A presentation was made to Ian and Liz Sumpter and their son-in-law Steve who for the past few years have created the life-size crib in the churchyard and provided the lights around the churchyard and stars on the tower which help to remind all who pass by of the true meaning of Christmas.
What a delightful evening’s entertainment in Hope Church yesterday when Belle Voci gave a stunning performance, joined by Castell Alun Choir who opened the evening with a lovely performance of ‘Carol of the Bells’.
Belle Voci are the talented duo who shot to fame when they reached the final of 'The Voice' in 2018. Their beautiful voices filled the church as they performed a variety of pieces. There were opera classics such as ‘Panis Angelicus’ and songs from musical theatre such as ‘I could have danced all night’ as well as festive favourites such as ‘O Holy Night’. The audience had the privilege of hearing their first public performance of ‘The Scientist’, released as a single that very day and reaching number 1 in the iTunes classical chart by midday!
Emily and Sophie told the audience a little about how they got to where they are today and explained that they always like to include local schools in their performances as they are so grateful for the musical education they received when they were at school themselves.
Our thanks for a great evening to Belle Voci and their accompanist, Michael, and to Castell Alun School choir.
The stall holders were certainly kept busy during today’s Christmas Fayre when a good crowd came along to the Church Hall on a gloomy afternoon. Visitors had the opportunity to browse a wide variety of stalls including lots of homemade produce. There was the chance to buy a few Christmas gifts, try your hand at the tombola and raffle and enjoy refreshments all in a warm and convivial atmosphere.
For the children the highlight of the afternoon must have been their visit to see Father Christmas with his elf in his grotto.
Thank you to all who contributed to the success of today’s event and to all those came along to support it. A total of £1479.59 was raised for church funds.
The annual Big Breakfast was cooked in the Church Hall today and the helpers were certainly kept busy. There was an excellent turn-out with a large number of tasty breakfasts served. It was great to see so many members of the community coming along to enjoy the food and the fellowship.
Our thanks to all our “customers” and to those who supported the event by donating food, cooking and serving it and washing up a mountain of dishes.
There was a special event at Pop In on Thursday. Those who came along were treated to a marvellous piano concert when ten pupils of local piano teacher Amanda Morris performed for them.
They ranged from 5-year-old Hannah to 17-year-old Adam, who wowed the audience with his Chopin.
The audience were most appreciative and very pleased that they had the opportunity to hear this wonderful local talent. Our thanks to the pupils and also of course to their splendid teacher.
Have you met Rev. Gareth Erlandson, our new full-time curate? Gareth was formerly Head of Music at Ysgol Rhiwabon and then studied theology and trained for ministry at the St Padarn’s Institute site in Llandaff, Cardiff. We are delighted that he has now joined the Borderlands Mission Area and is based in Hope and Penyffordd.
A good crowd from Hope and Penyffordd attended the Ordination Service at St Asaph Cathedral on 29 June at which both Gareth and our outgoing Ordinand Simon Piercy were ordained by Bishop Gregory. You can see them with Rector Adam in the first photo below. The second photo was taken at the Welcome Lunch served in the Church Hall the following day after the Welcome Service. It was a lovely opportunity to meet and chat to Gareth and his wife Shavonne.
Gareth will be having a significant role in the pastoral work of the Parish. If you or someone you know would value a visit from the clergy or a pastoral assistant or communion at home Gareth can be contacted on 07731 827988 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How lovely to see so many people on the Willow Field on Saturday enjoying themselves and soaking up the atmosphere at the Hope, Caergwrle and Abermorddu Carnival. Once again Hope Church took part as you can see in the photos below.
Kathleen was there selling her home-made jams and chutneys as well as plants. Nearby was the stall run by the Hope Community Craft Group who were offering some of their beautiful creations for sale. Proceeds from these stalls were going to church funds.
We would like to congratulate those who have organised the Carnival, making it an event that so many in the area look forward to every summer.
We are delighted with the results of the painstaking work completed by Dr Andrea Kirkham, a specialist in the conservation of wall paintings. Andrea identified up to 3 layers of texts and decoration in the painting towards the front of the church, the top and most visible layer dating from around 1630. The layer beneath is also from the early 1600s and is identified particularly from the deep red arcs of paint. The Friends group will be developing more information about the project and the paintings, but in the meantime here is a brief summary together with 'before' and 'after' pictures.
East end texts (towards front of church)
The rather ugly repairs have disappeared and although a lot of the words are missing, those that remain gave us early clues about the text referred to. The word “Solomon” and the number “15” led us to the book of Proverbs, which from chapter 10 are described as the proverbs of Solomon in the Authorised King James translation.
We are now sure that the original text is a quote from Proverbs 15:3 KJV and would have read:
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good saith Solomon”
Saith is an old version of the present day word say.
West end texts (towards back of church)
Here we can see a lot more letters but we have so far been unable to identify the text referred to in the painting. We can also see some parts of letters from the previous layer which was covered by a thin whitewash which makes interpretation more difficult. We can’t promise a prize to whoever solves it – but all ideas will be welcome. Remember that it’s the Authorised King James version you need to be looking at!
The fragments (on the wall of the children's corner)
The wooden frame opposite the vestry door has been completely indecipherable since fragments of wall paintings from other parts of the church were placed together many years ago, and we did not hold out much hope for making much sense of them. However they proved to be a real bonus! We can now see scraps of text and decoration which tie in with the material in the two main texts. Thanks to Andrea’s work, enhanced by improvements to the frame by Edwin Jones, it’s possible to imagine that the church once contained large stretches of wall paintings.
If you come and visit the church and the paintings, we would love to hear from you and what you think of them now.
Our next Welcome Afternoon is Saturday 13th July 2-4 pm where there will be people who can talk you through the work done, while you can explore the church, ring the bells and even try the organ.