In the early years of Welsh Wesleyan Methodism the town of Rhyl did not exist. The first Wesleyan to preach in the area in Welsh was John Maurice in the house of Thomas Hughes in 1802. Others who preached at the house were Edward Jones (Bathafarn) and John Hughes. Shortly afterwards a Welsh Wesleyan Society was formed. When Richard Hughes with his bride joined the Rhyl Welsh Wesleyan Society in 1820 the work increased. In 1814 a Society was meeting in a house in Rhyl. Around 1831 Rhyl was developing into a holiday resort and on 28 August 1831 the Society moved into their new chapel. When in 1853 Rhyl had become a well-established ‘watering-place’ a site was bought in Sussex Street and a large chapel was built. This was succeeded in 1872 by a larger chapel built in Brighton Road. Rhyl was in the Holywell, then Llanasa Circuit, then in the Denbigh Circuit. In 1866 Rhyl was the head of the new Rhyl (Welsh) circuit with Rev William Hugh Evans as the Superintendent. As Rhyl developed as a seaside holiday resort the English Wesleyan mission started around 1861 when the Llandudno & Rhyl (English) Circuit was established. When Rev Edward Crump visited Rhyl in September 1862, he found a small English Class under the leadership of Mr Bell meeting in the Welsh Wesleyan Chapel. He was told that the tenure would end at the end of the month. The Society then moved to Mr Astle’s upper room reached by an outside stairway from the beach road. In the Spring of 1863 the growing congregation moved to the Rhyl Town Hall which was unpopular with many residents who tried but failed to get the services stopped. The Society prospered and they opened their own chapel designed by C. O. Ellison of Liverpool in Bath Street on 28th June 1868 in Bath. The chapel was in part financed by Punshon, William Morley, LL.D's Watering Places Fund. In 1878 Mrs (Dr) Morley Punshon laid a memorial stone for the new Punshon Sunday School and Manse in August 1878. This listed building closed in December 2006 when several of the members transferred to Rhuddlan English Methodist Church meeting in the Welsh Wesleyan Chapel. Rhuddlan Welsh Wesleyan Chapel was built in Gwindy Street in 1832 and a larger chapel was built in 1910 on the same site following a fire and named it y Tabernacl. As the English-speaking population grew an English Methodist Society was formed on 1st May 1932 who continued to hold services in English in the Rhuddlan Welsh Wesleyan chapel until 1956 when they moved the Conservative Room in Parliament Street and later to the Welsh Baptist chapel before returning to y Tabernacl in 1967. In late 1990’s the Welsh Wesleyan Society closed, and the building was transferred from the Welsh Wesleyan Circuit to the English Methodist Circuit and continues to be the Methodist Church serving the Rhuddlan and Rhyl area.

Entry written by: DHR
Category: Person
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