First woman appointed Gorsedd’s Arwyddfardd
It was announced today that a woman has been appointed as the Gorsedd’s next Arwyddfardd (Herald Bard) for the first time.
The Rev. Beti-Wyn James will succeed Dyfrig ab Ifor (Dyfrig Roberts) as the Arwyddfardd, one of the top posts within the Gorsedd alongside the Archdderwydd (Archdruid), Cofiadur (Recorder) and Ceidwad y Cledd (Sword-bearer).
The Arwyddfardd plays a key organisational role within Gorsedd Cymru, and leads the procession across the Eisteddfod Maes.
Beti-Wyn said, “I was brought up to appreciate the importance of the National Eisteddfod to our nation’s life and have attended it annually since childhood. I believe that the Gorsedd is a special vehicle to promote the development and enrichment of Welsh culture.
“Its ceremonies are colourful, dignified and valuable, and its traditions are important and must be preserved. I look forward to shouldering the responsibilities of the Herald Bard and am very conscious of the privilege which has been extended to me.”
Beti-Wyn hails from Clydach, near Swansea, and was educated at Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera before proceeding to Aberystwyth Theological College. She was ordained to the ministry in Tabernacl chapel, Barry, and the Churches of Priordy, Carmarthen, Cana and Bancyfelyn are currently under her pastoral care. She is also President of the Union of Welsh Independents.
Beti-Wyn was admitted into the Gorsedd at the Swansea and District National Eisteddfod 2006 and has attended its ceremonies regularly since then. She served as a distain (steward) at the Ceredigion Eisteddfod Proclamation Ceremony in June 2019, and also in that year helped arrange ‘Gŵyl yr Orsedd’ (Gorsedd Festival) in Carmarthen to mark the bicentenary of the coming together of the Gorsedd and the Eisteddfod.
She was Vice-Chair of the Carmarthenshire National Eisteddfod 2014, and a particular privilege, she says, was leading the religious Service from the Pavilion stage during that eisteddfod.
The Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd said, “It became obvious in our conversations with Beti-Wyn that Gorsedd traditions, their aura and significance, have a special place in her heart. She has a warm enthusiasm, and I am certain that she will fulfil her duties as Herald Bard with both efficiency and inspiration.”
The new Herald Bard will be known by her bardic name, yr Arwyddfardd Beti-Wyn, and will assume her duties at the end of the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod.
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