September 2020 Diary

UNFORTUNATELY, we were unable to celebrate Sheldon James’ birthday in our customary fashion (no cake, no fizz), but we did manage to sing ‘Happy birthday’ – outside of church, of course. It was good to have a number of his family there to share the big day.
Sheldon has always rendered sterling service to St John’s. Most obviously, as a chorister – for over 80 years, a remarkable record – but in a multitude of unseen ways, as well. We thank him sincerely for that.

WE HAVE another recent recruit to the ranks of the nonagenarians to salute: John Woodfield celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this month.
We don’t see John very often nowadays: he spends weekends with his family in Bristol. But he maintains his links with St John’s, and continues to support us financially, for which we are very grateful.
I managed to send John a message of congratulations and best wishes on your behalf as well as mine, which I am sure is what you would have wanted.

SADLY, we have to report a number of recent deaths.
Mary Matthews died on August 9, just short of her 98th birthday. She was a regular worshipper at John’s and her three sons were servers here. When increasing infirmity prevented her from attending, she was grateful to receive Communion at home.
Mary was a talented artist (as the walls of her home testified). When, some years ago, our crib figures were in need of some TLC, Mary repainted a number of them.
Anita Hagii was a native of Machen, but lived all her married life in Cae Perllan Road. She worshipped in the cathedral parish, but latterly appreciated my taking the Sacrament to her at home.
She maintained a lively interest in current affairs (not least, church matters) until the end of her life.
We offer our sincere  sympathy to the families of these two ladies. Also to Mrs Anne Jenkins, whose sister, the last of her siblings, died on September 7.
May God grant rest to these faithful departed, and comfort all who mourn them.

AMID all the chaos surrounding this year’s non-exams, our GCSE, A-S and A-level students achieved some very good results. I’m sure these fairly reflected their teachers’ assessment of their work, and provided a far accurate guide to their achievement than any algorithm could.
We congratulate them, of course, and wish them continuing success.

ONE OF them, Patrick Miller, is embarking on a course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. We wish him happiness there, and the continuing burgeoning of his musical talents.
As Cardiff is only down the road, we hope we can look forward to welcoming Patrick back among us frequently.

PAUL and Jacqui Miller have a new grandson, born on September 2 to Abigail and Matt, and a brother for Daisy and Barnaby.
The new arrival is called Jack Enfys: Jack after his grandmother, of course, while Enfys is the Welsh word for ‘rainbow’.
Our congratulations and best wishes to the whole family.

WE HOPE to celebrate our Harvest Festival on Sunday, 4 October.
Alas, there can be no harvest supper, and we shall miss singing the familiar, well-loved harvest hymns. But we have much to give thanks for.
As usual, our harvest alms will be for Self Help Africa.

MY SISTER Beryl’s daughter, Katherine, is to be ordained priest in the Chelmsford diocese on Saturday, 26 September.
She asks our prayers for herself and those to be ordained with her, and for the parish of St Peter and St Paul with All Saints, Chingford, where she is an Assistant Curate.