AN INTRODUCTION TO OUR PARISH
Our parish is part of the Archdiocese of Cardiff, the Metropolitan See for the Catholic Province of Wales and Herefordshire. We are part of the Bridgend Deanery, and deanery events are listed separately on this website. The parish covers a wide area, being bounded by the sea on the south side, and adjoining the parishes of Barry, south-east; St. Francis in Ely, Cardiff, east; Miskin (Llantrisant) in the north; and Bridgend to the west and north-west.
There are two towns, Llantwit Major (Llanilltud Fawr) and Cowbridge (Bontfaen), each with a Catholic Church. There are a number of large villages, like St. Athan, Llanmaes, Bonvilston, Llanblethian and Ystradowen, together with smaller villages too numerous to mention, hamlets and individual farms and houses. Located in the Vale of Glamorgan, there is a wealth of history within its boundaries; castles, important churches, manor houses, ancient inns, iron age remains, town walls, holy wells. Those related to our Christian heritage appear on our history pages. Information on secular sites can be found in the relevant websites found on our Links page.
Atlantic College, the first of the twelve United World Colleges, is housed in the castle at St. Donats village and is served by our parish. About 350 Sixth form students from over 70 countries gain places here to study for the Baccalaureate
(see their website: www.atlanticcollege.org )
Catholics among them are welcomed to Mass in Our Lady and St.Illtyd each Sunday morning, brought by parishioners, and from time to time they contribute to the liturgy, through reading, singing and for the annual International Mass. Some of our parishioners are link families. To the east of our parish is the former R.A.F. St. Athan. It had its own Catholic church and padre, but for many years it was served by our parish priest and parish community. Quite a number of R.A.F. personnel have settled in the Vale after retiring from the service. It is now a Ministry of Defence establishment.
There are a number of groups and organisations in our
parish, and these are listed and described for your
St. Helen’s R. C. Infant and Nursery School
Barry. CF63 4EH.
E-mail: [email protected]
St. Helen’s R. C. Junior School
E-Mail: [email protected]
Saint David’s Catholic College
Ty Gwyn Penylan,
Cardiff. CF23 5QD
(029) 2049 8555
E-Mail: [email protected]
St. Richard Gwyn R.C. High School
Barry. CF63 1BL
E-mail: [email protected]
St Richard Gwyn is an 11 - 16 voluntary aided Catholic High School which serves the five parishes of the Vale of Glamorgan. Its catchment area extends from Penarth in the east, through Barry and Rhoose into the rural Vale to Cowbridge, St Athan, and Llantwit Major in the west.
A free school bus service is provided by the LEA for pupils from the Llantwit Major, Cowbridge and St Athan area. St Richard Gwyn is the only Faith Based Secondary School in the Vale of Glamorgan and is oversubscribed. An open evening is held each October, and parents and parishioners are invited to various celebrations throughout the year.
The central aim of the school's mission statement is 'to improve the first class education, development and high achievement of our pupils. This will be in a calm, disciplined and caring environment where relationships are based on Catholic values for all pupils, staff, parents and governors.'
The School is a very good school. If you are interested in learning more then please do not hesitate to contact the Head teacher, Mr Michael Clinch, on 01446 729250. Informal visits and parental tours can be arranged on request.
Pastoral Advisory Council
This small committee is responsible for communications both within the parish, with the wider church community and the neighbourhood.
It produces a quality parish magazine 2 or 3 times in a year.
It organises articles for the local paper (The Gem) and for the Archdiocesan Catholic People.
One of the members produces the weekly newsletter.
Information leaflets, new parishioner hand-outs and (from time to time) booklets are produced.
The committee is responsible for the content of the website.
This committee desperately needs more help. Interested? Please email.
Membership is determined by the parish priest and includes the parish treasurer, and 2 or 3 financially astute members. A quarterly financial return is produced and the parish budget is overseen.
St. Vincent de Paul Society
The parish has a small conference which undertakes as much work as possible with the elderly, the sick and any with particular needs. Lifts are provided to Mass, hospitals, doctors, etc. Shopping may be done. The housebound are visited. Mass offerings are given every time a parishioner dies.
With the Ladies Guild, twice a year a Mass and Tea are held.
Our Conference is twinned with one in India whom we help with a small annual donation
The Society is a registered charity part of the worldwide organisation. The National office can be contacted via the website:
Parish Ladies Guild
This very successful group has been meeting once a month for many many years. Apart from talks and demonstrations, they organise events like the Strawberry Tea and Candles and Cracker evening. At least once a year they run a trip to places of interest, and often a Christmas shopping trip as well.
The Ladies of the Guild are also wonderful fund raisers and over the years have purchased many items for the church. Currently they are completing the equipping of the kitchen in the Parish centre. They provide refreshments are some of the major parish events.
See Events for their programme for this year.
CAFOD Support Group
The function of the parish based group for the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD) is to increase awareness of the needs of the developing world and to highlight ways in which CAFOD and other relief agencies are tackling the problems. The Group organises the annual Carol Service, a special Stations of the Cross, and fund raising activities.
For information on CAFOD worldwide, go to their website:
Mothers’ Prayer Group
This meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 9.15 a.m. in St.Cadoc: parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles can pray for children – includes members of other churches.
Association for the Propagation of the Faith. Many parishioners have Red Boxes in which they put loose change or regular offerings. These are emptied 3 times a year. Members get the newsletter and a calendar. The moneys raised go to help poor parishes throughout the world.
Each church has the following:
- Eucharistic ministers
- Altar servers
- Leaders of children’s liturgy
- Offertory collectors and counters
Groups of flower arrangers, cleaners, care of altar linen
- Refreshments (Parish Centre)
We are always looking for volunteers in all groups. Please contact us by email or to the Parish Priest.
There is a comprehensive programme of children’s instruction in the parish, commencing with Parish Angels, then preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. For children who have made their First Communion, the Parish Doves help them to develop their faith until the end of the primary years.
Do you have a child who can attend classes?
Email and a catechist will get in touch with you.
Sacrament of Confirmation
A programme is organised for preparing candidates for Confirmation which is held every two years. All those in Year 8 or over are eligible.
For adults interested in leaning more of the Catholic
Faith or receiving instruction in order to become Catholics,
courses are arranged as and when required. If you are
interested, please email or contact the parish priest.
There is no need to travel to the CTS in Cardiff for your Catholic devotional cards and gifts, just call into the newly refurbished Piety Stall at Llantwit Major after Mass on a Sunday.
We cater for all your needs with an extensive selection of cards and gifts for any occasion including the Sacraments, also hand crafted olive wood items from the Holy Land.
If you have difficulties getting to Church, a home service can be provided, please call Margaret Hughes
on (01446) 774212.