Trecastle (1808)

1808 Brychgoed, Defynog, Crai and Trecastle, Brecknockshire. ‘I was received as a member in Brychgoed at a time when no one had been received for some time, though the cause was comfortable in the church, but no one was seeking a place in the house of the Lord, and there was no young man in the church. They were all old brothers and sisters, and no young brothers or sisters; but they were all as if they were young, travelling to the meetings, singing, jumping, praying, listening, having fellowship, and everything as if they were all in the balmy days of their youth; no prayer meeting was too far, no society meeting too far, no preaching meeting too far, no great preacher too far, neither any minor preacher too small. there was a taste for the word of life, the sound of the jubilee trumpet to the prisoners, naming Calvary, etc., turned Crai and Sennybridge, and Glyn, and Cwmcamlais, yes, and all round about, as if they were close to each other; yes, and made heaven close to earth, and earth close to heaven, and the old close to the young, and the poor close to the rich, and the manservant and maidservant close to their master and mistress; but what ways, what company, what work, what air, made the old people as young people, like religious ways, and religious company, and religious work, and religious air? and that kept the young people as young with religion throughout their life.

The Lord was pleased to visit these regions with a very powerful Revival, in October, in the year 1808. It began in Defynog village, with the Calvinistic Methodists, and then in Brychgoed, and Crai and Trecastle. In the Sabbath School in Cwmcamlais, Richard Price’s house, I first heard the fine sound of the revival, and there I first saw the wonderful sight of the revival, and there I was in the same place as the revival first of all, as this verse was sung at the close of the school:—

Dewch, blant bychain, braf yw’ch gweled Come, little children, it is lovely to see you

Ar y drydedd awr o’r dydd; At the third hour of the day;

Dewch, O ie’netyd, ar y chweched, Come, O young people, at the sixth,

I’r winllan galwad i chwi sydd; To the vineyard a call to you there is;

Dewch, rai ereill ar y nawfed, Come, some others at the ninth,

Cyn yr elo hi’n brydnawn; Before the afternoon goes;

Dewch, hen bobl, cyn deuddegfed, Come, old people, before the twelfth,

Hi aeth yn ddiweddar iawn. It has become very late. I remember the verse and that it was sung, but I cannot recall how many times it was sung, nor for how long it was sung, nor even what tune the verse was sung to, but I think that

Many were received in Defynog, in Brychgoed, in Crai and in Trecastle, of young people and old, so that the souls of the disciples were renewed; yes, and the face of the earth was renewed. The names of Brychgoed, Pentre, Crai and Trecastle, and Baili-du, became as if they were new names, and the names of the preachers as if they were new names, and the names of religious duties as if they were new names, and the names of the doctrines of the Christian Religion as if they were new names, and the names of the old houses where the meetings were held previously as if they were new names, yes, each and everything as if it were altogether new, so that it could be said, with the Apostle Paul, ‘Behold, all things are made new.’ One could stand on top of the hills, and in the meeting houses, and by the doors of the houses, and go to the people in the fields, and say, ‘Behold;’ and if any strange person were to ask, ‘What’s the matter?’ one could answer singing and dancing, ‘All things are made new.’ One could say, ‘A new Defynog village, a new Brychgoed, a new Crai, a new Trecastle.’ Many were received in Brychgoed, old and young, and among the adults, my dear mother was received, and Pally, the wife of John Phillip Thomas, and Thomas, the husband of Pally Morgan Rees. Richard Thomas Jenkins was also received, in his old age.

[[Lewis Powell], Hanes Bywyd y Parch. Lewis Powell, Caerdydd, Caerdydd, 1860, cyf. i. pp.121-8]

This information was kindly provided by Geraint Jones

Additional Information

The first chapel was built in 1765 and rebuilt in 1822 to accommodate 600. The chapel building was dismantled in 1953 and a new building was constructed whilst retaining the earlier vestry.

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