Rector - The Church in Wales

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Rector - The Church in Wales Powered By Docstoc
					                       PARISH STAFF
Rector           Rev. Michael Komor         652247
Ass. Curate      Rev. Sue Beverly             652540
Hon. Clergy      Rev. Dr. Barrie Williams           660369
Licensed         Dr John Dixon         655404
                 Huw Jones        
Church           Dr John Dixon         655404
                 Mrs Linda Jenkins          linda.jenkins@cnb-               663093
Sub Wardens      Mr Fred Custerson [C]                                       659741
                 Mrs Janet Gravenor [C]     janet.gravenor@cnb-
                 Mr Keith Jones [N]    658576
                 Mrs Alexis Frew [B]    767179
                 Mrs Gaynor Coles [B]       gaynor.coles@cnb-                647847
PCC Secretary    Mr Stuart Davidson
Youth Worker     Mrs Rhianwyn Stewart            07530901682
Treasurer        Mr John Cripps                                              658145
Organists &      Mr Russell Lock            Coity                            667246
                 Mrs Mari Dixon             Choir Mistress at Coity          655404
                 Mr John Davies             Nolton                           654913
Mothers' Union   Mrs Mary Phillips          Branch Leader                    661274
Sunday           Mrs Mary Phillips          Nolton                           661274
                 Mrs Alexis Frew            Brackla                          767179
                 Mr Chris Nash              Coity
Nolton Hall      Mr Gareth Griffiths        Hall Bookings at Parish Office   667690
Coity Hall       Mr Fred Custerson                                           659741
Magazine         Dr Joy Fry              767323
                 6 Brookside, Treoes. CF35 5DG
Parish           Mrs Angela Roberts         667690
Parish Office    Open 9am – 1pm            667690
                       Merthyr Mawr Road North, Bridgend CF31 3NH

    Commissioners for Oaths

     For an efficient, friendly service.
   Advice on all legal matters, to include:

            Preparation of HIPs
 Residential and commercial conveyancing
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6 Court Road, Bridgend. CF31 1BW
   Telephone: (01656) 652737
      Home visits by arrangement
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla             Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

In this edition…
          From Father Michael                                 2
          Parish Healing Ministry                             4
          Holidays, Holy Days                                 5
          Parish BBQ                                          6
          Holidays, Holy Days, Holy                           8
          Focus on Holidays 1                           10 – 15
          Children’s Pages                              16 - 19
          Focus on Holidays 2                                20
          First Year of Bell Ringing                         22
          Science vs. Religion                               24
          PCC Draft Minutes                                  27
          Shoebox Appeal 2010                                28
          Coming Up                                          29
          Nolton – Chapel of Ease                            30
          Bible Reading Scheme                               32

                  November Magazine Deadline
 Articles for the November Magazine should be submitted to the Editor
              by e-mail or post by Friday 15th October 2010.

             Cover photo: Acer tree, Westonbirt – Fr M Komor
                        Editor this month: Fr M Komor
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla           Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                            Are we there yet?

E   very parent will recognise the plaintive cry of the young child
    whose excitement at the prospect of a treat is tempered by the
frustration of having to sit for hours in a car. It then becomes the
parent’s role to ensure that their offspring are kept reasonably
occupied and happy for the duration of the journey, in order to avoid
the ambient and emotional
temperature in the vehicle from
reaching a point where everyone
asks themselves – Why did we
start this?
Our parish Mission Action Plan
was launched at the Annual
Vestry Meeting (AVM) of 2007.
Parishioners will no doubt recall
how the aims of the MAP were
schematically represented as the
petals of a flower, growing in a
soil of prayer. Each of the aims
was accompanied by related
objectives, and people were
drawn from across the churches
into various ‘petal groups’ to help
develop and implement the MAP.
As we look back over the years so we can see that many of those aims
and objectives have been achieved, and we give thanks for the time
and commitment of so many that have come together to move the
parish forward. However, as I reported at this year’s AVM, our Plan is
now in need of a thorough review.

Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla              Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

This is not something which should discourage us. Until the whole of
creation is gathered back to God in Christ at the end of time any plan
we may devise is necessarily provisional and subject to revision and
change; it is a fundamental principle of planning for the future that we
reflect on the lessons of the past while keeping our eyes firmly fixed on
our ultimate goal.
And so we are about to begin a new phase in our MAP, (which should
probably be referred to from now on as Mission Action Planning, to
emphasise its on-going nature). The PCC, through a MAP sub-group,
has been critically reviewing what has been achieved up until now, and
in the light of its findings has formulated a set of aims that is considers
is essential for us to tackle as we move into a new decade.
However, MAP-ping is a process in which the whole parish needs to be
involved. And so the PCC has decided to set aside the first Sunday in
November as an occasion when all our churches can come together, as
we did four years ago, to share our vision of what we would like the
future of our parish to be.
Many people will remember with great fondness the MAP Day of
November 2006, when we gathered together as a parish and spend a
number of hours under the guidance of Caroline Pascoe in setting our
agenda for the future. We hope and pray we can know again the same
spirit of joy, optimism and energy that we experienced back then, and
that we can be once more enabled to share in devising and
implementing our hopes for the future.
Are we there yet? No, and we never will be, in the sense that our
journey as a church will always lead us on.
But with combined effort and will we can have a better idea of where
we want to go and how to get there. Come along and be part of it.
Fr Michael

Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla             Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                     Is any amongst you sick?

T  here’s an old saying that ‘what goes round comes round’; certainly
   the truth of the adage can be observed in things such as fashion
and taste, as we see from the nostalgic look on the faces of forty-
something mums when they see what ‘latest’ fashions’ their teenage
daughters are into.
Some trends have a longer cycle than just a
few decades. In the early days of the Church
Christians considered the ministry of healing
to be one of the most important elements of
their witness to the fact that God’s kingdom
was breaking into the world. Preaching the
Word was intended to turn people’s minds;
showing them God’s power at work, and
actively demonstrating his will to bring
wholeness to his people, would touch their
The rediscovery of the Church’s ministry of
healing has been one of the great movements within the Body of
Christ over the last few decades. Most of us are well used to praying
for those who are sick in our intercessions, but the ministry of praying
directly for those in need through the laying on of hands (and perhaps
anointing with oil) is one that many will never have encountered.
On a personal level, I have been involved in the ministry of healing on
many occasions in previous parishes. I cannot claim to have witnessed
miraculous cures, but I do believe that people have experienced
healing at some level as a result of prayer.
And that brings me to a crucial point with respect to this ministry: a
healing is not always the same thing as a cure.
I do not deny the possibility that God can directly intervene in a
person’s life in a way that we regard as miraculous – he is Sovereign,
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                 Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

and he can do whatever he wills, miracles included. But often our need
is more for healing of emotions, healing of memories, healing of
attitudes, healing of relationships, and it is in these areas that God’s
power seems to be most frequently released through the power of
Our Healing Services have now been running for four years in the
parish. They are attended by a small congregation who appreciate the
particular blend of quiet reflection, unrushed liturgy and use of space
that the services provide. And whether or not our specific prayers are
answered in the way we might wish, we always leave with a sense of
being supported and strengthened by God’s grace and power.
And so we invite you once again to consider coming along to one of
these services, and to bring with you either your concerns for someone
who is dear to you or for yourself. We have Jesus’ promise that where
two or three are gathered together in his name he is in the midst of us,
and so we believe that prayer is never wasted or fruitless.
The next Healing Service is on Tuesday October 19 th, and will be a Holy
Eucharist with opportunity for prayer and / or anointing for those who
wish to receive them.
If you have any questions about our healing ministry please feel free to
speak to one of the clergy.
Fr Michael

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Convent school for lunch.
At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. A nun had posted a note on
the apply tray, “Take only ONE. God is watching.” At the other end of the
table was a large pile of chocolate chip cakes, next to which, in a child’s
handwriting, was a sign, “Take all you want. God is watching the apples.”

Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla            Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                   We had a lovely afternoon!
   Photos and introduction by Revd Sue; quotes from Peter Williams

Our Patronal Festival was celebrated in
style with a sumptuous lunch in the
grounds of Y Llety. The weather was
perfect and we enjoyed good company
in view of our Parish Church.
                                               Very grateful thanks are
                                               due to all those who
                                               made it a success –
                                               putting up gazebos,
                                               shifting furniture, buying
                                               and making food, not to
                                               mention our two master
                                               chefs and their
                                               assistants and all those
                                               who helped clear up so

Here are a few more
photos of the event
together with some quotes
from Peter Williams.....
“As we entered the gates
of Revd Sue’s garden, what
a sight beheld our eyes: the
beautiful lawn, lovely small
green and white striped
marquees and plenty of
chairs for everyone. And to top it all we had a magnificent blue sky.”
“The food choice was burgers or hot dogs and plenty of interesting
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla            Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

salads. I have a very good appetite but even I felt quite full. I had
already drunk my glass of very nice wine and lo and behold along came
Revd Sue and filled my glass
again. This is good, I thought.
Then I noticed another tent with a
table covered with slices of flan!
I couldn’t believe it, my
favourites, in all varieties! They
were out of this world. I have
never seen such a selection of
beautiful food.”
                                            “And there was plenty of
                                            conversation and with one
                                            theme I heard repeatedly:
                                            ‘this is wonderful; I am
                                            meeting people today from
                                            the other churches I have
                                            never seen before’. So the
                                            BBQ gave us more than
                                            good food, it gave us
                                            friendship and good will. I
don’t know the people behind the
scenes but they carried out a
magnificent job. Revd Sue and
John are to be thanked for
opening up their garden and we
were all grateful for the nice wine
by courtesy of John and Sue. It
was a resounding success.”
The date for next year’s lunch has
been booked – Sunday 14th August 2011 – put it in your diaries now!

Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                 Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                    Holiday... Holy Day... Holy...
                                      By Revd Sue

The word ‘holiday’ has a number of meanings. These include: any day
when we are not working; a day fixed by law or custom in
commemoration of some event or in honour of some person; or a
religious feast day, a ‘holy day’.
In the Christian calendar there are many holy days. Through the
Church Year, we commemorate and participate in events in the lives of
Jesus and his followers. We experience in symbol what Jesus and his
followers did in reality. We do this through daily prayer, the Eucharist,
the sacraments, hymns, psalms, symbols and other means. The Church
Year, including all liturgical celebrations and times of prayer, is one of
the most meaningful dimensions of our faith.
But what does ‘holy’ mean?
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 'Speak to all the congregation of the
people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the Lord your
God am holy.' (Leviticus 19:1-2)
'For I am the Lord your God; sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy,
for I am holy ... For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of
Egypt, to be your God; you shall be holy, for I am holy.' (Leviticus
11:44a, 45)
This shows us one of the great themes of the Bible. God is holy. We are
not. Since God can't become less holy in order to relate to people,
people must become more holy to relate to him – a process the
scriptures call 'sanctification'. 'You shall be holy', says the Lord to
Moses. Jesus echoed those words in the Sermon on the Mount, 'Be
perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect' (Matthew 5:48).
Unfortunately, for us it sounds like mission impossible.
The word 'holy' is not one that appeals to ordinary people. 'Oh, don't
be so holy', we say. The phrase 'holier than thou', is not generally a

Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla              Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

compliment. But that is because of a false understanding of what
holiness is.
What does it mean to say that ‘God is holy’? 'Holy', in the biblical
sense, means 'separate, different, untainted by fault'. Clearly, God is
like that (or he wouldn't be God, if you see what I mean). People and
things become holy only by connection with God, the source of
holiness, not because they have become holy by themselves.
The Bible speaks of holy people, of a holy nation (Exodus 19:6), and of
holy objects, such as vestments, vessels and other objects. The ark of
the Lord was 'holy'. The Hebrew scriptures also describe holy places
and holy days. All of these things are only made holy by their
association with God. In other respects, there is clearly no difference
between one day and another, one nation and another, or one place
and another.
It is important to keep in mind the connection with God while
considering the meaning of holiness. For example, in the two short
passages from Leviticus, quoted earlier, the holiness which was
required of the people of Israel is closely linked to their relationship to
God. He brought them out of the land of Egypt and he is their God.
That is the connection, the association. Without that link, they would
be no different from every other tribe, and could certainly not be
called a 'holy people'.
Just as God's holiness makes him separate or 'different', however, so
does the holiness which comes from connection with him. As he is
holy, so are his people. This doesn't mean that they can instantly attain
a holiness similar to God's, but that they are called to holiness.
Sanctification, in other words, is a process. God's people are on the
way to being made holy; it is their destiny and calling. At the same
time, it doesn't automatically make them 'better' than the people of
the surrounding nations who were not 'connected' to him. They have
to do it to be it – all through the Bible; that is the reverse side of being
God's people!

Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                         F            CUS ON …

                        Four Days in Summer
                             By Fr Barrie and Gloria
Yes! Another short break exploring wonderful Wales.
Gloria and I arrived at Pencelli Castle Caravan Park near Brecon. It was
our first visit and we were deeply impressed with the beauty,
quietness and facilities of a site that was so well cared for and
maintained by the owners and the very welcoming manager.
We encamped and after a wonderful nights sleep we walked to the
Church of St. Veugan – Llanfeugan – signposted half a mile from
Pencelli. The half mile seemed
more like two miles because of the
steep lane ascending into the heart
of the Brecon Beacons.
The Church of St Veugan nestles in
an isolated wooded glen. It is
surrounded by five great Yew
Trees that are well over two
thousand years old. They are said
to have been planted by druids of
the “old religion”. The glade is
likely to have been a pagan site
later Christianised by Romano-
British or Anglo–Saxon Christians.

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Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                 Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

Sheltering in the shade of the largest yew (see photograph) with a girth
of fifteen feet we both had a deep and exciting sense of history. Like
the olive trees in Gethsemane today, these yew trees were alive
before Jesus was born, and have been witnesses since to the birth and
growth of the Christian era. These trees are living things that watched,
in their way, Celtic and Roman Britain dissolve into the Dark Ages, the
Anglo-Saxon and Norman conquests, the pains of Christian
Reformation and the coming of competitive faiths to modern Britain
through international migration …. and they are still watching.
The descent from the heights of Llanfeugan was physically easier than
the ascent. Our return to the camp site underlined the comparative
recency of the castle that was originally built on the site. A few feet
behind our Campervan were the remains of the castle moat and a few
feet further on was the Brecon canal built in the eighteenth century
partly from the stone of the old Pencelli castle walls.
Seeing the Volvos and Volkswagens with their caravans on site,
enhanced and underlined the passage of the centuries from the Celtic
glade to Celtic Church and on to Castle grounds.
Today, the lovely modern houses and walls of Pencelli are built from
natural stone. We wondered if the stone was found when the Castle
grounds were excavated and levelled to form the caravan park. A
question to ask on our next visit.
Yes! Looking forward to another short break exploring wonderful

                              The Right Answer
       Interviewer: “If you could have dinner with any person, living or
       dead, who would it be?”
       Applicant: “The living one.”

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Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                             Peter Williams (Nolton)

D    ear Porthcawl, not a bit like it is today. I was
     fortunate in having holidays in most major sea-
side resorts when I was young, but one stands out
in my memory when I was twelve and that was at
Porthcawl during the war years.
What were the big attractions? Number one, of
course, - the fair, in those days two or three times the size of today’s.
To get there we
would have to change trains at Pyle, next stop Porthcawl. As we
neared our destination the first landmark was the “figure-of-eight” on
the sky line. That was the start of the excitement and when we opened
the carriage window we could smell the characteristic aroma of
Porthcawl air.
What made the holiday all the more exciting was the fact that my best
friend Billy was staying near us for the same fortnight. We had the
same interests and were inseparable. We caught crabs, shrimps and
hermit crabs in the wonderful rocky pools and spent a small fortune in
the fair with our favourite attraction being the “water-chute”, alas no
longer there. Under the chute was a Zoo which included lions. We
were both staying in a road off the sea front, where when there was a
high tide the waves came crashing against the sea wall and we had to
run out of the way quickly before we became soaked.
Then there was Coney Beach. A beautiful sandy bay for swimming, but
with treacherous tides. To get there and the fair from the sea front one
could use the miniature railway, complete with tunnel. On the left (and
now gone) was a Lido full of moored yachts and boats, and at the far

                                      - 12 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla            Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

end of the Lido was a part sectioned off forming a very nice swimming
That just about covers the holiday apart from the most important thing
for Billy and myself. Our hobby was collecting American gum wrappers,
and being wartime the place was crawling with American GI’s. They all
ate gum and threw the wrappers everywhere except in the waste bins,
so we had a field day. When we arrived home we each had a collection
of over a hundred different types of gum wrappers. A holiday we will
both never forget!

                       A Holy Day in October
                 St Luke the Evangelist, Oct 18
To St Luke, a gentile, we owe the beautifully written Gospel of Luke,
and the Book of Acts. He was a Greek physician, a disciple of St Paul, a
companion on some of his missionary journeys, and an inspired writer.
Luke’s gospel focuses on the compassion of Christ. His gospel contains
some of the most moving parables, such as the Good Samaritan and
Prodigal Son. This, with his emphasis on poverty, prayer and purity of
heart, make up much of his appeal to the Gentles, for whom he wrote.
Women figure more prominently in Luke’s gospel than any other: look
out for the extended story of the Virgin Birth, and stories of Mary,
Elizabeth, and the woman who was a sinner.
In Acts, Luke is remarkably good as linking sacred and profane history,
as subsequent archaeology has shown. A principal theme of his Acts is
how the early Christians moved away from Jerusalem into the pagan
world, and especially on to Rome.
Luke is the patron saint of doctors, surgeons and artists (due to his
picturesque style of writing). His symbol is an ox, sometimes explained
by reference to the sacrifice in the Temple at the beginning of his
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Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla              Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                      Adventures in the Arctic
                              Chrys Tremththanmor

F   or three weeks over this summer I lived on a Russian icebreaker
    which travelled the Arctic sea from Anadyr, Russia to Resolute,
Canada. The Northwest Passage was sought after by centuries of sea
captains eager to find a quicker sea
route from Europe to the Far East.
Even today, as global warming shrinks
the Arctic ice, nations are looking
afresh at the possibilities.
The ship had 62 passengers and about
as many crew. I had expected that
this ship, which operates as an
icebreaker during the winter, would
mean roughing it. However, we had
full maid service and five course
There were two priorities for most of us. We wanted to experience sea
ice, and we wanted to see Polar bears. Both of these hopes were
fulfilled. By day three we were in the Beaufort Sea and the ship
crunched and shuddered her way through the ice. Twice we had trips
up by helicopter to watch her icebreaking—and to take lots of
photographs, of course. The smell of the air amazed me—so clear and
pure, like on clothes which have been hung outside.
Over the course of the trip we saw five Polar bears, two solitary ones
and a mother with two cubs. The most memorable sighting came one
midnight. The ship’s public address system got everyone out of bed
and, wearing parkas over pyjamas, we watched as the Polar bear came
closer and closer to the ship. The low light didn’t make for great
photographs, but I’ll never forget the thrill of watching him sniff the air
and swim between ice floes. We also came across a huge herd of
                                      - 14 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla            Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

walruses, over a thousand pulled up onto the ice. And, yes, the stench
was rather overwhelming!
Once we came into the Arctic Archipelago we had a number of
landings by Zodiac boat or (more excitingly!) helicopter. One highlight
was flying over the Burning Hills, Franklin Bay. The shale in the cliffs
burns spontaneously and the colours left behind are bright reds,
oranges, and yellows. On other landings we walked on land covered
with bright flowers and low lying vegetation. The growing season is so
short that the willow trees grow flat against the ground. They are
around four feet long and two inches high.
The twenty-four hour, clear light of the Arctic summer is famous for
creating optical illusions. One evening we watched, amazed, as out
across the ocean islands seem to hang upside down in the air and cliffs
appeared and disappeared. All were mirages. We also saw several
fogbows. These are similar to rainbows, but because the sunlight is
refracted by much smaller water droplets the fogbow looks like a
white rainbow with only slight colouration. A fogbow arching over the
sea ice is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
Like most days of our trip the temperatures were in the 60s F and we
had bright sun. I visited the local Anglican Church and enjoyed the
stained glass windows. These combined Christian and Inuit imagery.
We came to the exit (or the entrance) to the Northwest Passage on our
penultimate day, and I celebrated with a dram of Talisker whiskey in
the ship’s bar. Around this time weather turned on us. Shore
excursions were cancelled, including the much anticipated trip to see
the graves of Franklin’s men on Beechey Island. On our last day we had
horizontal snow and finally I had a reason to wear the cold weather
clothing I’d brought with me.
If you want to read more about it (and to see copious photographs!) I
now have a website dedicated to my travels at

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Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla            Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                       Saturday October 23rd
                             Celebrating Light
    by decorating candles and making candle holders

                      Saturday November 27th
                        Preparing for Christmas
    by making a Nativity mobile and tree decorations

            For children (3-13 years) and adults
                         3pm – 4pm
     at Nolton Church Hall, Merthyr Mawr Road North

          For more details contact

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Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                    Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                           Oberammergau 2010
                                      By Ann Parfitt

On June 4th, eleven of us from St Mary’s, Coity, Nolton and Brackla,
boarded a coach outside Margaret and David Sullivan’s house on our
way to Heathrow. We met up with Revd Sara and it was good to see
her looking so well. We met Revd Stevie and her group and, so it was,
that twenty one pilgrims set off on an exciting journey.
We began with a coach tour of the city of Vienna and visited the
Schőnbrunn Palace which is as beautiful as its name. They were
preparing for a concert in the grounds which was to be performed the
next day and shown on television.
We had a boat trip up the Danube to Melk. The rainfall had been so
heavy that the Danube was overflowing its banks in many places. If we
had been on a cruise, as originally planned, we would have been
unable to go anywhere as the cruise ships could not get under the
bridges. Isn’t it wonderful how God always knows what is best for us?
The architecture, the shopping and the churches made Vienna an
exciting place to visit. It’s not cheap mind; we were all a little surprised
that a tea bag and hot water cost £4 (milk by request)!
On the way to Oberammergau we had lunch in Salzburg and saw
where Mozart was born and a house where he had lived. The next day
we attended the Passion Play which of course was the highlight of our
The first half of the performance was in the afternoon, the second half
in the evening. The whole village takes part and there is a feeling of
excitement in the air as around four thousand people respond to the
gongs which inform them that the performance is about to begin and
so gather in the auditorium.
If we considered the first half to be marvellous we were in for a
surprise. For example, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was amazing. There
                                          - 20 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla             Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

was Jesus and his twelve disciples (of course), the donkey, 400 extras
waving palms, a horse, a lama, a camel, two sheep and two goats all on
stage at the same time. When they shouted ‘Hosanna!’ I feel sure the
building shook. The hanging of Judas and the crucifixion were all
carefully and sensitively staged.
It was altogether a wonderful experience. Hats off to Revd Sara and
Revd Stevie for organising our trip and their continued efforts to keep
everyone happy. A big thank you also to David Sullivan for organising
our transport to and from the airport.
Just before I went to Oberammergau, Helen (my daughter), said she
and her family were holidaying in Rome and would I like to come.
Wow! I had never been so it took me all of two seconds to make up my
mind. One of the first things we did was hop on the on-off tour bus.
This way we saw all the main attractions and decided which ones we
would like to give further investigation.
Once again the architecture is breathtaking: the Trevi fountain, the
Spanish Steps and the Colosseum, with its impressive structure and
history, looked even grander when lit up at night time. The Vatican was
as impressive to visit as it appears on TV. The Sistine Chapel is the
jewel in the crown which stands among such breathtaking treasures.
The Michelangelo paintings look as vibrant today as when he
painstakingly worked them.
Yes, Rome is a fascinating place to visit but, be warned, no one seems
to obey any rules. A large sign before you in the Sistine Chapel reads
‘Please be respectful, this is a place of worship’. The hum of voices was
so great the guards had to keep shouting ‘Quiet!’. There were ‘No
Smoking’ signs and the guards were smoking; ‘No Cameras’ – the
Japanese can’t read that sign. If you make a car journey there are very
few road signs or markings. Cars overtake on the hard shoulder and
turn right by forcing their way across two lanes of traffic. So if you are
ever tempted to hire a car in Rome, one word of advice – don’t!

                                      - 21 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla               Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                              Our First Year!

Philippa Rogers and her son Christopher have been learning to ring the
bells in Coity for the last year and we asked them to write an article on
their experience.

I t is hard to imagine that a year has passed since we ventured up, into
  the bell tower. Signing up to the beginners’ lessons sounded like such
a good idea at the time. ‘Not a problem’ I thought ‘that looks like a lot
of fun’. Least did I know how easy the bell ringers made it look.
However, we’re still here, it’s still a good idea, still a lot of fun and the
Coity Bell ringers still make it look easy! They certainly make it easy for
us to fit in.
Chris and I regularly attend practice nights on Wednesday evenings,
with every intention and thought that ‘I’ll be better tonight’. I speak for
myself when I say that as Chris has a lot more potential and stamina
than I do when it comes to recalling methods of ringing the 6 bells.
We have accomplished quite some training through the year from the
practical technique of pulling the rope through to theory side of
learning new methods but still, there is a lot to be mastered. When I’m
feeling down about my capacity as a bell ringer, I am often comforted
by soothing reassurance of the tower crew. The remarkable patience
they have with us as beginners, when we ring our bell in the wrong
sequence, spoiling what was promising to be a good tune. At this point
I would also like to offer my apologies to the residents of Coity who
tolerate this. We promise we will get better.
Being welcomed into the ringing circle has presented us with some
fantastic opportunities. During the year we have completed a tour of
local towers. This really boosted our confidence – to think that we
were trusted with another tower!

                                      - 22 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                      Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

Future events on the calendar include a tour of Brecon towers
including Brecon Cathedral; this is a real unique and exceptional
The social aspect of this wonderful hobby and service has meant that
Chris and I have met lots of amazing and interesting people. BELL

                You’re still pulling a little too hard, Norman!

                                      Every Cloud…
  After several months of unhappiness, it came time for the visiting minister to
  leave the little local church where he had been filling in. During the last Sunday
  service, his hat was passed around for a goodwill offering.
  When it returned to the minister, the hat was empty. But he didn’t flinch. He
  raised the hat to Heaven and said, “I thank You, Lord, that at least I got my hat
  back from this congregation.”

                                         - 23 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla              Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                          Science v Religion:
         An Evolutionary Biologist’s Perspective
Does God exist? Can Science be used to disprove His existence?
Science underpins our progress in Medicine, Agriculture and
Technology and as a consequence it is now in a position of
considerable authority. Should we
listen to the voices of some
Evolutionary Biologists, Evolutionary
Psychologists and Theoretical
Physicists and abandon our faith?
I think the answer to this question is
no. Science and Religion are two
different methods of understanding the World around us and within
us. They do overlap, but only minimally, and Science is not capable of
explaining away the basis of Religion. In order to see this let us briefly
consider the current position in Evolutionary Biology.
Firstly, evolution is a reality. The Earth is ancient, such that the oldest
rocks are about 3,500 million years old. Fossils of rudimentary plants
and animals are found in deep time by about 600 million years, and at
about 550 million years ago there was a remarkable outburst of animal
types at the beginning of the geological period called the Cambrian.
The fossil record shows that species arise, are often stable in type for a
few million years, and then vanish. However, all is not stable, the fossil
record is occasionally punctuated by mass extinctions that remove
dominant groups and leave empty niches into which new groups
Secondly, evolution into new types is driven by natural selection. On
entering a new niche (a sort of ecological job opportunity) selection is
strong, removing all those that are badly fitted to their new
environment. The characteristics of individuals depend on units called
genes that are in general stable but do occasionally change or mutate
                                      - 24 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla              Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

to produce the variation that selection can act upon. Those that
survive to breed pass on their favourable genes to their offspring. Thus
new species become exquisitely adapted to their niche.
In this view an individual’s fitness may be measured by the number of
surviving offspring they produce. Hence, we should invest in our
children. However, individuals can be viewed as ephemeral groups of
genes and it is the genes that have long-term existence. Thus, childless
individuals can also increase their fitness by investing in the children of
relatives because they tend to share copies of the same genes. This is
the stark comfortless world of the “selfish gene”.
It is not yet clear how much of this picture is correct. Scientists have to
bear in mind that theory must be continually tested by fact and
adjusted if it is found wanting. However, even if it is all correct does it
provide the coup de grace to God? True, the picture of an ancient
Earth and the pattern of evolution in deep time does not readily map
on to the account of beginning of the World in Genesis.
However, this is a trivial discrepancy because God could hardly
describe how things really happened to a scientifically naive people
some 4,000 years ago. If, as I suspect, natural selection is the driving
force of evolution then this does weaken the case for “intelligent
design”. However, we could then simply say that evolution and natural
selection are all part of God’s creation. We are simply discovering what
He has put into place.
So, if Science and Religion are different ways of looking at the World
and one does not readily illuminate the other why the recent debate?
Well, Evolutionary Biology/Psychology may provide some answers to
this. Scientists cannot measure God, but they can measure belief in
God. This they call “religiosity”. It is simply a measure of how strongly
people believe, how often they attend religious services etc. Twin
studies reveal that religiosity is quite strongly related to genes. Indeed
about half of the variation in religiosity from person to person is the
result of genetic influences on our behaviour.

                                      - 25 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla              Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

Now we can see the debate between Science and Religion in a
different light. It is in effect a debate between atheists who happen to
be scientists and believers who on the whole do not happen to be
scientists. It is a polemic that will never be resolved because it is
between groups of people who cannot change the genes that are
whispering within them.
The findings of Science will certainly not stop the whisperings of faith,
nor will depictions of religion as being “wicked” or of caricatures of
believers as being of low IQ. Those who score high on religiosity are
likely to report greater happiness than those that score low on
religiosity, they also tend to show greater empathy to their fellows and
to enjoy the group cohesion among members of their congregation.
Atheists do not receive these benefits but they must comfort
themselves by what they see as their greater intellectual rigour and
their ability to accept uncomfortable facts.
The genes for the belief in God are probably unique to our species and
mark us out as religious animals. However, what of the question “Does
God exist?”. I cannot tell you the answer because I am merely a
scientist, and clearly the route-map to God (or indeed away from God)
cannot be provided by Evolutionary Biology. Perhaps logic also is not
the way to the answer. To misquote David Niven in A Matter of Life
and Death,
         Frank – do you believe in God?
         June – I don’t know, I’ve not really thought about it. Do you?
         Frank – I don’t know. I’ve thought about it too much.
So, in the end we are left with the mystery of faith. Put aside
intellectual arrogance and consider the words of Psalm 46 “Be still and
know that I am God”. That is, let go and see the hand of God in all His
creation. Therein lies the answer.
Professor John Manning - Dept of Psychology, University of Swansea
(Prof Manning is a member of the Friday morning congregation at Nolton –

                                      - 26 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                  Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                    Nolton – A Chapel of Ease
                                John Dowse FRCS

I   wonder what image is conjured up in the mind of the reader when he or
   she sees those words? When I first read of them many years ago, I thought
it was a place for travellers to rest and take their ease while on pilgrimage to
major centres of learning. Such places did exist in the first millennium
throughout South Wales, catering for the many monks and pilgrims passing
to and from St David’s in the west to Tintern and beyond in the east. But no.
A chapel of ease is not to make easy the passage of travellers; it is to make
easier the churchgoing of the flock who live at some distance from the parent
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the rector of St Mary’s, Coity, the parent
church, had a parish which extended as far as the Ogmore River, which was
his boundary with the parish of Newcastle. He was well aware that in
inclement weather and maybe because of pure laziness, his flock would make
the easier trek across the ford and later across the bridge to Newcastle
church, rather than trudge through the fields and along muddy rutted lanes
all the way to Coity. It was with this pecuniary reason in mind, he built a
chapel of ease at Nolton; it would be better to send his browbeaten curate
through the mud and the wet and windy weather to this chapel to minister to
his parishioners, rather than allow his flock to escape the easier way to
Newcastle church and lose the takings from the collection plate, no matter
how small they may have been.
The first documentary reference to the Nolton Chapel appeared in the entry
in Coity Anglia Survey of 1631. The entry records ‘an olde chappell of ease,
annexed to the church of Coity’. The reference to its being ‘olde’ in the early
17th century, suggests that this place had been present for a long time even
Randall, in his excellent book, ‘BRIDGEND, The Story of a Market Town’,
refers to the Dunraven Map of 1778. The chapel of ease is shown as a
substantial church with a spire, comparable in size to the church at
Newcastle, yet he considered it to be ‘distinctly small’, even though it clearly
was large enough to accommodate the congregation as they clamoured to
hear the sermons of John Wesley.
                                      - 27 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                        Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla
St Mary’s Nolton has an Elizabethan communion cup which is dated 1575. It
matches the cup owned by Coity closely, (Coity’s cup is dated 1576), but as
Coity was an old established church in the Elizabethan period, it is not
surprising that that church does have such a cup. But (the new) St Mary’s
church, Nolton, was consecrated in 1887. How did this young church obtain
this Elizabethan cup, made 300 years earlier?
                                                       The present church at
                                                       Nolton was built close
                                                       to the site of the
                                                       Victorian Chapel of
                                                       Ease, the building of
                                                       which was started in
                                                       1834. (Clearly, this
                                                       church must have been
                                                       replacing a building
                                                       which was much older
                                                       and perhaps had fallen
                                                       into decay). Randall
                                                       attended services in
                                                       this Victorian church as
                                                       a boy and comments
on the ‘extreme discomfort of the high-backed pews; discomfort in those
days was held to contribute to Godliness’. But as the township of Bridgend
increased in size and prosperity, this church became too small for the
congregations and plans were made for the present church to be built. It was
consecrated on 1887 and the spire completed in 1898.
More research is needed to determine more about the chapels of ease at this
site, but I, being easily convinced, believe these chapels have been present
for ages and that when the communion cup was acquired by St Mary’s
church, Coity, in 1576, a similar communion cup was obtained for use in the
chapel of ease at Nolton. If this is true, any further enquiry as to the
provenance of this cup will produce no advance in knowledge. It fits – at least
I think it does!
    Acknowledgements: Much information was gained from Henry John Randall’s book,
 “BRIDGEND, The story of a market town”, published for Mid Glamorgan County Libraries,
 Park Street, Bridgend, 1994 time. The photograph of the Victorian Chapel of Ease was also
               reproduced from the book with the permission of the librarian.
                                          - 28 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                      Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                                   Operation Christmas Child
                                      Annual Shoebox Appeal

                             Most people will be familiar with the scheme, but if you
                             require further information contact the clergy, or read it

Once you have decided whether to give your shoebox to a boy or girl, you need to
think carefully about gifts that would be most appropriate for the age group you
have selected. (P.S. Before you spend all your money on great shoebox gifts, don't
forget to put £2.50 aside for the shoebox donation.)

Yes Please! We’d love you to choose from each of these 4 categories:
Toys: Bear, soft toy, tennis ball, finger puppet, jigsaw, yo-yo, building blocks, small
musical instrument. For boys; trucks and cars, for girls; dolls, clip on earrings, etc.
Educational Supplies: Felt pens, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, eraser, colouring
book, notepad, picture or puzzle book, chalk, pencil case, stickers, etc.
Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, hair clips, bar of soap,
flannel, etc.
Other Items: Sweets (sell-by date to be at least March of the following year), gloves,
scarf, sunglasses, cap, hat, bangles, necklaces etc.
All gifts should be new, please include items from each category

Please do NOT include any of these items:
No Food: especially chocolate. Only exception, non-chocolate sweets are allowed
No medicine or vitamins of any kind. No war related items Toy guns, soldiers or
knives of any kind. No clothing other than listed above. No fragile items Glass
containers, mirrors. No liquids including blow bubbles, shampoo, bubble bath,
toiletry sets or aerosols. No dangerous items Sharp objects, scissors or razors.
No novels. Nothing of a political nature. No hand-knitted stuffed toys without a CE

Completed boxes should be marked with a label for either boys or girls, and which
age range: 2-4, 5-9, 10-14.
The organisations encourages the donation of £2.50 per box to be made online
through their website. If this is not possible put it in an envelope in the box.
Boxes can be taken to Stead & Simpson, or Shoezone, in Caroline Street Bridgend.
Alternatively you can leave them at the Parish Office, by Monday November 15th.

                                        - 29 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                      Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                     PCC Meeting – 13th September 2010
                               Draft Minutes
A letter from The Wallich to the Rector was read out. It is planned to setup night
shelters in Bridgend in winter months. While giving general support there are some
concerns re the timing and logistics. It was agreed that we should reply inviting a
representative to give more information if they thought we could meet their
Matters Arising
The Coity Lady Chapel Faculty application has been submitted and is under review by
the Chancellor of the Diocese. The Prayer garden Faculty application awaits further
progress. Revised PCC dates circulated to all members. The Autumn Fayre date
revised to 13th November.
Parish Policies
Policies for Ministry with Vulnerable Adults and Equal Opportunities in employment
were agreed subject to minor clarification.
MAP Committee: met in July and September. The mission statement of the 2007
MAP is being reviewed. The main aims of the 2010 MAP are proposed as: Working
with Children and Young People; Older People in the Community; Reaching out to
wider community in Bridgend; Reaching out to the wider world; Equipping ourselves
for Discipleship. A new draft of the Mission Statement will be prepared for agreement
at the October meeting. A MAP planning day will be held on 7 November
Finance Subcommittee: Charitable disbursements for 2010 were presented and
approved by PCC. PCC agreed that Llamau should be the nominated charity for the
Christmas Tree festival. This is a local charity helping young offenders and care
leavers to learn new skills. The PCC agreed the FC’s proposal to increase rental of
churches for concerts to £150 during September to May and £100 June to August.
Reduced fee would be at Clergy discretion for new musicians during summer months.
The Accounts projected a slightly improved position for the year. A number of
requests for payment were agreed.
Fabric Committee
Nolton Organ: after the successful asbestos removal, a fault in the organ motor has
been identified. Pigeons: emergency faculty has been granted to fit roosting spikes to a
window of Nolton Church; steeplejacks to quote to fit them and clear gutters to stop
leaks. Coity Church carpet: to be relayed with thicker underlay. Steeplejacks to quote
for Coity clock spike repairs and flagpole painting. Repairs to Bayliss Gate have been
completed. Nolton Hall Boiler replacement: lowest quote recommended. 2 Fenwick
drive: quote from decorator to paint downstairs.
         The approved Minutes will be available for inspection in due course.

                                        - 30 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                   Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                              Coming Up
                                Dates for the Diary

        9th     Quiet Day, Ty Teilo
         (contact Dick Shenton 665368)
        9th     Christian Aid Coffee Morn.
        9th
                 Concert, St Mary Nolton –
         Mid Glam Mixed Choir
        19th Healing Service, Nolton
        31st    11am – Sung Mattins,
         3pm – Bridgend Town Council
         Civic Service, Nolton
         6pm – Sung High Mass for All
         Saints, Nolton

        6th      Commemoration Service, Nolton 4pm
        7th      Parish MAP Day, 10am – 4pm
        13th     Autumn Fayre, Nolton Hall
        14th     Gymanfa Ganu / Welsh Hymns of Praise, 6pm Nolton

        11th     Christmas Tree Festival with Concert
        12th     Ordination, St Mary’s Coity 10am

                                      - 31 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla                    Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                          Daily Bible Readings

             4th       Hosea 6.11b – 7.16              Acts 22.30 – 23.11
             5th       Hosea 8.1 – 14                  Acts 23.12 – 24
             6         Hosea 9.1 – 17                  Acts 23.23 - 35
             7         Hosea 10.1 – 15                 Acts 24.1 – 23
             8         Hosea 11.1 – 12.6               Acts 24.24 – 25.12
              9        Hosea 12.7 – 13.3               Acts 25.13 - 27
             10th      Nehemiah 6.1 – 16               John 15.12 - 27
             11        Hosea 13.4-14, (15,16);14.1-9   Acts26.1 - 23
             12        Jonah 1.1 – 17a                 Acts 26.24 – 27.8
             13th      Jonah 1.17 – 2.10               Acts27.9 – 26
             14        Jonah 3.1 – 4.11                Acts 27.27 – 44
             15        Sirach 1.1 – 10, 18 - 27        Acts 28.1 - 16
             16th      Sirach 3.17 – 31                Acts 28.17 - 31
             17        Nehemiah 8.9 – 18               John 16.1 – 11
             18        Isaiah 55                       Luke 1.1 – 4
             19th      Sirach 6.5 – 17                 Revelation 7.9 – 17
             20        Sirach 7.4 – 14                 Revelation 8.1- 13
             21        Sirach 10.1 – 18                Revelation 9.1 – 12
             22        Sirach 11.2 – 20                Revelation 9.13 – 21
             23        Sirach 15.9 - 20                Revelation 10.1 - 11
             24th      Ecclesiastes 11, 12             2 Timothy 2.1 - 7
             25        Sirach 19.4 – 17                Revelation 11.1 - 14
             26        Sirach 24.1 – 12                Revelation 11.14 – 19
             27th      Sirach 28.14 – 26               Revelation 12.1 – 6
             28        Wisdom 5.1 – 16                 Luke 6.12 – 16
             29        Sirach 34.1 – 8, 18 – 22        Revelation 13.1 – 10
             30th      Sirach 35.1 – 17                Revelation 13.11 – 18
             31        Lamentations 3.22 – 33          John 11.1 – 31, 32 - 44

                                           - 32 -
Parish of Coity, Nolton and Brackla               Plwyf Coety, Nolton a Brackla

                           Our Mission Prayer
       Father, pour out your Spirit upon the people of this Parish,
                And grant us a new vision of your glory,
                    A new experience of your power,
                    A new faithfulness to your Word,
                And a new consecration to your service;
                  That your love may grow among us,
                        And your Kingdom come.
                     Through Christ our Lord. Amen

                    Are you a budding writer?
                    Have you an article for this magazine?
  Fr Michael, Revd Sue and myself have discussed possible topics for
  future Focus on … sections of this magazine but we need your
  input to make them work. So if you have something you are
  willing to share through the magazine on any of the topics below
  then please contact Fr Michael, Revd Sue or myself.
       Most embarrassing moment
       Favourite places
       Pets
       Hymns
       Music, musical instruments, what is your favourite piece of
          music, what one piece of music would you take to a desert
          island ?
       Memories including my earliest memory
       Food and cooking
       Books
       Local History
  Joy Fry, Editor

                                      - 33 -
           For all your decorating needs.
                 18 Years Experience
             Interior/Exterior Decorator
           Sheds, Fences, Railings & Gates
           Quality workmanship Guaranteed
     For Excellent Prices Call!
  01656 870160 / 0781 0141392
Open for full or part time        Open from 8:00am –              Picking up children from
        day care                         9:00am.                       Coety Primary.
  between 9:00am and            For children at Playgroup            Open until 5:45pm.
3:00pm, for 2 – 4 year old         or those attending                For children aged
children during term time        Coety Primary School             between 3 and 11 years

                  Open during school                 Open Tuesdays
                holidays from 8:30am till           12:45pm – 2:45pm
                         4.30pm.                    All pre-schoolers
                For all children aged 3 –                welcome.
                         11 years
      Contact Caroline Davies 07813352893 or e-mail
                   PARISH ACTIVITIES
Girls Group – Nolton Hall                            Monthly
                             Mrs Rhianwyn Stewart    07530901682                 4.30 p.m.

Youth Church Club – Nolton Hall                      Weekly                      6.30 p.m.
                           Mrs Tracy Dickman         662657

Beginners Recorder Group                             Weekly (Term time only)     5.30pm
Recorder Group 1 – Rectory                           Weekly (Term time only)     6.00 p.m.
                                 Mrs Anne Komor      652247

Youth Service Preparation Meeting – Nolton
                         Mrs Rhianwyn Stewart        07530901682                 7.00 p.m.

Mothers’ Union – Nolton Hall                         Third in month              2.00 p.m.
                                 Mrs Mary Phillips   661274

Dance Group (11+) – Nolton Hall                      Weekly                      4.00 p.m.
                        Mrs Rhianwyn Stewart         07530901682
Brownies (3 Bridgend) – Nolton Hall                  Weekly                      5.45 p.m.
                     Brown Owl: Kelly Painter        0799034629

Coity Choir Practice – in Church                     Weekly                      6.30 p.m.
                                   Mrs Mari Dixon    655404

Flower Club – Coity Hall                             First and fourth in month   7.30 p.m.
                                   Mrs Mair Cripps   658145

Tuesday Fellowship – Coity Hall                      Second in month             7.30 p.m.
                                    Dr John Dixon    655404

Recorder Group 2 - Rectory                           Weekly (Term time only)     6.00 p.m.
                                 Mrs Anne Komor      652247

Coity Bellringers Practice                           Weekly                      7.00 p.m.
                                Mr Fred Custerson    659741

Guides (4 Bridgend) – Nolton Hall                    Weekly                      6.30pm
                   Captain: Felicity Ladbrooke

Nolton Choir Practice – in Church                    Weekly                      6.45pm
                                Mr John Davies       654913
SUNDAY            8.00 a.m.     Holy Eucharist         (First in the month)
                  9.30 a.m.     Sung Eucharist         (Crèche facilities)
                  9.30 a.m.     Sunday School          (in the Church Hall)
                  6.00 p.m.     Evensong and Sermon

Tuesday           7.30 a.m.     Holy Eucharist

                    SAINT MARY, NOLTON
SUNDAY            8.00 a.m.     Holy Eucharist
                  10.50 a.m.    Sunday School          (in Nolton Hall)
                  11.00 a.m.    Sung Eucharist
                  6.00 p.m.     Evensong and Sermon

Monday            9.30 a.m.     Holy Eucharist
Thursday          10.00 a.m.    M.U. Communion         (Second in the month)
Friday            10.00 a.m.    Holy Eucharist
Saints’ Days      As announced at Sunday Services

                   SAINT MARY, BRACKLA
                          At Archdeacon John Lewis School
SUNDAY            9.30 a.m.     Youth Service          (First in the month)
                  9.30 a.m.     Holy Eucharist         (Second and fourth in the
                  9.30 a.m.     All Age Service        (Third in the month)
                  9.30 a.m.     Sunday School          (Not third in the month)

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