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Memories of St Mary's

By John Sjölin

My name is John Sjölin and I now live in Sweden, having emigrated in 1974.

At the time of the rebuilding of St. Marys I was at sea but well remember helping Father Jones, when on leave, in preparing and fitting the roof joists. Father Jones had already done the timber work, he is a very competent carpenter, and all the work was done by hand, no electric tools and such, just blood sweet and tears.

As I remember it Father Jones, while praying at St. Marys alter saw the shadow of the cross, from the tower cast onto the alter, which gave him the inspiration to rebuild St Marys. His efforts put him under a large strain and his health suffered through the hard manual labour, to my knowledge no cranes or machines were use during the restoration.

It was during one of my leaves that Father Jones was able to arrange my confirmation at Cowbridge where he drove me on his scooter.

January 5th. 1963 I was to be married to Margaret Smith at St. Marys, but because of the heavy snow fall the road up the hill was blocked and we had to marry in St. Timothy’s (the first ever in that church).

Sadly we have to remember that throughout time man has desecrated and plundered places of worship and I fear will continue to do so in the future. We are the church the buildings come and go, as long as we believe there is hope and we can only pray for the desecrators.