BRO DYFRI MINISTRY AREA
On Tuesday 20th January 2015 history was made in St Dingad’s Church in Llandovery when the third Local Ministry Area in the diocese of St Davids was formally inaugurated.
In 2013, the Diocesan Conference endorsed the introduction of Local Ministry Areas as the best way to bring about new life for our churches. A Local Ministry Area is a group of parishes that have agreed to co-operate together for mission and ministry. Each church will be served by a Focal Minister (either ordained or not), who will provide day-to-day ministry in that church. All these Focal Ministers will form the Local Ministry Area Team and under the oversight of the Team Leader, they will receive support and encouragement.
Each parish in a Ministry Area will retain its identity and integrity, being responsible for its own life. With its Focal Minister it will decide what is the best pattern of worship (service times and so on), and how it can best reach out to its community. The Local Ministry Area is intended to free individual churches for service, not to bind them into administrative units which stifle their individuality and initiative.
All parishes will remain under the authority of the Bishop. Focal Ministers will be licensed or authorised by him. The Bishop’s oversight of each parish will be exercised day-to-day by the Team Leader of the Local Ministry Area, who will convene meetings of the Ministry Area Team.
The diocesan strategy is to replace the existing system of individual parishes and benefices with about 35 Local Ministry Areas. These will eventually be formed into nine deaneries – three in each Archdeaconry – thus simplifying the present bureaucratic system of sixteen deaneries with nearly one hundred benefices.
The four churches in our benefice (Caio, Llansawel, Talley and Abergorlech) decided that they would like to join with eleven other parishes to form a Local Ministry Area. The Parochial Church Councils of all the churches involved discussed this and all voted in favour. The inaugural service on 20th January formally established the Bro Dyfri Ministry Area of the fifteen consenting parishes.
The service itself, which was attended by members from each congregation of the churches in the new Ministry Area, was a mixture of Christian worship and legal requirements. After Bishop Wyn, the Lord Bishop of St Davids, had given his charge outlining the importance of Ministry Areas, representatives of each church placed a lighted candle on the altar and confirmed to the Bishop their willingness to be part of a Ministry Area.
Under the guidance of the Diocesan Registrar, churchwardens from each church duly signed the legal Compact Agreement to establish the Bro Dyfri Ministry Area. Members of the Ministry Team who will serve the Ministry Area then each signed the Ministerial Covenant confirming their willingness and commitment to work together. This new Ministry Team will initially comprise three Ordained Clergy, six Lay Readers and four Worship Leaders.
After Bishop Wyn had commissioned the Ministry Team, they presented Rev Ian Aveson to him as the Team Leader and the Bishop formally licensed him as Ministry Team Leader.
The legal formalities completed, the service concluded with prayers and hymns before those present enjoyed light refreshments.
The fifteen parishes in the Bro Dyfri Ministry Area were originally in the four benefices that made up the Deanery of Llandovery. They are (in alphabetical order):
Abergorlech, St David
Capel Dewi Sant
Cilycwm, St Michael
Cynwyl Gaeo, St Cynwil (Caio)
Llandingat, St Dingad (Llndovery)
Llanfair, St Mair
Llanfair-ar-y-Bryn, St Mary (Cynghordy)
Llansadwrn, St Sadwrn
Llansawel, St Sawyl
Llanwrda, St Cwrdaf
Manordeilo, St Paul
Myddfai, St Michael & All Angels
Rhandirmwyn, St Barnabus
Talley, St Michael & All Angels
Ystrad-ffin, St Paulinus