Farewell service at St Paul’s, Barry | News | The Bridgend and …

Thursday, 28 December 2017

By Contributed Item
in Local People

Everyone who has had a family connection with the Barry Church of St Paul’s is warmly invited to the farewell service on New Year’s Eve.

St Paul’s was the first Anglican church built for the new town of Barry in 1892 and many generations of families will have past and present members who have been in the congregation, sung in the choir, been altar servers and Mothers’ Union members over all the 125 years.

The very last service begins at 10.30am on Sunday morning, December 31 and many from all the Anglican churches of Barry will be joining the St Paul’s congregation for what will be a celebration of all the years, for all those who have attended St Paul’s for christenings, confirmations, weddings, funerals and glorious services.

The land for the building of St Paul’s was given by Lady Jenner of Wenvoe Castle and under the leadership of its famous Rector David Weatherill, established the tradition of glorious ‘High Church’ services with beautiful ceremony, incense, many candles and outstanding singing.

Ever since the days of Father Weatherill, St Paul’s stood for a tradition re-born of the Oxford Movement, which depends not on a love of what has been described as ‘Technicolour’ worship, not on ceremony for ceremony’s sake, but on a right understanding of God and the Sacrament of the Altar, with worship focused on beautiful and holy chancels and sanctuaries.

St Paul’s Choir was of such a high standard that it was chosen to sing in London at the Festival of Britain in 1951. The Festival of Britain was similar to the Millennium celebrations and in London was built The Skylon and Dome of Discovery.

In 1956 the choir sang Choral Evensong for BBC Radio 3. This service is still broadcast every Wednesday today and as an example of the standard of St Paul’s Choir, Choral Evensong is usually sung only by Cathedral choirs. A young member of St Paul’s choir in those days was Robert Tear who became a tenor of international fame.

St Pauls’ Church contains a war memorial to all the past church members who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars and one from the Korean War. Also displayed in St Paul’s was the red ensign from the steamship Trevessa which sank in the Indian Ocean.

The flag was rescued by the cabin boy, from Barry, and the flag presented many years ago by his mother, Mrs Dora Phillips. A beautiful memorial window in St Paul’s is to the captain and crew of the liner Royston Grange destroyed by a fierce fire after collision in the River Plate in 1972.

All officers and crew lost their lives.

Her Captain was from Barry: Captain George Booth, and the window, presented by his wife, bears the inscription ‘Remember Captain George Booth and crew of the Royston Grange, lost with all hands in the River Plate, 1972, RIP.’

Immediately following the farewell service everyone can view a small exhibition of memories from past and present church members and St Paul’s will remain open on Sunday morning until 1pm to view it.

The display is being organised by Terry Sylvester whose grandparents attended St Paul’s even before the church was built!

This was a ‘tin church’ known as the Iron Room, many of which were supplied in kit form to satisfy the urgent need for churches to serve expanding populations.

The Sylvesters’ family connection has continued through five generations; John Sylvester was a boy soloist in the choir in 1900 and his brother Victor Sylvester was church organist in the 1920s and three generations of current members of the family were in St Paul’s choir.

St Paul’s’ highly regarded last Rector is Father Robert Parrish who will continue to serve in the Barry Ministry area at Merthyr Dyfan Church and St Mary’s, following the forced closure of St Paul’s against all the wishes of its congregation, by the former Bishop of Llandaff and Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan.

Further information from Terry Sylvester on 01446 745444.

TS

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