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The one thing

30 May 2014

I DO not know how many people took up the Christian Aid challenge in Wales to decide what one thing they would take with them if they were driven from their home at a minute's notice because of war. During the charity's fund-raising week in Wales last month, everyone was asked to show solidarity with the millions of people around the world who have had to do just that. Those taking part were then asked to put a photograph of themselves with that object on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

The Welsh bishops certainly responded to the challenge. The Bishop of Swansea & Brecon, the Rt Revd John Davies, would take a picture of his family - his wife, Jo, daughter, Kate, and son, Christopher. "It was taken at a very happy time," he says, "when we were all faced with change and new opportunities."

Two of them - the Bishop of St Asaph, Dr Gregory Cameron, and the Bishop of St Davids, the Rt Revd Wyn Evans - would take icons of Christ. "It seems to me", Dr Cameron says, "that, if we can carry our faith with us, even in the face of tremendous odds, we're doing well."

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, would take a painting by Sir Kyffin Williams, given to him when he left the diocese of Bangor. "It's of the church of Llangwyfan," he says. "It is on an island that had been abandoned. It was restored and rededicated. When I see it, I think of new life and resurrection from the old, and that gives me hope."

But the Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Revd Andrew John(above), would seize his saxophone as he fled to safety. "Not only would it cheer me up in a bad moment, but it could also be the means of earning some money to build a new home, which could easily be a stark reality, [as] for many people in Syria and other countries."

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