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VILLAGERS
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Miss Margaretta Evans


THE EXPRESS, Friday, September 3, 1965

Around Fochriw and Pontlottyn           By 'WANDERER
A MISSIONARY ON THE HOME FRONT
The house was called Bethany. I was grateful to the lady who invited me to sit in the cool, because that part of August had been kind to us. Having had so little sunshine during our all too brief summer, I was not conditioned to withstand its fierce onslaught.
Bethany, the little house in Railway Terrace, Fochriw, is the home of Miss Margaretta Evans, whom I would describe as "a missionary on the home front." She has lived there for 59 years.
A picture caught my eye; its verse had a message : "The gift of God is eternal life." She followed my gaze and said: "The children often pause at the threshold, especially when coming home from school. They often read that verse out in unison.
Miss Evans told me that the first church she attended as a girl  was Carmel ,Fochriw, where she still treasures her friends and, as she told me with a smile, "my memories, I too”
She said : "Though I have been a member of the Pentecostal Church since 1934, I still retain and treasure the friends I made at Carmel. It has been said that 60 school-teachers have, at different periods, been members of Carmel Church."
Miss Evans went on to tell me about her work. "I have often walked over the mountain to Pontlottyn before catching a 'bus to various places, in the course of my work. I have preached in so many chapels it is impossible to remember them all."
She went on: "My journeys have taken me to such places as Ystrad Mynach, Cefn Fforest and Bargoed.
"Our only link in Fochriw was the train, and I found it a boon when I preached at Dowlais and Merthyr."
She smiled reflectively, "How we.miss the train nowadays. The railway closure certainly closed a  vital outlet from Fochriw, because the village has always been closely linked with Dowlais.
"Of course, we now have 'buses to Pontlottyn, which is a vast improvement. I don't get soaking wet as I used to, but of course. I was younger then.
'My task still awaits me and my purpose is still the same and that is to serve God as long as he gives me strength”.
I asked if she remembered, the text of her first sermon. “ I remember it as if it were yesderday. It was in the Wesleyan church at Deri The text was “It is very blessed to meet God”
We hear a lot of missionaries going abroad, I thought, but we hear so little of those such as Miss Margaretta Evans who are doing such noble work on the home front.
Miss Evans told me: "I owe a lot to the late Pastor Thomas, of the Fochriw Mission, who gave me every engouragement. When I took those first faltering steps, he was a true Christian."
She talked about her village: "I love Fochriw. The village used to blossom with talent. It lost a stalwart with the passing of Mr. Thomas Walters. Not only was he a teacher of music, but he was also a conductor of no mean repute."