Peny-Bont Congregational Church - Ford (1904)

RELIGIOUS REVIVAL.— The result of a visit, to the above church on Monday last, Nov. 28, by the Rev J. Penar Griffiths, Pentre Estyll, Swansea, the popular and very able preacher and lecturer, has had what may be termed a startling sequence. At the end of his instructive lecturer on, “Emynwyr Cymra," which needs no comment here, the speaker being too well-known already throughout the land, Mr Griffiths announced, after a short consultation with the deacons that a prayer meeting, based on the revival method, if method it can be called, would be held at the chapel on the following morning at 8.45. Consequently, despite the inconvenience of the hour, a good sprinkling of the people of the neighbourhood attended, and with the people, or Mr Griffiths, or both, there came a, something more. Whatever it is, it is strange and baffles description. Mr, Griffiths attributes it to that wonderful and awe-inspiring influence that convulses the region covered by the revival in other parts of the Principality—the Holy Spirit. This is the only way the wonderful service on Tuesday morning can be explained. When the rev gentleman arrived, the strains of that beautiful old Welsh hymn, "Gad im' deimlo, Awel o Galfaria fryn" were lustily wafted on the morning breeze, After repeating those lines over and over again, "hwyl" was assured, and inspiration given. The Rev Penar Griffiths then said "the service was under the influence of 'Yr Ysbryd Glan.'" The effect was electric. One of the deacons fell on his knees to pray, trembling and weeping, but words failed him. Someone started another appropriate Welsh hymn. By the time the singing was ended, the deacon, who had remained in the attitude of prayer, literally poured his soul forth in prayer. Someone again started another hymn, and before it was quite finished another deacon was on his knees "wrestling with God" in "y set fawr." It is impossible to describe what followed. Men and women too, who are usually very reserved, sobbingly, and nervously gave out a hymn, or repeated a verse, or did something. "Holding up the flag of the Cross," Mr Griffiths said, to which there were many fervent, "Amens" Then Mr Griffiths gave some touching incidents of his experience with the revivalist and his services. There was no tearless eye in the sacred edifice. Something was overpowering the congregation. It was not sentiment; rather it was conviction, it lasts—yet a mystery. Everybody desired to do something, but speech was weak to express the "inmost breathings." The service, like all else came to an end, Mr Griffiths had to leave for St. David's. But the results? No, the effects are far-reaching. Another prayer meeting is to be held on Thursday night. What is going to happen then? No one knows; much is expected, and in the same spirit is then revealed, much will be realised. The most callous and indifferent dare not ignore or "pass by on the other side." There is much work to do, and it is to be hoped this is but the commencement of a much needed religious revival that will spread over Pembrokeshire, and ultimately over the whole world.

From, ‘The Pembroke County Guardian & Cardigan Reporter’, 1st December 1904.

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