Gelli Fach

Gelli Fach

I'm a cell, I'm fragmented, I change my form;
I'm a repository of song, I'm a dynamic state.
I love a wooded slope and a snug shelter,
and a creative poet who doesn't buy his advancement.

Wyf kell, wyf dellt, wyf datweirllet;
wyf llogell kerd, wyf lle ynnyet.
Karaf-y gorwyd a goreil clyt,
a bard a bryt ny pryn y ret.

From: Legendary Poems from the Book of Taliesin, edited and translated by Marged Haycock

Saturday, 16 January 2016

St Bridget's Church, St Brides, Pembrokeshire, Wales

In the summer I went down to St Brides in Pembrokeshire to visit Brigit's church. Here, very belatedly, are some of the photos I took. If you're ever in Wales, it's well worth a visit. Unlike the last of her churches I went to at Carrog in North Wales, in this one I felt she was much in evidence. The sign at the front was certainly welcoming and the way the building was positioned, by the sea (in St Bride's Bay) reminded me of my (fairly) local church dedicated to her at Llansantffraid Llanon. This church is bigger though and there are many more reminders of her here.

The entrance is at the back of the building and there is a grill that depicts a Celtic cross, a chalice and flames or emanations.

Inside the church I was amused to see a broom and a dustpan and brush under the west-facing windows, reminding me of the homely aspect of Brigit; the Brigit who mentioned her kitchen in her prayer:

My kitchen! A kitchen of fair God.
A kitchen which my King has blessed.
A kitchen with somewhat within.

The right hand window shows Brigit with a crozier and a cup or chalice. For some reason I was unable to photograph her face, even though I went back when the sun went in and it became overcast and started to rain. This hasn't happened to me before in her other churches and this is the best I could do. The other window is of Mary (if I remember correctly).

I came across the biggest Brigit's cross I have ever seen, high on the wall on the right before the chancel.

Further in, on the left, was a collage of a flame.

On the right of it, was a small and delicate statue of Brigit, barefoot, in a simple cream robe, holding a thumbstick staff rather than a crozier. Unfortunately the statue is a little chipped and needs a touch more paint in places but it is still lovely to see a more modern representation of her.

In the left transept is a stand for votive candles with a poster on one side which says that lighting a candle is a prayer, a parable and a symbol

of love and hope, 
of light and warmth, 

our world needs them all

Another poster asks the pilgrim passing by 'to light a candle of hope for peace in our land and throughout the world. Pray for St Bridget's Ireland, peace in a world of conflicts, peace in your own heart'.