A church in Llanddulas is asking local groups and members of the community to choose their favourite hymn and explain why, as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.
St Cynbryd’s, which was built with money donated by the owners of nearby Gwrych Castle, the 19th century hillside castle visible from the A55, is organising a special Songs of Praise event on 24 May, exactly 150 years after the church was consecrated by the then Bishop of St Asaph.
The village’s Brownie, Rainbows and Guide Units, the local school, Ysgol Llanddulas, the Community Council, the nearby Methodist Church, the Women’s Institute and the Village Hall Committee are among the groups being asked for their favourite hymn.
It’s part of a week of events in Llanddulas to mark the anniversary, starting on Saturday 18 May with a community event in St Cynbryd’s Community Park with donkey rides, a fun dog show, a medieval sword-play and archery display, bouncy slide, refreshments and craft stalls.
Then on Sunday 19 May there will be a celebratory Eucharist service at 10am attended by the current Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron.
A team of people from across the community is organising the celebrations. One of them, Dr Huw Lloyd, said: “We’re planning a week of events to celebrate the church’s 150th birthday. It’s a significant milestone for us and something we want to share across the village and local area.
“Alongside the events, there’ll be an exhibition on the history of the church, its links with the local community and its association with Gwrych Castle. In addition. We’re having mugs produced commemorating this significant event in the church’s history.”
On the afternoon of Tuesday 21 May, the Brownies and Rainbows will be coming to St Cynbryd’s for Messy Church and Light Service.
On Wednesday 22 May, pupils from Ysgol Llanddulas will be joining the morning service, before hosting a “Seniors Tea” at the church in the afternoon. The children will be serving tea, coffee and cakes to older members of the community specially invited to the event.
The Deputy Head of Ysgol Llanddulas, Helen Ansell said: “It is a huge privilege for the pupils in the Humanities Senedd to work closely with our family church, St Cynbryd’s, in serving our local community as together we celebrate 150 years commemorating the building of the church.
“The pupils thoroughly enjoy planning and preparing the Seniors tea and look forward to each event.”
There’s been a church on the site in Llanddulas since 1254 but the current structure of St Cynbryd’s dates from 1868/1869. It was built with money from the Bamford-Hesketh family, which owned Gwrych Castle. The family commissioned the architect, George Edmund Street best known as the designer of the Royal Courts of Justice, on the Strand in London to build the new St Cynbryd.
The Church is dedicated to St Cynbryd who was reputedly the brother of St Cynfran (the Patron Saint of Llysfaen). They are said to have flourished in the fifth century and were the sons of Brychan who gave his name to the County of Brecon, or Brycheiniog as it is known in Welsh. The brothers were martyred in Bwlch Cynbryd when defending their country against the Saxons. St Cynbryd is commemorated on 19 March.
St Cynbryd’s is part of the Aled Mission Area in the Diocese of St Asaph, one of the six dioceses in the Church in Wales, an independent Province of the Anglian Communion.