St Michael’s Church in Lower Loughor marked its saint’s day in style, with music, a clean-up and the blessing of the local lifeboat.
The Gwyl Mabsant is the occasion when churches remember their saint’s day, so the weekend was held around St Michael’s Day.
This year’s Mabsant started with a service of thanksgiving with a difference, organised in memory of John Charles Williams, the man who 90 years ago, in 1929, gifted Parc Williams to the people of Loughor.
Children from Casllwchwr Primary School and Tre Uchaf Primary sang and then took part in a question and answer session with Rod Lewis, St Michael’s Churchwarden, playing the part of JC Williams and local Lower Loughor Labour Councillor Christine Richards, playing his housekeeper.
The children heard how a local man had made his fortune in America and, in turn, gave back so much to the community.
Following the service, Cllr William Evans, Mayor of Llwchwr Town Council, led the children outside to place a floral tribute on the family grave, which has recently been professionally cleaned free of charge for the community by Tree & Gubb monumental stonemasons and Inkin & Deans funeral directors.
Everyone then walked the short distance to Parc Williams to see the special information panel about JC Williams, and finally into the pavilion where for refreshments, including a birthday cake for each school, to celebrate the Friends of Parc Williams 10th year of supporting the park.
“This has been a great opportunity to inform local people and the school children about their locality and about the person who founded Parc Williams,” said Cllr Richards.
Also, as part of the celebration weekend, St Michael’s Church held a successful coffee morning to raise funds for Macmillan, a litter-pick was held along the foreshore as part of Keep Wales Tidy’s Clean Coasts and an evening of music was held at Loughor Boating Club, courtesy of Captain Cat and the Sailors. More music came from Loughor Town Band which held its annual concert at Loughor Welfare Hall.
The final event of the Mabsant weekend was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Loughor Inshore Rescue.
A large crowd gathered at the lifeboat station to support the crew members who are all unpaid volunteers and walked with the lifeboat to nearby St Michael’s Church.
The lifeboat procession was led by Lord Mayor Peter Black and Llwchwr Town Council Mayor, William Evans, who had both visited the lifeboat station and met the crew prior to the procession.
Outside of St Michael’s Church, Rev Adrian Morgan led the prayers and blessed the lifeboat and her crew. This was followed by a thanksgiving service in the church, where the pupils of Casllwchwr and Treuchaf once again took an active part in the service to thank Inshore Rescue for all work it does.
Cllr Richards said: “It was a wonderful weekend. We had a variety of activities where local community groups and community leaders came together to celebrate the generosity of a previous Loughor resident for the gift of our beautiful park, and to thank all those in the community, especially the Inshore Rescue Team, who continue to give up their time freely for the benefit of others.”
The main image, top, shows John Charles Williams’ newly-cleaned grave with (left to right, back row) Jordan Sibley, Tree & Gubb, James Deans, funeral director, behind Jonathan Williams, Tree & Gubb, Gavin Sibley, monumental mason, Tree & Gubb, John Butler, St Michael’s Church organist and musical director of Loughor Town Band.
Front row, Roddy Lewis as John Charles Williams and Cllr Christine Richards as his housekeeper