MEMBERS of an Aberystwyth Parish gathered together over the weekend for a social event while having a huge selection of delicious dishes to dine with.
‘The Taste of the Parish’ event, held at St. Padarn’s Catholic Primary school last Saturday (Sept 16), brought many parishioners of the Catholic parish of Aberystwyth together for an evening of laughter and an opportunity to get know one another over tasty home-cooked food.
Parishioners were invited to attend the delightful event with their favourite home-cooked cuisine, with those willing to participate having the chance to win a special prize for the ‘Best Dish’.
The wide selection of homemade local and international dishes included pizza, sandwiches, chicken curry, cheesecake, and sweet treats to satisfy everyone.
Kevin McMulkin, one of the organisers and a member of the parish, told The Herald: “Gina Callanan and I had the idea of hosting a ‘bring and share’ style event in St Padarns School Hall with the aim of bringing people together and strengthening our parish community.
“We thought it would be something fun and a good chance for people to reunite with each other since so many of our congregation have been away on holiday during the summer months.
“We also thought it would be a good opportunity to get to know more people within our congregation.
“I think there is a tendency in the parish and indeed in all walks of life for people to stay in their own friendship groups and not meet new people unless an opportunity arises. So we thought why don’t we create that opportunity?”
He added: “We also decided we wanted to go further, instead of it being just a ‘bring and share’ event it could be an opportunity for parishioners to bring and share their favourite dishes and it might give them a chance to share recipes, ideas and hopefully to create friendships and strengthen others.
“We are extremely lucky to have such an ethnically diverse parish in Aberystwyth, one that reflects the diverse nature of the Catholic Church throughout the world. We thought we could tap into this too and have a wide range of local and international dishes for people to sink their teeth into!
“So we advertised in the parish newsletter and by word of mouth, although I have to be honest I didn’t think anyone would be there.
“Events such as these are difficult to gauge, will people want to come? Will they have other plans and not be able to attend? You really have to hope for the best. From the way the event went all our preparation seemed to have pulled off.
“A good number of people attended, around forty (which is great for the time of day and considering how changeable the weather has been lately) and we were blessed with a wide range of dishes with delicious cheesecake, quiche-lorraine, homemade pizza and various other nibbles.
“We also had a homemade curry dish from one of our Indian parishioners that really hit the spot and some other dishes that will feature in an upcoming parish cookbook. At the same time as we were feasting some people decided to add to the atmosphere by playing traditional Irish music; it became as much the organisers event as those that attended, which is really what you want!”
Kevin concluded by telling The Herald: “Originally we had planned for the event to be a contest where parishioners could battle it out to see who had the best dish; but after things got going we felt that this wasn’t needed and that people were already having fun sharing food and enjoying each others company.
“I have to say the evening went really well and was genuinely enjoyable. I felt we made good use of the opportunity to combine our parishes’ varied culture and varied food, to create something memorable.
“We are even hoping to hold it more regularly, perhaps even bi-monthly if parishioners are interested and invite not only those within the congregation but people from the local area”.
Christmas gift fair returns
NEXT Friday (Oct 20), the annual craft and gifts extravaganza will return to Aberystwyth Arts Centre to get the locals in the mood for Christmas.
The Winter Craft & Gift Fair is sure to get visitors feeling festive in the run up to Christmas with over 80 stalls selling a wonderful array of crafts and gifts, many produced by local makers from Ceredigion and mid Wales.
This year will feature many regular stalls, as well as some who will be selling at the fair for the first time, so prepare to discover the unusual and unexpected at this year’s fair with it’s new layout and products for 2017.
The fair will be open from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5.30pm on Sundays all the way up until December 23.
On Saturday, November 25, the Arts Centre’s Christmas Food Fair will take over the Great Hall for the day. There will be the very best of Welsh produce with cheese, meats, fish, wine, cider, pastries, puddings, jams and much, much more from many local producers. The Food Fair is the perfect place to stock up on a few gastronomic goodies in the run up to Christmas. There will also be live musical entertainment to get you in the Christmassy mood! The fair will be on 10am-4pm and entry is free!
‘It’s ok to say’
ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, farmers across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’ and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging them not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.
The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.
“The focus of this year’s World Mental Health day is on mental health in the workplace and farms are just that. In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure,” said Union President Glyn Roberts.
“But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, please open-up and speak to someone. That doesn’t just mean today, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing and the FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved-one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” added Glyn Roberts.
Scholarship scheme funds student’s Masters
A TALYBONT native is one of just 28 people in the UK to be awarded a scholarship granted by energy company ScottishPower.
Stella Foster, 32, gratefully received the grant from the Scottish Power Foundation for the 2017/18 academic year.
Having just completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of York, Stella will begin her Masters in Environmental Sciences this week at the University of East Anglia. Environmental science degrees integrate biology, physical science and information sciences to examine environmental systems (air, water, etc.) and how they interact.
The sought-after scholarship covers full enrolment costs as well as a living allowance. On top of this, the scholars will receive unique opportunities including meeting leading industry professionals.
“Travelling around the world and living in China before I started my undergraduate studies made me aware of the astounding change of pace in urbanisation; the two-hour bus ride from where I lived to Shanghai, there wasn’t a moment where you couldn’t see a construction site,” Stella said.
“This fast and dramatic development creates issues with the environment, and I’m really excited to learn about the creative and fascinating solutions out there, and hopefully come up with some of my own,” she added.
Since it was launched in 2010, the ScottishPower Foundation scholarships programme has provided £1.5m in grants towards training the next generation in their chosen field.
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