The Pool Mission Area in the Archdeaconry of Montgomery, Diocese of St Asaph of the Anglican Church in Wales consists of 16 churches divided in to 3 groups with one of the 3 stipendiary priests in the Mission Area rooted in each group and having pastoral responsibility for each of the communities and churches within their group:
The Rectory, Llandrinio SY21 6RW, Tel 01691 838533
1. Pool South: Montgomery, Forden, Llandysill, Llandysilio and Penrhos ;
Incumbent: Rev’d Alexis Smith
Tel: 01686 668243; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Pool Central: Welshpool, Castle Caereinion, Pool Quay, Llandrinio, Criggion and Mission Church Belan;
Incumbent: Revd Steven Willson;
Tel 01938 553164, email: email@example.com
3. Pool North: Guilsfield, Buttington, Berriew and 2 Mission Churches (Fron & Pant y Ffridd);
Incumbent: Revd Caroline Rhodes
Tel 01938 554245, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest Mission Area News
Services during Coronavirus
We are endeavoring to produce a service for every Sunday and are working on making the service for next week, Easter Sunday, a little more special. Watch this space! The service for this week, Palm Sunday is available now on You Tube. Just click on this link https://youtu.be/KunD-mAbxVE (or copy and paste it into your internet search box). If you use Facebook you’ll find it on the new Pool MA Facebook page on Sunday morning.
As the Palm Sunday gospel reading is so long there’s no sermon, instead the reading is accompanied by a visual depiction of the passion of Christ. This comes to us with permission from a church in Devon. Rev’d Caroline Rhodes has prepared most of the material, with Jessie Skewis (Forden) contributing the prayers. Jenny Willson has put it on-line for us and Helen Hayes has passed on the Roots material below – thanks to all of you. The reading sheet for this week is at Palm Sunday Readings, as is a copy of the Service of Morning Prayer at Home Caroline produced.
Roots are making available their resources that connect with the Sunday readings. They have materials for adults and for children. These are available as follows: Resources for Adults: www.rootsontheweb.com/adultsathome5apr, Resources for Families: www.rootsontheweb.com/familiesathome5apr.
Services from Esgobty: The Bishop has also been producing a weekly service from his private chapel at Esgobty. These appear on the diocesan website, together with all other material for the present time, at https://dioceseofstasaph.org.uk/coronavirus/digital-prayer-and-worship/worship-from-esgobty/ . The service released from Esgobty for Palm Sunday, will include the blessing of palms, and which will encourage people to lay their own palm crosses or other items in front of the screen to be include in the blessing. (which will at least allow people to identify with the ceremonies of the Church).
The Bishop has also produced a Eucharist. He acknowledges that he is am immensely privileged by having the location to be able to celebrate the Eucharist at home and this liturgy has been designed to enable people to share in the liturgy virtually and to make an Act of Spiritual Communion.
Services are planned to follow for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter (including a Ceremony of Light), and then for the Sundays after Easter.
There is also a Pastoral Letter from Bishop Gregory at Bishop’s Pastoral Letter.
Apart from the all other difficulties we are all facing, this time of lockdown will have a devastating effect on church finances. Most churches are suffering a severe loss of income and whilst there are some reductions in expenditure (assuming you’ve both remembered and been able to turn your heating off!) many of the other costs remain.
Some churches have already asked whether there can be a break from Share payments to the diocese but this is unlikely as the vast majority of the Share payment is to pay for the clergy and that cost is unaffected by the shutdown. Whilst some people seem to imagine we are sat around twiddling our thumbs whilst we have no services, the reality is that the clergy are as busy as ever; finding new ways of providing worship on-line or via resources people can use at home and also trying to help people in need in the wider community (such as coordinating the volunteer scheme in Welshpool that is taking up a lot of my time at the moment). We are also still trying to support people who have been bereaved which is especially challenging in the current circumstances.
The diocese is trying to reduce some of its other costs, for example, the Diocesan office is closed, with some staff working from home and other furloughed for the time being. But this will only save a very small percentage of our regular costs. Unfortunately, the Church in Wales is not a wealthy church as most of its assets were taken from it when we were disestablished 100 years ago this month, so these costs still have to be met somehow.
The churches that will best survive this difficult time are those where a significant proportion of the congregation give by Gift Direct or otherwise recognise the importance of continuing their regular giving, even though we are not actually in church to put an envelope on the plate.
The real question for each of us is Why do I give to the church? If we think, Why should I give when there are no church services to attend? that suggests we give to the church in return for what we get, but even then the church is still doing things for you now, as outlined above. You may think, I give to support the church in doing its work, in which case, again, hopefully its clear the church is still hard at work doing its job of reaching out to those in the wider community. Or maybe we give as an act of thanksgiving to God, as an expression of our appreciation for all that God is to us and does for us – and that of course remains solid and unchanged, even in such difficult times.
The problem for many of us may simply be a practical one – How can I give when I can’t go out of the house and the building isn’t open? To help with this the Church in Wales has established a new online payment method for people to make Gift Aid donations to the Church. This is the most efficient and effective way that people can help their local church during these difficult times. Anyone with internet access can simply type the following into Google (or whatever search engine you use) and find the details of how the scheme works: https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/clergy-and-members/gift-direct/ or you can go directly to https://www.churchinwales.org.uk/en/clergy-and-members/gift-direct/start-giving-your-parish/ to set up a payment.
Supporting your churches in this way will help to ensure you still have a church to go back to when this is all over!
Other people are suffering financially too!
You might like to consider applying the same logic to other things you regularly support too. If, for example, you regularly visit Powis Castle or ride on the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway you might like to consider helping them by donating the money you would normally spend on your day out there if you had been able to go. This will help these charities to survive. You could also consider applying the same approach to local businesses. If, for example, you like to visit your local pub now and again, there is more likely to still be a pub for you to visit if you consider giving them the money you would have spent this weekend if you’d been able to go. If enough people do that it may be enough to help keep them afloat.
More resources for Young People
Tim Feak, our Diocesan under-25s Officer, has been putting lots of resources for young people on our diocesan website: https://dioceseofstasaph.org.uk/coronavirus/resources-for-young-people/
The Resources are under the following headings;
Things to do at home
Worship and Prayer
Mental Health and Well Being.
Tim says, “If you can’t find what you are looking for in any of this then please do contact me. I have a great deal of access to a great many resources. I would love to help support you. Please let me know how.”
Tim can be reach via:
Tel : 01745 532595 or 07918 729 461
Email : email@example.com
New Curate for the MA Area
It’s good to be able to finish on a positive note and we will now be having not one but two Curates in the MA this year. Apart from our own Jim Thompson, church warden and worship leader in Penrhos, who is being ordained to further his already valuable ministry amongst us, another newly ordained Deacon, Rev’d Toby Jones, will be coming to Pool MA. Toby, who is currently completing his training on site at St Padarn’s in Cardiff, is an Australian by birth but has been in the UK for the last 14 years. His home church is Manafon in the Caereinion MA.
Church in Wales Coronavirus Guidance
All services have been cancelled until further notice and the latest Church in Wales detailed guidance regarding Coroanvirus can be found on the following link: https://dioceseofstasaph.org.uk/coronavirus/.
Resources for Worshipping at Home
Some resources that can be used to worship at home during this difficult time of restricting social contact and self-isolation are Service of Morning Prayer at Home and Bible Readings and Collects for Sundays.
Forthcoming Mission Area Events:
All future services and events cancelled or postponed until further notice.
Mission Area News
The latest Mission Area Newsletter, MA News Lent 2020.
Mission Area Conference Minutes
The minutes of the Mission Area Conference held on Wednesday 27th November 2019 at Pool Quay: MAC Meeting Minutes 27.11.2019.