Monday, July 10, 2006

The Church & Young People 3: Heath, Cardiff

Like Bethlehem, Sandfields, Heath Church, Cardiff, was founded by the Forward Movement of the Calvinistic Methodists. The building illustrated was erected in 1906. Like Sandfields, the church had passed through testing times in the 1920s, when the church had experienced financial difficulties, coupled with a period of three years without a pastor, which ended in May 1930 with the induction of J. W. Owen, a former missionary with the China Inland Mission.

Like Dr. Lloyd-Jones, J. W. Owen was anxious to uphold high spiritual principles, worried about the growth of social and recreational activities, which had come to overshadow the spiritual witness of the Church (Leighton Hargest (ed.), Holding Forth the Word of Life (cardiff, 2000), p.19. While Lloyd-Jones had discontinued activities for young people, the work of J. W. Owen saw a new wind blowing through the work among young people.

During J. W. Owen's ministry, the Manse in Allensbank Road was used as the meeting place for the 'Penrhyn Circle' (J. W. Owen had been Pastor at Penryn Bay before his call to Cardiff). This was a meeting 'of young people for prayer, testimony and fellowship (Hargest, Holding Forth, p.20).' The result of this was a spiritual awakening in which many young people were greatly blessed and enabled for Christian service, at home and overseas. The Saturday Manse meeting would resume under the Ministry of W. Vernon Higham and see similar fruits. Today, under Wyn Hughes, the meeting, led by Keith Batstone is smaller than it has been in the past, but it continues, and with it, the blessing of God.

We have looked at two options for young people's work. The first, under Lloyd-Jones, saw young people treated as nothing special, part of Lloyd-Jones' belief that young people were being sought in a worldly way. J. W. Owen belived that young people should fellowship together in order to grow spiritually. Tomorrow, we shall look at the third option, the one away from which Lloyd-Jones and J. W. Owen had turned.



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