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First national poet will ‘bridge a gap’ in Wales

13 September 2013

church in wales

A PRIEST in North Wales was adopted as the national poet of the Church in Wales yesterday, as part of a new initiative to "bridge the gap between poets and people".

The Team Vicar of Llandudno Junction in the Rhos Cystennin rectorial benefice, the Revd Peter Walker (above), was commissioned at a meeting of the Governing Body in Lampeter after being nominated for the new position by the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron.

Originally from Wolverhampton, Mr Walker is currently learning to speak Welsh. He writes his poems in English, but says that he is "enthused by the whole background of poetry in Wales".

"Poetry is my way of spiritual reflection; it is part of my spiritual life," he said. "Poetry is at the heart of liturgy, and can be at the heart of our contemplation of the divine. It provides a space to pause and reflect on issues in the Church . . . and to think about what is going on in our lives."

He says that he does not have the "great gift" of being able to write poems for specific purposes, like the Poet Laureate or the National Poet of Wales, and will wait to "see what enthuses him" before writing a poem for the meeting of the Governing Body.

The appointment of a national poet to the Church is part of the "Adopt a Poet" initiative by the newly formed H'mm Foundation, which is seeking to "bring modern poetry more into the public domain". It suggests that workplace poetry readings "can add immeasurably to the well-being and happiness of staff".

The founder, Ali Anwar, said that building links between the business and arts communities "should be a creative experience for both, especially in a country which has a deep and innate respect for poetry".



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