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In A New Mission to Wales, we see that in Wales brogarwch (love of local) is even stronger than gwladgarwch (love of nation). The latter is seen in international soccer and rugby matches and in support, or not, for the National Assembly … but rarely elsewhere. The sense of ‘localism’ can be seen everywhere, in urban and valley areas, where adjacent communities are seen as distinct villages, as well as in isolated rural communities. The same is also true of local churches. We bunker down! It takes a real effort to look and link wider.

How did the New Testament get over this? People travelled and linked to other churches by sharing news [in person and by letter in Paul’s case], praying for other churches and giving practical help in times of need … such as in gifts from scattered churches to Jerusalem because of a famine. They made the effort to link. They also joined Paul’s team, as long or short term members, to travel, to see and to get a taste of mission and other situations. The group with Paul was always changing.

How good it would be if all leaders of churches in Wales had a link, or links, across the nation to which they travelled two or three times a year, prayed and gave time, care and financial support if needed, and took a team of people with them. Knowing people and places generates vision, willingness and may even lead to a sense of life-call. It is unlikely that people will feel called to move to Dolgellau, Builth, Corwen or Newcastle Emlyn if they have never been there and sensed the need.

If we linked with other situations, we would then have a working sense of gwladgarwch as well as brogarwch. How is your, and your church’s, sense of gwladgarwch … and what could we do about it? In the autumn leaders will be invited to area gatherings to discuss this and other issues arising from the book to see what can be done. If you would like to be part of that please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will send you an invitation.  Do join the conversation … and build a sense of gwladgarwch.

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