In this part of Wales, one is either 'church' or 'chapel', and therefore anyone who would call themselves 'chapel' would have their funeral service at the local Chapel. Today we have buried a man who had been prominent in the village and although I know one of his daughters I had never met him. We were warned in advance that the funeral directors had printed three hundred orders of service and that the Chapel would be full with the family alone! Fortunately we have a Sunday School room and a converted stable - originally used when the preacher would arrive on horseback! When I arrived an hour before the start of the service those two rooms were starting to fill up and were full when there was still half an hour to go.
By the time I greeted the family at the gates there were about a hundred people standing in the graveyard! It is on occasions like this that the switch is thrown onto the outside speakers and the service can be heard even outside the Chapel grounds! Fortunately the promised rain held off and even though it is quite mild for the time of year I still wore an extra jumper underneath my black blouse and yes - a dog collar! With so few of today's visitors coming to Chapel each Sunday I feel it helps them to know which one is the minister!