The 'Tivy-Side' History Man, Glen Johnson, is launching an appeal to try to record the history of the chapels of Cardigan and district. With three chapels in Llechryd and two in Cilgerran having closed in recent times, there is a sense of urgency to the recording of local Nonconformist places of worship, and Glen feels that even the more buoyant and populous chapels should have their histories set down for future generations.
“I'm particularly interested in finding copies of the Annual Reports of local chapels, as they are a mine of information, including the names of deacons and officers, lists of members, Sunday School details and records of repairs. I will not publicise any financial figures more recent than 1914 – I am just trying to keep a record of the congregations and their buildings before another generation of history is forgotten.”
Glen has been prompted to make this appeal by his failure to find any public record whatsoever of several of the local chapels, and very sketchy records of the majority. Having found the record books of Cardigan's former Hope Chapel, he intends that this information will eventually be lodged with the National Library of Wales, whether digitally or hard copy.
If any reader has Annual Reports, documentation or photographs relating to local chapels, their ministers, congregations and events, and are willing to allow them to be read or copied, the following is a list of the chapels which Glen is researching:
Cardigan: Bethania; Capel Mair; Ebenezer; Hope; Mount Zion; Tabernacl.
Cilgerran: Babell; Penuel; Tyrhos
Llangoedmor: Blaenwene; Penparc
Llechryd: Llwynadda; Tabernacl; Yr Hen Gapel (Capel Isaf)
St. Dogmaels: Bethsaida; Blaenwaun; Bryn Salem; Capel Degwel; Capel Seion; Gerazim; Rhosgerdd; Soan; Ty'rbont
Y Ferwig: Blaenycefn; Ffynnonbedr; Siloam
“I'm perfectly happy with a photocopy, or even the opportunity to copy down a few names and dates into a notebook, I just want to make sure that the important role played by chapels in the religious, social and cultural life of the community is not forgotten," he said.