South East Wales

WWl soil blessing at Pen y Fan ahead of Flanders ceremony

Group leaving Storey Arms
Image caption Around 15 people left Storey Arms in the Brecon Beacons at 09:00 BST for the blessing

Soil on the highest peak of south Wales will be blessed before beginning its journey to a memorial in Belgium.

A service will be held at the summit of Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons on Thursday before being taken and laid on Flanders Field next month.

The ceremony on 16 August will commemorate fallen Welsh soldiers from World War One.

The blessed soil will be taken with a specially commissioned dragon which will also be unveiled at the service.

Around 15 people left Storey Arms at 09:00 BST for the blessing at the peak.

Retired Anglican priest Rev Richard Podger , who will conduct the service, said: "It's going to be a very simple, short service.

'Great privilege'

"I'll start off with a couple of passages from a psalm, then there'll be a prayer over the earth and I've found one or two hymn verses that I think are going to be really suitable for the occasion.

"It's a great privilege that I've been asked to do this."

John Cook, chief executive of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, added: "I think it's really important that we play our part in this, the memorial in Flanders is to remind us of the 100 years, and I think it's important to remember that, it can get lost in history."

A blessing will also take place on Snowdon on Thursday and both sets of earth will be taken to Belgium.