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Church lowers a voting age to sixteen

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church16 AND 17-YEAR-OLDS will now be able to have their say at key church meetings following a motion passed last week. For the first time, under-18s will be able to become members of Diocesan Conferences and play a full part in their decision-making. The motion was passed with strong support by the Church’s Governing Body at its meeting last week.

It had been brought as a Private Members’ motion by the Archdeacon of Montgomery, Dr Peter Pike, and seconded by lay member, Dr Huw Lloyd – both from the Diocese of St Asaph. Proposing the change, Dr Pike referred to the Scottish referendum taking place that day at which younger teenagers were also allowed to vote. He said, “Those between the ages of 16 and 18, who will be voting for the very first time today, are being consulted and invited to make up their minds in a mature manner about a range of complex issues.

They are being respected for the energy and insight that they bring to life in Scotland. “Our Private Members’ Motion asks for something similar: that our young people aged 16 and over have the opportunity to take a full part in our six Diocesan Conferences. He added, “The young people of this age group are established and gifted in life, and have all sorts of perspectives on things which we who are older have either dulled or forgotten. But I wonder if our over cautious, utterly sensible and mildly hierarchical approach to governance in our church life has resulted in a huge blind-spot for those who would have so much to offer?”

During a lively debate, Carol Cobert, a lay representative from Llandaff Diocese, reflected that experience isn’t everything, telling the hall in Lampeter, “We have been making decisions for years and we still get it wrong!” Others commented that lowering the age of service would encourage young people to take part, “Giving young people responsibility will encourage participation, ” said Ros Crawford, a lay member from St Asaph Diocese.

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Community

Christmas gift fair returns

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Last year at the Food Fair: The annual Christmas celebrations return this year

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!

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Community

‘​I​t’s ok to say’

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FUW raise awareness: Urging people to 'say' on World Mental Health Day​

​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.

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Scholarship scheme funds student’s Masters

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One of the chosen few: Stella Foster (Pic. Mark Woodward)

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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