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