2017 Programme

Friday 9 June 2017

Walking in the Footsteps of RS Thomas
10:00 – 12:00 £8 Fully Booked

Starting at St Hywyn’s Church, this easy walk leads to the old vicarage by the ‘secret’ path that RS took to avoid the tourists! There will be stops along the way for the reading of selected poems. The quiet road back to Aberdaron offers views of Anelog mountain. Sturdy footwear essential. Led by Susan Fogarty, Poetry Reader Limited to 15 people

‘Let me not love thee, if I love thee not’: RS Thomas, George Herbert and the Church
14:00 – 15:30 £10 Fully Booked

A discussion of Thomas’s poetry in the light of the work of the great seventeenth-century devotional writer, George Herbert, for whose poems Thomas had deep admiration. What can the lyric artistry and lively faith of this poetic forebear tell us about Thomas’s own poetry and belief, as well as his relationship with the Anglican Church in which both he and Herbert were priests? Helen Wilcox, Professor of English, Bangor University Venue: Sailing Club

Stations to the Untenanted Cross – A Poetry Pilgrimage
20:00 – 21:15 Fully Booked

Participants walk in candlelight from place to place in St Hywyn’s Church. Poems by RS Thomas will be read at each ‘station’ with time for personal reflection and meditation. Led by Susan Fogarty, Poetry Reader Limited to 20 people

Saturday Afternoon 10 June 2017
£35 for all 3 sessions 10:30 – 16:30 in the School Hall in Aberdaron

Thomas and The Church in Wales ‘Yr Hen Fam’
10:30 – 12:00

RS Thomas was nothing if not a turbulent priest. His relationship to the Church in which he served all his life – a Church that had been disestablished in Wales only a couple of decades before his first curacy – was a deeply troubled one. This talk will explore some of the reasons for and ramifications of that conflicted relationship, paying particular attention to its implications for his poetry, both early and late. M. Wynn Thomas is Professor of English, Swansea University

Dr. Rowan Williams
13:30 – 15:00

At the time of publication Dr Williams was unable to provide details of the particular subject on which he will speak.

In Conversation – More Questions and Answers?!
15:30 – 16:30

Chaired by Tony Brown. An opportunity to raise wider questions and points of discussion with Helen Wilcox, Wynn Thomas, Rowan Williams & Mark Oakley.

Saturday Evening 10 June 2017

“The Minister” by RS Thomas a Verse Drama for Radio
19:30 – 21:00 £10 including a complimentary glass of wine

First performed and broadcast in 1952 and the centenary year of 2013 ‘The Minister’ tells of a young Nonconformist Minister’s encounter with his chapel community in the Welsh moors. With 4 actors and musical interludes. Saturday Evening in St Hywyn’s Church

“Prelude to Pilgrimages”

Short musical introduction with cello & piano to ‘Pilgrimages’ an orchestral composition by Ellen Davies. Written in 2016 inspired by three RS Thomas poems. It is hoped that the full work will be premiered in Bangor Cathedral in 2018.

Sunday 11 June 2017

Communion Service St Hywyn’s Church
09:00 – 10:00

Rowan Williams is preaching, he and the Bishop of Bangor, Andy John, will concelebrate the Eucharist. All are welcome, whatever your faith or none Refreshments after the service. [Bilingual]

‘Taking Thomas with Me’: RS Thomas and the Collage of Faith Today
13:00 – 14:30 £10 Fully Booked

“I started reading the poems of R. S. Thomas at the age of 18 and, without being too dramatic, they have been life-vests that have kept me bobbing in the sea, keeping my head just above water, ever since.” Rev’d Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral Venue: St Maelrhys Church, Porth Ysgo, 3 miles from Aberdaron.

Fish, Chips and Poetry Please!
18:30 – 21:00 £5 Limited to 30 people Fully Booked

Open-mike poetry for all. Read your favourite poem, or put in a request for someone else to read it. Pay for your own dinner.Bring your own bottle. Gluten free batter! Venue: Sblash Caban Aberdaron

An Exhibition of Art inspired by The Minister
Throughout the Festival in St Hywyn’s Church

To register your interest in exhibiting contact susanafogarty@gmail.com