A NEW cross-border participatory arts project aimed at connecting the Welsh and Irish diasporas of north Pembrokeshire and North Wexford launches this Autumn.

Pererin Wyf / Is oilithreach mé / I am a Pilgrim: Sounding the way back through story and song will be delivered by artist Rowan O’Neill and Pembrokeshire-based community arts organisation SPAN Arts, working in tandem Irish artists Rachel Uí Fhaoláin from Ceol Mo Chroí and John Ó Faoláin from Traditional Archive Channel.

Pererin Wyf is Welsh for ‘I am a pilgrim’ and is the title of an 18th century hymn written by prolific hymn writer, William Williams Pantycelyn from which this project takes its inspiration.

The hymn later became associated with the tune Amazing Grace and was popularised in the 1960s with a recording by Iris Williams.

The Pererin Wyf project will invite singers from all over the world to record a version of this song in any language from the location of their choice.

Recordings will be pinned to a digital map to form a global chorus.

Participants will also have the chance to offer their personal reflections and connections to north Pembrokeshire and Wexford.

The project will begin with a series of free bi-weekly online workshops with world-class speakers focusing on the key themes of the project.

These will include David Greenslade, whose book Welsh Fever is a gazeteer of Welsh activity and connection in North America.

Pamela Petro, author of The Long Field, a meditation on hiraeth shortlisted for the 2022 Welsh Book of the year.

Professor Helen Phelan Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and Rachel Uí Fhaoláin and John Ó Faoláin, traditional song, folklore and story collectors based in Wexford.

Pererin Wyf is part of the wider Ancient Connections cross-border partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council and Wexford County Council funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales co-operation programme.

Ruth Jones, Project Officer for Ancient Connections, said: "Pererin Wyf brings together two elements of the Ancient Connections project: the new pilgrim route between Wexford and Pembrokeshire and our four-year arts programme.

“We are very excited to be working with artists alongside communities in Ireland, Wales and beyond to rediscover shared heritage and find connections in our modern lives.”

Email rowan@span-arts.org.uk to find out more about how you could get involved or book a place on the introductory session on September 29 through www.span-arts.org.uk