On the afternoon of May 12th the 34ft yacht ‘Rival Star’ sailed into Porthcawl on Day 2 of a round-Britain expedition seeking the early voyages and life stories of Celtic Christianity. 200-250 people turned out to greet the ship at the harbour.
A reception was held in the YMCA where the Navigators of Faith talked about the voyage and shared discussion on local community issues. On July 8th, Churches Together in Porthcawl, accompanied by the accomplished Ogmore Valley Silver Band, held the annual Songs of Praise for Sea Sunday at the bandstand in the main street of Porthcawl, especially significant for the Year of the Sea . Money collected at the event enabled us to send £50 to The Missions to Seafarers for their Sea Sunday appeal and £100 was also given to the Mayor’s fund. Rev John Hanson displayed model boats (lent by Margam Park Modellers): a Pilot Cutter ‘Cariad’, The Lightship 2000, an RAF Seaplane Tender and a Lifeboat. John linked the themes of Navigation, Guidance, Rescue and Salvation illustrated by those boats to Paul’s shipwreck and rescue in Acts 27.
The Mayor Cllr Norah Clarke read out messages from the Navigators of Faith and a small St. Brigid’s cross (now framed), given by them was commissioned to be taken on pilgrimage, eventually arriving at York at Easter. It was handed over by Canon Masson of Porthcawl to Neville Thomas of Bridgend for the first part of its journey. The cross was eventually taken to Cardiff and subsequently to Wrexham where it was used during an act of worship. Chester was the next link in the chain and the project and journey of the cross was again talked about in morning worship. The next stage was Didsbury in the Manchester area, where it was used in a presentation about the navigators of faith and where it awaits the next stage of its journey. I had placed the framed cross in a wallet with a card explaining its purpose and included my email address. I have been contacted by someone from each stage of the journey so far and they are all keen to follow its progress to York.