From next week individuals, or members of the same household, can pray privately in three local church buildings. Careful risk assessment, preparation and cleaning regimes were required to get permission. Access is only allowed at these times, with numbers limited to preserve social distancing. Please stay away if you, or a contact, have any COVID-19 symptoms, and please don’t all come on the first session:
St. John’s Methodist Conwy, Tuesdays 10.30-11.30am from 7th July
St. Peter’s Llanbedr-y-Cennin, Wednesdays 11am-12 noon from 8th July
St. Mary’s Caerhun, Saturdays 1-3pm from 11th July
Many thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make this possible. Today’s reflection by Ros Hughes reminds us that church buildings are not the only sacred places …
Dywedodd Iesu, “Ysbryd yw Duw, a rhaid i’w addolwyr ef addoli mewn ysbryd a gwirionedd.”
Meddai’r wraig wrtho, “Mi wn fod y Meseia” (ystyr hyn yw Crist) yn dod. Pan ddaw ef, bydd yn mynegi i ni bob peth.”
Dywedodd Iesu wrthi, “Myfi yw, sef yr un sy’n siarad â thi.”
Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.”
Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
Ros Hughes writes:
I was so surprised to look up at the wall in our lounge and to see the striking image in this photo in front of me. I had left an old, slate cross on a windowsill as I had dusted and the sun had suddenly come out and beamed the image across the wall. The image was fleeting and I haven’t been able to replicate it since. Time, sun, weather, cross and its image have never been exactly the same again.
The experience started me reflecting on “sacred space”, especially as I then heard an online church service that described a cartoon about God and the Devil discussing ‘lockdown’. The Devil had said to God, “Well, with this pandemic I have shut all your Churches” – and God had replied, “Well, I have just opened one in every home!”
Considering the implications of opening some church buildings for private prayer has also prompted profound questions: Where do we feel close to God? Where are we most aware of God’s presence? Where do we pray?
Reading our wonderfully, varied Daily Reflections, it is so obvious that we all have our individual relationship with our God. Our unique experiences of connecting with Him are so incredibly valuable to others. There have been times over the past few weeks when I have chatted with others about this, usually by phone or Facetime, and some similar themes crop up in conversations. We all appear to pray anywhere and everywhere – prayer is an everyday part of life for all of us.
This is important for people in our communities who are not familiar with attending Church. It is wonderful that we are being allowed to open places of worship for private prayer, with all the safeguards demanded in place. But it is equally wonderful to recognise and celebrate that we don’t need to be in an official or designated ‘Sacred Space’ to pray and communicate with God.
What we are learning from each other through our Daily Reflections is that our ‘Sacred Space’ is within each one of us and, therefore, God’s Spirit can touch and inspire us anywhere and everywhere.
Annwyl Dad, Duw,
gweddïwn am ras ac arweiniad yn ystod y cyfnod yma,
dros ein Heglwysi gyda’r cyhoeddiad
am y posibilrwydd o agor adeiladau –
arweiniad a doethineb i’n harweinwyr a ninnau,
fel ein bod yn gwneud eich ewyllys,
i fod yn dystion ac yn gefnogaeth
i deulu a chymuned ein Heglwys.
Dear Father God,
we pray for grace and guidance at this time,
for our Church with the announcement
of the possibilities of opening buildings –
guidance and wisdom for our leaders and ourselves,
so that we do your will,
to be a witness and support
for our Church family and community.
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