Full to the brim of natural exuberance, extroversion and humour, Cath is a woman full of purpose – seeking fresh revival in Wales. She believes her creative gifts and impulses (and yours too!) can be part of God’s story of transformation when surrendered daily to Him. Music, journaling, chocolate and of course, all things Welsh, are among Cath’s passions – but most of all, Jesus. It’s her Saviour who inspires her high output of creative ministry, and it’s the hope He provides that makes her sing-song voice flow with emotion as she talks about her longing for lives to be changed through the Spirit, gospel and creativity.

Hope, not hype” is what revival is all about, says Cath – and it’s clear that undeterred hope is what’s fuelling her bubbly personality too. Cath’s ministry springs from a willingness to remain” in the quiet, alone with God, His word, her journal and her imagination. She seeks to be part of the story of revival in her nation and minister to worshippers and non-Christians, from reworking old Welsh hymns in new ways from her home in the valleys, to jet-setting to Singapore with the ministry she co-founded, to lead large worship gatherings.

Often this hope of Cath’s just can’t be expressed in everyday language. So, scriptures and pearls of wisdom from Welsh evangelists trip off her tongue, and sometimes the poems she crafts are the only way she can put her feelings into words. Raised in a Christian family in Ammanford, a proudly Welsh-speaking small rural town, Cath was part of an amazing church led by Kevin Adams. Kevin was a frustrated actor” who authored books about the 1904 – 5 revivals in Wales and was passionate about creativity. It was this actor-slash-author-slash-church-leader who helped ignite something in Cath, as he led drama clubs and shows for the young people in the church community. Being immersed in these groups as a young girl gave Cath the space to create.

"I knew this Jesus as a distant deity, but He was calling me that night to know my identity as a delighted-in daughter."

Cath recalls: I knew all the stories about Jesus”, but at 12, she was impacted by hearing from a leader on the first night of a youth camp. This leader, tattoos and all, stood at the front and sobbed, saying kids, you’re missing out if you don’t have a relationship with Jesus!” As he explained more, Cath realised being a rule-follower” wasn’t enough: I knew this Jesus as a distant deity, but He was calling me that night to know my identity as a delighted-in daughter.” She gave her heart to Jesus then and there, and later the leader came and prayed with her group, sharing a Bible passage that has since become Cath’s life verse, Jeremiah 29:11- 13, For I know the plans I have for you… You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

I felt like that verse was a key being given to me,” Cath explains, and those verses ended up ringing true through the ups and downs of her teenage years and beyond. In good times, the verses felt like a celebration, at other times, a reminder to seek Him: sometimes it was like a lifeboat, sometimes like a kite.”

Cath now lives in Pontypridd with her husband, fellow creative and spoken word artist Dai Woolridge. As a successful singer, author, storyteller, and worship leader, she travels around with Sound of Wales’, the ministry collective she founded, which she and Dai now run together. At her community choir, Cath is able to make friends with those from outside the church.

Recently, she was able to share the story of Jesus and Lazarus with a girl who was wrestling with how God could allow suffering: I said, that’s God – He weeps with us – and He also knows the end result that all of us who decide to follow Him will be resurrected with Him.’”

There is pain here, within the process of creative surrender: I’m not only going to create on the mountaintop, but in the valley too.” Cath and Dai have bravely produced a podcast, The Four Eyes Podcast’ about their infertility journey, a ten-year battle”. Before Christmas, they were ecstatic as Cath became pregnant, but tragically, miscarried. Cath explains, People speak at the end after they’ve had their happy ending – but we want to speak in the messy middle, for the people who don’t know they have a voice … to bring a bit of light into that – to take every disappointment and unmet expectation and dream that hasn’t come about yet, and turn it into a kindling to bring a fire to bring comfort and warmth in people. What I’m learning is that like the boy with the fishes and loaves, I lack when it comes to my fertility, but He multiples, whether He multiplies children in our lives or not, I come back to that verse, I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you.’”

The only thing I will be taken captive by is hope, not disappointment… peace isn’t found in the absence of the storm, but in the presence of the God who is near.”

God’s steadfastness has been a theme of Cath’s life. When studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, she sometimes felt the pain of failure as she couldn’t dance like some of her fellow students, though she wanted to be best in class. But Cath now sees how, even then, God’s plan was being worked out. She was taught how to write and deliver speeches while there, enabling her today to regularly share hope-filled messages on BBC Radio Two’s Pause for Thought” show. She has even written a poem on the journey of failure and creativity: Let us not lose sight of the mastery of mystery, Of the progress in the process.”

"The only thing I will be taken captive by is hope, not disappointment… peace isn’t found in the absence of the storm, but in the presence of the God who is near."
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Cath and Dai’s Sound of Wales ministry includes releasing new music (singles, EPs and albums, including re-imagined versions of old Welsh hymns, and choir performances), livestreams, a website for creatives to express themselves, work to bring art and a hope-filled narrative into deprived communities, training, gospel-based poetry slams, and coming soon, a mentoring programme in which she will mentor 12 young creatives. Constantly surrendering her gifts to God is something which Cath feels she needs to do on a daily basis, transforming her creative process, and touching individual hearts too.

Jesus was the ultimate storyteller,” Cath explains, He broke down the truths of the kingdom. Growing up, sermons were always the stories I would remember – Jesus’ creativity in the gospels. Creativity is in my bones because I am made in His image. It breaks down so many barriers.” Cath has even published a journal to help people find their creativity while meditating on scripture.

For Cath, revival is not necessarily a quantifiable number of souls saved to compare to past revivals, or a nostalgic re-creation of the revivals in 1904, but is to be witnessed in individual heart change – revival has a face!” she explains. Though Cath is related ancestrally to Welsh revivalists, she believes all Christians are adopted into the spiritual legacy, something she finds expression for in her poem, Legacy Liturgy’, which honours Wales’ mining history: Listen…closely, it’s the sound of legacy… Our God turns every pit upside down into ascendancy…”

Cath’s vision for revival and creative ministry requires a heart willing to go low and dig deep with God, in order to find the brightest gold.

Find out more about Cath’s ministry at: sound​ofwales​.org​.uk

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