An ecumenical celebratory service was held on Saturday, March 8th in St David’s Cathedral, Cardiff. It was attended by leaders & members from at least seven Christian Churches and organisations from across the diocese, (Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Free churches, Church in Wales, Evangelical & Catholic), with members from these churches playing an active role in the service through reading, playing music or bringing symbols to the altar.
Archbishop George Stack welcomed everyone and the homily was given by Rev. Dr. Stephen Wigley, Chair of Wales Synod of the Methodist Church. In His homily, Rev. Wigley referred to the importance of families but recognised that they are not always happy places for people, saying: ‘I know many who have been hurt and who still bear scars of painful memories’. He referred to chapter 15 of the gospel of St John which was read at the service, in which we are reminded that God is at the heart of all that brings life. ‘We are called to be part of a community that shares that love and life, a community marked by friendship, following his example and living in his love.’
Aiming to be inclusive of all families, the hymns, reflections & prayers for ‘The Family’ included a hymn and reading in Welsh and the hymn ‘Let there be love shared among us’ signed by the Archdiocese of Cardiff’s Deaf Service. An adoptive father expressed his appreciation of the inclusion of ‘adoptive parents ‘ in the prayer for those with vocations in many forms. Many of those who attended expressed that it had been a lovely service, some saying they had found it ‘moving’ and ’emotional’.
Confirmation candidates from the parish of Penarth & Dinas Powys were especially pleased to have been invited to the service and took part by reading and carrying symbols to the altar.
This event was organised by the Archdiocesan Commissions for Family Life (chaired by Mrs Anne Ballard) & Christian Unity (chaired by Mrs Carys Whelan) with the support of Cytun, Churches Together in Wales. Mrs Ballard said that many personal contacts had been made in the preparation process and on the day. Both she and Mrs Whelan saw it as another positive step forward in Christian churches in our area working together and wish to thank everyone who attended and helped make it such a success.