The Presbyterian Church of Wales: In 1811, It Seceded from Church of England

Caernarfon Church

Caernarfon Church

The Presbyterian Church of Wales (Welsh: Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru), also known as The Calvinistic Methodist Church (Yr Eglwys Fethodistaidd Galfinaidd), is a denomination of Protestant Christianity.

It was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival and the preaching of Howell Harris and Daniel Rowland in the 18th Century and seceded from the Church of England in 1811. In 1823, a Confession of Faith was created and adopted, based on the standard Westminster Confession. Theological colleges for ministerial training were opened in Bala, then in Merionethshire, now Gwynedd (1837), Trefeca, then in Brecnockshire, now Powys (1842), and Aberystwyth, in Ceredigion (1906). It produces a quarterly journal Y Traethodydd and a monthly periodical Y Cenhadwr.

It is distinguished from other forms of Methodism by the Calvinistic nature of its theology. For the history of the church, see Calvinistic Methodists. In 1840, the Foreign Missionary Society was formed in Liverpool to provide missionaries to India. It held its first General Assembly in 1864. In 1928 it officially adopted the name Presbyterian Church in Wales but still retained the name Welsh Calvinistic Methodism with equal standing. In 1933 its constitution was modified as a result of the Presbyterian Church in Wales Act of Parliament in 1933, receiving Royal assent. In 1947 the Association in the East was established for English speaking churches.

In 1978 Pamela Turner became the first woman to be ordained as a minister. In 2004 the central office moved to Cardiff. In 2007 new boundaries and structures was adopted for presbyteries. It claims to be the only truly Welsh denomination in Christianity, and is rare among Presbyterian Churches, by originating in the Methodist Revival rather than deriving from the Calvinist Reformation.

The Presbyterian Church of Wales has around 30,000 members who worship in around 700 churches. Most of these churches are in Wales, but due to strong historical links between the Welsh and certain English cities, there are churches using both the English and the Welsh languages in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry and Liverpool. Churches belong to one of eighteen Presbyteries, grouped into three Provinces, the Association in the North, the Association in the South (both in Wales), and the Association in the East (England), along with a General Assembly. About 5% of the Welsh population have official membership.

The Church offices are located at the Tabernacle Church, Merthyr Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff.
The Moderator is the Reverend Meirion Morris.


About Regina Jeffers

Regina Jeffers is the award-winning author of Austenesque, Regency and historical romantic suspense.
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