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ANNUAL REPORT and ACCOUNTS 2016

The Parish of Sketty forms part of Clyne Trinity Ministry Area within the Area Deanery of Greater Gower and part of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon within the Church in Wales


Registered Charity 1133995

Parish and Trustee’s Mission

“The parish of Sketty invites all to practise Christian faith, together serving God and our community by sharing the good news of Jesus”.

The Annual Vestry Meeting will take place on

Thursday 6th April 2016 at 7:30pm at St Paul’s Church, Sketty Swansea

This report is in six sections:

1. Introduction – Deputy Ministry Area’s Foreword, Structure, Governance and Responsibilities

2. Serving God and Our Community– Highlights Summary, Parish Performance and Reports, Ministry Area and Conference Reports

3. Prayer, Evangelism and Worship Leadership - Church Reports

4. Baptisms, Awards, Marriages and In Memorandum

5. Looking Forward

6. Statement of Financial Activities and Financial Report


APPROVED by the Parochial Church Council on 14th March 2017

And signed on its behalf by Canon Reverend Peter Brooks Area Dean








INTRODUCTION

VICAR’S FOREWORD ~ Dean’s Report


Dear Friends,

I commend this Annual Report as your account of a year in the life of St Paul's and Holy Trinity Churches working together to make the Kingdom of God a reality in your Parish.


2016 saw the appointment of your new Vicar with his Induction to be held on 2nd March 2017. It has taken a long time to find the right person to answer this call to serve with you (Vicarage notwithstanding), but now you can make your plans for the future. This report reveals a sound foundation of worship, prayer, study, children's and community work and many other things on which you can build, that make St Paul's and Holy Trinity the places they are today.  Thanks, must be extended to the Officers and the PCC members who have been instrumental in governing and guiding your churches but thanks also to all the Lay Readers, Lay Worship Leaders Sister Marian and the clergy including your pro-tem Ministry Area Leader Reverend Phil Gwynn for the planning and the undertaking of the services as a team who have served you well in 2016 and will continue to serve you into the future. Please pray for them and give thanks to God for such gifted people. It has been a joy to lead worship with you, conduct weddings and funerals and be part of your ongoing journey.


My thoughts and Prayers will be with you in this coming year and beyond.

                                                                                                                        Peter

Reverend Canon Peter Brooks   Area Dean



The Phillipses in Sketty

When we came back to Swansea from Bristol over four years ago, we acquired our Permissions to Officiate, put word out that we were available for cover and waited to see what would happen. For the first two years, we spread ourselves across three dioceses, two provinces and twenty plus churches a year, eventually apparently settling among the rural delights of South West Gower.   


But word came that our presence at Sketty would be appreciated, and we have since found ourselves spending most Sundays in a large urban parish, with two churches and a range of services, rather than traveling round the Archdeaconry.  What follows is an attempt to summarise something of our experiences here over the last eighteen months.


It was only when we read last year’s Annual Report we realised how much was going on behind the scenes, and started to recognise the roles that members of the congregations play.  A church needs to do many things, and developing itself as a worshipping community is a priority; a church that accepts that a range of worship styles is possible is rare and to be commended.  Worship and teaching go side by side, and we enjoyed glimpses of the ministry to the young, with accounts of Open the Book and of welcoming schools for Christmas and Easter Experiences, not to mention Tots and lost sheep and baptising the grandson of a former colleague.  We remember Bishop John and the cast of the Sunday School nativity play, a throng of assorted camels, angels, sheep, kings and shepherds helping him to light the Fourth Advent candle.  But this is also a worshipping community which takes pastoral care seriously, in its involvement in the Night Shelter, and a community which prays and studies.  Preaching to a congregation dotted with House Group members who offer informed comments and ask questions concentrates the mind rather, and helping the team at Bloomfield celebrate communion for Christmas and Easter was a privilege.  No human institution is ever perfect; Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth are a salutary reminder of the problems faced by the very earliest Christians, but Sketty seems to manage its own affairs as a Christian church responsibly and competently.


Through all the various upheavals and uncertainties during our time, both for the congregations and for us, the team of churchwardens for us have been like rocks, answering our questions, providing people to read and people to pray, to bear elements and collection plates, to be servers and Eucharistic ministers. They have also supplied lifts for transport-less clergy, and words of very welcome wisdom.  We would like to thank them for all of that, and all of you for your welcome, your tolerance and your hospitality, both physical and intellectual.   We trust that in the months ahead all of you in your differing congregations will find yourselves settled at last with your new vicar, no longer being helped out but working together in faith and hope.           

Peter and Judith


Statement of Trustees’ Responsibilities


The Trustees (The PCC) are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the Financial Statements in accordance with applicable law and United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Standards and Practice. The PCC is required to give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the charity and of the incoming resources and application of resources of the charity for that period. They are responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.


Public Benefit

The Trustees acknowledge the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit set out in The Advancement of Religion for the Public Benefit. The Trustees refer to the guidance when reviewing the aims and objectives of the Charity and planning future activities and consider how activities will contribute to the aims and objectives they have set. The Trustees believe that by supporting the work of the Church in Wales, it promotes the whole mission of the Church, both in the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon and in its individual parishes, providing a benefit to the public by:    

promoting Christian values, and service by members of the Church in and to their communities, to the benefit of individuals and society as a whole; and

providing facilities for public worship, pastoral care, spiritual and moral development for its members and for all who wish to benefit from what the Church offers.


Structure, Governance and Membership

The Church in Wales is governed by its constitution, set up under section 13(1) of the Welsh Church Acts 1914, as amended from time to time by its Governing Body. Every PCC member must sign a declaration that he or she will be bound by the Constitution. The Parish of Sketty PCC met monthly during 2016. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) has seven committees that assist in running of the parish – Buildings and Major Works; Families and Children (Spearhead); Fellowship; Finance, Investments and Accounts; Holy Trinity Church; Parish Centre; Prayer and World Mission – the PCC has delegated specific terms of reference and functions to each sub-committee. The clerics and PCC members who have served from 1st January 2016 until the date this report was approved are:


PCC Ex Officio Members:

Incumbent:    

Area Dean:    Rev’d Canon Peter Brooks  from 1st January to 30th June 2016

Ministry Area Leader:   Rev’d Phillip Gwynn  from 1st July to 1st March 2017

Vicar’s Warden:   Mr Eifion Francis  from April 2012

People’s Warden:   Mr Kenneth Lewis   Elected since April 2016

Vicar’s Sub Warden:   Mrs Iris Jones  Holy Trinity Church

People’s Sub Warden:  Mrs Clare Hazell  Holy Trinity Church, Elected

Employed Family Worker Mrs Sián Parkhouse  since September 2009


Elected PCC Trustees:

Mrs Maureen Amner PCC Secretary       Retired Pictured Right

Mrs Angela Ball

Mrs Elaine C Gale

Mr John Gilbody

Mrs Andrea Gould

Mr David James  Chairman from May 2015

Mrs Sonia Jones  Parish Treasurer from 2011

Mrs Anne Penton

Dr Jane Watkeys  Assistant Vicar’s Warden

Mr Clive Williams  Assistant People’s Warden

Mrs Karen Williams

Parochial Church Council       2016= 2017


Relief Clergy: Rev’d Judith Phillips and Rev’d Dr Peter Phillips from 3rd October 2015


Religious and Readers:  Sister Marian Single Consecrated Life and Oblate (SCL), Sister of the Society of the Sacred Cross (SSC); and Mr Alan Griffiths - from mid-2015.


Eucharist Assistants (Five of whom administer Home Communion (HC):

Mrs Elaine Gale (HC), Mr Clive Garrish, Mrs Sheila Green, Mrs Iris Jones (HC), Mrs Sonia Jones, Mrs Elizabeth Jowett (HC), Mr Kenneth Lewis (HC), Mrs Vivienne Lewis (HC), Mrs Biddy O’Kane, Mrs Karen Phillips, Ms Janet Vine, Mrs Karen Williams, Dr Jane Watkeys, Mr Graham Wattley; Server: Mr John Steele.  


Intercessor Prayer Leaders:

Mr David James, Mrs Sonia Jones, Mrs Elizabeth Jowett, Mrs Anne Penton, Mrs Joyce Phillips, Mrs Karen Williams.


Lay Licensed Worship Leaders:

Mr Eifion Francis, Mrs Jillian Francis, Mrs Andrea Gould, Mrs Sonia Jones, Mrs Viv Lewis, Mrs Sián Parkhouse. During 2016 we have had three new worship leaders trained: Mrs Iris Jones; Ms Elizabeth Jowett and Ms Wendy Thomas.


Sidespeople:

Mr Fred and Mrs Maureen Amner (HT); Mrs Elizabeth Bachelor (HT), Mrs Fran Dickson, Ms Diane Dark, Mrs Deidre Davies, Mrs Mary and Ms Susan Davies, Mrs Elaine Gale, Mr John and Mrs Jude Gilbody, Mrs Ann Iles (HT), Mrs Sue and Mrs David James, Mrs Phyllis Leaker (HT), Mrs Julia Mitchell (HT), Ms Anne Morgan, Ms Philippa Nash, Mr Ken Owens (HT), Mr Roger and Mrs Thelma Pike, Mrs Jean Postlethwaite, Mrs Nell Pugh, (HT) David Rowlands.  


PARISH EMPLOYED STAFF (paid for services):

Mrs Sián Parkhouse  Full time Family Worker

Mrs Katrina Guntrip   Part time  Parish Centre Administrator until 30th August 216

Mrs Jayne Cooper  Part time Parish Administrator from 15th August 2016

Mr Timothy Gale  Part time Parish Centre Cleaner

Mr Chris Winstanley  Part time Holy Trinity Cleaner


Annual Report and Accounts

Editor: Mr Clive Williams      Compiler: Mrs Sonia Jones


Treasurers:

Parish Consolidated and St Paul’s Church   Mrs Sonia Jones

Holy Trinity Church       Mr Kenneth Owens

Parish Centre        Mr Michael Johns


Parish Records:       Mrs Sonia Jones


Independent Examiner:      Mrs Gillian Knight BA, FCA


Banks:

St Paul’s Church and Parish Centre     Charities Aid Foundation,

Holy Trinity Church       Barclays, Llanelli


SERVING GOD AND OUR COMMUNITY


OUR HIGHLIGHTS

The year began with the Prayer Group continuing in prayer for ‘the gap, or more formally the interregnum and introducing some new ways of praying such as an on-line prayer circle. Prayers also continued for our Street Pastors, foodbank users and Swansea Night Shelter all of which have provided support and care in our community. Three ladies were licensed as Lay Licensed Leaders


Our Music Group celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a special Easter-tide service. In June, at St David’s Cathedral, the choir took the opportunity to thank Richard Burden on the occasion of his retirement after 20 year’s service in the parish. Our Bishop had sent a certificate which was presented to Richard at St David’s Cathedral.  Lunch Club celebrated Her Majesty’s 90th birthday and Summer Holiday Club worked on the theme “With God all things are possible”. Open the Book has gone from strength to strength, coupling excellent team-work with fun. Youth Club is building a firm foundation on which to support a future of Christian fellowship for our young people. Our new vicar was appointed in June, giving renewed hope. At the end of July St Paul’s Church hosted a successful Ministry Area Flower Festival to represent “Swansea at Work”. With around 800 visitors, the event gave an excellent opportunity for members of the three parishes to work together and for the community to visit the church. On the occasion of his retirement we took the opportunity to thank Archdeacon Robert Williams for his ministry and Pam Brown and Jean Bills were given grateful thanks from the Altar Flower Guild for all their hard work.


As we approached autumn the annual Bonfire night was another huge success with over 1,000 visitors to St Paul’s Church grounds. The baton for this fundraising activity was passed from the choir to the 44th Sketty (Church) Scouts.  2016 ended by completing our year’s journey with our (knitted) Holy Family as they journeyed around the Parish and finally found room with us as they settled in the Sanctuary of St Pau’ls Church on Christmas Eve.


PARISH WARDEN’S REPORT   

During the interregnum, many tasks and decisions which would be undertaken by the incumbent, have fallen to the Wardens. The tasks have ranged from finding records of previous marriages and funerals, to ensuring that the “locum” Cleric, or preacher knows what to expect. We have been fortunate to have had support, guidance and advice from Canon Peter Brooks and Reverend Phil Gwynn.  We acknowledge with thanks the continuity afforded by the generous and committed services of Reverend Peter and Judith Phillips, which, along with that of


Sister Marian, Archdeacon Robert Williams, Reverend Sue Knight and others who have made our task easier. Their help, and that of the Assistant Wardens and countless Lay-people from our own and other neighbouring parishes, have enabled us to continue through the interregnum, which, by the time you read this, will have ended with the very welcome Induction of the Reverend Robert Davies-Hannan. We all look forward to working with him.

Mr Eifion Francis and Mr Ken Lewis

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH WARDEN’S REPORT

Holy Trinity PCC sub Committee

Members: Vicar (Chairperson): Mr Fred Amner, Mrs Sheila Green, Mrs Clare Hazell Mrs Iris Jones (Wardens), Mrs Audrey Milne, Mrs Julia Mitchell, Mr Ken Owens (Treasurer), Mrs Karen Williams.

Aims: To consider matters relating to Holy Trinity Church, including services, events and building matters or referring to the PCC as appropriate. The Committee meets quarterly.


Our church services continue to do well especially the Wednesday morning, joint Ministry Area Service. Not going so well is our extra service on a Sunday morning without communion. Some of St Paul’s congregation join us on each fourth Sunday, but without the choir whilst they are having their ‘gap rest’.


The Hot Cross Bun service went very well and we had a good number of adults and children enjoying tea and buns. The number attending this service is encouraging and more seem to come each year.  Our Holy “T” service is also going well.  A good number come each month when different church members take it in turn with the Theme. The children enjoy themselves answering some of the questions; it is well worth doing.  Messy Harvest was a great success and was well attended with lots of children and parents.  Carol Praise service was different as we had readings and sketches, we sang, the Hand-bell Group played and we had mince pies and tea.  A good number from St Paul’s Church joined us on Christmas morning but we had fewer children as some had gone away to families.  


We lost three dear members Betty Griffin, Muriel Lewis and Phyllis Lloyd who we miss. We thank all the clergy who have looked after us during the interregnum.

Mrs Iris Jones

OUR VISION AND AIM

We seek to be a Christ-centred church, serving God faithfully and looking for new ways to share the good news. Family and children’s work and ongoing discipleship, nurturing and building faith through small groups of people meeting regularly are an important part of our church life. We aim to provide a welcome to people of all ages and backgrounds in the many opportunities there are of involving others. Showing kindness and practical support for those in need is an imperative. Practical action in the community takes place through involvement in joint mission projects.


OBJECTIVES, PRIORITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS

We value the freedom to experiment and try out new ideas. Members enjoy working together with ministers as a collaborative team, mutually supporting one another serving God. Men and Women’s ministry is a very important part of our life together. The church seeks to recognise everyone’s talents, and encourage them to take an active part.


SERVICES AND CHURCH ATTENDANCE

We have a range of services throughout the week. St Paul’s Church has a contemporary 9:30am service with a Sunday school every week; three 8am Said services as well as one Choral Matins, two Choral Eucharist and two Evensongs per month. Holy Trinity Church have three Sunday Eucharist morning service; one Evening Praise and Holy T per month. Lay people are involved in reading, leading intercessions, and in the Sunday school.


MEMBERSHIP, ATTENDANCE AND ELECTORAL ROLL

To avoid distortion of the figures, the 'special' services listed, have not been included in the averages for the regular services. The figure for Eucharistic Services are for attendance, which is slightly more than communicants alone.

Collecting the numbers attending out-reach activities is developing and may take a year or two to be good comparisons from year to year


FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORT

Finance, Accounting and Investment sub Committee

Members: Clergy, Mrs Angela Ball, Mr Peter Bowen, Mr David James, Mr Mike Johns (Parish Centre Treasurer), Mrs Sonia Jones (Parish Treasurer), Mr Ken Lewis, Mr Ken Owens (HT Treasurer), Mr Clive Williams (Chairperson).

Aims and Responsibility: Financial and Counting practices, procedures and policies. That they are in place and comply with all relevant legislation; Determines the investment strategy for the PCC; Responsible to Trustees for keeping them up to date on the financial situation; Preparing the Annual Budgets and Annual Accounts; Ad hoc duties as designated by PCC. The Committee meets quarterly.


Summary  (More information can be found in the Parish of Sketty Annual Accounts 2016).


At Parish level the key figure to note, is an overall deficit of £26,111 which is made up of St Paul’s Church ~ minus £25,544; minus Holy Trinity Church ~ £3,775; surplus Parish Centre ~ £1,758 and Small Church Organisation ~ surplus £1,450. Parish Income was £14,530 and Expenditure £171,641. The Ministry (Parish) Share went up by £1,452 on 2015 to £80,815


(inclusive of 4% rebates in both years) and only moved by £860 when compared with 2010 at £81,674.  Notably peaking in 2012 at £95,226.


In the autumn the PCC decided to move £75,000 from the Investment Fund into the Deposit Fund. The capital gain at 9th January 2017 . Thankfully the world markets have consistently increased our investment since 2010. However, we must be realistic to values falling as well as rising. This steady increase has helped offset the total Parish Assets value which has still reduced by £7,857 from 321,711 to £313,852.


St Paul’s Church  In 2016 there was a planned deficit of £25,544.  The main impact continues to be a downturn in planned giving. Down by 11% over the past year and down by 18% since 2013. The interregnum has taken its toll with some services cut and some merged, and weddings much reduced from 16 in 2015, 2014 down to just four in 2016.


Expenditure has had some reprieve. During the interregnum, the Church in Wales has picked up the payments relating to the vicarage. Not enough though to help significantly, because of increased costs of employing people (mainly Administration of payroll and HR).  Mission costs have increase due to the procurement of a new printer, as well as ongoing work (into 2017) in the churchyard to fell trees for health and safety reasons.

Mrs Sonia Jones


Holy Trinity Church  Due to known, planned expenditure and an anticipated decrease in income, Holy Trinity’s accounts have moved from a surplus of £6,707 in 2015 to a deficit of £3,775 in 2016.


Expenditure increased from £24,159 to £29,795 with Repairs and Renewals increasing from £4,063 to £10,014 due mainly to: roof repairs above the entrance porch; re-plastering and decoration of entrance porch and ladies’ toilet; painting exterior of church (necessary under the terms of our lease); rewiring and new lighting system in the main body of the church.


Income, on the other hand, reduced from £30,866 to £26,020.  This was due to receipts from Gift Direct being less as a consequence of members moving away from the area or, sadly, passing away and also a substantial drop in Hall Lettings.  This was because the Seventh Day Adventist Church finally moved into their own building, after almost six years of using our facilities.  During this time, we received £15,665 from them and this level of income will be well-nigh impossible to replace.


The outcome of all this saw our Current Assets reduce from £25,354 to £21,579, but I consider this to be a satisfactory outcome when everything is taken into account.  To emerge with a relatively healthy Balance Sheet after undertaking the amount of work which we have during 2016 is very pleasing.

Mr Ken Owens

Parish Centre  This year the Parish Centre made a profit of income over expenditure for the first time in three years viz £1,759 (2015 saw a loss of £1,106). Overall income was up by just over £2/000. One regular booking was secured half way through the year at £100 per month. The only area where bookings continue to decline is parties. Expenditure was marginally down with no capital works and only essential Repairs and Renewals being done. The rolling programme of refurbishment was put on hold this year and we continued to benefit from stable utility costs from our new supplier.

Mr Mike Johns



BUILDINGS COMMITTEE REPORT

Buildings sub Committee (BSC)

Members: Clergy, Mrs Rachel Bould, Mr Harold Grenfell (Chairman), Mr Noel Isherwood, Mr Ken Lewis (Secretary); Mr David Rowlands.

Aims: Responsibility for all three parish buildings and grounds. To keep the state of buildings, fabrics, walls and monuments, under review through the Church in Wales Faith in Maintenance Scheme. The Committee meets once a month.


Annual or periodic works have been overseen in each building, to include Heating Systems, Fire Risk Assessments, Health and Safety Audits, Lightning Conductor testing and sound system upgrading. Following identification of tasks a Faith in Maintenance Working Group has carried out works not requiring specialist attention.


St Paul’s Church:  Following the decision of the City Council to end their public maintenance contract, the clock has been maintained by Eifion Francis assisted by Emyr Davies and Mark Anderson, (bell-ringer) with guidance from David Mitchell.


The North Porch has been redecorated, externally and stone cleaning carried out at the base of the tower to remove algae staining and graffiti.  The boiler house was reordered to improve storage facilities and the boiler room was separated from the general area with a fire proof screen to meet the fire officer's advice.


A tree survey by Liz Phillips, TechArborA of RTAC identified trees which needed to be felled or have attention for health and safety reasons. The work is progressing in line with the degree of urgency identified.  Where appropriate new trees are to be planted. The hedge to the church field boundary had been breached illegally in a number of places and restoration has been carried out and additional stock fencing has been introduced. The extensive grounds are faithfully attended to by the “Green Gym”; a small band of volunteers who would very much welcome additions to their ranks.


Holy Trinity Church: Repairs and renewals include – repairs to the roof above the entrance lobby to try and eliminate the problem of water penetration; internal decorations in the toilet and lobby; rewiring and renewing/improving lighting in the main body of the church; renewal of an under-sink water heater in the kitchen and the provision of a new radio microphone.   


Parish Centre: In addition to day to day maintenance items the following works have been completed. Addressing faults in the heating system; sound system improvement; new car park lighting facility and overhauling the lighting in the halls.

Mr Kenneth Lewis (Secretary)


PARISH CENTRE REPORT

Parish Centre PCC sub Committee

Membership: Clergy (Chairperson), Mrs Jayne Cooper (Parish Administrator), Ms K Davies, Mr Wyndham Davies, Mrs Andrea Gould, Mrs Katrina Guntrip, Mr Mike Johns (Treasurer).

Aims: To consider practical matters relating to the Parish Centre and make policy recommendations about lettings, publicity and Centre use, including hire rates. The Committee meets twice a year.


The Parish Centre hosted approximately 12 Church Groups, 22 regular groups (such as The Gower Society, National Trust; National Osteoporosis Society) and 33 one-off events including wedding receptions, birthday parties, AGM’s, exercise classes and fund raising activities.  A new regular monthly booking is the Saturday Craft Market which is a bonus for the community drawing people from across Swansea helping to promote our faith and facilities to a wider community. Weekends remain popular for birthday parties and one-off events.  I retired in September after five years and Jayne Cooper took up a new role of Parish Administrator with wider responsibilities to come in 2017.


The Buildings’ Committee have undertaken a Health and Safety review and much of the action plan has been achieved. A major improvement in printing and document production was introduced with a new machine which produces material in colour and a professional quality that will reflect well on the image of the Parish Mission work in our wider community.  The purchase of this machine was thoroughly researched to ensure best value for money for users. Productions of the weekly Newsletter and bi-monthly Beacon in terms of efficiency are significant.  The hire costs of the Centre are under review and still only covers running costs.  A number of community events have been held which support the view that the Parish Centre is considered by our community as one of the first ports of call when arranging events.

Mrs Katrina Guntrip and Mrs Jayne Cooper(Administrators)


SAFEGUARDING POLICY

Provincial Safeguarding Committee:  Dr Jane Watkeys

Every parish in the Church in Wales has adopted a policy on safeguarding to protect young people and vulnerable adults within our churches.  The parish policy accords with the policy document of the Church in Wales and can be accessed on the provincial website under Safeguarding. In July 2016, four members attended a safeguarding conference at Brecon cathedral with speakers on internet grooming and modern day slavery.  In addition to our volunteers who undergo police checks willingly to help with our parish groups, a duty of care rests with us all to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are and remain safe from harm.

Mrs Sue James    Parish Safeguarding Officer


3 pictures


CLYNE TRINITY MINISTRY AREA STEERING GROUP (MASG)

Parish Representatives:  Mr Eifion Francis; Mrs Sonia Jones; Dr Jane Watkeys


The steering group continued to meet approximately every month. It consists of three representatives from each Parish and now only one cleric Phillip Gwynn. Stephen Gardner from Killay chaired it initially and the group is now chaired by Jane Watkeys.  The group worked hard to promote joint worship, Lent Groups, Flower Festival, extension of Messy church across three parishes, joint youth club and school worship. An audit of skills was undertaken so the expertise available is used to the full. The aim is to engage more fully with local people enabling the work of the church to be more visible within the community. There are moves to appoint a youth worker.  Rev’d Robert Davies-Hannen has been appointed as Ministry Area lead and the emphasis of the group may change depending on his views.

Dr Jane Watkeys (Chairperson)

GREATER GOWER DEANERY (Formerly CLYNE DEANERY)

Deanery Synod Representatives:  Clergy, Mr Eifion Francis, Mrs Iris Jones, Mrs Sonia Jones, Mrs Siân Parkhouse, Mrs Alice Sullivan, Dr Jane Watkeys, Mrs Rose Wattley.


During the year, the eleven deaneries were reduced to four. Clyne Deanery became the Greater Gower Deanery and now includes more churches. From 1st January 2016 the Deaneries of Clyne, Gower and Llwchwr became one now known as the Deanery of Greater Gower with Canon Peter Brooks at the helm. There have been two meetings, of which one was on Safeguarding held in Gorseinon.

Mrs Iris Jones (Elected Member)


DIOCESAN CONFERENCE REPORT

Diocesan Conference: (2013-2015) Following three yearly Elections (2013 Vestry)

Clergy, Dr Jane Watkeys, (Ms Janet Vine back-up), Mrs Siân Parkhouse.


Presentations were received from three different areas in which Christians are actively engaging in community and public life for the good of others: including community and outreach support through organisations such as Swansea Hope and the Cinnamon Network; the work of our Diocesan church schools; and the establishment of Family Centres in some of the challenging and deprived areas of the Diocese.


GOVERNING BODYOF CHURCH IN WALES - SEPTEMBER 2016

Church in Wales Governing Body:  

Dr Jane Watkeys (2013-2016); Mrs Sonia Jones (2014-2017)


The latest meeting was held in Lampeter in September.  The Archbishop of Wales announced his retirement and talked about same sex marriage.  The Bench of Bishops decided “Anyone who has been Baptised will be able to receive Holy Communion in church under guidance effective from November 2016.


An attempt to remove the age limit of 75 for churchwardens failed and a motion was brought to enforce the six-year rule. The Standing Committee is to clarify the role of churchwardens and to identify ways of encouraging all church members to take on the responsibilities. Governing Body decided that the figures in the Membership and Finance Report, showing large areas of decline, is a disgrace and noted the 2016 report “with a heavy heart”.

Mrs Sonia Jones (Elected Member)


PRAYER, EVANGELISM AND WORSHIP LEADERSHIP

THE RELIGIOUS LIFE  

What is a Religious and what do they do in the parish?

Anglican Religious in Wales are few and the only remaining convent in South Wales in the Society of the Sacred Cross with its convent in Monmouth.


Due to my health issues, I could not join them although I had made promises to live a Rule of Life as an ‘Oblate’ of that Order.  I have taken life vows of Chastity, Simplicity of life and Obedience before our own Bishop to live as a Religious in my own home as part of the network of those living what is called, ‘The Consecrated Single Life’. As a ‘Religious’ my main role is prayer and saying six daily Offices, spiritual counselling and direction, leading ‘Quiet Times’ and groups and pastoral care. I write for the parish magazine and news-letter and combine that with my role as a Reader. I support our parish ministry in whatever way my vicar requests and according to my daily condition.


As my life is consecrated to God it means that He is my focus and I have the humble privilege to be able to pray for others when they are unable to pray for themselves. Some value that aspect of the Religious life and feel upheld by it. It is very important also to uphold the parish incumbent and the various other ministries in this way. Simply being ‘available’ for those who need a ‘safe place’ to talk and share their problems is a very humbling and important part of my role.  Please visit my web-site at www.sistermarian.co.uk and support me and keep me in your prayers. Blessings,

Sister Marian SCL

PRAYER

Prayer Committee

Members: Mrs Elizabeth Jowett, Mr Ken Lewis, Sister Marian, Mrs Anne Penton (Chairperson), Mrs Karen Phillips, Mrs Siân Parkhouse, Mrs Karen Williams.

Aims: to promote the vision of the church; to support, with prayer, encouragement and exploration, different ways of communicating with God; to support existing study groups, house groups, Alpha groups and new initiatives from church members and to support Sister Marian in her ministry. The committee meets monthly for fellowship and prayers.


Prayer Group we meet monthly at the back of St Paul's Church; usually on a Monday afternoon between 1pm and 3.00pm.  About eight people attend and we spend our time praying, talking and listening to God but we need to get better at listening.  It has been a special time for us as we feel led to read Scripture, sing and pray about things on our hearts.  It is a place where we can talk about the things which concern us.  


On 24th September, we joined in the National Day of Prayer.  We provided activities for children and various stations around the church for different kinds of prayer.  We were pleased that people joined us to pray, for themselves, for the community and for the world.  We hope this is something we can repeat. On Wednesday afternoon’s there has been a time of prayer 'for the gap' that is the interregnum, and prayer for Rev’d Robert and his family.


Open CHURCH we held an open Church ‘Quiet/Prayer Time’ on the last Friday of every month 1 - 4pm which is held alternate months in St. Paul’s and Holy Trinity churches. It has to develop and everyone is welcome to drop in at any time. Spiritual and prayer guidance and individual retreats are available if needed.


Prayer CIRCLE We began leading a new Parish Prayer Circle with a list that is e-mailed monthly to the members of the group. It is updated as requests for new prayers arrive.

Prayer CARDS sent to those unable to attend the Wednesday morning Eucharist in Holy Trinity Church have been greatly appreciated and I am hoping to extend this idea for all members of the parish who are ill or cannot join us in worship. People do not always know they are in our thoughts and prayers and that we care about them and I hope that we will have others from both churches who will support us by taking on the responsibility for these cards.

Mrs Anne Penton (Chairperson) and Sister Marian


LAY LICENSED WORSHIP LEADERS

Most of our nine lay Worship Leaders attended the Clergy Synod Day on the preparation of non-Eucharistic worship. This renewed our confidence when preparing short, All-age Family Services each month. Sometimes these have followed a liturgical theme, such as on Transfiguration Sunday, and a more general Christian theme, such as ‘All Things New’’ in January, or to coincide with Fairtrade Fortnight last March. At Holy Trinity, members of the team also prepare Holy ‘T’ Services, usually on a topical theme, such as Saints or Nativity, and each month we plan an informal Evening Praise hour, with opportunities for prayer, discussion, Bible study, and new songs.  With the variety of styles of worship in the Parish, all our Worship Leaders are able to contribute where they feel most comfortable.

Mrs Jill Francis Lay Worship Leader Co-ordinator

HOUSE GROUPS

Four house groups met regularly with some changes in each of the groups as some groups disbanded and others started up.  One of the great advantages is that you can change groups and pick out topics of particular interest to you at the time in the development of your faith.  Sue Miles led one of our groups and her huge input, sensitivity and thoughtfulness is sadly missed. We thank Alan Griffiths (Reader Llwderw) for leading the new Maxime Court Group. Studying the ‘Parables of Jesus’ this group is having some very stimulating discussions. Other topics studied include Isaiah, Judges, Lesser known people of the Bible, Acts of the Apostles and the highly-recommended Freedom in Christ Discipleship Course. House groups are an ideal means of learning more about our faith, praying together, offering support, having fun friendship and developing links with people in other churches.  Thank you to all the hosts who open up their homes each week and to the leaders who prepare the studies and guide us in the discussions and lead the prayer.

 Mrs Elizabeth Jowett and Mrs Anne Penton

MUSIC


Sketty Church Bell Ringers

We would dearly love a few recruits to learn to ring at St Paul’s Church. We have eight fine bells but rarely ring more than six on Sunday mornings. Most of the Sunday ringers are over 70 and some of us over 80, so some younger learners would be very welcome. We are a friendly group and ringing becomes more and more interesting the further you progress.


Practise is on Tuesdays 7.30 - 9.00pm and we ring on Sunday mornings from 10.30 - 11.10am except on each fourth and fifth Sunday of the month.


We also ring for special occasions and before Evensong if we can get enough volunteers. If numbers increased we could, once again, ring regularly for Evensong.


We rang a special length of 2016 changes recently to mark the passing of Michael Rose, a member of St Paul's Church ringers since 1977.

Mrs Hilary Rose (Tower Captain)

Music Group

Early in 2016 we celebrated our 25th Anniversary, with a special Eastertide Service featuring Songs of Fellowship from across the last three decades. Our first Musical Director, Lynda Richards, chose some of the songs, and joined us to play the flute on that memorable day.


The Music group continues to lead the 9.30am Eucharist Service, and to introduce new songs to the congregation. We have supported the Worship Leaders in the varied themes for the All-age Family Service on the first Sunday of each month. This has included one led by members of the Sketty Youth Club, on a theme of Saints.

    Mrs Jill Francis (Music Group Leader)


Parish Choir

The choir has had an interesting year divided into two halves. The first half culminated with a happy Sunday in June when we sang Matins and Evensong in St. David’s Cathedral to mark my retirement as Choir Director, acknowledging 20 years of service to music at St Paul's Church. We were grateful to the visitor choristers who gave their time to help boost the numbers in our choir, as well as to John Davies who has faithfully accompanied us many times and for playing at St David’s. In July we joined in a Ministry Area choir to sing at the Flower Festival Service. During the latter part of 2016 the choir's participation in services has been erratic, partly due to a lack of leadership during the interregnum and being unable to secure a new director of music and organist.


In November, the 44th Sketty (Church) Scouts took over the fireworks display from the choir after an absence in 2015, everyone was delighted that the display was as successful as it had ever been, with over a thousand people in attendance.


The choir meet on Friday evenings and are now looking forward to singing and leading worship under the new Vicar guidance.

Mr Richard Burden (Choir Director ~ Retired)


MISSION IN THE PARISH AND PASTORAL CARE


FELLOWSHIP PCC SUB COMMITTEE

Membership: Mrs Margaret Cooke, Mrs Jennifer Davies, Mrs Carol Edwards (Chairperson), Mrs Elaine Gale, Mrs Clare Hazell, Mrs Cheryl Lewis, Mrs Thelma Pike, Mrs Barbara Pyott, Ms Janet Vine, Dr Jane Watkeys.

Aim: The promotion of friendship by helping with or organising social events within the Parish. The Committee meets six times a year depending on forthcoming events. Our main support this year was helping with refreshments during the Flower Festival in July.

Mrs Carol Edwards (Chairperson)

ST PAUL’S BREAKFAST AND LUNCH CLUB

We hold a breakfast in the Parish Centre on the first Sunday of each month after the 8am Communion Service.  An opportunity to share fellowship which is mainly supported by our early Christians who are joined by a few of the 9:30am congregation, but everyone is welcome.

On 42 Friday’s the Parish Centre has seen a hive of activity as the Lunch Club continued its ninth year.  A happy band of hard working volunteers ensure that our members have a warm welcome to enjoy their two-course cooked meal. We are grateful for the DANSA bus with its lift to enable some of our members to attend and an average of 45 of our 50 members attend each week. We celebrated the Queen's 90th birthday and had a Christmas Dinner with entertainment by the Swansea U3A Ukulele group.  We were saddened by the death of our loyal helper Jeanette James.  In July two of our helpers retired, Joyce Cole and Anna Thomas.  Joyce has given wonderful service, very quietly, keeping our accounts, contact person and generally administrative.  She is greatly missed. A sincere thankyou to all our Lunch Bunch for faithful support and hard work that enables mission work to flourish providing food, friends and fellowship to some of the older members of our parish and local community

Ms Janet Vine

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH WOMEN’S GUILD

The Guild has been so few in membership that we just met to have a chat, tea and biscuits.  We decided to finish meeting in July as it wasn’t worth heating the church for just a few. Since finishing some members have been poorly so I think we did the right thing. The Guild has been going since the church was opened in 196x but we have got older and young people are working. I thank all the committee for their hard work the ladies who made the tea and to Doris for taking our subscriptions.

Mrs Iris Jones

ALTAR FLOWER GUILD

Our main event was the successful Ministry Area Flower Festival, held at St Paul’s Church at the end of July.  Barbara Pyott, acting Chairman, was head of operations organising members from St Hilary’s, All Soul’s and St Paul’s to represent “Swansea at Work”. The pillars and church entrances were decorated and the result was much praised by approximately 800 visitors.  The event gave an excellent opportunity for members of the three parishes to work together. On the Sunday of the flower festival weekend a joint service was held at St Paul’s.

The profit was a total of £5,337. £3,000 was presented to Parkinson’s UK, £1,000 to Macmillan Nurses and £1,000 to Stepping Stones. Andrea Gould and Alayne Jenkins organised a Calendar made from photos taken at the event raising £398 which was shared between the three parishes. The financial success was also due to the hard work of Diane Dark and her team in arranging sponsorship.  

 Thanks, must be given to them and the teams who cleared the churchyard (a mammoth task), put up bunting, made and served refreshments, stewarded in the church, produced the programme and publicity material, ran a raffle, and held an Art Sale.  It was a splendid Clyne Trinity Ministry Area Team effort.

The Altar Flower Guild has arranged and watered flowers at the altar and memorial book and decorated for church festivals. We are available to arrange flowers for weddings and funerals and we are keen to increase our number of flower arrangers. Beginners are most welcome and would be given guidance.  Thanks also must go to Pam Brown and Jean Bills, who have retired from the Guild, for their contributions over the years.

Mrs Barbara Pyott (Chairperson)

Clyne Trinity Ministry Area Flower Festival


PARISH WALKS

Despite being unable to undertake all the walks because of poor weather we enjoyed several really excellent walks.  It was such a great pleasure and joy to be able to explore our beautiful Gower in fellowship with others who really appreciate and respect God’s creation.

The walks were split between three leaders, Ken Lewis, John Lewis and Liz Jowett and our thanks go to Graham Wattley for helping us out with the prior reconnoitre walks.  

Particularly memorable was the Rhossilli Down walk in brilliant sunshine with opportunities for photographs and bird watching. Mumbles Hill with its war time defence history and the brilliant views out towards Langland using the new path was another fascinating walk. The beauty of Llanmadoc Hill, Three Cliffs Bay and Oxwich Point left us all marveling at God's creation and waiting eagerly for the new walking season in April.  

Everyone is welcome and we often provide an alternative route for the more or less experienced walkers.  It is an excellent opportunity to appreciate creation and discuss anything from faith to politics to birds to flowers.... If anyone is interested in Pen y Fan in the Spring, please contact me.       

Mrs Elizabeth Jowett


WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AND FAMILIES


REPORT FROM SPEARHEAD - FAMILY/CHILDREN’S WORK TEAM PCC SUB COMMITTEE

Membership: Vicar (Chairperson), Mr Eifion Francis, Mrs Ann Hill (4 months); Mrs Sián Parkhouse, Mrs Karen Phillips (6 months); Dr Jane Watkeys.

Aim: Spearhead is the name given to the group that was set up to give support to and monitor the work of the Family and Children's worker and evaluating the work of the church with young people within the Ministry Area. The Committee meets monthly.

Our work with children and young people has increased with more young people attending engaging with the church. Support has been given for the development of a Youth Club, Youth Alpha, attendance at Spree and for young families the links with Communities First. Each programme is analysed for its effectiveness with young people and changes made if necessary. The group has been able to support Sian Parkhouse and particularly work with vulnerable families.


ANNUAL FAMILY CHILDREN’S WORKER (FCW) REPORT

JIGSAW is a group for families meeting in Holy Trinity Church aiming to support and encourage the Sketty Park community by running holiday activities for all ages of children.  For four years, we have been working in partnership with Communities First providing child care for parents that attend courses which enhance the community. This is achieved by providing families the opportunities to gain skills, experience new things, enhance their abilities, offer advice, guidance and support with budgeting, Curriculum Vitae writing, providing references and so on.  Recent courses include food hygiene, first aid, healthy eating and well-being, health and beauty, stress management and psychology.  From the evidence, we have seen, church involvement with Communities First has worked, we have had some of the families return to college and university, start jobs and build their confidence.


SUNDAY SCHOOL has 28 regular members that attend twice a month or more and often has visits from friends and families that are no longer able to come on a regular basis.  It’s encouraging to welcome children of Grand-parents and friends and to see how their faith is developing. Each Sunday between 16-22 children meet for the Bible story and then join in activities aimed at different levels and abilities.  We are low on teachers and we appeal to anyone who would like to help even if it’s just once a month.  We follow the Church Year and we have a lot of resources available that help and to parents who have become more involved and support children with various tasks.  Every fifth Sunday we meet as the Clyne Trinity Ministry Area Sunday School and work closely together to share ideas and join together for a work shop.


SHARING TOGETHER (previously PATCHWORK) meet on Wednesday afternoon at 1.00-2.30 in the Parish Centre to provide friendship and support.  Children are entertained whilst we offer parents and carers the chance of peace to enjoy refreshments and learn new skills. We offer talks, discussions, information and follow the church year and have sessions on the festivals.  A successful year of activities included a session in ‘on-line’ safety, pancake making and sharing, making sock monkeys and Christmas tree decorations. We had a very difficult Christmas Quiz which challenged the most fervent of Bible students.  

 Feedback received about the group are a testimony to its value - "It is the only time in the week that someone makes me a cup of tea." and "I don't know what I'd do without this group."

Towards the end of 2016 we changed the meeting time to 12:30pm to share in a lunch and to finish at 2:30pm so mums can pick up children from school. Thank you to Anita Stock who has become a regular helper and has added another dimension to this group.

A new name was decided by the group – ‘Sharing Together’, because of the food sharing and the support the group members give through sharing faith, ideas, and problems solving.  There is always a strong Christian focus to every session.


SUMMER HOLIDAY CLUB We worked as a Ministry Area Team using the theme ‘With God all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26) looking at various Bible miracles where things seemed impossible but always worked out!  We used the puppets and the Youth Club lead, doing sketches with Open the Book leaders reading the stories; all reinforced through, activities craft and games.  What struck me was the number of children that recognised the adults, either through Open the Book, who are in all of the local primary schools or Messy Church and the other various outreach activities.  This made for a relaxed confident atmosphere.  It was lovely to have the youth club leading activities and supporting the younger members and also being with the children that were not quite old enough to help but too old for some of the craft.

Mrs Siân Parkhouse (Family/Children’s Worker)


TRAVELLING CRIB

The plan was to accommodate Mary, Joseph and their donkey (all knitted) every night on their long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Young families from Sunday School and TOTs readily volunteered to host the Holy Couple. A candle was lit while the handing over prayer was said and every host family was left with a sheep (also knitted) to remind them of their special guests. The sheep were then reunited with the Holy Family on Christmas Eve at our very successful Crib Service. (My own abiding memory will always be of that candle being lit at our gate and it being carried so reverently to our front door by a very sweet young Sunday School member. I felt the Light of the World coming into our home that evening). Thank you to all who took part. Please join me in knitting more sheep for an Advent Sunday start to that journey this year!                          Mrs Viv Lewis


ECUMENICAL AND OUTREACH


PARKLANDS PRIMARY AFTER SCHOOL CLUB

We have approximately 20 children and meet on a Tuesday afternoon from the end of the school day until 4:20pm.  Parklands and Elim Churches along with members of our parish work to provide a programme of Bible stories, craft and games. The club is free and is for children from year one upwards.  Attendance has been so great and of mixed ages that we have split the teaching in two age groups.


TOTS ON THURSDAY (IN HOLY TRINITY CHURCH)

TOTs takes place from 9:40 to-11:30am, during term time.  The church is divided up into areas of learning and aims, through play, to help families experience and build on, emotional and social skills, fine and gross motor skills, creative and imaginative play and room to just run around.  Baby and eating areas are available where we promote healthy eating by offering, water, fruit, yoghurt and bread-sticks.  Our group has grown so we have appealed for more helpers, which I am very thankful to say are now coming!

Mrs Siân Parkhouse (Family/Children’s Worker)

TOTS ON TUESDAY (IN THE PARISH CENTRE)

It is good to report another successful year for TOTs - a Parent/Carer and Toddler Group aiming to reach the community providing friendship and support for parents, carers and young children.  Meetings are held during school term time at 10am with a short informal service to hear and sing some Christian stories and music.  This is followed by refreshments, play and fellowship and after nursery rhyme singing the meetings finish at 11.30am.

Mrs Maureen Amner (on behalf of the TOTs Team)


CLYNE TRINITY MINISTRY AREA YOUTH CLUB   meets at the Parish Centre on the first Thursday of the month 6:30 - 8:30pm open to Year 7’s and above and provides for young people to enjoy games, open discussion and be introduced to the Christian faith through the teachings of the Bible. It is staffed by members of our five Ministry Area churches. Until recently it was led by Pauline Roberts to whom we are very grateful for providing the enthusiasm to start this project in April 2015. The number of young people attending varies each month but averages at ten with only three being regular church members - it is a perfect opportunity to reach out to the young people of the area.

The main focus of the evening is a Bible based talk, activity or testimony which often stimulates discussion of the challenges facing young Christians and encourages attendance at our Youth Alpha Course which provides for discussion around the Bible and the Christian faith. Other activities include football, cricket, table top board games and craft.  Whilst the focus is on healthy eating (fruit and other healthy foods are provided free of charge) there is a Tuck Shop which is used with great enthusiasm by the young people and is run on a non-profit making basis.

Mrs Elizabeth Jowett and Mrs Karen Phillips


CLYNE TRINITY MINISTRY AREA YOUTH ALPHA

A new group of young people meet at the Parish Centre on the third Thursday of the month 6:30 - 8:15pm. It is another opportunity for them to enjoy games, open discussion and be introduced to the Bible and the Christian faith through the Youth Alpha Programme. It is staffed by volunteers from the Ministry Area.

The number attending varies each month but averages at seven per session and whilst the majority have so far been regular church member’s, others in Youth Club are showing an interest.

The evening starts with the young people sharing a meal prepared by members of our House Groups.  It provides an opportunity for them to discuss important issues with each other and with the adult leaders, it’s a very lively part of the evening as they talk through what has happened throughout their day.

The Youth Alpha sessions and games are led by Simon Gwynn of All Soul’s Church. The sessions are generally interactive and stimulate further lively discussion often following on from appropriate film clips.  The aim is to encourage discussion and questions relevant to each of the young people and their views of life and faith.  It can be difficult to manage but with sensitivity and enthusiasm and the help of the Holy Spirit the sessions are usually very productive. Thank you to Ann and Andrew Hill who have stepped in to join the adult team for the rest of the course.

Mrs Elizabeth Jowett


CLYNE TRINITY MINISTRY AREA OPEN THE BOOK

Open the Book continues to thrive as a Ministry Area initiative and is a good example of ecumenism in practice as some team members come from non-Anglican local churches.

In September, Hendrefoilan Primary School, was added to the six already visited. This means that we have a weekly term time contact with all the primary schools in the Ministry Area, plus we have our Welsh speaking team which visits Bryn-y-Mor School with Agor y Llyfr.  Numerically, we have face to face contact with several hundred children of primary age week by week. Stories from both Testaments are simply told and enacted with, wherever possible, the participation of some, if not all, of the children. Each story carries a clear moral message which the schools are free to develop to varying degrees. The children welcome our visits, are keen to take part, and good relationships are fostered with both staff and pupils.

We have twenty people who belong to Open the Book but with illness, holidays and family commitment, it is sometimes a struggle to make up our preferred number of four people for each school. We would welcome new recruits!

Not part of Open the Book but connected, a team of volunteers has welcomed all Bishop Gore Year 7 (first year) pupils into St Paul’s Church over the past few years for both the Easter and the Christmas Experiences at the relevant time of year [see The Beacon, February-March, 2017].  The schoolchildren are told both the Easter and the Christmas stories in a simple and logical fashion as they progress around the church.  Sketty Primary School also requested that we do this for their top classes which we did in All Souls’ Church, Tycoch.                                                                                                                               Mrs Elaine Gale


Clyne trinity ministry area Messy Church

We regularly hold Ministry Area Messy Church events and now do these during the school holidays as this seems to attract the most people.  

The last session had 50 plus visitors of all ages.  We provide various messy and not so messy activities and craft for all ages and abilities based around the chosen biblical theme and then have a time of interactive worship followed by refreshments offering food focusing on healthy eating and giving people the opportunity to try things they may not have tried before.

Sián Parkhouse


Our AGM in February was chaired by the Rev’d Philip Gwynn. Iris Jones became Branch Leader, Anita Stock Secretary, Joyce Phillips Programme Secretary and Clive Garrish Treasurer.


We had varied speakers, a nice afternoon trip to the Lamp-lighter Shop in Bishopston and a few went to Brecon in April to the Diocesan Festival. We went in fellowship with Killay who we also joined for Christmas Lunch. Viv Lewis helped with the Banner showing all the Branches in the Great Gower Deanery and Yvonne Garrish did a flower arrangement for the Flower Festival in St Mary’s. We have two new members this year.

Mrs Iris Jones

Women on Wednesday

We enjoyed a successful year, meeting on the second Wednesday of the month at the Parish Centre. The speakers have been enjoyable; as have been our social evenings when we have enjoyed chatting over refreshments at home or during our annual away trip or Christmas lunch at Sketty Hall.  We had collections for some of our speakers’ charities as well as collecting throughout the year for the Christmas Shoe Box Appeal, (to be repeated again this coming year) with a relaxed evening in November filling the boxes.


We welcome new members. Why not try out the experience as a guest? Ladies of all ages are very welcome to our meeting that is focused on friendship.

Mrs Ann Peregrine Davies (Chairperson)

Food bank

“I was hungry and you fed me” Matthew 25:35. We have had a steady flow of contributions to the food bank, but always a need for more! We deliver to the depot at Elim Church where cheery volunteers welcome us and our offerings on a Wednesday morning between 10 and 12. There is an enormous amount of administration going on there and I am delighted that Steve Miles represents us. Thank you for your continuing kindness.

Mrs Viv Lewis

Swansea Night Shelter

The aim is to protect vulnerable adults from harm when they would otherwise be living on the streets.  We opened for the fifth winter, for some volunteers it may have been the first. Working with other churches in Swansea we provided a friendly safe, essential service to vulnerable men and women who would otherwise have experienced long periods on the streets during inhospitable weather leading to worsened health.  At All Saint’s Church, we had 53 volunteers on the Tuesday/Wednesday shifts. We spent £499.04 on food and provisions and received £158 which was donated to Swansea Hope towards transport, bedding.

 

Our guests were from a variety of backgrounds, but sadly, two had to go back on the streets as they were not allowed to claim benefits.  If they cannot afford a home, unless they find employment, they are forced back onto the streets.  Some sell copies of the Big Issue around the city centre, from which they make as little as £20 per week.  I would encourage anyone to consider purchasing a magazine as often as they can to help them get back on their feet.  


Mandy Harvey retired and we thank her for her massive input and wish her well. Paul Mort (Monty) from The Gorse Church picks up the role of co-ordinator and our prayers will be with him. God bless, and thank you for your time and commitment.

Mrs Sonia Jones (Tuesday Night Co-ordinator)


Swansea street pastors

Street Pastors’ an inter-denominational church response to urban problems, engaging with people to care, listen and talk. The initiative is designed to give Christians to be effective expressions of God's love, and through time and love, become the bridge-builders in today's society. It began in Swansea eight years ago around Wind Street, Castle Street, High Street and the Kingsway where support and aid are provided to vulnerable people in Swansea's “night time economy” between 10:00 pm – 4:00 am, mainly on a Friday (once a month) and every Saturday. Our ‘contacts, are often young people, but also older people as the homeless found on the streets at night.  We have some 30 Street Pastors supported by around 15 Prayer Pastors.  Whilst Street Pastors are ’out and about’ the Prayer Pastors are based in a central church. Contact is maintained by phone and prayers are offered to meet the needs encountered.  Street Pastors are in radio contact with the CCTV Centre and door staff in the clubs who both call on Street Pastors when they see people in need.


At the beginning of 2016 St Paul's Church provided two Street Pastors, Karen Williams and myself and two Prayer Pastors, Sue Miles and Jean Guest.  Sadly Sue died in April, she was involved in two prayer teams a month supporting on a Friday and Saturday team. We acknowledge with grateful thanks her prayer support and warm and faithful contribution.


The work is rewarding and challenging. We feel privileged to try to provide a witness to the love of Jesus hoping to change people's perceptions about what church is and does.  We try our best knowing that He is with us.

Mr Ken Lewis

Fairtrade

We continue to support companies that put Fairtrade principles into commercial practice.  Our Tradecraft shop has been available every week in the Parish Centre, and in church on some Sundays. It was well supported at Harvest Festival when products were purchased directly into our Foodbank donation box.


I attended the Tradecraft travelling Roadshow and saw the complete range of products available. We were inspired by videos from staff members who were involved in paper making, wooden toys and cotton garments projects in developing countries.  Our support at all Parish functions is invaluable to the future of vulnerable families and communities.

Mrs Jill Francis


GUIDING ~ 2nd Sketty Rainbows, Brownies, Guides

Unfortunately, we have had to close the Guide Unit, we ran out of Leaders – one had promotion and moved to Warwick and another went to work in France. All the girls have joined other Units in the area and seem to have settled in well. Their last meeting was spent putting up the Christmas tree in the Parish Centre.  The Rainbows and Brownies continue to flourish, the Rainbow waiting list starts at one year old!  Rainbows joined the rest of West Glamorgan in a Fun Day at our Centre in Parkmill and completed the Roundabout the World badge.  Brownies completed their Science Investigator Badge so they can all now wash their hands clean after our session on how germs are spread.


Our two trainee leaders have nearly completed their Leadership Qualification with Rainbows and have agreed to work for their Brownie one.  Hopefully both units are safe with Leaders, but if anyone wants to join us you will be most welcome.  We look forward to sharing the fun and friendship that means Guiding to so many.

Ms Ann Morgan


SCOUTING ~ 44th Swansea Scout GROUP continued to provide a varied and enjoyable scouting experience for over 140 local children from 6 to 14. The Beaver Section for people aged between six and eight celebrated its 30th birthday, whilst the Cub Section for people aged between eight and ten + celebrated its centenary.  The group ran the Summer Fete in July, and in collaboration with the Church choir revived the Bonfire night fireworks display. Both events were a success with the fireworks display being well received by the public.

Mr Alan Mone


MISSION IN THE WORLD

World Mission PCC sub Committee

Members: Mrs Clare Hazel (Chairperson), Ms Kathryn Helliwell, Mrs Iris Jones, Ms Susan Jones, Mrs Anne Penton, Dr Jane Watkeys.

Aim: To keep the Parish in touch with the World Church, monitoring our links with SAT-7 Broadcasting, encouraging speakers in services, input into the Beacon and newsletter and recommending the breakdown of the annual giving of 10% of our unrestricted income. The Committee meets quarterly. Information can be found on the Internet about our mission partners listed in the table on the right.


The group actively supports SAT-7 with a speaker at the morning services at St Paul's Church on 12th February and giving financial support. Other giving is shown the spending sheet to the left. Various articles about the charities we support as a parish are written in the Beacon by the committee members.


We support Tearfund one of the top ten emergency relief agencies commanding a respectful reputation built on helping people in some of the world’s most challenging places. Tearfund is driven by the unending compassion of Jesus, still determined to bring life in all its fullness in the most extreme poverty and deprivation.

Mrs Clare Hazell(Chairperson)




COMMUNICATION AND LEARNING MEDIUMS  


Parish Facebook

We have four Facebook pages in use, the parish of Sketty: Holy Trinity TOTs, Sharing Together (Patchwork) and Jigsaw.  All of the groups are closed groups, just for regular members that attend them.  We use the sites to advertise events, start discussions, post biblical verses and for people to ‘talk’ or seek opinions of the group, such as, ‘’Is my child a fussy eater?’’ St Paul’s and Holy Trinity Group is open, and can be seen by anyone searching for it.  This group is used for advertising and posting biblical messages. All posts have to be approved by the five strong Admin Team.  Sharing Together (Patchwork) has 15 members, Holy Trinity TOTs has 16 members, Jigsaw has 29 members and Holy Trinity and St Paul’s site has 112 members.  

Mrs Sián Parkhouse

bible reading fellowship

BRF encourages the daily study of the Bible and to help Christians stay focused on Jesus and his teaching.  The Bible notes available through BRF to order in our Parish are currently New Daylight, Guidelines and Day by Day with God.


New Daylight affirms that the whole of the Bible is God’s revelation to us, and we should read, reflect on and learn from every part of both the Old and New Testaments.  This publication is ideal for anybody wanting a daily accessible and stimulating aid to spending time with God each day.  The Bible extract is included in the notes so this is an ideal pocket sized book.  Each day’s section finishes with a short prayer or reflection - ideal for deepening faith and knowledge of scripture.


Guidelines is more suited to those wanting deeper, more theologically challenging daily readings and requires the use of a Bible as the texts are not included.  Go on - go for it – try it! Day by Day with God offers time out with God every day and provides a short Bible text explained and applied especially for women, who have found the Bible a source of inspiration and strength.  Those of you who use one of these publications as a means of focusing on and supporting your Christian living I hope can recommend to friends to help keep in touch with the Word of God.  A testimony to the value of the notes is the sustained numbers of subscribers in St Paul's and Holy Trinity churches and the house groups and now extending into the Ministry Area.


Using the Day by Day with God as a basis of study and to build on the 2015 Unity and Love session held at Holy T (cafe church) Holy Trinity Church, a further session on this topic was held on Mothering Sunday linking love, unity and motherhood.  More sessions are planned using the notes as a basis for study in 2017 probably at Holy T which is held on the first Sunday of the month at 4pm. Thanks for your support.  Enjoy your reading and study. If you would like to subscribe or have a topic for future discussion please let me know   The next issue of each publication will be available in April.

Mrs Elizabeth Jowett (BRF Co-ordinator, lizjowett@live.co.uk)


Library

A library is located at the back of the church where you will find a range of Christian media.



The Beacon

In the last couple of issues of The Beacon, readers will have noticed the introduction of some colour photography in the magazine, now possible due to the quality of copy since acquisition of the new parish printer. I hope the inclusion of photographs will continue to improve and modernise the Beacon.  The small team of helpers who bring the magazine to fruition continue to evaluate it and also consider its future within the Ministry Area.  Feedback is always helpful together with contributions or suggestions.

Mrs Sue James (Editor)


Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

As we strive to improve the worship-experience, we replaced and re-located some of the sound equipment, as technology improves. Refurbishment at the back of the church has improved the range of the Loop System, and we now have the ability, in both the churches and the Parish Centre, to play from almost any device that that is presented to us at weddings, funerals and presentations. At Candle-lit services this year, we displayed on four screens, dramatically reducing the number of “blind” spots. Now that this technology serves a valid purpose, maybe it is time to move on from the arrangement of screens and projectors precariously mounted on up-turned boxes and looking at a safer, refined, permanent fitting?

Eifion Francis


Sketty Parish Website

Although the Ministry Area Team has talked about a single web site, so far this hasn’t happened although planning continues. Our parish web-site needed updating and I designed a new site which gives access to the web-sites in the Ministry Area. The work on the reconstruction also continues.  My thanks go to the wardens and all who support me now and over the past years that I have been Web-master.  The site remains popular with over 6,000 visitors since it was uploaded in July 2016. Its future will depend on what happens in the Ministry Area. I hope you will continue to visit our site at: www.parishofsketty.org.uk


Sister Marian SCL, (Parish of Sketty Web-Master)

      


BAPTISMS, AWARDS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS

BAPTISMS

Henry Bryan Daniel Jenkins   Baptised on 3rd April

Ava Leigh Jones    Baptised 24th April

Dexter Austin Rhys Owen  Baptised on 24th July

Ella Rose Harrison   Baptised on 21st August

   

We remember those joined to our Christian family: May they continue with is in faithful Christian living, until we worship together in heaven.


AWARDS



MARRIAGES

Vivian Mark Thomas  married  Emma Charlotte Brown on 25th July

Henry Edward Harding Bell married Catherine Ruth Henning on 20th August

Jason Dean Thomas  married Rachel Francis Morris  on 27th August

Richard James Phillips married Michelle Elizabeth Carr on 2nd September


We pray for those drawn together in love that God will help them encourage one another in faith, hope, endurance and all that is good.


IN MEMORIAM 2015

      Died

John Llewellyn    February

Mildred Davies    March

Betty Griffin

Mildred Harris    March

Mary Molly Evans    March

Jeanette James     April

Muriel Lewis

Phyllis Lloyd

Susan Miles     May

Beryl Pitt      June

Pauline Edwina Thomas   July

Violet Roche     August

Michael Rose     Month?

Harry Wilson-Thomas   December/January?

Graham Huggleston    December/January?

George rhys davies    decembere


LOOKING FORWARD



Requested Robert Davies-Hannen 8 Feb

Prayer Vigils  This will be starting in 2017 taking place after a service, hopefully on a monthly basis. We will be holding before God, those and others on our different prayer group and the needs of the parish.   


Patchwork (Sharing Together) add this into Sians piece above

We are looking forward to include pancake making again - a very popular pastime - making small Easter gifts for the Sunday School children and a study for Lent using the Chocolat film with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche.


The Youth Alpha Course will run throughout 2017 with a night away planned in the Spring.  


Parish Administrator with wider responsibilities to come in 2017.



BRF linking love, unity and motherhood.  More sessions are planned using the notes as a basis for study in 2017 probably at Holy T which is held on the first Sunday of the month at 4pm. Thanks for your support.  Enjoy your reading