Ysbyty Cynfyn Church in Ponterwyd opened its annual Christmas Festival on Sunday, 3 December with a Christingle service.

The pupils and staff of both Mynach and Syr John Rhys schools attended the service, with the children singing beautiful Christmas songs and carols.

The service was taken by Rev Ingrid Rose who led the children through the making of their individual Christingles and explaining its significance.

Everyone enjoyed each other’s company over a cup of tea and mince pie after the service.

The theme for this year’s festival was ‘Plants of the Bible’ and different local organisations, churches, chapels and schools had depicted their chosen plant in their displays. Each had chosen a verse from the Bible where reference was made to the plant.

On Tuesday evening members of the Mynach and District Merched y Wawr as well as the Llanafan branch were in attendance. The church was wonderfully entertained by two sisters from Tregaron, Elin and Mari Williams. Both are well known in local eistddfodau and have won prizes in their school eisteddfod and the YFC Wales Wisteddfod recently. Their varied programme included solos, duet, prose and dialogue, which led to everyone admiring their talent and skill. The evening was rounded off by a light buffet and socialising.

Ceredigion National Trust members visited on Wednesday and after a talk on the history of the church and surrounding area were served with lunch of lamb stew, bread and cheese, followed by tea and cake.

The afternoon was rounded off with wonderful carol singing with Maldwyn James accompanying on the church organ.

On Thursday members of the Mothers’ Union from Hafod Church, Cwmystwyth and St Anne, Penparcau held a service at the church.

Members took part with readings, prayers and poetry. Then there was a relaxed time of reminiscing childhood Christmases. The afternoon was concluded with carol singing followed by refreshments and fellowship.

Saturday was a tasting day as each display had included a recipe using their chosen plant. Many enjoyed the delicious cakes made with cinnamon, apples, sultanas, figs and almonds. Melon balls on sticks, homemade bread to have with the lentil soup or the rose petal jam and pomegranate juice and hyssop tea to wash it all down. Everyone enjoyed the social time together while discussing and exchanging recipes.

The festival came to a close with a Carol and Toy Service on 10 December. The service was led by Rev Fran Croxon-Hall who gave a beautiful solo during the service.

The congregation had brought Christmas-wrapped toys to the service and these – plus the huge number of kind donations of food, toiletries, bed linen, china etc – were blessed.

This year the church has chosen for items be collected for the Women’s Refuge at Aberystwyth.

Members of Ysbyty Cynfyn Church wish to thank the whole community for their response during the festival week: to all who took part in setting up their displays, the friendship and fellowship of all who visited, for contributions towards the church and especially for the response and generosity shown towards the appeal.

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