Good And Faithful Servant
‘Well done, you good and faithful servant’, said his master … ‘Come on in and share my happiness.’ Matthew 25:21
In Wales Mungo was known by his formal name, Kentigern. He developed teamwork with a number of Wales’s vibrant Christian leaders, one of whom was Asaph. These two established the large Christian community at Llanelwy.
Six hundred years later Joceline of Furness wrote the story of its founding:
‘Kentigern had set his heart on building a monastery to which the scattered sons of God might come together like bees from East and West, from North and South’. Young men, scattered throughout a hostile countryside, heard by bush telegraph the news of the founding of the monastery. Many slipped quietly away from home to wend their way through the forests. Like the early Christians they were an underground movement. But they came by the hundreds, every sort of Briton, farm labourers and men of noble rank.
Joceline continued: ‘After prayer they manfully set to work. Some cleared and levelled land, others built foundations, carried timber, erected with skill a church of planed woodwork after British fashion, enclosing it all in a llan or rampart and named it Llanelwy’. Nine hundred and sixty five people moved in. One third laboured on the land. One third looked after the buildings, cooking and workshops. One third were responsible for worship, teaching, and scribing.
In 573 the pagans in the north suffered a mighty defeat, and the Christian Rhyderch received back his throne, though the Christian religion had been virtually wiped out. He asked his friend Mungo to lead a mission to his kingdom. Mungo spent eight years leading a mission from a half-way base at Hoddam, and then moved back to Glasgow.
He was to have heart to heart meetings with Columba from Iona, and with Bishop Gregory in Rome. These men perhaps discussed a common plan for the conversion of the English people. Mungo’s dying words were: ‘My children, love one another, … be hospitable … keep the laws of the church … she is the Mother of us all.’
Help me to be faithful in things both great or small
In setback or success
Faithful to the church, faithful to my call.