History and Heritage

Wern Chapel Renovations 1932

Over time work has been carried out and in 1932 in the presence of a large congregation the re-opening of the Wern Chapel Ystalyfera took place on the Sunday morning of 3rd January. This was recorded as follows in the Llais newspaper:


For some months the building has been in the hands of workmen for a thorough renovation and certain alterations have been carried out. The contract for the work was given to Mr Rhys Rees Ystalyfera, while the painting and decorating was done by Mr Clem Thomas Wern Ystalyfera.

The building has been fitted with electric wires in readiness for the time when power is provided at Ystalyfera, the installation having been made by Messrs R Hapgood and Sons Pontardawe. New swing doors have been fitted at the entrances from the chapel and vestry porches, while a new boiler has been installed for the heating apparatus. Mr J H Jones, London House, supplied the carpets and other floor coverings. The whole work has been most tastefully carried out and the members have every reason to be pleased with the work done and with the appearance of the chapel.

The re-opening ceremony had been looked forward to for some time and in spite of the boisterous weather on Sunday morning there was a very large gathering. Outside the Chapel Mr D E Parry read a portion of Scripture which was followed by prayer by the pastor, Rev E T Evans B.A. The door was opened by Mrs J Beynon Tynywern, who then entered, followed by the senior lady members of the church.

The service was conducted by the pastor, who gave an address on the words in 2 Chronicles 7-2 "And the glory of the Lord filled the house." Mr Evans said his address was mainly an expression of thanks for the privilege of being present on that great occasion. Ever since it was formed in 1864 the church had been cared for by the Lord, to be a success in these times. It had its troubles and trials but without a cross there would be no crown. He did not think that anyone would forget the church as it was, prior to the renovations. Personally he would always remember it was the place where he had the honour of first preaching the word of God. No one should disregard the past - whether it had been a success or a failure, for the past helped to build up the future.

The members had received a great heritage from their forefathers and it was their duty to hand it down to those who followed.

Mr Evans then referred to the electric lamps suspended from the ceiling. They were of no use said he until they were connected to the power station. The same applied to ourselves; we were of no vital use unless we were in contact with God.

During the service the congregation sang the anthem "Mor hawddgar yw Dy bebyll di," under the conductorship of Mr J D Mainwaring A.T.S.C., with Mr W D Clee F.R.C.O., at the organ.

Presiding over the special afternoon service held to celebrate the opening, the Rev E T Evans publicly thanked all who had contributed towards the funds and expressed appreciation for the gifts received - a hymn rack, chair for pastor, carpet and holders, Etc. Handsome monetary gifts had also been received from former members of the church.

The History and Heritage of Ystalyfera is put online by Swansea Valley researcher Val Trevallion and Wolfian Design. All copyright remains with the original copyright holder, and all original research is copyright Val Trevallion, YEARGroup.

You can contact Ystalyfera History by emailing: contact@ystradgynlais-history.co.uk or Val Trevallion by emailing yeargroup@hotmail.co.uk.