Guilsfield Church are taking part in ‘Churches Count on Nature Week’ – You are welcome to visit our Churchyard at any time throughout Saturday 5th June (excluding Saturday 5th between 1:30pm and 4:00pm, when a wedding will be taking place) to Sunday 13th June 2021 and write down what animals, birds, insects, plants or fungi that you see. You may also like to have a camera with you and take photos of anything unusual or that you need help identifying. For further instructions on how to take part and submit your observations can be found in the Guilsfield Churches Count on Nature Guidelines and Churchyard Map.
If you would like to donate to St Aelhaiarn’s please go the new ‘How to Donate‘ page.
We have re-opened for socially-distanced services on Sundays. Capacity is reduced to about 27 people, but we’re frustratingly still not allowed to sing. Bethan has been wonderful in trying to find creative ways to incorporate music in our services, and we’re very grateful. It has been wonderful recently to welcome some of our “summer migrants” back, who are now able to stay in their local holiday homes and worship with us. For details of In-Church and On-Line services in Guilsfield and across the Mission Area visit the News and Forthcoming Events page or Pool Mission Area pages.
We are very aware that no-one has been able to have a “normal” funeral since March 2020, and many people have been prevented from attending funerals that they would have gone to in unrestricted times, and we extend our sympathy to all who are grieving. When we are finally allowed to fill the church and sing hymns again we will be holding a memorial service to remember and give thanks for all the people whose funerals we have not been able to attend.
We’re beginning to look at managing our church yard to protect its biodiversity. We know we’ve got lots of snowdrops, and we’re trying to identify more of the wild flowers that grow there. We also know that slow-worms have been spotted there, and bats certainly roost in the church and possibly the yew trees as well. We would welcome any volunteers to help us. Contact Caroline 554245 for more information.
Like many organisations Covid has hit our finances hard. It costs almost £1000 per week to keep the church open and staffed, which is almost entirely raised by the regular giving of our congregation of about 50 people, and our fund raising activities (which haven’t been possible recently) In 2020 we recorded a shortfall of £14,900 and have a projected shortfall of £11,900. We had just received a grant of £7300 from the Covid Heritage Recovery Fund, for which we are very grateful, but we’re still £19,500 out of pocket. We have had to make a substantial withdrawal from our reserves which means that we will no longer have the income from those investments, which may precipitate a downward spiral necessitating further withdrawals and subsequent decreases in income if we are not able to stabilise the situation. If you are able to help us all donations will be very gratefully received, either through the vicarage letterbox (please mark the envelope “for the Treasurer” ) or on-line where you can make a one-off, regular, monthly or annual donation at: https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/clergy-and-members/gift-direct/start-donating-your-church-or-parish/ (select ‘Pool A232 Guilsfield, St Aelhaiarn, Guilsfield’ from the drop-down menu in the ‘Beneficiary’ box and ‘One-off’ or the frequency you wish to give from the drop-down menu in the ‘Frequency’ box).
Caroline and Bethan both produced short video presentations (approx 5 mins each) for an on-line meeting reflecting on the ‘Stations of the Cross’. Caroline’s video for Station 6 – ‘Veronica wipes the face of Jesus’ can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/VpDzkwGCAaM . Bethan’s video for Station 10 – ‘Jesus is Stripped of His Garments’ is at: https://youtu.be/unsV6Rb99Vo.
Caroline has a new e-mail address: CarolineRhodes@churchinwales.org.uk.
The latest Welsh government guidelines require that access to all church buildings is restricted and supervised, and no other access granted, and so with a heavy heart the main door remains locked outside advertised opening times. This church building has stood at the centre of Guilsfield as a symbol of God’s presence, with us and among us, throughout plagues and pandemics in the past. He will hear our prayers wherever we say them.
While we’re not allowed in church if you would like Caroline to light a candle for you among her icons at the vicarage do get in touch.
A leaflet with instructions for a short walk around Guilsfield pointing out some of it’s history and beginning at the Church is available to view, print and download at Guilsfield History Walk.
As an active Christian community we aim to be open, friendly and accessible. The church is open daily for visitors throughout the year, with the lady chapel available for quiet reflection and prayer.
We aim to offer a mixture of forms of worship from the traditional to the contemporary for all ages.
St Aelhaiarns works closely with the Groeslwyd Presbyterian Church of Wales and other local organisations in the wider community as we seek to share God’s love for all.
You will find a very warm welcome at our services and we look forward to greeting you.
The church is open daily 10.00 a.m to 4.00 p.m. winter and 10.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m. summer.
We belong to the Small Pilgrims Places Network; www.smallpilgrimplaces.org and continue to attract visitors from all over the world. A Small Pilgrim Place is a place that has a ‘presence’, a place for people to pray or to spend some time in quiet contemplation away from the bustle of traffic and modern living. The church is included in T J Hughes’ Wales’ Best One Hundred Churches’ and also the AA book Exploring Britain’s Churches and Chapels, with a forward by David Dimbleby. It has also been listed on a website designed to promote churches to visit at www.explorechurches.org where you can also find other churches to visit in the local area; Explore Churches is supported by the National Churches Trust. Our page can be found at https://www.explorechurches.org/church/st-aelhaiarn-guilsfield.
We would be grateful if you could make our web site known to your families, friends and acquaintances or why not visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/guilsfieldchurch.