Siloa Welsh Ind chapel - Maerdy (1904)

Mr Evan Roberts attended Mardy today, and if ever a place had been prepared for the missioner Mardy was, for here revival meetings have been held for some time, and as a result of some services rendered the district by the Rev. Cynog Williams and other Aberdarians, who had caught the revival "Fire," no less than 500 converts have already been recorded in the district. Naturally, therefore, the chapels today were crowded to excess at all the services, notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather and that Mardy is the very bleakest of all the parts of the Rhondda, being a thousand feet above the sea level and covered by a thick mantel of snow. In the morning Mr Roberts visited that Baptist Chapel for a short time, arriving there about noon. The meeting, however, had proceeded on the usual lines and was of a very impressive character, a quiet, subdued religious fervour pervading the whole service. The afternoon meeting at Siloh Chapel, which was also attended by Gipsy Smith, was remarkable, and in some respects unique. The first part of the proceedings was mainly occupied by the rendition of favourite Welsh hymns - and there was some beautiful singing too. A young man from under the gallery offered up an eloquent prayer, and the congregation immediately struck up with "Gwaed y groes ay'n codi fyny," when Madame Morgan Llewelyn again sang the pathetic "Tell mother I'll be there." The words "O saviour, tell my mother I'll be there," evidently suggested the next hymn, for the audience as by one impulse burst out with "o Illefare addfwyn Iesu" ("Oh speak, gentle Jesus"). Mr Roberts was visibly affected. The advice just given by Gipsy Smith, he said was "Take care that you don't slip"; and it was significant. There were some men who sang "come" to Jesus, when really they should "go" to Jesus. "Denominationalism," he remarked subsequently, "away with denominationalism. I do not look at the past; it is the possibilities of the future I am contemplating." A young man then gave vent to his feelings in earnest prayer. Miss Annie Davies and Miss Mary Davies accompanying, singing in a sweet undertone, "I need Thee, oh I need Thee". The effect was impressive, the beseeching voice of the supplicant harmonising the no less prayerful character of the singing. The whole congregation then joined in no less strikingly, "I need Thee, oh I need Thee." By this time the people had been overcome by the pathos of the situation. Mr Roberts himself was so affected himself that he completely broke down, sobbing, and a look round disclosed the fact that the greater part of the congregation were in tears. The evening meeting was no less remarkable. Madame Kate Morgan-Llewelyn and Gipsy Smith took a prominent part, and Mr Roberts was several times so overcome to take part. One young fellow, among other petitions, offered one for the local cycling club. Hymns and prayers followed, including what has now become a general favourite, "Tell mother I'll be there," and this led Gipsy Smith to speak of his travelling to South Wales to see the lane in which his gipsy mother died in a gipsy tent. "We had no Bible then, he remarked. "But she found Him!" he added with a tone of triumph. Mr Roberts than essayed to speak. "I thought," he remarked, and his voice was almost choked with sobs, "when Gipsy Smith was talking about his mother having died in a tent - I thought of my Saviour who had no place whereon to lay His head, and --" He could proceed no further, and, overcome by emotion, he sobbed loud. So affecting was the scene that the congregation were profoundly moved, and, as if sympathising with the revivalist, they sang with much feeling.

From, 'The Western Mail', 11th December 1904.

Additional Information

The Chapel has been replaced by Maerdy Court.

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