Sant Mihangel, Llanfihangel Rhos-y-Corn, Carmarthenshire
This ancient 13th century church, on the slopes of Mynydd Llanfihangel Rhos Y Corn with its bronze age barrows, has settled into a small hollow and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Its simplicity reflects the open wildness of the mountain on the slopes of which it stands. By late medieval times, the church had become a place of pilgrimage. The names of the nearby fields reflect this history as does the connection with the 6th century hermit St. Silyn whose cell was also nearby at Gwernogle. The church feels blessed with this tradition and has endeavoured to live its life within this spirit, creating a deeper experience for those who come. Its life as a pilgrim space is evolving and is reflected within.
There is a warmth of welcome and a sense of profound stillness, both inside the church and within the environs. Within the church is a pebble pool - the pebbles represent prayers and are placed on the altar during services and offered to God, and written requests are always prayed for during services. There are prayer candles and a Memory Tree on which loved ones can be remembered and afterwards brought into the Pilgrim Service. It is with great pleasure that we can now welcome pilgrims to our renewed Labyrinth, found through the graveyard in a secluded small field - a place where pilgrims can rest and just be or walk reflectively within the labyrinth. The church is also a member of the Quiet Gardens Movement.
Standard opening times: The church and environs are open during daylight hours. The Pilgrim Prayer Service is monthly at 6 pm on the second Wednesday of each month from March to October and 5 pm for the winter months. They write "The creation of this Service sprang from our need to further the spirit of pilgrimage in our own lives and those of our fellow pilgrims and we have endeavoured to offer time for reflection, intercession and night prayer. We wanted to include those who visit our church, known and unknown, enfolding them in God's love; to strengthen the sense of all life as a pilgrimage towards union with God and to deepen our personal relationship with God through silence and contemplative prayer."
Quiet Place or Lle Llonydd Meditative meetings with reflection and silence are held every 4th Saturday of the month from February to September from 2-3.30 pm followed by refreshments. Enquiries to Andrew Tait 7846 6310 848 or Beryl Edwards 0742 8833 278 or just come.
There is also a 9.am Morning Prayer and a 2.30 pm Eucharist on the 3rd and 1st Sunday of the month respectively. There is a midnight Eucharist for Christmas and an Easter and Harvest Celebration. Details can be found on the Facebook page 'St Michael's Church Llanfihangel Rhos y Corn'
Llanfihangel Rhos-y-Corn, Gwernogle, Carmarthenshire, SA32 7RP, United Kingdom
Grid ref: SN 549347
By car: From all directions there are brown signs with a white church. From Carmarthen exit towards Lampeter on the A485; arriving at Llanllwni. Pen Top, take the junction veering off to the right following the brown sign; go over the cattle grid onto the mountain. Turn right at three police masts, signed, through Llidiad Nenog. After a few miles the church is on the left. From Lampeter onto the A485 Carmarthen; arriving in Llanllwni past the school and the Talardd pub on your left, turn left immediately before the shop painted blue. Turn left at top of this steep lane, over the cattle grid and then as above. Access can also be made from Carmarthen onto the A40 in the direction of Llandeilo; at Nantgaredig turn left to Brechfa; go through the village until you arrive at a junction veering off to left; take this and travel upwards in the direction of Gwernogle, taking a sharp turning right uphill marked with brown sign; follow this, travelling upwards for a number of miles and you will find the church on your right.
By public transport: Rail to Carmarthen and then walk over the river footbridge to town and the bus station is there. Take the T1; alight at Llanllwni shop, cross the road and walk up the hill, turn left to the mountain; over the cattle grid and then follow the directions for the car. T1 bus also from Lampeter opposite the Black Lion pub and follow above directions. (The T1 is hourly.)
On foot: The church is remote, so that public transport will also involve a long but beautiful walk over the mountain from the bus drop off point and a return to that point
Facilities: The church is suitable for wheelchairs and there is a seat with a view over the graveyard and labyrinth field (though these are regretfully not accessible for wheelchairs). The toilets at the rear of the Hall are suitable for the disabled but difficult for wheelchairs. Refreshments available in the church. Suitable for quiet days for individuals or group.
The Forest Arms Pub in Brechfa has accommodation and there is also a Community Shop.
Swn Yr Afon