Christmas Evans' Chapel (1791-1826)
At the time of Evans’ arrival on Anglesey it was a fairly godless place, with great religious ignorance, drunkenness, smuggling and low morals prevalent among the people. He was given £17 pa in wages and for the time he served there he never asked for more. There were ten small Baptist societies there and most of these were polarised through a dispute over the two ministers on the island in 1785 (one died and the other left due to debts). He was therefore the only Baptist minister on the island and he based himself in Cildwrn chapel in the village of Llangefni. Evans and his wife lived in a cottage next door to the chapel. Like each of the few cottages that made up the town, it was so basic that the bed was hardly worthy of the name. There was nowhere to go and study or prepare his sermons - nothing like the mansion that William Haslam (see this website) lived in at Baldhu - however in that small cottage he learned Hebrew and Greek. It is no credit to the Welsh Baptist Association that their most gifted and successful minister lived in such poverty, and the same could be said of the people of Anglesey. Evans divided the island into four districts, preaching in three places every Sunday and speaking each week in two of the districts. This involved a lot of travelling. Evans and most of Anglesey at this time were tainted with a doctrinal controversy (Sandemanianism). This only lasted a short period, and although it stopped him flowing the way he had done; he was back to form as soon as he turned his back on the doctrine. Evans had a multi role in the area; preaching of course, but also appointing ministers, looking after them, being a pastor to his congregation and organising the building of chapels.