We learned with great sadness of the death of Phyllida Mould, who went to be with the Lord on December 11th 2021. Phyllida and her husband Peter moved to what became Ffald y Brenin in 1984, founding the charitable trust the following year and developing the buildings, grounds and ministry over the succeeding years. Phyllida is survived by her 3 sons Christopher, David and Jeremy. Chris continues to be closely involved with Ffald y Brenin, having recently become Chair of Trustees.
In the 1970s the Lord began to speak to Phyllida about a retreat centre and she gradually developed a clear vision for a place of stillness in God’s presence that would bring restoration of the soul, refreshment and healing. She and Peter scoured parts of Britain for several years before finally arriving at Sychbant, the old hill farm. They immediately discerned this to be God’s place for them. They soon moved from Buckinghamshire to begin work on turning an austere farmstead into the beautiful, welcoming, God-filled setting that is now enjoyed by thousands of people every year.
Val Cole, who retired as Chair of Trustees last month, says:
“Phyllida, a lady of great character and courage, carried the God-given vision of a Christian Retreat Centre where people suffering “burn out” or dryness of spirit could come away and ‘be’ with God in a place of quiet, beauty and rest. Together with her husband Peter she matched vision with practical commitment of life and resources to bring into reality Ffald y Brenin – Sheepfold of the King.
“The outworking of her creativity in establishing robust, vivid gardens, fruitful vegetable beds and a small orchard flowed from her joy in God’s creation of beauty and order; a joy to be shared with others. Her attention to detail in the Centre, its furniture and fittings and flowers in the rooms added to its character and spoke of God’s care. The development of Craft room and Prayer Room overlooking the valley also spoke of her desire to give people opportunity to experience God’s Presence in a simple but relaxed environment.
“Phyllida herself established a rhythm of prayer and drew in the resident team and guests who also wished to join: the foundation for the growth of the Centre as a House of Prayer.
“Guests arriving at the Centre were invariably met with a warm welcome and were often blessed with encouragement and spiritual insights through casual conversations with Phyllida during their stay.
”Phyllida was very much her own person: warm and generous, mischievous, and fun, exasperating and inspiring, incredibly hard working, yet able to take rest with the Lord, a good friend to so many. Above all she was deeply committed to the Lord, ready to hear Him and follow in His footsteps. Through her faithfulness we have been richly blessed.”
We are to release a new version of Phyllida’s book ‘From Vision to Reality’ next year which tells the full story of those early years. We are so thankful that Phyllida, alongside husband Peter, pursued God and made the sacrifices necessary to bring Ffald y Brenin to birth as a ‘thin place’ where so many have since found rest, encouragement, healing and vision in the presence of God and from where the Local Houses of Prayer movement blesses communities the world over.
Phyllida herself said: ‘We have found it to be true that if you pursue happiness it will flee from you, but that “if you obey the voice of the Lord your God” all the blessings listed in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 will catch up with you and overtake you.’