“Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Psalms 2:10 – 2:12
Let me start by stating that I follow King Jesus. I am not a proponent of “church and state,” neither is the below piece intended to show any favouritism or indeed an affiliation toward any party.
For those of you that do not know, I have agreed to be the assistant Chaplain to the Mayor of Torfaen. Why? Because I believe Giles (the Mayor) to be a man that has a genuine love for the community and a burden for those he serves (regardless of his or their political background). The role is voluntary and (Praise God) already opened many opportunities for the Gospel in the community.
One of the duties of the position is to join the Mayor (Giles) on a trip to Parliament of which I have just returned home from and it was a day I would never forget!
We got to Parliament at around mid-day. Just like in an airport, security requirements had to be met, so our belts were removed and our wallets and phones put into trays. (Good job Giles did not wear his livery collar as it would have set all the alarms off).
We were greeted on entry by Nick Symmonds-Thomas MP for Torfaen (and local Abersychan resident). As we walked with Nick into “stranger’s corridor” things instantly got real! I noticed a number of heavily armed police among the masses of busy people. It was like a bee-hive of activity, filled with very serious looking individuals that I could only assume were; runners, researchers, assistants and the press buzzing around. Amidst the organised chaos, Lord West casually strolled past me befitting his stereo-type with top hat and cane and as we sat down I could see many recognisable faces, the closest being Nigel Lawson, I also got to speak with Alex Salmond.
Nick has a very busy schedule, so was very kind to take some time out to show us around Parliament, where I soaked up the history. In the central lobby I saw the crack in the Sword of the statue of Viscount Falkland, this had to be repaired after the the Suffragettes chained themselves to it when fighting for the vote. There were many statues of some great men of History, the decorations and artwork throughout were awe inspiring.
We had the privilege of entering the gallery to see our democracy at work and by providence it was during the maiden speech of local MP Chris Davies (Breacon), sat next to him was David Davies (MP Monmouthshire) and on the other bench Jessica Morden (MP Newport) – with us in the gallery you could be forgiven in thinking that the Welsh were taking over! (None of us were asked to toe the line).
One of the high points was yet to come! The opportunity to take a rare view of the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft situated under the Palace of Westminster, built in 1292. This was a truly amazing space of unrivaled beauty, laced with gold leaf, stain glass, statues and carvings, the craftsmanship was exemplary!
Although I do not agree with such grandeur, it is a reminder that these fair isles are governed on a foundation of Christian belief and principles, a historical fact that each parliament sadly seems to drift further away from.
It was a wonderful day – London is of course impressive! But it is no Abersychan!
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour.” 1 Timothy 2:1-3