Glyncorrwg Methodist Churchnow at Noddfa Community Centre, Glyncorrwg, Port Talbot
Currently, we hold our Sunday services in the evenings at 4.00 pm with monthly Holy Communion and weekly Bible Study is held at the home of a member of our church.
A warm welcome awaits you at the church as well as at the house group should you wish to join us in worship or at Bible study.
Glyncorrwg was a pastoral community until the latter part of the 19th century, when mineral wealth in the form of coal was discovered. Mining increased at an enormous rate and rapid transformation was evident all around. It became imperative that something be speedily done for the spiritual well-being of those who gravitated to this new centre of industry.
Fred Richards, a humble yet powerful man, together with his wife, had been converted at Neath to the Bible Christian cause and came to settle in Glyncorrwg. He found that besides the services conducted solely in Welsh, there was nothing but those held according to the rites of the Established Church. Consequently, they decided to open their house for religious services to be held in accordance with their own simple faith and in the English language.
The commencement of this new religious movement was viewed with keen and critical interest by the villagers and whilst some of the leaders of other religious bodies in the village cheerfully countenanced the new Methodist movement, others manifested jealousy and suspicion.
Powerful orators and men of God, such as William H Lloyd, supported the work of Fred Richards and soon many conversions were witnessed. It therefore became necessary to seek support from Methodists in neighbouring areas such as Neath and Port Talbot. At the Aberavon and Neath quarterly meeting, held on March 17th 1881 at Briton Ferry, it was agreed that Glyncorrwg be given a six month trial and that it be placed on the next plan.
By 1882 the house which held the meetings had become far too small and the decision was taken to erect a suitable building, which would accommodate 150 people. Thus the ‘Bible Christians’ was opened for worship on Sunday 3rd June 1883.
For a number of years, the friends worked assiduously, taking advantage of the limited amount of space at its disposal, but the problem became more acute as the village developed. As early as 1891, discussions were being held regarding the necessity of erecting a new and more adequate building, but it was not until June 28th 1914, that the opening service was held. At this point, the Sunday school, which had continued to be held at the home of Mr. Richards, was able to occupy the former chapel building.
The temperance movement became a key feature of the Church at Glyncorrwg between 1884 and 1890, and many signed ‘The Pledge’. However, the meetings ceased but on July 7th 1899, the Band of Hope was established. It is worthy of note that in the year 2010 Glyncorrwg has a few members who signed in their youth!!
Glyncorrwg Methodist Church continued to flourish until the 1980s. Sunday School Anniversary Services, Whit Sunday Parades and Whit Monday celebrations, New Years Eve Coffee Suppers (prepared by the men!), Harvest celebrations, Sales of Work, Carols by Candlelight, Junior and Senior Guilds, Youth Club, Young Wives and Christmas Sunday School Plays were key activities.
Although decline set in as the Church’s youth left to pursue higher education and/or employment elsewhere and others became enticed by secular activities, the life and witness of the church is sustained by its loyal members.
The members at Glyncorrwg have been concerned for some time at the deteriorating state of their premises on Bryn Road. Following much prayer and discussion, and after an inspection by a property adviser for the Wales Synod of the Methodist Church, the Church Council on Sunday 27th November 2011 passed the following resolution:
1) To cease acts of public worship in the present church building, Bryn Road, Glyncorrwg
2) To continue to worship together in rented premises in Glyncorrwg
3) To dispose of the Bryn Road premises under the guidance of Circuit, District and Connexional Property Officers
4) To establish partnerships with other Christians in Glyncorrwg, with whom we can share in worship and in mission and witness to our community
5) To prayerfully seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we make this new start, trusting that God, who has given himself for us in Jesus Christ, will revive his work among us
A meeting was held the following week with representatives of Nebo Congregational Chapel, who were also having to close their building. It was agreed to worship jointly on Sunday afternoons in the Noddfa Community Centre from Sunday 8th January 2012.
The final act of worship in the Methodist Church, Bryn Road, a service of Lessons and Carols by Candlelight led by Mr Clem Raymond, took place on Sunday 18th December. It was a well attended service and, although tinged with sadness, was full of a sense of hope. Rev Chris Gray, Superintendent Minister, said in his sermon that the Holy Spirit was bringing something new to birth among God’s people in Glyncorrwg and we could look forward to the future with confidence.
The first service in the Noddfa Community Centre on 8th January was attended by 22 people, not just Methodists and members from Nebo Chapel, but also other Christians from the village who felt that they would now be able to come and worship with us in these warm, comfortable and easily accessible premises. Appropriately enough, this first united act of worship was a Methodist Covenant Service, in which all those present were able to re-dedicate their lives in Christ’s service at the beginning of a new year and of a whole new phase in the life of God’s people in Glyncorrwg.