The Bible Christian Chapel – Red Brick Chapel Cwmtillery.
The construction of a Bible Christian Chapel was proposed at Cwmtillery in 1871.
The Original Chapel.
On Good Friday 7th April 1871, the ceremony of the Laying of the Foundation Stones took place. Over 350 people watched the ceremony take place on the land of the South Wales Collieries. The ceremony was presided over by Mr Joseph Wallace, General Manager of the Cwmtillery Colliery, on behalf of the absent Mr Lawrence Heyworth, Chairman of the South Wales Colliery Co, who was away on business. The proceedings were commenced by Rev. J. Jeffrey (Pontypool) and Rev. R. P. Tabb (Newport).
I can’t find an opening date but presume it to be in the same year of 1871.
In August 1894 there was a lady pastor, Miss Carkeek preaching at the Bible Chapel, Cwmtillery. She also held a series of three special services at the Public Hall which was reported to have been fairly attended. At this time a new chapel was proposed to be built at Oxford Street, Barry Dock, Brynteg, Blaenau Gwent.
By the turn of the century the old building was becoming to small for the growing population and plans were put forth to have a larger chapel constructed.
The New Chapel.
On Monday 21st May 1906 work on demolishing the old chapel began. The cost of the new building was expected to be about £1,500 – £1,600, it was to be built on the site of the original chapel. The Minister was Rev. S. Eva. During the construction of the new chapel the services were held in a building in the disused Brickyard at Woodland Terrace.
The Contractor and Architect.
The Architect was Mr V. H. Culliford of Newton Abbot and the contract was given to Mr J. Prout of Barry.
On the 22nd June 1906, the building of the new chapel began and it was hoped to be completed before December 1906, though the work was held up as the builder Mr J. Prout went bankrupt half way through the course of erection. A few months later the chapel was completed by the workmen under the supervision of the new Contractor Mr Southcombe.
The Official Opening of the New Chapel.
On Sunday 7th April 1907 the new Cwmtillery Bible Christian Chapel (as seen in the centre of the featured image above) was officially opened. Services were held and special singing was rendered by the choir conducted by Mr D. West. At the afternoon service the Garndiffaith Bible Christian Choir were special guests.
Description of the Building.
it was of semi-gothic style, built of Severnside bricks with white brick buttresses and string courses seating is pitch pine and a slate roof, with cathedral windows The accommodation was for about 350, underneath the chapel was a schoolroom and four classrooms and a furnace house, the school portion was built with the stone taken from the old building. The cost of the new building and school was £1,500.
On Monday 8th the following day a special tea was held at the new schoolroom at which over 500 people attended. The waiters were as follows – Mesdames P. Davies; J. Brown; T. Solloway; G. Williams; D. West and G. Hale: Misses G. Purnell ? Brittain; D. Eva; F. Wilcox; P. Edwards; E. Brain; H. West and S. A. Sage: Cutters-up, Mesdames G. Purnell; G. Powell; D. Sage; T. Vowles and Mr A. Baynton: Following the tea entertainment was held and performed by the following – Solos, Messrs A. Spear; G. Hale; W. J. Dauncey and Miss G. Hale: Recitations, Misses S. Williams; P. Edwards and F. Meyrick: Pianoforte Solo, Master G. Hale: Violin Solo Miss Ruth Hammond: Duet, Messrs G. Hale and D. West:
(Later information to come).