Historic Pen Llŷn chapel with links to a well-known preacher and social activist faces closure
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter
An historic Pen Llŷn chapel with links to a well-known Welsh preacher and social activist looks set to hear its final amen.
A public meeting has been organised to discuss the future of Edern Chapel following a decision to close it by the Presbyterian Church.
The chapel, on the corner of Lon Rhos and Llon Gerddi, is known as the place where Parch ‘Tom Nefyn’ Williams, an outspoken Presbyterian minister, preached between 1948 until his death in 1958.
Born in 1895, the poet, writer, and a fierce pacisfist was known for his sermons on social matters of his day, often clashing with the church authorities.
He was buried at Edern and also remembered in a plaque.
The meeting on Tuesday, will be chaired by Dwyfor Meirionnydd Member of Parliament Liz Saville Roberts.
She is calling for local people to come along to the meeting to discuss options for the building’s future, including the possibility of it becoming a community facility.
Starting at 6pm, it will be attended by Morfa Nefyn, Edern and Tudweiliog, Councillor Gareth Tudor Jones, who said it will be a chance for people to “air their views.”
A final service is set to be held on Sunday, at the Grade 2 listed building.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “Capel Edern is a historic chapel which is dear to the hearts of many in the local community.
“Its proposed closure is sadly indicative of the fate which befalls many iconic Welsh chapels whose original purpose as a place of worship is no longer viable.
“We have called this public meeting in the spirit of exploring positive and practical solutions for its future use and to ascertain how best to secure the building as a potential community resource.”
“Every effort must be made to ensure historic buildings rooted in the traditions of life in Pen Llŷn aren’t taken out of the hands of people in the community.’
“We must explore all options and seek consensus on how to safeguard these magnificent buildings for future generations.
“It is vital that the local community takes ownership of any campaign to secure the future of Capel Edern from the outset.
“We appeal to those interested in being part of any appeal to make their voices heard and attend this meeting.”
Edern was originally built as a Calvinistic Methodist Chapel in 1775, modified in 1804 and 1842 and then rebuilt in 1898.
Grey and imposing outside, the building features a large arch in its facade. Inside its ornate interior, has been described as showing “exceptional elaboration,” by the British Listed Buildings website.
At the height of its use, it could seat a congregation of 800.
Still remaining inside are the pews, carved church furniture, pulpit, as well as bibles and pictures of the former ministers, including Parch ‘Tom Nefyn’ Williams.
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