At the September Diocesan Conference it was announced that the parishes in the lower Cynon Valley, (Abercynon up to Aberaman and Cwmbach) will be moving forward with the Diocesan plan to become a Ministry Area, but whilst everyone here thought it would result in an informal cooperation between parishes, it has been announced that we will become ONE NEW PARISH. The local clergy didn’t’ know about this until just before the Conference and there is no scope for debate… it will happen by 31st December 2021.
In the next 9 months we will be developing a strategy to move forward and whilst it is a step into the unknown one of things we’ve learnt during the COVID crisis is that God provides new ways to worship and reach out. We will have to trust God and trust each other that something great will be developed.
This brings some real good for our potential in the village to be encouraged and supported in our community involvement and mission, sharing with other congregations in joining force and perhaps having a share in community workers employed to support us in certain projects and administration.
At the same time it will be the end of Abercynon Parish’s independence in making decisions and controlling finances. The ONE NEW parish will have its own PCC (called a Ministry Area Council) to oversea everything and its is likely that each church or area will have its own committee making sure the local scene is governed and can flourish.
On Nov 25th representatives from the 5 parishes met with the Bishop and her team to talk over issues.
The next stage will be for a steering group to be set which will act as a ministry area transition team discussing and putting things in place
The bishop has asked if Peter will be the Ministry Area lead to help coordinate all these changes. He was in the Parish of Pontypridd when 5 years ago they undertook the same changes, joining together (7 separate parishes in 2004, 4 separate parishes in 2012, 1 parish in 2015) so he can relate to a sense of concern and uncertainty but can also testify to something great that can come as a result.