothy’s – although most of this is covered by grants that we have received.
We also paid out £85 for portable appliance testing in both churches (that is testing that kettles, heaters and other electrical items are safe). This is another annual expense we are obliged to meet.
The parish has all the same expenses that we have for our homes – gas, water, insurance and so on – but there are lots of extra costs simply because we are ‘public buildings’.
The good news for the month is that the Strawberry Tea this year has brought in £813 – so a big thank you to Pauline for arranging this, and of course thanks to the team of helpers who ensured that we had a fabulous afternoon.
Then of course, we say thank you to all those from the parish, and our friends from sister parishes, who by their presence helped the event to be such a success.
Last month, as a parish we gave £1,777 by Gift Direct, envelopes and stewardship (In June 2016 we gave £1,691. We also gave £393 by Sunday loose collections (June 2016: £341).
Wedding and funeral fees brought in £845 and collections at weddings, baptisms and funerals raised £105
You may have heard (or seen elsewhere in this magazine) that the redecoration of St David’s is planned for October – which allows us to get this year’s weddings out of the way before we put scaffolding up.
Thanks to donations and fund raising events in the last two years– we have about £7,000 put aside for the task– but will need an estimated further £5,000. (This will allow for necessary re-plastering and minor repairs to brickwork as necessary.)
Any suggestions for fund raising are very welcome.
Happy Summer. Peter Rosser
This month we’ll be starting our new First Communion sessions.
Anyone who is 7 years Ê can come along if they feel (with the support of parents) that they would like to start receiving Holy Communion.
Last year the Bishops of The Church in Wales issued a letter stating that the only thing someone needed to receive Holy Communion was Baptism – so long as someone, of any age, was baptised, then they could come to the altar and receive the Sacraments.
Along with other neighbouring parishes, we understand that teaching to mean that children from Year 2 in Primary School are perfectly capable of understanding what is happening when we hold out our hands to receive the body and blood of Christ.
At its most basic level, when we come to the Altar, we are meeting with Jesus in the bread and the wine.
In Church after we share the peace, we take bread and wine to the Altar. The priest then says a prayer over the gifts of bread and wine, asking the Holy Spirit to change them and make them Holy. And because He loves us, that is what the Holy Spirit does.
‘Send your Holy Spirit on these gifts of Bread and wine, that they may be to us the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ’. (The Eucharistic Prayer
It’s why, when you come to the altar, the priest does not say to you, ‘ a piece of bread’ but, ‘the body of Christ’. It’s why the person bringing the chalice to you does not say, ‘a sip of wine’ but, ‘the blood of Christ’.
To say, ‘the body of Christ’ and ‘the blood of Christ’ means ‘the Life of Christ’.
When we receive the food of Holy Communion, Jesus is using this bread and wine to give you His own life. It is a meeting with Him, an encounter, a Holy Communion, with Him; Jesus.
A child can understand this.
But even if a child, or an adult, for whatever reason, could not understand this, that child or adult would not be barred from receiving Holy Communion. I received the Life of Christ when I was baptised as a baby. Did I understand that? No. But God gave me that Life, anyway.
We want the children who come along to these sessions to catch something of the wonder, love and mystery of Holy Communion. We want that for their parents too! But we’re not trying to make them pass a spelling or times table test. We want to talk to them about Holy Communion, and learn with them, because we want them to understand how awesome it is to come to the altar and to touch the presence of Jesus, the Bread of Life.
My intuition is that children are better at grasping this truth, and holding on to it, than many adults.
Pray for the children who will be part of our First Communion Group. And show, by your own example, how deep and awesome and important it is to come, Sunday by Sunday, to Jesus, who says, ‘this is my body, this is my blood, take, eat, do this!’
Experiences shared by Jill Hamer
[With a prologue by Karen]
I am known by many to be a bit of a nuisance in trying to encourage (i.e. cajole) people into writing something to share in the magazine. Something that interests them which might well be of interest to others too … and why not?!
My friend Jill, a regular reader of the magazine, has kindly taken up the ‘baton’ and wishes to share her enthusiasm and love of Opera, in the hope that it might encourage the uninitiated to give it a try.
Thank you so much Jill, for sharing your thoughts with us, it was interesting and encouraging. Perhaps it might also persuade others to contribute to the magazine too, as it is a magazine based on our faith and our people.
Karen and I are very fortunate as due to my connection of many years with the Welsh National Opera I qualify for tickets for Dress Rehearsals for performances given by the WNO.
We have recently attended two super performances, the first, “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat) which was light hearted and witty. Written by Johann Straus the younger, it contained well known music including a waltz in the Ballroom scene which was danced with immaculate choreography. The soloists were excellent and the chorus and orchestra were very good, as always.
The second, and most recent performance we attended was ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ (The Rose Bearer) by Richard Straus. Totally different in musical character of course. The music at the climax of the last act was sublime. The soloists were wonderful, accompanied fantastically by the orchestra. The whole performance was superb.
The Millennium Centre is a wonderful venue for all kinds of performances to cater for all tastes, but music, particularly music ’with a background story’, stirs the emotions in a unique yet subtle way. The Guardian newspaper sums it up in this way:
“Why is opera important? Why is any art important? It offers us a reflection of who we are, how we relate to others, and what it means, collectively and individually, to be human. Opera performed live is a uniquely thrilling experience – at its best, it is hugely powerful and the most emotionally direct of all art forms.”
So, watch out for the performances mentioned above, taking place at the WMC on the 17th and 24th June. Give it a go. I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed.
It was close to midnight and as is the routine, my friend Jill and I walk her two dogs along the road, “to stretch their legs” before settling down for the night. Of course dogs need the formality of a walk before retiring for the night, not having the freedom to come and go on a whim as do the superior species of pet – the feline. To be quite frank, in the pecking order of species, we are all aware that cats are actually the ones in charge.
Having said that, the regular evening walk has developed somewhat as we are habitually accompanied by four felines, all meandering around, exploring, chasing and rolling around in the dust of the gutter; the night is their time.
Surely not four cats, I hear you say? Well there is a reason, but put simply, two of them are Jill’s companions and two are lodgers … temporary lodgers, but temporary has now extended to two years. Their paws are firmly under the table.
Last week, on a bright moonlit night, we were almost back into the house when we noticed the cats sitting around a small bundle of ‘something’; each one of them focused on that small, still bundle. First thoughts were that it was a mouse or a vole and as it was quite motionless, we feared the worst.
Looking more closely at it, the cats then began to close in on ‘their prey’ thinking that we were going to steal it from them … Whatever it was, it was dishevelled and in the dim light, tricky to actually see exactly what it was. We were encouraged by the absence of blood!
Jill held off the increasingly curious felines, whilst I got a generous amount of kitchen tissue, scooped up the small bundle and placed it gently into a little cardboard box. Within its cocoon of tissue, warmth and quiet, we hoped to minimise the stress and shock; but on closing the box, I chanced to take a closer look at what it was that we were looking after, and saw a tiny beak; it was a young bird.
Unfortunately, it was comatose. It was unmoving. Its eyes open but unblinking. Dead? I didn’t know. The box and its sad occupant were placed securely into a warm, quiet spot in the utility room.
The next morning, fearing the worst, I gingerly peeped into the box, and the action caused a movement within and I saw its head swivelling right and then left.
It had survived the night. Wow.
We discretely slipped a small quantity of bird seed into the box and left it alone again, hoping that the quiet, rest, warmth and food would aid a recovery.
Later in the morning, Jill heard a “a bit of a racket” coming from the utility room and investigating it, saw the box ‘moving’ on the shelf. The little bird seemed to have regained it strength!
Taking the box into the garden, she opened it up and a young sparrow soared up and away, briefly stopping on the branch of a tree. It hopped about, sang a bit and then soared off into the sky, seemingly no worse for wear.
A wonderful outcome, yet is there a Christian message to this story? Well I found the following passage of scripture in Matthew Chapter 10.
“ 29 For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. 30 As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows! ”
It is at least something to think about isn’t it?
In May, donations to the parish came to £1,929 by way of Direct giving by Gift Direct, weekly envelopes and loose collections. This is very slightly up on what we gave in May last year (£1,915).
Our income for the month was boosted by a £5,000 legacy bequest from a late parishioner. We also received a very credible sum of £320 for allowing the use of St Timothy’s as a polling station in the council elections on Thursday 4th May.
(As a regular polling station, we will also receive a further £320 in the 8th June General Election – perhaps we should start a petition to have an election every month?).
We will use the legacy bequest to support the expenditure of re-painting St David’s Church. I’m pleased to say that we have received several quotations for the work, so hopefully we will soon be able to commence that long overdue task, to everyone’s delight I’m sure.
Unfortunately, like so many things involved in repairs and refurbishment of our churches, it is not simply a case of putting paint onto the walls as there is a requirement that we should carry out fairly extensive plasterwork repairs.
It is anticipated that the cost is likely to be in the region of £12,000.
This seems to be an opportune moment to say a huge, “Thank you”, to all who have donated directly towards the fund and to those who have helped to raise funds in a variety of different and imaginative ways over the last two years.
It still goes without saying that if you, the reader, can think of any other ideas for fundraising, please speak to one of the church wardens or any member of the Parochial Church Council.
Briefly, in closing, I would like to remind you that in May, we spent £3,647 – simply paying our share commitment of £2,963 to the Diocese and £684 to cover the cost of utilities within the parish
This month begins with a feast – Pentecost. Enjoy!
Fifty days after Easter, the first Christians experienced the full truth of Jesus’ words, ‘I will always be with you, to the end of time’
Gathered in Jerusalem after His ascension to heaven, they experienced the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, falling upon them. They saw the Spirit as ‘flames of fire’ coming to them from heaven.
Fire in the Bible is a symbol of God’s love.
The feast of Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. It’s why there is a Church. The Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, makes Jesus present and real to us.
Where there is Jesus, there is the Church.
The Spirit makes Jesus present to us.
In the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus comes to us in the womb of Mary. The Spirit and Mary bring Jesus to birth.
Through the Holy Spirit, the presence of Jesus at Pentecost comes to rest upon the Apostles and disciples.
When you are baptised, the Spirit of Jesus comes upon the water that we use, and gives His life to you: you become a baptised Christian through Jesus’ Spirit.
When you are confirmed, the Bishop prays that the Spirit will be present to you, to confirm your faith in Jesus.
When we take bread and wine to the altar, the priest asks the Holy Spirit to come upon the gifts, so that they will become to us ‘the body and blood of Jesus’ – that means the life of Jesus.
The Spirit is always making Jesus present to us.
One of the mysteries of the Christian life is that we are told to ask for what we already have and to seek for what has already found us.
We must ask for the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has already been given to us in our baptism and confirmation. But we must go on asking, each day, to be filled with the Spirit, even though we could not even say such a prayer if the Holy Spirit was not already present to us, praying in us, interceding through us Be a Christian: ask for what you already have – the Holy Spirit. Pray that He will shape your acting, your thinking, your feeling, each day. Ask the Spirit to grow in you the fruit that delights God’s heart. How do we know if the Holy Spirit is present in someone? The fruit of the Spirit is ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentles, faithfulness and self control’.
Come Holy Spirit, make Jesus present to us.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your people,
And kindle in us the fire of your love.
THE BEAUTY, THE PLANNING AND THE JOY
Last year I wrote in the magazine about how lovely the Mothering Sunday flowers were and what a nice gesture it always is to receive them in Church, from the hands of the children. This year was no different, receiving such a lovely posy, however it got me thinking about the flowers in Church … generally.
We especially notice the floral displays at the ‘Special Festivals’ during the year, yet don’t always appreciate the hard work that goes into arranging them, ’just so!’ Sunday by Sunday. Then the thought occurred to me; are these weekly flowers really noticed? Are they appreciated?
So I would love to take this opportunity to thank all those talented ladies who regularly arrange the flowers throughout the parish, making our beautiful Churches even nicer places to be.
So next time you are in church, find a moment to appreciate the work of the person who has created a lovely piece of artwork in the arrangement of the flowers.