Ystradgynlais History

Calfaria Baptist Chapel, Maesmarchog

Calfaria Chapel


Calfaria Baptist Chapel was located in Maesmarchog, within Dyffryn Cellwen. The Coflein maps of its location indicate that it was on the right hand side, as you head towards Banwen, on the corner of a road. Only the road alongside Maesmarchog Primary School meets this requirement, and at the corner by the school there is an area of open land, with a small play area and a bus stop. In the past, an area of land like this would not have been left open and unbuilt-upon and a comparison to the map, indicates that this is the very probable location for Calfaria Chapel in the past.

Where Calfaria Chapel, Maesmarchog probably was

Calfaria Chapel's probable location in Maesmarchog

Ministers of Calfaria Chapel, Maesmarchog

Thank You to David whose Pillars of Faith website provides the information up to the 1930s: www.ministers.pillars-of-faith.com

Jonah Lewis

Jonah Lewis was minister of Calfaria Baptist Chapel, Maesmarchog, between 1916 and 1918. He had begun his ministry at Bethel, Pontyclun in 1898, leaving for Denbigh and Llandyrnog in 1900, where he remained until 1904. He ministered at Mount Pleasant, Skewen between 1904 and 1916, before coming to Calfaria, Maesmarchog. After he left Calfaria in 1918 he ministered at Bryncoch 1919-1923. He then held three pastorates simultaneously - Acstyn from 1923 to 1931, Seion, Caerwys from 1923 to 1930, and Penygelli from 1923 to 1932.

I Price

I Price was minister of Calfaria Baptist Chapel, Maesmarchog, from 1939. He appears to have been a lay preacher, and may not have been the person in charge in the ministry, but he was certainly active at Calfaria from 1939.

From The Llais

The Llais newspaper had always included a round-up of happenings at local churches and chapels, even when these were not part of any particular story. Sometimes they advertised forthcoming events, and at other times who was preaching, or had preached there recently.

This article in the South Wales Voice from June 1958 records the Baptist circuit's Cymanfu Ganu, a musical celebration. As can be seen Calfaria Baptist Chapel was part of the Cwm Dulais Baptist circuit together with Salem, Seven Sisters and Bethania Chapel, Crynant:-


Last Sunday the annual Gymanfa Ganu of he Cwm Dulais Baptist Chapels - Salem, Seven Sisters; Bethania, Crynant; and Calfaria, Maesmarchog, was held at Salem Chapel, Seven Sisters. The conductor was Mr Peter Phelps, Llansamlet, and the organists Miss G Griffiths (Salem) and Mrs Jones (Calfaria).
The singing was of an exceptionally high standard and the festival generally rated as beng the most outstanding for many years.
Throughout all three sessions - morning, afternoon and night the chapel was full to capacity, many people failing to gain admittance.
Rev D. J. Thomas presided during the morning and John Evans recited a psalm on behalf of Salem Chapel.
For the afternoon Mr John T Lewis, Banwen, chairman, and Miss Janice Davies recited a psalm on behalf of Maesmarchog.