A warm welcome to Catholic students newly arrived at the University of South Wales in Treforest and Glyntaf! St Dyfrig’s Parish will be your spiritual home during your residence in Pontypridd.

Sunday Mass is celebrated at 11.15 am in St Dyfrig’s. On 1 October there will be an opportunity to enjoy a simple lunch in the Hall, for which you are invited to make a donation of £1. We may be able to continue offering £1 lunches on Sundays if enough students form a team to make this happen every week.

On Mondays, there is usually Mass at 11 am followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction at 12 noon.

On Fridays, there is lively praise and worship with adoration from 6 pm until 7 pm. During October, this will be followed by a rosary – at our outdoor grotto if weather permits, otherwise in the Church. On the SECOND FRIDAY of each month there will be Mass at 6.30 pm.

Why is there no Mass on other weekdays? Your parish priest, Pastor Gareth Leyshon, also cares for three other churches, and on other days – and at other times on Sunday – he must go and serve them.

It’s useful to know a little bit about the religious situation in South Wales. Hundreds of years ago, Wales was a Catholic country (St Dyfrig was a bishop over South Wales and the English borders around AD 500). The Catholic faith was made illegal in 1559 and permitted again in 1829. The ‘official state religion’ was Anglican Christianity, known here as the “Church in Wales”. Since 1920, Wales has no ‘official church’ – roughly equal numbers of its citizens were Anglican, Catholic, and belonged to other Christian traditions (collectively known as ‘nonconformist’ or ‘chapel’). Today, out of 3 million people in Wales, 4% call themselves Catholic, 11% call themselves Anglican, and 30% say they are other kinds of Christian. But more than 50% of people in Wales say they have “no religion”.

On the Treforest and Glyntaf Campuses is a Christian Union or CU. Here you will find mainly ‘evangelical’ Christians. Most of them will say that we should only follow the Bible and give no importance to traditions outside the Bible. As Catholics we see things slightly differently. We never go against the Bible, but we believe that God has given us traditions that come to us from the Apostles outside the pages of the Bible. This is why the Catholic faith includes traditions like asking for the saints in heaven to pray for us, and praying for the souls of people who have died. The Bible doesn’t tell us to do these things – but it doesn’t tell us we can’t. Our tradition is that it is OK.

As Catholic Students, you are free to join the CU and go to its meetings, but be aware you will hear leaders and preachers who disagree with some Catholic teachings. Leaders and speakers in a CU are generally asked to affirm a statement of faith. As Catholics we agree with most of the things in it, but we disagree that the Bible is the ‘supreme authority in all matters of belief and behaviour’. Rather we would say it is the Catholic Church itself, through the Pope and the Bishops acting with him, which is our supreme authority under Christ. After all, it was the Catholic Church which originally discerned which books and letters should count as part of the Bible!

You will also find on campus an official Chaplaincy which has a centre called The Meeting House. The official chaplains (who are not Catholic) are there to offer a listening ear to students in need, and to encourage people to learn about each other’s religions. The Catholic Church encourages you to enter into dialogue with people who have other viewpoints; it’s a great way of sharing our own beliefs while learning respectfully from other people, too. Once again, feel free to use the services of the official Chaplaincy but be aware that the focus of its work is not Catholic, and in particular it celebrates alternative sexualities (LGBT+). The Catholic Church holds that God’s plan only offers a blessing to the union of a man with a woman – though we stand against intolerant or oppressive behaviour towards people who don’t share this belief.