The Chapels

The Chapels

Many older parishioners of Penallt have or had chapel backgrounds and, in earlier days, the three chapels all flourished. The Methodist chapel in the village was built by a Mr Roberts and the adjacent accommodation provided for a caretaker. Originally Primitive Methodist, its support came also from Redbrook Wesleyans. Now, with the chapel’s closure and sale for private occupation, the proceeds and money left for its upkeep will go to Methodist educational charities. A Monmouth clergyman came to lead a loyal flock at a weekly Sunday afternoon service, alternately in recent years with one at the Baptist chapel. The Sunday School and festivals like Harvest all flourished. In 1943 Pastor Valentine Evans presented bibles and certificates to Phyllis and Ivor Gleed who had attended every Sunday for two years. Miss Dorothy Jones was organist and Sunday School teacher and, much later, ran a little Sunday School from ‘Box Bush’, her little cottage in the Birches – mostly (and kindly and ecumenically) for ‘church’ people.

There was another Methodist chapel, known as ‘Five Trees chapel’ at the parish boundary on the Lydart; it had a very active congregation forty years ago but declined as they died or moved away and was closed in 1959. It now houses calves, and its Sunday School building is incorporated into the modern farmhouse at Chapel Farm.

The Baptist chapel dates from 1858. It is a listed building with its own burial ground – burials still take place there – and it still has a handful of hardworking congregation. The building sheltered by the Scots pine seems just ‘right’ at the corner, as is the atmosphere inside, and it is sad that its condition is deteriorating.

In 1940 and 1941 there were Pentecostal Missions in Penallt and adherents were baptised at the Black Brook at Llananant. A hope to build a Pentecostal chapel at Cross Vane came to naught. The mother of Pastor Evans, who was very active at this time in Penallt, lived at Massadalla.

[from: Penallt – A Village Miscellany]