Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ An Easter Find

I was scratching my head about this week’s blog. A piece of synchronicity gave me the answer.

An Easter Find

Layers of story

On one side of the synchronicity – synchronicities always have at least two sides! – is my native Pembrokeshire where I’m spending Easter. Once again, I’m reminded how the place is layered with stories like the geological strata of the land itself. One layer is the magical legends of the saints. There are memories of them everywhere especially in the names of places and the many little old churches. The stories of the saints themselves are an extraordinary combination of fact, medieval myth and spiritual inspiration.

The London Welsh Chorale

On the other side of the synchronicity is the London Welsh Chorale which is the choir I sing with in London. We’re currently learning an oratorio by the great Welsh composer, William Mathias. It’s an infrequently sung piece called St Teilo which we’ll be singing in our summer concert in St Giles, Cripplegate, in the Barbican, on Saturday 10 July.

Its subject, Teilo, was reputedly one of the two holy monks who accompanied David (subsequently Patron Saint of Wales) on the journey he is described as having made to the Holy Land to Jerusalem.

Well, a couple of days ago, I was looking through a beautiful booklet about Pembrokeshire churches, published in 1989, in which the paintings were made by my friend, John Knapp-Fisher.

As I perused this booklet, I suddenly made the connection. Of course! There’s a little church in this northern part of the county that is actually dedicated to St Teilo.

It’s in a notoriously hard-to-find village by the name of Llandeloy.


The church

So I went to look for the church again. The only previous time I’ve been there was with my husband Paul and we were delighted when we finally found it that the church was open. Inside, I made a drawing of a very old, cobwebbed alcove. This time, (and, yes, I got lost on the way) the door to the church was locked, though there was the same sign on the door – that the church is now being cared for by The Friends of Friendless Churches. I took some photos, including one of the outside of the stained-glass window featuring St Teilo himself. When I got home, Paul remembered that when we’d been there together, he’d taken a photo of the inside of that window. So here they both are, outside and inside, together with the photo of the church itself.

As I said, there are always at least two sides to a synchronicity!

The third side to this one is that today, April 7th, is St Teilo’s Feast Day.


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