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RELIGION
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Bethany Primitive Methodist

On 14 October 1865 a tea party was held to raise funds for the erection of a new English speaking Independent Chapel which became to be known as Bethany. Prior to the building of a chapel, services were conducted in a small inconvenient dwelling room. However, because of increasing demand for houses, they moved into the open air.

The Rev. J. Dinnick took on the responsibility of a loan for over £165 to build a chapel which would accommodate over 100 persons when the membership consisted of only eight and who had contributed £6.3.0 towards the undertaking.

The stone laying ceremony took place on Monday 11 August 1873 and a further sum of £50.7.7 was raised.

The building was situated on the corner of Dynevor Street and Railway terrace and cost an estimated £300 to complete.

However, on Thursday 4 May 1882 the chapel was sold by public auction, the details of the chapel being:-

Situated in Cae Glas near Vochriw Railway Station, surrounded by a thickly-populated neighbourhood, and a very convenient place for a small congregation. It was built about 10 years ago. The interior is well-fitted up with moveable seats and a platform pulpit. It measures over the walls 47ft. by 36ft. more or less, and there is ample room in the rear to extend it in future time. The aforesaid chapel can be altered with a small outlay into a house and shop, or two dwelling houses. The above premises are held under a Lease of 91 years from July 1st. 1873, by Lord Wimborne and others, and subject to a Ground Rent of £1-6-9 per annum. The Sale will commence at 3.30 to 4 o’clock p.m.”.

The circumstances which led to the sale of the chapel are not known however, what is known is that it was bought for the Bethany English Baptist membership by an Alderman Richard Cory of Cardiff. This is confirmed by the following report in the 3 November 1883 issue of the Merthyr Express.

“Vochriw: Special Sermons at Bethany English Baptist Chapel   On Sunday and Monday last, the first quarterly meetings since the Rev. Isaac Cool settled at Vochriw, were held at the English Baptist Chapel. On Sunday sermons were preached morning and evening by Mr. William Baker, of Ystrad, Rhondda, and in the afternoon a Welsh sermon was preached at Carmel Welsh Independent chapel (kindly lent for the occasion) by the Rev. J. Williams, Dowlais. On Monday, a public meeting was held, when Alderman Richard Cory of Cardiff, presided and delivered an excellent address, and called upon the respected pastor,  Rev. Isaac Cool, to address them.  The rev. gentleman said that three months ago they met there under a dark cloud, and that great efforts had been made in the past to establish an English cause at Vochriw, but somehow or other every attempt had failed. But he was now pleased to tell them that the dark cloud had been removed. His labours had been, upon the whole, very successful under the circumstances. He had baptised nine, and received a few by letter. The church was now well-formed, and had selected three excellent deacons, namely, Messrs. James Morgan, Charles Jones and John Davies. A good Sunday School had been established there, under Mr. David Evans, Superintendent.   Alderman Cory was proud to hear such a good report given, and that he was thankful to God that such and earnest and hard-working pastor had been sent there, and that he (Mr. Cory) was exceedingly pleased