301st Aniversery Logo


Roots in Wales


Rhydwilym Baptist Chapel Website

Google Map of Rhydwilym Baptist Chapel

Rhydwilym Baptist Church was formed during a period of great persecution and people attending the services were liable to heavy punishments. Therefore great discretion was needed. A story has been handed down through the ages, and recorded by the late Rev. E. Llwyd Williams, about a woman, who had walked from near Carmarthen to attend a service in the valley of the Cleddau. On being questioned on Ty Coch crossroads as to where she was going her answer was "My eldest brother is dead and I am going to claim my share of the inheritance". The constable did not see the double meaning in her words and she continued on her way.

The Baptist movement at Rhydwilym was started in 1668 but the chapel was not built until 1701. It is the oldest Baptist church in West Wales and stands in Llandissilio East near the western most point of the old county Carmarthenshire. Although not located in the parish of Llandissilio West, the history of the parish would be poorer were it not for the Christian ethics that flowed from Rhydwilym. Anyone visiting this attractive rural chapel cannot help breathing in its sense of history, whilst the beauty, peace and solitude capture the imagination of all who survey this ancient site.

The oldest Baptist church in West Wales was formed in 1668 at Rushacre, near Narberth. This church about 1700 removed to Rhydwilym where it has remained for close on two and a half centuries to give its witness. Since 1660 it had been made illegal for those dissenting from the National Church to meet for public worship, and not a few dissenters had suffered fines and imprisonment in West Wales for ignoring the law, among them the founder of this church at Rushacre. His name was William Jones, who had been silenced for his nonconformity by the Act of Uniformity which came into force in the summer of 1662. He had to spend four years in Carmarthen Castle as a prisoner, for holding religious services without a bishop's licence, where he found other dissenters suffering the same fate from Carmarthen and district and even from Breconshire.


Google Search for "Rhydwilym OR Rhydwylym"