Tuesday, March 06, 2007

John Pugh VIII: Starting at Cardiff

The church to which John Pugh came in 1889, Clifton Street, Cardiff, was, like the churches at Pontypridd and Tredegar, 'at ease in Zion.' Founded as an English-language branch of Bethania church, Clifton Street church stood on the junction of Clifton Street and Newport Road and was housed in a comfortable gothic building (pictured). The church had cushioned pews and a congregation who arrived in carriages or hansom cabs. One Sunday in the month, the pulpit was filled by no less a luminary than Dr. Cynddylan Jones, a great and learned preacher.

But this was not enough. The church stood on the border between the cavernous mansions of Newport Road and Roath and the poverty-stricken neighbourhood of Splott. Typically, John Pugh looked down Clifton Street, towards the cramped houses of Splott, and saw that 'no-one cared for their souls.' Pugh suggested to Cynddylan Jones that the great preacher should continue to build up the saints, while Pugh went after the sinners.

On the first Sunday of his ministry, Pugh preached to this comfortable, middle-class congregation. If he had any worries about how the congregation would react, those were blown away - by the wind of the spirit. As he preached, the Holy Spirit began to move through the congregation. So moved was the church that they moved through into the schoolroom for a prayer-meeting. There, the Holy Spirit fell on them in power. Twenty people were converted that night - the first fruits of what was to be a remarkable ministry.



Post a Comment

<< Home