Worship in the Wild

‘Gweddiau Tir Gwyllt’

Contemplative Walking as an act of worship ….

During the recent years of restricted living, many of us have rediscovered afresh the way God speaks to us in the beauty of his landscape.

Once a month we offer ‘contemplative walking’ as an emerging community that enjoys gentle conversation on a circular route, with ‘ponder spots’. It is open to those of faith, those seeking and those of none. We believe that at wherever you are on your journey of faith, God speaks through companionship as we listen to one another and ‘step out’ together, through stillness when we stop (or sometimes when we walk a section without speaking), and through the sights and sounds of his creation.

The next ‘Worship in the Wild’ will be on Sunday 4th June: ‘Layers’ –  Geology and Faith: a reflective walk led by Rosemary Mart, on the Great Orme, Llandudno. Register here for details which will be sent out to you by e-mail.

Here’s a little taster of previous ‘Worship in the Wild’ walks:

On May Bank Holiday weekend we enjoyed a ‘Forest Lakes’ walk in Gwydyr Forest, aided particularly by Mo Spear’s knowledge of timber! We gained perspective through the combination of workplace (the forest and old lead mines) and a view to the hills beyond …

Our April walk was led by Julian Thompson, the Warden of Pensychnant Nature and Conservation centre. We were able to reflect beautifully on time and where we place our roots.

Our March walk was around Llyn Cefni, through the Dingle. As we strolled through this ‘hidden gem’ of a circular route, in the centre of Anglesey, we considered the story of St Cyngar. We even had the delight of spotting red squirrels!

Our February walk was to ‘Cadair Ifan Goch’, a viewing spot above Maenan from where we could see the Anerigs, the Glyders and the Carneddau mountains – all bathed in glorious sunshine! Naming the mountains reminded us of verses in the Bible where God tells us how much we are known and valued by him, called by name as he created and knows every craggy rock in that panoramic view.

The first gathering of 2023 was a New Year’s Day walk along Llanfairfechan Beach. We were blessed by the wonder of rainbows and such an insightful exploration of the shells we collected, led by Rosemary Mart. That discussion covered biology, material science, maths, art and design – God’s handiwork illuminated by such brilliant shared perspectives!

The last walk of the year was through the Gwydyr Forest, when Mo Spear beautifully led us in considering how the management of forest can inspire our prayers and give perspective on when we know a season to be past.

October’s uplifting walk in beautiful autumn sunshine, was through the Conwy Valley – rivers, woods and fields, heritage, thoughtful insights and prayer; times of chatter, times of silence (with thanks to Aine and Peter for images)

September’s walk was to Llanddwyn island to hear stories of Celtic saints and experience a simple communion at the cross, with the beautiful backdrop of the Snowdonia mountain range.

In August we enjoyed slow, contemplative walking through a labyrinth on Conwy Morfa beach, beautifully put together by Mo Spear.

July’s circular walk from Llanbedr – y – Cennin incorporated Peter Barnes’ sculpture garden, the southern slope of Pen-y-Gaer and ending at St Peter’s churchthe silent walk through bracken prompting a rich discussion of metaphors for life.

In June we walked the beautiful circular route at Aber Falls, where we pondered the questions: What draws so many people to a waterfall? What can that teach us about helping people to be drawn to God? We enjoyed sharing insights, gentle conversation and all in such outstanding beauty.

May Bank Holiday Monday on the banks of the Menai Straits – companionship, prayer and the story of St Tysilio.

In April we enjoyed a beautiful Sunday morning on the Great Orme, stopping at various points to consider the journey towards Easter.

In March, moving prayers for peace under the 4,000 year old boughs of Llangernyw’s yew tree, a wonderful time of sharing stories of faith and prayers of thanksgiving along part of the North Wales Pilgrims Way.

February 2022: a gloriously exhilarating and memorable, particularly experiencing the power of the waves and St Gwenfaen’s Well, long associated with prayers for healing of mental illness. New friendships made, too, with incredible hospitality by our hosts in Rhoscolyn.

Last summer we loved time together with our Creator God on Deganwy beach, exploring and being blessed by circling prayer – marked gloriously with cairn-making by our youngest worshipper

Last October we took a pilgrimage-style walk to a local viewing point, taking time to listen and notice at ‘ponder stops’ along the way. God rewarded us with his beautiful sign of promise.

Thanks to Angela Saunders, Peter Tattersall and Tarnya Newell for these beautiful images of our pilgrimage walk to Pen-y-Gaer in November, when we experienced all the drama and wonder of light on the land.

For those who enjoy reflective worship, you may also want to come to the hilltop church of LLangelynnin once a month for Celtic Praise (Easter to October). Over the winter, candle-lit Celtic Praise happens in the beautiful ancient church of St Benedict’s Gyffin. Click here for details.

When we were not able to meet together, we began to find a creative way to connect with one another.

‘Cairns and Contemplation’ – ‘Meini a Myfyrdod’

What3words is an app which has mapped the world into 3m squares, assigning each a unique combination of 3 words. On a ‘Worship in the Wild (Conwy)’ facebook group, we shared a location – with 3 words – where we had prayed, and enjoyed the peace of contemplation. There we began to build a cairn of stones, so that others in the group could enjoy finding it, pray there and add their own stones.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23: 2-3

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