Last week I went to a Cytun meeting at the Christian Centre for Rural Wales which is located in the Royal Welsh Agricultural Showground, Llanelwedd, Powys. The Christian Centre for Rural Wales has been operating as a group for a number of years, but this year, for the first time, they and Cytun offered a chaplaincy service during the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show (the biggest agricultural show in Europe). Chaplains (lay and ordained) were visibly present around the showground, wearing high visibility jackets, marked "Chaplain". The Christian Centre for Rural Wales also had a Tent in which there was a dedicated Quiet Space (which was well used) and people on hand to have a chat with anyone who wanted it. Free tea and coffee was also available.
The whole enterprise was very well received by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (especially since there have been a number of deaths (elderly farmers, mainly) during Shows. The chaplains were very helpful in this context this year, not only because of what they did on the day, but also because they have been able to organise ongoing pastoral care for bereaved families and others in need in the months following the Show.
As a result of this, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society have now indicated that they will provide some land at the Showground on which they will build a permanent brick built building to house the Christian Centre for Rural Wales 52 weeks a year. They have also requested that the Christian Centre for Rural Wales provide chaplains for every event that is held at the Showground throughout the year. This includes agricultural events, antiques fairs, car shows, pop concerts, etc, etc. The Showground is perpetually busy every week of the year, near enough, and so being asked to provide chaplains in this way is fantastic for the mission of the Church. The Christian Centre have asked Cytun for support (not financial) and so Cytun have naturally asked the member denominations for their views.
I should again stress that the Christian Centre for Rural Wales are not asking for any financial support, but they will no doubt need to look to the denominations of Cytun and Cytun's central staffing for personnel to become chaplains and "Tent" assistants (all of whom they train). That might mean we need to look again at Cytun's financing, but therein hangs another story...