I get picked up at 7.30am, driven like a rally to another car which then speeds off towards the first of the days parishes. Arriving about an hour early, (due to travelling logistics) I am greeted heartily by a large black Labrador, an indifferent cat and a jovial vicar. It is shortly after 8am – I have no concept of humour at this hour!
Both churches we are to go to are miles apart, and miles from where we are. However the journey is a short one due to the speed and relative skill the vicar pelts round the small one track roads
Most of the congregation are from the near vicinity he remarks as we slide to a halt outside a quaint, ancient church. It is hard to see how they could be from anywhere else other than the near vicinity, we have just driven up and down any number of rather steep hills, and it appears that only a few of the congregation are able to drive. Youth is not one of their characteristics
That said… everyone is pleased to see a new face, and to meet an ordinand, whatever that is. The worship is relaxed, and at a gentle pace, these people are not in a rush to be anywhere, neither do they mind whether a service begins at the appointed time.
At Llanafan in the afternoon the fragility of the community is evident as we arrive and are asked ‘Do either of you play the organ?’ The rest of the organisation for the service happens shortly after entering, not in a hurried or anxious way, but it is apparent that if there is music, prayers, liturgy even that is great, if not, perhaps there will be next week!