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Prayers in the air

10 October 2014

PRAYERS from many different churches in the Llandaff diocese were sent soaring into the air on Open Churches Day. It was all part of the Welsh "Open Doors" programme, when all heritage sites are open, and free to visitors. Seven Church in Wales churches in the Vale of Glamorgan had combined with two chapels, one Baptist and one Presbyterian, to take part.

The day began when the Revd Martyn Davies (right) released nearly 200 balloons from the church tower of St Nicholas's, in the East Vale group of churches, each carrying a prayer written by schoolchildren and local residents. Everyone watched the balloons fly high into the sky, and then they set off on a short walk to St Peter's, at Peterston-super-Ely, where they ate their packed lunches and listened to a music recital.

Through the afternoon, they visited another seven churches, all of which had their church records and history on display. The day ended with the ringing of church bells.

"We had wanted to do something different this year, and engage more schools," Mr Davies says, "which is why we asked the pupils of four Church in Wales schools in the area to write the majority of the prayers and messages for the balloons.

"Nearly 200 balloons were launched, raising £200 for Riding for the Disabled at St Bride's [-super-Ely], which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. One of our members is producing booklets containing the prayers for each of the schools to keep. The musical event at St Peter's Church, where eight soloists sang, also raised several hundred pounds for 'Syria in Crisis', which meant we raised money for charities both national and international."

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