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BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 4 celebrate St David’s Day anniversary

22 Feb 2023 3 minute read
St. David. Picture by Hchc2009 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

It’s 900 years since St David was recognised as the patron saint of Wales by Pope Callixtus II and BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 4 will broadcast services from Jerusalem, Rome, Brittany and here in Wales to celebrate a special St David’s Day in the run-up and on March 1st.

During the seven weeks from St David’s Day to Easter, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 4’s worship and faith programmes will commemorate the anniversary from locations connected to his story and reflect themes linked to the Saint.

Other programmes will look at aspects of his character and examine their significance today.

On BBC Radio Wales, highlights include a special edition of All Things Considered on February 26, which explores who St David was, followed by a programme on March 5 that considers what he means for contemporary Wales. On March 12, an episode called St David: Make Me A Saint will also see presenter Jonathan Thomas attempt to live like St David, including standing up to his neck in cold water, preaching on a hill at Llandewi Brefi and eating only vegetables.


BBC Radio Wales will also broadcast services throughout the seven week period up to Easter that take place in Jerusalem, Rome, Brittany, Glastonbury and Wales. These celebrations, titled Seven Reasons to be Joyful, will reflect the Saint’s famous last words. The services will culminate in a broadcast service from Bangor led by the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John.

Highlights on BBC Radio 4 include Sunday Worship on February 26 presented from Jerusalem by the present Dean of St Davids, Sarah Rowland-Jones, and featuring reflections from contemporary Welsh pilgrims in Jerusalem, Rome and Brittany. There will also be six daily editions Prayer for the Day from sites connected with the story of St David, including Glastonbury and St Peter’s Square.

Carolyn Hitt, Editor of BBC Radio Wales, says, “We celebrate our patron saint each year in Wales but do we really know anything about St David and all he represented?

“On this special anniversary our content across BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 4 will allow our audiences to get to know him better than ever before. It’s a fascinating story that we follow like pilgrims across the globe. The variety of content exploring this story is rich and diverse, ranging from the deeply spiritual to feelgood and fun. I can’t think of a better way to mark the 900th anniversary of St David being recognised as Wales’ patron saint.”

A list of St David’s Day themed programme is as follows:
Prayer of the Day – BBC Radio Four – February 25, 27, 28, 29 – 5.43am
During the week of St David’s Day, Prayer of the Day hears from contemporary pilgrims across the nations connected with St David.

Reasons to be Joyful – BBC Radio Wales – February 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9 – 7.30am and 7.28pm on Sundays
BBC Radio Wales presents a sequence of services celebrating David’s last words: ‘be joyful, keep the faith and do the little things’ with the theme of ‘seven reasons to be joyful.’ Each episode will feature a different service with each focusing on a different theme.

Sunday Worship – BBC Radio Four – February 26 – 8.10am
A service by the Very Revd Dr Sarah Rowland-Jones marking St David’s Day and celebrating the Saint’s international status and the relationships which defined him

All Things Considered – BBC Radio Wales – February 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9 – 9am
The seven programmes between St David’s Day to Easter Sunday will examine different aspects of his identity.

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1 year ago

Anyone know why we don’t insist that our patron saint is referred to as Saint Dewi and not Saint David?

1 year ago
Reply to  CapM

It may offend the English among us. Let’s not worry about the Frankish or Spaniards who visit. Only the English worries must be adhered to.

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
1 year ago

What about Radio Cymru? Why do the Anglo-Welsh media keep excluding the Welsh language like it doesn’t exist?

1 year ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

Because it’s of British origin and they want it gone. The reason is so we refer to ourselves using their terminology! Welsh! It allows them to pass themselves off as British and our expense. The outcome will either be a Cymro who doesn’t care about being British because what the English done using the terminology, or a Cymro who will defend their Britness and why it’s something we should be defending, but will get attacked for it. What people don’t realise is the amount of history that goes along with the terminology. 3000 years of it down the drain, or… Read more »

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