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19 June 2016
We welcomed The Right Reverend Cyril Ben-Smith, Bishop of Asante Mampong, and Canon Mark Williams, Commissary for the Bishop of Asante Mampong, along with the Friends of the Cathedral to Choral Evensong at Brecon Cathedral today. Bishop Cyril has under his care about ninety small churches in a remote part of Ghana.
The choir sang psalm 57 ‘Be merciful unto me. O God, be merciful unto me, for my soul trusteth in thee’. Bishop Cyril read the New Testament lesson from the Gospel according to Mark: ‘One of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.”’
The beautiful anthem by Parry, ‘Blest pair of Sirens’, was then sung by the choir, with words written by John Milton. ‘Blest pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven’s joy. Sphere-born harmonious sisters’.
Bishops John and Cyril then made their way to the head of the Nave, where Bishop John spoke about the ‘twinning of intent’ in the second lesson. The leader of the synagogue had heard about Jesus, and they worked together, helping people. Parry, in the anthem, spoke of harmony with God. The words signify the common intent of the world, so that we know of the harmony of the Lord Jesus. In the same way, the Dioceses of Asante Mampong, and Swansea and Brecon will be working together, in harmony. It is hoped that there will be a deepening of understanding and fellowship between the two Dioceses, and that the companion link will be richly blessed in coming years. Bishop John hopes that we will learn about Asante Mampong, that they will learn from us, and that by signing the twinning agreement we will have a relationship that will grow.
Bishop Cyril echoed Bishop John’s words and his hopes for a close relationship between the two dioceses. The Bishops signed the agreement and the congregation applauded.
Prayers of Intercession were led by the Dean, The Very Revd. Dr Paul Shackerley, where we prayed for peace and harmony in the world.
Report by Angela Hewitt
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