Monday, November 27, 2017

Hiraeth 2016: Dydd 10 - Church, Gadfield Elm Chapel, British Camp

As it was nominally a BYU trip, British Expeditions will take you to church (LDS) in a ward in downtown Cardiff on several floors of an office building. I don't know what happens if you decline to go. I doubt they'll report you to the BYU Honors Code Office which itself is significantly, if not entirely, removed from the religious wars of history.

Walking to LDS Church services in Cardiff
After church (we call it "church" even if it might be referred to as "chapel" as "church" in Britain is reserved for the Queen's Church of which she is oddly the head. In Wales, it is known as "The Church in Wales." Seriously. Because they have to avoid the "England" bit as in "the Church of England." Other Protestant denominations are referred to as "Chapel." I'm pretty sure it's the Catholic "Church." And we, of course, are something else entirely. Fine by me.

Anyway, after the "block" (3-hour church service of Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, Relief Society/Priesthood/etc.), we still climbed in the van for touring.

Professor Tom lecturing from the driver's seat. He is full of knowledge, whimsy, and has little tolerance for those who can't keep up.
Professor Ron. Also very knowledgeable, but more the type to make sure everybody is in the van.
Our first stop was Benbow Pond in Herefordshire, England, but not far from Wales. This is where hundreds of early LDS baptisms were performed. The pond appeared a bit scummy, but still spiritually significant.

Benbow Pond, Herefordshire. The LDS Church has a right-of-way here to visit the historical site.
Then we visited the Gadfield Elm Chapel, formerly of the United Brethren, but pretty much the entire congregation joined the LDS Church due to the preaching of Wilford Woodruff and others. It is one of, if not the oldest meeting houses in the LDS Church.

Gadfield Elm Chapel, Worcestershire, England.
Facilities available (large crowds tend to tax the local plumbing)
Inside the Gadfield Elm Chapel
Continuing our pilgrimage, we climbed the Malvern Hills to British Camp where Apostle Wilford Woodruff dedicated the Britsh Isles for the preaching of the Gospel.

My wife hikes up the Malvern Hills
It was very windy on top
We could see all the way across Herefordshire to the Black Mountains of Wales.
I was pretty sure I could see Hereford Cathedral in the middle of the county, so I worked with my camera zoom until I got it.

Herford Cathedral tower in upper left
As we were near the point of three counties meeting, Hereford, Gloucester, and Worcestershire, I noted this sign that I had to think about for a while. "Hereford . . . sure you can?" I'm not sure this is the best slogan.

Here, you can. Sure, Hereford!
All three of these Mormon historical sites are close to Ledbury, Herefordshire which we passed through a couple of times noting the medieval covered market where Mormon Elders preached -- but only from the van window as we didn't stop.

Covered Market in Ledbury.
We also passed the beautiful little town of Ross-on-Wye several times. I got a pretty good shot through the van window. It looks like another place I'd like to stop and visit some day.

Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Thus ended an historic and historical day for us in England and Wales.
on to the next adventure!

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