Hen Dŷ Cwrdd
Old Chapel Road,
Cefn Coed y Cymer,
Mr. Ken Morgan
25c, Holford Street
Cefn Coed y Cymer
Tel: (01685) 379016
Situated at the southern end of the Brecon Beacons National Park the
village of Cefn Coed y Cymer is the gateway to 519 square miles of
mountains and moorland laced with rivers and lakes. In contrast to
this, its location at the intersection of the A470 and the A465, just a
mile or so to the north of Merthyr Tydfil, means it is also on the
fringe of a large population mass with excellent road-network
The Hen Dŷ Cwrdd (Old Meeting House) is a Grade II listed building standing within its walled graveyard at the centre of the village, just off the main road. It is included by Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Trust on their website and is mentioned in various publications, including literature produced annually by the Civic Trust for Wales in association with European Heritage Open Days.
The chapel has been a centre of religious, educational and social influence since 1747 and is the oldest nonconformist cause in the area. It was founded as a result of divisions appearing among Dissenters worshipping at a nearby conventicle and the early congregation continued its religious development from Arminianism all the way into Unitarianism by not later than 1761.
The original barn-like building was replaced in1853 and extensive alterations were made in 1895. In the final decade of the twentieth century the chapel was re-erected using the masonry and fittings of the 1895 structure and is an (almost) exact replica of that building. The reopening in 1997 coincided with the celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the chapel’s founding. The building is well-maintained, with an attractive worship-area equipped with sound enhancement and loop system.
The present membership of the congregation is 29 but, due to age and sickness, the attendance at services is usually only about half of this number.
Services are held at 3pm on the first and third Sunday of the month and at 6pm on other Sundays. The 'normal’ hour-long service is a 4-hymn-sandwich with two readings, prayer and address. Two hymns are sung in English (Hymns For Living) and two in Welsh (Perlau Moliant Newydd). Occasionally the 'sandwich-filling’ consists only of readings, presented by members of the congregation.
There is an active Women’s League with 16 members - not all of them are members of the congregation. They are the mainstay of many chapel events and support a number of charities.
Until quite recently there has been a children’s Activity Group, meeting on Sunday mornings in the vestry building, and the children would take part in three or four services during the year. This vital aspect of chapel life has a long tradition at Hen Dŷ Cwrdd and it is our hope that it will be revived.
Hen Dŷ Cwrdd has a strong 'presence' in the community. Notices of services and other chapel events appear weekly in the local press, Rites of Passage ceremonies are available to non-members, and, from time to time, visits are made by local primary schoolchildren. On a more regular basis, it is the venue for meetings of the Community Forum, PACT (Police And Community Together), and a community Ladies Group. Since 1974 the Remembrance Ceremony at the village War Memorial has been led by the chapel secretary and the public Remembrance Sunday Service is held at the chapel.