Wesley, Newtown

The story which explains our background is beautifully documented by one of our long-standing members and Steward, Margaret Griffith:

“It was with mixed emotions that on a warm July Sunday morning in 1983, our congregation with the Sunday School, closed the large doors of our old Church, built in 1835, for the last time. Our spiritual home, which had stood proud, bearing witness for countless Christians, following the Methodist tradition in Newtown since the early 18th Century was to be demolished. After much prayerful deliberation and planning (and encouragement and cajoling from our minister Rev Derek Bedford!) we were to build a new church, on the original site, which would better serve the needs of the present congregation and community. With a quiet dignity we walked across the bridge to our new refuge. For the next year, through the generosity of the Church in Wales, our morning services would be held at All Saints Church. The rector Rev Brian Jones and his congregation stood that morning at the door of the Church to welcome us and extend the hand of friendship. Our evening service was held at Capel Coffa, Milford Road and all social events held at the Roman Catholic Church.

The whole project required personal sacrificial giving and each week we held fund raising events, which were well supported by the people of Newtown. Whenever money was raised, however small the amount, we gave thanks by singing our Chapel hymn:

This is the God we adore

Our faithful unchangeable friend

Whose love is as great as His power

And neither knows measure nor end.

In April 1984 – Easter time – our dream was realised and we officially opened our new Church with a service of Dedication led by the Rev Ralph Fennel. His apt text for his sermon, “Wheat that withereth Green” will be remembered by all who were present.”

Our lovely bright and modern church has been further enhanced in recent years with a large kitchen extension; full disabled facilities have also been added. This enables us to provide for the many activities which take place each day of the week. We are pleased that the church is extremely well used by the community of Newtown. The range of activities using the church is diverse, covering groups for youngsters and older members of the local community.

Every Tuesday the church holds a coffee morning which is very well attended by both church members and the local community. It is a time for fellowship and friendship in a relaxed atmosphere.

Every Wednesday morning the church hosts a Community Café, which is an initiative started by the churches in Newtown, to support people from the local community who might benefit from a meal in a welcoming and friendly environment. The Community Café uses food donated by local businesses and hence has the added benefit of dealing with the issue of surplus food which these businesses have.

“O worship the King in the beauty of holiness” was painted on the wall behind the pulpit in the old 1835 building and we believe this still holds true for our present congregation and we shall continue to Serve the Lord with Gladness on into the future.

August 2019


The Methodist cause in Caersws dates back to 1799, when the congregation gathered at premises close to the entrance to the recreation ground near the river.

This site become prone to flooding, so in 1874 a new Chapel was built on its present site in Station Road. It was established as an English Church attached to the Newtown Circuit, with a Minister resident in the village. The English cause then became defunct, but with the onset of the religious revival of 1904 it was re-opened in l912.

This was a Welsh-preaching Church attached to the Llanidloes Circuit.

From this time it has continued to hold servicers regularly, though now again in the English language. In 1950 it hosted the South Wales District Synod, the delegates being billeted out with the families of the congregation of Caersws and neighbouring churches.

Centenary celebrations were held in 1974. The present congregation has among its members, descendants of those families who were responsible for the reopening, way back in 1912.

We have a committed membership who take a pride in their church and play their part in the Welshpool and Bro Hafren Circuit events. They also cooperate with the other places of worship in Caersws under the auspices of Cytun ("Churches Together"). With Cytun, every effort is made to reach out to the village. A tradition has been established of holding a Village Carol Service in the Village Hall at Christmastime. Cytun also joins in village celebration events. The different Churches of Cytun worship together on the first Sunday of every month, the venues normally in alphabetical order. However, for such main events as Education Sunday, Women's World Day of Prayer, Remembrance Sunday, etc. the different churches become the current year's host, again alphabetically. Our Methodist Church takes part in all these joint efforts.

There is a Thursday Fellowship on the first and third Thursday, held in the vestry, where in depth discussions look at differing elements of the bible. We reach out to the wider populace of the village. We are presently looking at widening the use of our site to help with the financing of Methodism in Caersws.

Michael Jones July 2019

Zoar, Trefeglwys

The first Wesleyan church to be built in the village of Trefeglwys was in 1808 but was re-erected and re-opened in 1872. The majority of members at that time were Welsh speaking and it was a member of the Llanidloes Circuit in those days.

‘Zoar” celebrated its centenary in 1972, when our minister was the Reverend Wallace Edwards, it was a great afternoon and evening, with a tea provided by the ladies. All who attended had a memorable time.

There are very few members with us today that remember those pre-1972 years, when there were three services on a Sunday. We are now down to one when on alternate Sundays we join with Llawryglyn church. Uniting in this way has helped us to survive.

In the year 2000 a new school (the first to be opened in Wales in the new millennium) and a magnificent Memorial Hall were opened in the village. It was a great event coinciding with community celebrations.

Our mission as members is to continue to provide worship and witness for Methodism in the community. There is a warm and friendly welcome to all. Our Sunday morning services are followed by tea/coffee, an opportunity to chat and catch up with local events. We feel that coming together in this way encourages new people to the community to join us and share in our worship.

A framed tapestry of the praying hands, was presented to the Chapel members by Mrs Eleri Wyn Williams, daughter of the late Reverend Emrys Wyn Evans, at a service in October 2013, as a lasting memorial of a much loved and respected person, not only of the Chapel, but by the whole community.

It celebrates his 40 years as a minister and recognises his time as a prisoner of war in Stalag 4B Mulbergen Elbe. He served God for 65 years and was laid to rest at Gleiniant Cemetery in Trefeglwys with his beloved wife Gwen. It now has pride of place on the right hand side wall as entering the Chapel.

Eleri and her husband Eirian have moved permanently in to the area. Members are pleased that they have decided to join "Zoar", with Eleri fullfilling the role of a "Local Preacher" and Eirian a property steward, both are a great asset. Recently, they commemorated a bench in memory of Emrys, placed near the Chapel entrance, with an appropriate inscription.

The Trustees applied for a grant to improve the image of the building and as a result, the front wall has been rebuilt; a boundary hedge replaced by a wooden fence; all exterior wood cladded; window frames painted and the west wall re-pointed. The Vestry has been decorated and the carpet/curtains renewed in the pulpit square. Plans are in place to re-carpet the inside (donated by Longbridge Chapel, Llanidloes), along with the public address and loop systems.

Since the closure of Longbridge, we have been pleased to see and welcome some of those members in to our congregation on a regular basis.

We continue to improve our witness in the Community by arranging social events in addition to worship. A concert in the Spring for example, along with coffee mornings. The Chapel continues to be a "drop off" point for the Samiritan Purse (Shoebox appeal).

The annual service of Remembrance takes place at "Zoar", with around eleven organisations placing wreaths at the Cenotaph. With this year (2018) celebrating the one hundred years since the end of the First World War, it saw a large number pf people (including children) attend. Appropriately, the service was conducted by Eleri Williams and a video recording has been recorded - this can be viewed by following the link below:-


Sadly, whilst our community shop closed three years ago, which now means travelling four miles to the nearest one, the community has seen an increase in housing, another estate is being built, with planning for two more. We look to the future with open arms and enthusiasm.

Alun Bunford

(Updated December 2018)


The present Methodist church, at the top of the High Street, was built on a plot of land purchased from Powys Estates for £470 in 1863. Thomas Hazelhurst of Runcorn, a notable Cheshire businessman and generous benefactor to Methodist Chapels and schools, laid the foundation stone, and the church was officially opened on 2nd December 1864. The cost of the chapel, with its imposing stone frontage and spire, and designed by the eminent Victorian architect George Bidlake of Wolverhampton, was £2,300. It seated 600 people, and soon Methodism became the leading denomination in the town. Although not a listed building, it is situated in what is now a Conservation Area.

Substantial alterations were made in 1970, when the gallery and pews were removed, and a false ceiling was installed to conserve heat.

The church of today, whilst not as strong in numbers as in those heady days of the late 19th century, is still an active witness to God’s love, with morning and evening worship (and Afternoon Tea services during winter months) and a range of varied church-led activities throughout the week open to all. (See "Regular Activities")'.

The premises are also well used by some 20 local groups and organisations, and the church itself is the venue for regular prestigious classical music concerts arranged by Welshpool Music Club.

In 2016, the church completed a £200,000 redevelopment scheme, updating and refurbishing its premises to better serve the needs of both church and community in the 21st century. The installation of a lift now serves a refurbished 1st floor multi-use room to accommodate 40 people for worship, meetings, conferences, exercise classes and other events, and externally, a designated parking bay and drop-off area, with ramped access into the rear of the premises, has been created. The kitchen has been extended and re-fitted with new units and appliances to comply with Environmental Health requirements for food safety, and all the toilet facilities have been upgraded. In the worship area, the pulpit has been removed, new carpet fitted and the chairs replaced, opening up the church space for multi-purpose use. Improvements and enhancements to the High Street frontage include replacement doors with glazed panels, new handrails and notice boards.

These refurbished and upgraded premises should serve both church and community users well into the foreseeable future as High Street Methodists continue to “Celebrate and Share God’s Love” with all.

Janice Rhodes 2019


Cefn is a small chapel four miles from Welshpool on the road to Shrewsbury. The normal congregation is quite small, but there are a large number of friends of Cefn who are willing and able to join us when we hold special services. These include members of the All Saints Church Buttington, other local residents and visitors from Welshpool, Garthmyl, Forden, Newtown and more. At Christmas we enjoy having a group of young people from the nearby Trewern School, who come to join us and sing for us.

We are happy to experiment by meeting at other times than our usual slot of 6.30pm on Sundays. In our summer (June to August) we worship at 7.00 pm on Wednesdays. Everybody who reads this is very welcome and for further variations please see the ‘Border Gossip’ or our notice board outside.

We now have a Bible study in the home of one of our members on the third Thursday evening of each month, currently looking at some of the ‘Hard sayings of Jesus’. For further details ring 01938 552349.

The majority of the development scheme has now been carried out. We returned ‘home’ after seven months of meeting in the Community Centre. We are most grateful to Mrs Anne Jerman for all her help in making us welcome there during this period.

We reopened for our harvest on 2nd October 2018 with a lively service led by Mrs Eleri Williams from Carno. This was followed by supper and an auction of produce attended by over 40 people sitting on borrowed chairs. Outside the tarmac for the disabled access was being laid at the same time!

The Circuit has given both a loan and grant towards the repair our round Rose Window. These together are enough to meet the necessary repairs and we are very grateful.

It is good that we can work together and we are very grateful for the encouragement we enjoy from Welshpool and also from local people who are ready to take part in special events, such as our annual Mini Craft Fair. This means opening on a Saturday for special stalls to exhibit crafts. These are not only of goods already made, but some show goods in the making. Sometimes Welshpool joins in this and includes Mildred Brown who is a tower of strength on the organ. We would miss her regular playing at special events.

Any visitors who would like to see the premises are welcome to do so by appointment please ring Eileen on 01938 552349.

Eileen Jobling September 2019

Pentre Llifior

Pentre Llifior is a prime example of a late 18th Century Wesleyan Methodist wayside chapel which is noted for its delightful interior and association with many of John Wesley’s more renowned itinerant preachers. Grade II listed, it was charmingly restored in 2012 and has been featured in many books, notably, J. T. Hughes’s “WALES Best One Hundred Churches” (Seren Books, 2006) and despite its location, Christopher Wakeling’s monumental “CHAPELS OF ENGLAND – Buildings of Protestant Nonconformity” (Historic England, 2017).

The chapel is also a registered Methodist Heritage Site and, of particular interest to visitors, are the display boards mounted on the walls. These tell the stories of the early itinerants from 1770 as well as that of the founding minister and members along with details about the Methodist Missionary society, the abolition of slavery and the purchase of missionary ships to service the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Also on show are numerous items of Wesleyana.

The members routinely provide talks and refreshments for visiting groups (up to 16 people) by prior arrangement and are happy to offer the premises as a retreat centre and resource for a wide variety of community groups wishing to use the chapel and/or its facilities – the Preacher’s Stable (opposite the chapel) includes a small meeting room, a kitchen and toilet with disabled fittings together with a shower and baby changing unit, plus parking for ten vehicles

Currently, we are open on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons between April – September (2.00 – 4.00pm) for visitors and those wishing to drop by for a natter and a cup of tea in the Preacher’s Stable building. Also popular are our “Bacon Buddies” get togethers on the 2nd Saturday of each month (10.30am – 12 noon).

Not wishing to stand still, we are working to establish a “Wesley Way” trail in Montgomeryshire along the Severn valley to highlight the many interesting places and delights of the local countryside and to attract more tourists to the area to the benefit of the local communities between Welshpool and Llanidloes.

A prime aim is for us to become a chapel which is at the heart of the local community from both a secular and a spiritual way. In the words of an old song “you can’t have one without the other” so our focus has to be based on a working co-operation with our neighbours (including churches/chapels) which respects their needs and aspirations – a partnership which can transform lives.


Worship Leaders: Alan & Anthea Bradburn Tel: 01686 651079

Senior & Communion Steward: Helen Judge Tel: 01938 811964

Secretary: Andrew Mathieson Tel: 01938 555376

Treasurer: Mandy Thomas Email: mandy.thomassy16@gmail.com

August 2019