Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Holiday 4

We spent the day in and around Caernarfon, enjoying its streets and waterfront. I found a chapel in a side street called En-gedi with a plaque outside commemorating the departure of the first migrants from Wales to Patagonia 150 years ago. The main Plas is a triangle with the Castle at its apex and rows of shops and public buildings along the sides. Along the base of the triangle is the Post Office, a bank and a church with a spire and facade which wouldn't look out of place in a northern French village. What's different about this scene is that the Church is not the Parish Church, but belongs to the Presybterian Church of Wales, dating back around 150 years, possibly around the time when the Plas was developed in its present form. It illustrates ther social prominance that non-conformist religion had in a town dominated by the Castle - bastion of the British establishment.
The most ancient Anglican building is a large mediaeval chantry chapel, built into the town wall at its north eastern end. There appears to be at least one other Anglican building in the town, built on higher ground and outside its ancient heart. Now there's a statement in stone for you. I wonder if the PCW has suffered as drastic a down turn in fortunes in the Welsh speaking heartland as in the South. And where stands Anglicanism in this part of the world today?
The Plas is in the throes of 'public realm enhancement' entailing re-paving and pedestrianisation as far as I could gather. Just like being back in Cardiff. It will look good when finished. Many of the shops and houses of the town have been given bright coats of paint in vivid colours, without any obvious master colour scheme in mind. The effect is uplifting in an eccentric sort of way, and certainly an improvement on the drab grey facades of yester-year.
After a picnic lunch overlooking the harbour entry we went for a walk out of town along the coastal road past the golf club. The foreshore was a birdwatchers paradise, with oystercatchers, curlews, egrets and herons to add to run-of-the-mill seagulls and crows. I wished I had a camera with a decent telephoto lens to do justice the photo opportunity presented by the afternoon.

Lambeth issues an official statement, strongly critical of GAFCON's plans and proposals, and questions the legitimacy of the claim to institute an alternative authority within Anglicanism. Funny way to put it, when the tradition of Anglican concensus is not exactly based upon on a body of Canon Law, but upon tradition and convention.

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