The beginning of a new chapter in the life and mission of the churches within the former parishes of Eglwys Rhos (Llanrhos) and Llangystennin was marked on Tuesday 2 February at St Paul’s Church, Craig y Don.
Seven churches serving a large part of Llandudno, Craig y Don, Deganwy, Penrhynside, Penrhyn Bay, Glanwydden, Llangystennin, Mochdre, Llandudno Junction and Bryn Pydew have become a team ministry served by five clergy and a team of Readers, Pastoral Assistants and Worship Leaders, under the leadership of the Team Rector, Prebendary Robert Griffiths, who said, “The church communities face many challenges in the months and years ahead but the team believe that, together, they can meet them.”
The Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, together with the Archdeacon of St Asaph, Ven Bernard Thomas and the Area Dean, Revd Christine Owen licensed, inducted and inaugurated this new team ministry. They were joined in St Paul’s by the Rt Revd Stephen Lowe, former Bishop of Hulme, The Ven Malcolm Squires, Archdeacon of Wrexham, clergy from the diocese and beyond together with the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, the Chairman of Conwy County Borough Council, the Mayors of Llandudno, Conwy and Colwyn Bay, leaders and members of local groups and clubs and many parishioners to inaugurate the new Rectorial Benefice of Rhos-Cystennin.
Over the past year the churches have been working together to begin the process of merging. The name of the benefice came after much discussion and is derived from taking part of Eglwys Rhos and part of Llangystennin to become Rhos-Cystennin.
During the service the clergy and ministry team were asked to commit themselves to the work ahead. The congregations, too, were asked to support and work for the unity of the benefice and for the future mission of the churches to the communities they serve. Prebendary Griffiths said, “This was an occasion which will never be repeated again. It was in many ways historic. As the months progress it is hoped that the churches will grow closer together, work together for the good of the communities and learn from each other using the talents given to each. We hope and pray that we will truly be a ‘team ministry’ able to serve God in the communities in which we minister.”