Photo Credit: Church in Wales
The Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan today dedicated a new national memorial to all those killed in mining accidents in Wales.
The memorial was unveiled today at Senghenydd, on the site of the worst mining disaster in the UK. Exactly 100 years ago, on October 14, 1913, an explosion killed 439 miners and a rescuer at the Universal Colliery. The memorial stands in the centre of a garden of remembrance to those killed that day and at 150 other mining tragedies in Wales.
A walled garden was also opened with tiles inscribed with the details of those killed in the two Senghenydd disasters as well as a "path of memory," whichmarks the other colliery tragedies in Wales.
Hundreds of people gathered for the a service of dedication, which was led by the Revd Susan Rees, priest-in-charge of Eglwysilan. In her address she said miners were bound together by a strong sense of camaraderie. She said, "The example set by miners loving one another, is an example we would all do well to emanate. We are here to remember, with love, those who have gone before us, they are now perfected in love. Let us all in tribute today try to walk that road ourselves and to grow in love for one another."
Following a minute's silence and the singing of the national anthems, the Archbishop gave the final blessing to those present.
Later, Dr Morgan walked the "path of memory" and paused at the stone marking an accident at Gwaun Cae Gurwen colliery in his home town. Six people died in the accident on September 1, 1847.
The Archbishop said, "We here that religion no longer matters to people yet those here today wanted a service of prayer and wanted to remember before God those who had died. These mining towns and villages have a deep sense of community running through them that is still alive and their faith is very much a part of that. Sometimes we only find the depths of our faith when tragedy hits us."