A hidden jewel
First Minister Rhodri Morgan opened the Coach House visitor centre last September. The coach house, built in former rectory outbuildings, is at the heart of the community venture at St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire, the most recent addition to the Hidden Britain family of special places.
The project began as an initiative to regenerate the community. Following a landslip that threatened the whole parish in 1994, it was felt that a major project would revitalise the confidence of the community. The vacant nineteenth century vicarage coach house, a grade 2 listed building, was identified as a site for a permanent visitor centre on local history and to showcase local produce and skills. The adaptation was financed by Cadw, lottery funding and the Welsh Assembly Government.
St Dogmaels Abbey, founded in 1110, boasts extensive remains dating from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. The new visitor centre will improve the interpretation of the site. Hopefully it will also encourage visits to the
neighbouring parish church of St Thomas the Apostle, which itself contains many ancient features of interest and more importantly the Shrine of Our Lady of Cemais. Often referred to as ‘Pembroke- shire’s best kept secret’, the Abbey is one of Wales’ religious jewels and the Church in Wales has been very proud to be involved in the project from its earliest initial plans.
The parish church is planning to work closely with the project to emphasise the original purpose of the Abbey and church as a place of prayer, proclamation and
pilgrimage. Visits, quiet days and regular pilgrimages will be encouraged to enhance the experience of this unique holy site and delightful village.
If anyone would like to make enquiries regarding parish visits, quiet days or historical tours contact Canon Dorrien Davies (01239 612030).
for more details of St Dogmaels and other Hidden Britain Centres.
Centre for Studies in Rural Ministry
David, Anne, Angela, Eoin, Geoff, David, John, Graham, Fred, Paul, Robert, Simon, Mike, Sarah, Verena, Michelle, Lewis, Clive are all students in the Centre for Studies in Rural Ministry (CSRM). All are working at post graduate level, towards a Masters or a Doctorate qualification, even though not all may have a first degree. Each student chooses the topics and issues that interest them most. These topics are then approved by the University of York St John. The teaching focus is that of research, so that each student gains competence and experience in using a range of research methods.
CSRM also supports sabbatical studies by offering supervision to ensure a high quality output from this valuable study period. Enquiries are welcome about this opportunity.
Recent topics researched through either sabbatical study or towards a degree include:
• the contribution of the primary school to community vibrancy
• the role of the benefice administrator • the problem of maintaining a social life for young people in a sparcely populated area
• measuring the success of a team ministry • the potential usefulness of an under-used church
• a comparison of pastoral theory and practice between Anglican and Methodist clergy • what is rural spirituality.
Each student receives individual attention and support as well as the benefit of three residential seminars each year in the stimulating and relaxing atmosphere of St Deiniol’s Residential Library in Flintshire.
If you think you could benefit from using your little grey cells in this sort of way, contact course director, Revd Canon Jeremy Martineau on 01348 874886 or email@example.com
rural ministry roundup
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