Today (Sunday May 2nd) the Most Revd John David Edward Davies will preside and preach at his final service in Brecon Cathedral before retiring after 13 years as Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, and three and half years as Archbishop of Wales. But in those few years leading the Anglican Church in Wales, the workload has been extra heavy. Apart from ongoing issues - such as the decline in church attendance, ageing congregations and environmental issues, there have been the ravages of the Covid 19 pandemic. Archbishop Davies has had to lead his church’s response, and adapt its ministry and pastoral care, not least to the bereaved,
The Archbishop’s departure comes at a critical time for churches as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased. In conversation with Roy Jenkins, the Archbishop reflects on the highs and lows of this leadership role, the pandemic and the church’s response. The Church in Wales hasn’t been alone in having to quickly grasp internet technology, not least for online worship and meetings. He considers how the pandemic will shape the church’s ministry in the future.
At a time when Muslims across the world are observing Ramadan, Azim Ahmed explores the concept of 'sacred time.'
For most people of faith, observing ‘sacred time’ is a key part of their daily religious life. ‘Sacred time’ might be rhythmic, tied to the movement of the sun and the moon. Or it could be very intimate, created through quiet moments of reflection in one’s home. The religious day as well as the religious calendar is punctuated in many religions through times set aside for worship or celebration.
But the concept of time can vary widely between traditions – from the cyclical understanding of time in Hinduism to linear time as understood by Abrahamic faiths.
In the programme we speak to three guests about these concepts; Hajra Nadeem, a Muslim, a project manager for Google and a life coach who lives in Cardiff. Akhandadhi Das is a Hindu theologian and the former director of Buckland Hall in the Brecon Beacons. Sister Catherine Wybourne is a Benedictine Nun and a Catholic. She is the prioress of Howton Grove Priory in Herefordshire.
Mary Stallard looks at the life, work and faith of Henry Vaughan, poet and physician, who was born and in the Usk Valley 400 years ago, and who celebrated his native land under the guise of 'The Swan of Usk'. Vaughan lived through the troubles of the Civil War - shut out of his beloved church, living and working in a country divided by deep political divisions, and where plague was a constant threat, Vaughan's poetry is strikingly relevant to our times. Mary's guests include Professor Helen Wilcox, Dr Mervyn Bramley, and Dr Elizabeth Siberry.