Trinity English Calvinistic Methodist Chapel

Trinity English Calvinistic Methodist Chapel

Trinity English Calvinistic Methodist Chapel.
In 1875 the Trinity English Calvinistic Methodist Chapel was built. Mrs Jane Jones the first Postmistress at Abertillery and wife of Mr Edward Jones laid the first Memorial Stone.

In 1904 as a result of the recent Revival in religion the Trinity English Calvinistic Methodist Society at Abertillery decided to undertake a large expansion scheme. Before the Revival their roll book showed 103 members, after the Revival their numbers increased to 250. In addition to the Chapel the Sunday School flourished with over 350 names on the books. In order to cope with this increase they realised the necessity not only of providing a much larger Chapel but also better accommodation for its Sunday School work, such as the Band of Hope and Christian Endeavour groups.

The Architect Mr R. L. Roberts the Architect of Cwmcarn was approached and he planned that the existing Chapel be doubled in size and to provide Schoolroom accommodation underneath.

trinity-feb-1905-copy-copyThe new Trinity Chapel.
On Monday 20th November 1905 the stone laying ceremony at the new Trinity English Calvinistic Methodist Chapel took place. The Pastor Rev Jenkins presided over the ceremony with Alderman T. H. Howell J.P of Newport. Master David Nathan Rocyn Jones, son of Doctor Rocyn Jones was given the honour of laying a stone, his grandmother had laid the original stone 30 years previously. Master Jones had been given a Silver trowel encased in a Leather wallet as a memento of the occasion. Dr Rocyn Jones made a speech along with the Alderman S. N. Jones.

Later a tea was provided in the Vestry and in the evening a meeting was held at the Carmel Chapel.

The Official Re-Opening of the Chapel.
On Sunday 26th February 1906 the Trinity English Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Church Street, Abertillery was officially re-opened. Rev D. L. Jenkins preached in the morning with the evening service being conducted by the Principal Prys M.A of Trevecca College. The Choir was conducted by Mr W. Powell and accompanied by Mr Howard. The service carried on over the next few days and over £100 was raised during the week.

The Building.
The Building was faced with Blue Pennant Stone, with Forest of Dean stone dressings. The Chapel was approached by a spacious entrance lobby which was connected to the main body of the Chapel and the Galleries. The Choir was accommodated behind the Pulpit where an organ loft was provided. The Chapel accommodated 700 worshippers and the seating was of Pitch Pine, the ceiling was boarded with panels and mouldings. In addition to the Vestry there were six Classrooms, each accommodating twenty pupils were provided beneath the Chapel. All classrooms were divided with folding partitioning to make a large spacious Lecture Room if needed.

The Architect was Mr R. L. Roberts. The Contractors were Messrs Skidmore & McWhirter of Abertillery. The new building cost £2,000. The Pastor was Rev D. L. Jenkins, it was his seventh year in the Pastorate at Abertillery. It was noted that with the exception of the Blaenau Gwent Baptist Chapel the site at the Trinity was the only freehold site held by any Free Church in the district.

Just after the Chapel had been re-built the Director of Higher Education, Mr Badger, reported that acting on the instructions of Alderman S. N. Jones he had arranged for the use of the Trinity Vestry for the new joint central Pupil and Teacher classes at Abertillery. The terms were – Rent £40 per year which included coal, gas and cleaning of the Hall.

Over the years the building was converted, retailers used and occupied the ground floor and the premises around the Chapel was called the Trinity Buildings. The Chapel became derelict and is recently undergoing extensive alterations.

Mrs Jane Jones.
Mrs Jane Jones 1822-1903 was one of the oldest inhabitants of Abertillery, she was one of the founders of the Carmel Calvinistic Methodist Church at Abertillery, she had laid many foundation stones in connection with the various churches and was one of the most successful business women in the district. She left Abertillery to live at Maesycwmmer in 1896, she came back to visit her son Mr S. N. Jones in February 1903, fell ill and sadly passed away on Monday March 16th 1903.

Mrs Jane Jones nee Hughes, the first Postmistress at Abertillery in 1848 was the daughter of Mr David Hughes of Six Bells, Abertillery. She was the sister of Rev Dr Nathan D. Hughes who emigrated to the USA and was the foremost Baptist Minister in America. Mr Nathan D. Hughes had a son Mr David C. Hughes, whose son Mr Charles Evan Hughes became a very successful US Politician (as seen below) on a set of postal stamps from the USA.

c-evan-hughes-usa-stampsMr Charles Evan Hughes 1862-1948 (as seen in the image left) was born at Glen Falls, New York in 1862, son of the Welsh immigrant Mr David C. Hughes and Mrs Mary Hughes nee Connelly, a sister of the State Senator Mr Henry C. Connelly. Mr Charles Evan Hughes became a Lawyer, Statesman and Politician. On the 6th November 1906 he defeated Mr William Randolph Hearst to become the Governor of New York and in 1916 he ran against Mr Woodrow Wilson in the USA Presidential Elections, being defeated on this occasion by the more experienced candidate.

Mrs Jane Jones’ son was Samuel Nathan Jones, J.P and Councillor. Mr S. N. Jones also became a County Councillor had a Grocery and Provisions business and premises close to the Arcade Abertillery. Mr Jones Grocery shop was on the corner of the Arcade and in Commercial Street. It was originally a Grocers and Post Office, which was transferred there after the closure of the office at Pond House. Mr Jones was responsible for the construction of the Arcade in the late 1890s. Mr Jones had a daughter Alla Jones, she later married Mr David Rocyn Jones the Collieries Doctor.

Points of Interest – The featured map of 1880 shows the original St Michaels Church (bottom left) on the East to West orientation. The Foundry (centre) opened and owned by Mr John Ward Williams. The Ebenezer Baptist Chapel (centre right). The Trinity Chapel (centre), the Wesleyan Chapel above with the Police Station (top centre) on Wesleyan Road later Tillery Street.

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