•March 10, 2018 • Leave a Comment



When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river…


THE MOTHER LETTING GO is a mythical theme common to humanity irrespective of time or place. Danu, of the flowing waters, Queen of the fertile land, the Great Mother Goddess of the ancient Celts, Don, Dana or Ana in Welsh, the Creator Goddess of the Tuatha De Danann, the first known Celtic tribes of Ireland, is seen putting her baby into the marsh river in the picture above. The legend of St Cenydd’s mother on the Loughor bank vaguely echoes it. Our readings today give us the Hebrew story of Miriam and her baby Moses and St Luke’s poetic verses about the pain of the mother who, though blessed with the birth of her son Jesus, will ultimately be unable to protect him or keep him. Jesus is her son but she does not possess him and she will have to let him go, even many times until finally she must watch him die on a cross.
This Mothering Sunday falls on the first Sunday after burying my own mum at Ilston, the church llan of my youth and of her Christ-loving, human heart. I am doing my best to let her go, and I know, counter intuitively, that the letting go sets her free to be everywhere for me. I feel it and I know it but still completely letting go doesn’t come easy. Letting go comes only from the deepest, unconditional, God-like love.
And now I remember the tears of my darling mother in the days before I set off aged 17 to ‘become a man,’ with a guitar, a few pounds, a one-way bus ticket to a champagne grape-picking field in France and then a hitch-hiker’s instinct to who knows where. Tears which must have burned her face, a letting go that I know pierced her own soul…
Mam i fi, diolch yn fawr. Dw i’n garu ti bob amser x

(This) Lent 2018 – a poem by Nigel

•March 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Here is a poem written today by my good friend and colleague, Fr Nigel Doyle, who is recovering after a long awaited knee operation. The sacramental stream making her beautiful way to Pwll Du is a place where Nigel will soon be able to walk to again. Yes, now he reckons he will be able to walk on water!

This Lent
Long awaited surgery
A twisted knee corrected
Post-operative convalescence
Time to reflect,
this Lent
No rushing to lead worship,
Listen to my own teaching sermons
on being quiet and reflective
on the way to the cross
Liturgical busyness!
Now, I have time to be
spiritually corrected
about the forty days and nights,
Holy Week and Easter.
Time to read, listen, pray
what His sacrifice signifies.

No longer running to Easter
A slower journey
this Lent
Not even walking to Easter,
Just hobbling,
Supported and tethered to two crutches
Enjoying enforced rest
and take in spring’s renewal
Watch, listen, enjoy the
earth’s smells of growth
Be thankful for this gift.
Being a patient, patient is not easy
Bumps and knocks take time to heal
I am no longer twenty-one
I no longer have Action Man knees!

Overwhelmed by
prayers offered
e-greetings by email and Facebook
messages and greetings passed on from
phone calls
all loving and concerned
for my recovery
Grateful for long
suffered pain now gone
replaced by a new less intensive
pain of recovery

Allow others to minister lovingly to
my physical and
spiritual needs
The shared gift of Home Communion.
This Lent
I will try to
take a back seat
without any anxiety
To be happy to listen
To accept the diminishments
that come to me
Take time
Accept circumstances
and know
Recovery will be slow
Enjoy this sacrament,
the present moment
Seeing your hand Lord in
the darkness, and brightness
this Lent


•March 2, 2018 • Leave a Comment


Ferryside boat.png

Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words… yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world ~ I AM יהוה‬ your God, who brought you… out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me…

EARTH, SEA, SKY, the holy trinity of the pre- Christian people of Wales speak to the soul of the pilgrim, without words, of יהוה‬, of Christ, of Father, Son, Spirit, of All that Is. A red kite circles above the heads of the blistered-foot travelers and whispers to one of them of the love of a mother just died, set free, dancing with Wisdom in the ruach-breath Peace. And the fishermen of Ferryside carry us across the divide, while plant Cymraeg sing songs of old, and the boatmen put us down on Dewi’s soil, with an Irish grin and a Slàinte-Hwyl!
During our walk to St David’s this week (we have had to pause after 2 days for the snow to clear), Fr Glyn and I talked much about life, the universe, God, Bob Dylan and all that, but often it was in the quiet times, lost in the mud and sea-ditched fields, where Glyn’s map seems not to work anymore, when the thirst or hunger starts to bite and the birds, elements and animals begin to to lose seperation of sound, that the sheer awe and wonder of it all made for us a Silence so Loud.
Creation truly is “My Father’s House”, our bodies the Temple of the Almighty One. Our inherited “society”, “system”, “education”, “democracy”, call it what you will, has made of them both “a market place”. When we are unconscious and just go along with this, then we collude just like the pharisees and saduccees and the money changers in the First Century Jerusalem Temple. But this time is Lent, a time for waking up and seeing that Jesus Christ is here and ready always with a whip of cords, and he will kick over the robber’s tables in your heart and mine. Stop. Be still. Just wake up. Let the awe and the wonder explode in you. Be still. AND KNOW GOD.

*Fr Tim and Fr Glyn Austin (Llangennith) are walking to St David’s

to raise awareness of pilgrimage and to raise money for St Madoc Centre

      please sponsor them here



•February 24, 2018 • 1 Comment


henrhyd feb 2018

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’ (Mark 8.33)


THE ROCK ROCKS… Just a few breaths after Peter’s moment of discipleship triumph, praised by the Master for his insight not born of man but of Wisdom herself, the fisherman would-be-fisher-of-men is receiving the harshest telling off meted out by that same Master anywhere in the Scriptures or in any other authentic record of the words of Jesus! For a moment the Hochma ( חכמה Wisdom ) has broken through for Peter and enlightened him, revealing Christ to him in the person of his spiritual Master (“Who do you say I am?”, “You are Christ” ~ Mark 8.29). But as soon as Jesus starts to conflict with Peter’s programmed understanding of what Christ ( משיח Meshiach ) is supposed to be, the Hochma is gone and the frightened man-rock is all that’s left, and Peter’s words are reduced to religious and political gibberish. Of course, similar happened with the Transfiguration and we will meet Peter through Lent and Holy Week quite a lot when moments of inspiration are soon squandered by the fear and impetuousness of the man.
Nevertheless, Jesus continues to call his fallible and flappable student “Cephas – the Rock – Rocky – Peter” and he never gives up on “the rock on which I shall build ecclesia”. The moments of Wisdom continue to break through in spite of everything and after the Resurrection, when Peter has taken on his own Christ-ordained mission, we will meet a man of God so powerful that people are healed in the shadow of his cloak as he walks by.
Our own Cephas, Rev Peter B, reminded us at the first Lent Service last Thursday that Lent is a time for us to stop our gibberish and just listen. Listen for the voice of God. Wait on the Hochma. Say with your heart, like Samuel in the night, “Speak Lord, your servant is ready to listen.” Shwsh now. Listen… … … Christ is speaking…to you…


•January 22, 2018 • Comments Off on DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU


a sermon for epiphany in one of the churches on the marsh

21st Jan 2018


•January 15, 2018 • Leave a Comment


in the forest

Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’


Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli…Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him…

IN THE STORY about Samuel, we are told that visons were rare in his time and so was the word of יהוה (the Lord or, perhaps better, the One Who Is). Samuel had been serving יהוה in the temple at Shiloh since early childhood, as his mother Hannah had promised the High Priest Eli that he would. Yet, until the voice of יהוה disturbed him at night, we are to understand that Samuel did not know יהוה. Of course he already knew much about יהוה but he had no relationship with יהוה. As the story moves on, we hear that, “As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground”.
Meanwhile, in John’s gospel we are told that when Jesus was introduced to Nathaniel by his new disciple Philip, Jesus showed Nathaniel that he already knew him. He knew him because he had “seen” him sitting under a fig tree. Straight away Nathaniel realised that Jesus was the Messiah. Why? What’s going on here?
The fig tree was significant to people of ancient Judaic faith as a sacred place, a place for meditation, just like the yew and the oak for Celts. Nathaniel realised that Jesus and the Christ he met in his contemplative prayer under the fig tree were one and the same. Standing before him now in flesh and blood was יהוה and יהוה was letting Nathaniel know that יהוה knew him through that practice.
Much religion misfires because, like a person serving יהוה in the temple, learning about יהוה doesn’t necessarily mean that we come to know יהוה. Much prayer is offered up to a God that is somewhere else, cosmic perhaps, but not here. This is sometimes called functional atheism because it is about as effective spiritually as atheism is. The challenge for religion of all kinds in this time is to let go the mental/physical structures of religion, come to the fig tree, be still and know God.


•January 12, 2018 • Leave a Comment

O Cill Dara i Wyr

This is a track from the “Celts” album which will be released on March 1st, St David’s Day. Diolch yn fawr i Swansea and Brecon Diocese for granting us the money to produce the first batch of cds. The album has been composed and recorded by flautist Leslie Sheills and me over the last ten months or so. This track is kind of about St Brigid, who may or may not have traveled to Gower from her abbey in Kildare. Hope it helps you pray in your heart anyway. Tangnefedd. Fr Tim

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