Thought for the week – from the Rev. David Jones
It was Rev Gwilym Davies a Minister from the Rhymney Valley who suggested the children of Wales send an annual message of goodwill to all the children of the world. His hope was realised when on 18th May 1922, one hundred years this week the message was sent for the first time. There was no response until1924 when 68 countries replied with similar greetings to the children of Wales. In recent years the message has followed particular themes such as global warming and the rights of girls and women. The centenary message this year has been formulated by a group of students from Aberystwyth University on the themes of peace and the care of the environment.
Overcoming wars and major changes in communication the message has been a beacon of hope and light for generations. From the morse code days of the 20’s to the digital networks of today it has always been written by young people for young people. Hopefully an investment in the lives of those who will become our future world leaders and policymakers.
A further example of this initiative of goodwill followed the bombing by the Klu Klux Klan of the 16th Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama in September 1963 which took the lives of four young girls in the Sunday school. John Petts an artist from Llanstephan felt deeply he needed to do something to express the outrage and sympathy felt by so many. He contacted the church and offered to replace one of the stained-glass windows destroyed in the explosion. Press reports of the day tell of children from all parts of Wales queuing to give their pocket money and in doing identify with the families of those young girls and the community of Alabama. The ‘Wales Window’ remains in the church as a living testimony to the overwhelming love and empathy shown in the face of such tragedy and mindless violence.
There’s no doubt that Gwilym Davies’ inspiration came from the Gospel that he preached.The children of Wales led the way in 1922 as they did in 1963 and continue to do so when every year over every continent and island a message of hope and peace is sent in love and compassion to every nation on earth. We pray that this message this year will inspire and assure the people of Ukraine that they are not forgotten and challenge all of evil intent to seek the better ways of peace and reconciliation. May lasting peace and hope take wings from this land of ours to all the nations of the world!