Dr Morgan tells families of sorrow

by
21 September 2011

by Ed Beavan

THE Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, led tributes to the four miners who died at the Gleision drift mine at Cilybebyll, near Swansea, last week.

Dr Morgan said that his heart went out to the families of those killed when water filled the seam that was being worked. “I hope they will gain some comfort from know­ing that everyone in Wales and beyond is behind them, and that the whole community is heartbroken for them.

“I would also tell them that God is always to be found on the side of those who suffer and mourn, sharing their sorrow and grief.”

Dr Morgan reminisced about his father, a miner, who knew “at first-hand about what a tough and dan­ger­ous job it was, and still is. Miners don’t talk about the dangers as they don’t want to worry their families; they treat it like any other job and get on with it.”

He said that people believed the days of terrible accidents were long gone, “but sadly the events of the past days showed this is not the case.”

Dr Morgan, who grew up about seven miles from Cilybebyll, has been appointed a trustee of the Swansea Valley Miners appeal fund. A collec­tion for the appeal was taken at the meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales this week.

Churches near the mine have been open all week to allow people to light candles and say prayers.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Menevia, the Rt Revd Tom Burns, also expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the four miners who died: Charles Breslin, David Powell, Garry Jenkins, and Phillip Hill.

He said that the Church wished to express its “sense of grief and our common sharing in the sadness of those bereaved by this terrible and unexpected disaster”.

The long history of mining in Wales had had its fair share of tragedies, he said, but until this incident there had been no deaths for almost 40 years.

“I am sure that the resilience of the close communities and the reassur­ance of prayers will be of great com­fort to those who have lost loved ones.”

The Revd Dr Peter Lewis, Area Dean of Neath, and Vicar of the Vale of Neath, said that people were still coming to terms with the disaster. One of the victims, Phillip Hill, had lived in his parish, and Dr Lewis would be taking his funeral.

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
For 2020 the Bloxham festival celebrates ‘The Power of Love’. Tickets available next month. More details

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Competition opens in November - more details coming soon. Read about the 2019 final

Job of the Week

Organists and Layworkers

Situations vacant

Clerical

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)