The chapel congregation was founded in 1796. A 99-year lease of the land on which the chapel stands was obtained from Mr. Williams of Trecefn. The chapel was built in 1808. In 1811 when the Methodists separated from the Anglican Church, Ebenezer Morris effectively became the first Minister. On 15th August 1825 Ebenezer Morris died. The chapel was rebuilt in 1837. In 1851 Evan Davies of Heol Las was the Minister. There were then 102 attendees each Sunday morning and 90 in the evening. In 1869 the chapel was refurbished at a cost of £40. In 1869-75 Rev. John Jones of Blaenannerch was the Minister. In 1875-91 Rev. John Davies of Blaenannerch was the Minister. In 1881 the land was purchased for the church for £25 by James and Susannah Evans of Trecefn and Anne Thomas of Rhoshill. In 1884 the interior was re-modelled, including iron columns supporting the gallery, which were made at Miles, Woodward & Company’s ‘Cardigan Engineering Works & Foundry’. The total cost of the work was £300. A surprise religious census in 1884 showed 82 attending in the afternoon and 99 in the evening.
In 1897 Rev. James Hughes Jenkins of Aberporth became the Minister. In 1901 a vestry was added with a stable beneath at a cost of £100. On 29th May 1917 the chapel was licensed to solemnise marriages. In 1920 £46. 17s. 6d. was spent on repairs and painting. In 1922 a new organ was purchased for £42. In 1929, £2. 5s. was spent on linoleum for the chapel. In 1930 a piano was purchased for £26. In October 1933 reference was made to the recently-redecorated chapel. In 1936 David Jones of Ffynnoncyff donated land to create a new cemetery. In April 1936 tenders were sought for creating a stone fence at the new burial ground here. In 1949 Rev. James Hughes Jenkins ceased to be the Minister.
In 1949-62 Rev. D. Hughes Jones was the Minister. On 30th July 1952 the chapel re-opened following repairs, which included the installation of calor gas at a total cost of £564. Mrs. Jane Lewis of Mount Pleasant re-opened it. On 27th May 1958 the chapel, recently redecorated, celebrated 150 years. It was re-opened by the oldest Deacon – Elias Davies of Bwlet. In 1959 electricity was installed at a cost of £191. 11s. 10d. In 1963-70 Rev. Huw Gwynfa Roberts was the Minister. In 1966-67 repairs to the vestry were conducted.
In 1973-79 Rev. D. Griffith Jones was the minister. In 1980-84 Rev. Thomas Roberts was the Minister. In 1980 the Deacons were: Arthur G. Davies; John W. Jenkins, Islwyn James (Secretary), David Phillips, Griffith Davies, Morris J. Williams and Mrs. Iris Davies. David J. Davies was the Treasurer. In 1982 the remaining Deacons were Islwyn James (Secretary); David Phillips; Griffith Davies; Morris J. Williams; and Mrs. Iris Davies. David J. Davies was the Treasurer. Rev. Thomas Roberts left for Cardiff in 1984. In 1988-92 Islwyn James, Griffith Davies and Iris Davies were the Deacons.
In 1989-92 Rev. Ifor ap Gwilym was the Minister. In 1993-97 Rev. G. Madoc-Jones was the Minister. In 1994 Islwyn James was the Secretary, and he and Griffith Davies were the Deacons, David J. Davies was the Treasurer. Griffith Davies, Deacon, died in 1995. In 1996-2002 the following persons were Deacons here: Islwyn James, Vincent Lewis, David W. Davies, Joan Davies and Jean Evans. The chapel became a listed building c.1997. In 1999-2006 Rev. W. Raymond Jones was the Minister. In 2005 Islwyn James, David W. Davies, Joan Davies and Jean Evans were the Deacons. In 2006 Deacon Islwyn James died.
The chapel was described by CADW about the year 1997:
“…EXTERIOR – 1837 Calvinistic Methodist Chapel built of coursed rubble stone, lateral façade to W. Slate roof. Two long arched small paned windows with marginal glazing bars. Two ledged doors with traceried overlights and sandstone voussoirs to cambered heads. Two long 12-pane sash gallery lights Small slate plaque centre. Rendered S end wall with one 12-pane gallery sash window and two 18-pane ground floor sash windows. N end rubble stone with gallery light and stone voussoirs.
INTERIOR – Three sided gallery on six iron columns with leaf capitals by Woodward of Cardigan. Chamfered corners, cornice, horizontal panels between panelled piers. Pitch pine pews. Pulpit with balustered steps up each side and three-sided front. Herring-bone boarded flat ceiling…”
The Religious Census of 1851
Cardigan Observer 1884
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1917; 1919; 1926; 1933; 1936; 1943; 1958; 2008
The Gateway to Wales, W J Lewis 1990
Blaenycefn Chapel Annual Report 1980; 1981; 1982; 1983; 1984; 1985; 1986; 1987; 1988; 1989; 1990; 1991; 1992; 1994; 1995; 1996; 1997; 1999; 2000; 2002; 2003; 2005; 2006; 2007
People of Seion, David Russell Barnes 1995
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Ferwig, Julian Orbach, CADW 1997
Blaenycefn 1808-2008, 2008.
© Glen K Johnson 28/06/2013