This month we celebrate Pentecost. Pentecost Sunday, 9th June, is the day when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, the breath of God breathing his life into His church – it is a day often considered to be the ‘birthday’ of the Christian Church.
This month it is Emmanuel Penyffordd’s 60th birthday on its current site!
Did you know however that Emmanuel Church has not always been on its current site? Emmanuel is actually 138 years old! The church first met on 20th January 1881 in a converted cowshed on the site of the current fish and chip shop/Chinese takeaway Wok-1. Then on 1st August 1890 the church relocated close to the former Griffiths’ Butchers on Hawarden Road – not very far from where the current Butcher’s is now – and it became locally known as the “Tin Church”. (Incidentally – Ccngratulations to Steve & Helen Vaughan on your retirement! We’re also pleased that (as well as Justin in Caergwrle – where Steve started out too) the Penyffordd village butchers remains with us – Welcome to Baker and Roberts to Penyffordd.
Emmanuel’s current church site was consecrated by the then Bishop of St Asaph, the Right Revd Dr David Bartlett, on 11th June 1959 – St Barnabas’ Day, and as you may well know was fully refurbished and extended in October 2011.
On Pentecost weekend we are celebrating Emmanuel’s big birthday. On Saturday 8th June, 2:30-4pm, there will be a celebratory afternoon tea (and fundraiser) hosted by the Emmanuel Ladies’ Guild. On Monday 10th June the TiddleTots will have a big birthday party theme. On Pentecost Sunday, 9th June, Emmanuel and Hope Churches look forward to welcoming Bishop Gregory to Emmanuel who will be preaching and celebrating at a 10am Holy Communion. Please do come and join us over the weekend, and come to share some of your own memories of Emmanuel Church, when both on the Tin Church and current site.
Plus don’t forget the Hope Church annual Summer Fayre on 15th June too.
Goodbye to Simon Piercy and welcome to Rev Gareth & Shavonne Erlandson
At the end of this month, on Saturday 29th June, a good crowd of us will be making our way to St Asaph Cathedral. Our outgoing Ordinand (and Penyffordd resident) Simon Piercy is to be ordained as will be Gareth our new curate. To support Simon and Gareth, we are considering hiring a coach to St Asaph at £5pp please speak to Blodwen, Jan or Helen if you’d like come on board! Then on Sunday 30th June at 11am in Hope Church, do come and welcome Gareth and his wife Shavonne too at their welcome service. There will be a bring and share lunch in the hall afterwards.
Future Ministry in Borderlands Mission Area
Thinking further ahead, at our last Mission Area Conference (MAC) we began to relook at ‘shared ministry’ across Borderlands. In our part of the Mission Area, Rev Bryn Parry Jones will retire from Penymynydd and Ewloe in October. There is also a current vacancy in Broughton and Sealand Churches. To fill these roles the MAC is proposing four smaller shared ministry teams to serve the communities around Buckley, Hope, Hawarden and Connah’s Quay; with each team taking on one of these four vacant churches.
Under this proposal, from the Autumn, Gareth and myself together with Readers Pam and Ann, our able band of worship leaders and Jeremy, would begin sharing pastoral responsibility for Hope and Penyffordd with Penymynydd. We would also work more closely with Rev Gill Stanning and worship leaders in Cymau and Llanfynydd.
If this proposal had been put to me two or three years ago then I would have considered this impossible. I am however now very open to praying and thinking through this idea further. Hope’s three Sunday congregations grew collectively by 8% in 2018. Llanfynydd are beginning to thrive under Gill Stanning’s leadership. It makes a lot of sense for Penyffordd and Penymynydd to work together. Our growth is largely because here in the ‘Hope-quarter’ we have a growing, flourishing and able ministry team. I am becoming increasingly confident for the future that – with the help of the Holy Spirit who came at Pentecost – such a pattern of future ministry in this quarter has the potential to work really well. Please do keep all this in your prayers!
In Christ, Adam
Rev Adam Pawley