Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cardiff Churches: 1 Plasnewydd Presbyterian Church (to 1936)

Founded 1885, Plasnewydd Presbyterian Church was the third English Calvinistic Methodist Church to be founded in Cardiff. Meetings were initially held in a house at the top end of Richmond Road, a few hundred yards away. Edwin Reese, later a deacon at the chapel, played a large part in its foundation, encouraged by John Pugh of Clifton Street. In May or June of 1886, the congregation was formally organised as a church, somewhat to the dismay of the denomination, who nevertheless agreed to support the fledgling cause.

The cause was greatly blessed of God, and by 1886 had outgrown the house in which the meetings were held. Interviews with the trustees of the Mackintosh Estate secured a site on Keppoch Street, close to the mansion of the Mackintosh family, Plasnewydd. The chapel was opened by Alfred Thomas, MP for East Glamorgan. A Baptist, Thomas was not unaccustomed to this task, laying the memorial stone at Minny Street Independent church, Cathays. At the same time, the services of W. Francis Jones were secured as minister, albeit on a small salary. He retired a year later, the church securing the services of B. T. Jones, Briton Ferry, in 1888.

Following a mission by Seth Joshua, the Church received twenty-six members in 1891, Joshua himself being received into the denomination a little later. Only a little way from the work of John Pugh as Clifton Street and East Moors, the church was soon caught up in the revival work, the membership rising from 72 in 1888 to 92 in 1894, when B. T. Jones resigned the pastorate.

From 1895 to 1904 the church was Pastored by Pulford Williams. The life of the church continued to flourish, a choir being formed.More of the chapel debt was paid off, and by the end of 1895 there was talk of erecting a new chapel. The gothic edifice depicted was finished in 1901. It was designed to hold 850, a far cry from the large room at the end of Richmond Road.

This was not mere pride. Membership figures indicate that the church was already experiencing something close to reviva. Between 1895 and 1902, the membership of the church grew from 110 to 228. In 1902, a further sixty-one new members were received. By the time Pulford Williams resigned, on grounds of ill health, in 1904, the church was self-supporting.

Under the long ministry of E. P. Jones (1904-32), the church was visited with full revival. By 1906, membership had increased to 388. By 1918, the figure was 487. The Great War, and the spiritual dearth which followed, cut that figure to 339 by 1932. This was offset by the continuing zeal of those who stayed. E. P. Jones' ministry was ended by his death on 5 March 1932. His place was taken by R. M. Roberts of Prestatyn. Membership began to increase once more, rising above 370 by 1935.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:14 pm  
Anonymous william wilson said...

Gervase great to see you have put an artcile on Cardiff Churches.So keep up the good work bro.

12:34 pm  

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