Colwyn Bay

Methodism in Wales had from its beginning separate chapels and Circuits conducting worship in either Welsh or English. There is also the Calvinistic Methodist Church/Presbyterian Church of Wales.

When the Wesleyans formed their Welsh Mission in 1800 with the Rev.Owen Davies as Superintendent, what is now Colwyn Bay was still a sparsely populated area to the west of what is now known as Old Colwyn. The first Wesleyan chapel was built at Bron y Nant in 1809. When a ship was wrecked in 1818 off the coast at Llandrillo, some of the chapel members were among the despoilers and the chapel was closed, but later reopened and enlarged in 1840 by a group led by Thomas Roberts.

Until 1865 the only house in what is now Colwyn Bay was Pwllcrochan Hall, the home of Lady Erskine, which became a hotel. Land for development was made available by the Pwyll y Crochan and Erskine estates. A railway station was opened on the Chester to Holyhead line. In 1871 a Welsh speaking Wesleyan society was started in Colwyn Bay, with services held in members’ homes. A chapel was opened in Greenfield Road in 1876, replaced by a larger one named Shiloh in 1888. As the congregation grew, Shiloh was sold to the English Wesleyans and replaced by Horeb in Rhiw Road on 2 November 1902 (extensively renovated in 2000).

In the 1880s the need for an English chapel in Colwyn Bay was recognised by W. Morley Punshon and [Entry:2154 Frederick Payne]] who carried the project forward after the former’s death. Foundation stones were laid on 11 August 1882 and the schoolroom opened on 21 January 1883 and used for worship until the church was opened, after further fund-raising, in 1888.

In 1903 a site was bought at the junction of Abergele Road and Nant y Glyn Lane for a Wesleyan chapel, designed by the Manchester architectArthur Brocklehurst and opened on 16 June 1905, to cater for the growing population at the eastern end of the town. Until it was built the English-speaking congregation used the Welsh Wesleyan chapel in Greenfield Road andt St. John’s Chapel in Conway Road.

Around the turn o of the century the English-speaking Wesleyans in Old Colwyn worshipped on Sunday mornings following the Welsh service in Bethesda Wesleyan Chapel, and in the evening in a room above a toyshop. On weekdays they used Shiloh chapel in Greenfield Road and the Baptist ‘iron chapel’ until their ‘Arts and Crafts’ Chapel opened in 1909 (extended in 1933). During World War II this was used as temporary accommodation for evacuees from [Entry:1718 Liverpool]]

The last English Wesleyan church to be established was ar at Rhos on Sea, built with the help of the sale of Llanrwst church in 1920 and designed byArthur Brocklehurst. It opened on 4th April 1921 with the young William E. Sangster as its first minister.