A memorable service at Aberaeron to celebrate the 200th anniversary of local Welsh missionaries going to Madagascar was webcast live during the Annual Meetings of the Union of Welsh Independent churches. (Video at the bottom of this page.)
It’s believed that this is the first time a Welsh Christian denomination has provided such a service. Hundreds of people from Wales, Madagascar and other parts of the world took advantage of the facility to view this most historic and moving service.
As well as many local people and representatives from all over Wales, about 50 visitors from Madagascar were present – including the country’s former President, Marc Ravalomanan [centre, below] and behind him the Revd Ammi Irako Andriamahazosoa, President of FJKM (The Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar) which has almost six million members.
A warm welcome was extended to all present by the Revd Jill-Hailey Harries, new President of the Union. The theme was God calls – Then and Now.
The sermon was preached by the Revd Dr Noel Davies (right). A number of members and children from the Ceredigion Association churches took part in the service, as well as some of the visitors from Madagascar. The Revd Beti-Wyn James addressed the children.
Hymns were sung and prayers offered in Malagasy, Welsh and English.
A marble plaque was unveiled – a gift from the people of Madagascar to be placed in Neuaddlwyd chapel, to commemorate the two missionaries David Jones and Thomas Bevan and to mark the “eternal link between our two nations.”