What’s in a Name?

Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) 

Names are important.

It’s often the first question we ask of new acquaintances, and of proud parents pushing new-born infants through the park.

A name has meaning, denotes lineage, affects how people react to us. In the valleys of South Wales, the vernacular phrase ‘who does she belong to then?’ will inevitably be heard in any conversation involving suspected family ties. In the Scottish Highlands, the query raised is ‘who are his people?’ – safe in the knowledge that he is bound to be related to someone in the vicinity, however far removed!

Yes. Names are definitely important.

Over the past 36 years, Cambrensis has been incorrectly called many things: Cambrensive, Cambriensis, Cambrienive, to name but a few. Laughter (occasionally inappropriate in the setting!) has always been the choir’s unrehearsed response!

So what does the name Cambrensis actually mean? Its literal meaning is ‘of Wales’ and is more often than not associated with Giraldus Cambrensis – a 12th century travel writing would-be bishop of noble birth. You can find out more here:


However, MY Cambrensis means much more than that. It means glorious music of many eras and styles, and all sung to the glory of God. It means faithful friendships over more years than some of us would care to remember. It means rejoicing with those of us who rejoice, and mourning with those who mourn. It means love and support through the tough times, and it means more fun and laughter than you can shake a stick at! In short, Cambrensis means family.

‘Who do I belong to then?’ I belong to many people, and to many things, and I most definitely belong to my beloved Cambrensis.

Cheryl Thomas Easter 2018

There is another Giraldus Cambrensis, our teddy bear mascot, who has had many adventures…