2013 has been a busy year for the bell ringers. The two newest recruits, Sarah Williams and Paula Robins, have made great progress and are now ringing on Sundays and at weddings. During the last year the bells of St Mary’s have rung for over a dozen weddings.
A survey was carried out on the bells by Taylors of Loughborough in June which reported that generally the bells are in good condition. They did point out that some work will be required on the clappers in the next few years. It was also decided in July, by the Tower Captain Richard Bedford and the more experienced ringers, that the bell ropes need to be replaced; the current ropes are over 15 years old. As a result a fund raiser was organised in November, headed by Mrs Ruth Webb, and a fantastic £940 was raised at a very well supported ‘Soup and Sweet Evening’ in the Church Hall. This amount has been matched by a generous donation from the Santander Bank.
The Tower received many visitors during this period; friends old and new from all over the world, from Aberdare to Norwich and Toronto to Ipanema.
At Christmas time Rev. Andrew Davies joined a group of 22, including ringers and their partners, for a festive lunch at the Buccaneer. Bells rang on Christmas Eve for the Midnight Mass and the New Year was rung in at mid-day on January 1st.
The bell ringers will be taking their Tuesday evening practice sessions in the run up to the summer extra seriously as excellent ringing will be required for a very special wedding in June. Gilly Reason-Jones
The figure of Christus Rex was given to St Alban’s Church, Llanelli, by Canon D.T. Davies. “Canon DT”, as he was affectionately known, had retired to Llanelli from his last parish in Holyhead, and he commissioned the Christus Rex when his wife Lena died in 1972 and presented it to St Alban’s Church in her loving memory.
The Sculptor of this fine piece was Jonah Jones, 1919-2004, who, although originally from Co. Durham (now Tyne and Wear) and attended school in Jarrow, spent most of his working life in Wales and became known as “The Welsh Sculptor”. In 2004 Jones he was awarded posthumously the Honorary Membership of the Royal Society of Architects, Wales. His other works include Madonna & Child in Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire, a stained glass window in Ratcliffe College Chapel, Leicestershire, and other works in St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Newport; the National Museum, Cardiff; Coleg Harlech, Gwynedd; and Mold Crown Court, Flintshire.
I knew this Christus Rex in my second curacy at St Alban’s Church, Llanelli, and when St Alban’s sadly closed, in 2010, I was most anxious to secure the Christus Rex for St Mary’s Garden of Tranquillity. This piece was originally designed to hang high up in the Chancel Arch in St Alban’s, and so it had to be treated for its new out-of-doors position by Clive Webb earlier this year.
The cost of purchasing the sculpture, and of the difficult task of its transportation and re-siting, was considerable, and the Church-wardens and I, on behalf of us all, would like to express our sincere thanks to the anonymous donor for this most generous gift. - Andrew Grace
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