The land for building the chapel was gifted to the church by Dafydd Thomas, Esq. Ffynhonnau-gleision, he was the first deacon. Fachendre was named after the farm situated on the land, that predated the chapel.
Here is a short history of the ministers. The Revd J. M. Davies was the founder of the church in Fachendre, he was also the first minister. He had the ability to make the congregation laugh and weep in the same sermon, and he could draw people to him naturally, they would in turn become members. The Revd T. Gwernogle Evans was a poet, he gave one of his chairs to the chapel, his Tonypandy eisteddfod chair that he won on Whit Monday 1922. It was a weak time with the church around 1895, but inspiration and strength came with the arrival of Dafi Jenkins and his family as members.
During the time of Revd T. J. Rees’ ministry, the membership increased greatly with the arrival of many more Independents in the area. During the Revd R. H. Williams’ ministry a house was bought by the churches of Ty-rhos and Fachendre for the minister, Aneddle in Boncath. Both chapels were then in the same pastorate. This was the time of the Great War, indeed one of the five church members who were in the army died, he was Tom Lewis, Winllan. There is a memorial to him next to the gate.
The Revd William Phillips’ ministry lasted 25 years, the longest stay of all the ministers, he was much respected. I have a vague memory of him; I was a small child at the time. Later on I can remember Mrs Protheroe, the wife of Revd Denzil Prothereo teaching us children to take part in a service.
Revd Irfon Jones’ whose health was affected greatly when his chapel was bombed during the Second World War, he in turn was very kind to me when I became ill in 1971. The Revd E. J. Davies was our first minister after we had left Ty-rhos, the mother church, and joined Pen-y-groes, which lies between Crymych and Eglwyswrw, and Antioch in Crymych in 1973. Later the Ty-rhos joined with the churches of Hen Gapel and Tabernacl in Llechryd. EJ started an inter-church eisteddfod in the pastorate. The Revd Aled ap Gwynedd was a great innovator, encouraging the members to take services themselves, when his health failed. The Revd Islwyn Selby was a good friend to the church for over forty years.
Here is a list of ministers to the present day:
Y Parchedigion: J. Mason Davies 1881–95
T. Gwernogle Evans 1895–1905
T. J. Rees 1907–11
R. H. Williams 1914–19
William Phillips 1928–53
Denzil Protheroe 1954–64
Irfon Gwyn Jones BA 1966–71
E. J. Davies 1973–81
Aled ap Gwynedd BD 1983–2003
Islwyn Selby BA 2011–15
(Irfon and Aled both died in post.)
Here are some other facts: Mrs Gwyneth George, Pentre Terrace, a niece to T. E. Nicholas (Niclas y Glais), was the organist for 50 in Fachendre chapel. In 1969, a parcel of land was given to extend the cemetery by Mrs R. A. Davies and her son, Mr Eric Davies, Hendrewilym. The chapel was refurbished during the centenary celebrations in 1981.
Nyfed Griffiths, Secretary