Saron church is an independent church on the main road through Crynant in the Dulais Valley: built initially to be used as a school room. The first service was held there around 1907. It is now a bilingual church and is fully independent.
History of the cause
January 1908 saw the official establishment of the cause, under the leadership of Mr David John Howells as secretary, and Mr William Davies as treasurer while the minister of the mother church, the Revd Tudwal Davies, also took charge of Saron. Forty-five people initially enrolled as members of Saron Church, and the Revd T. T. Davies continued as minister until his retirement in April 1911, after which the church was without a minister for over four years. During this this time Mr D. N. Morgan, Maesygwenith, was was elected as the church secretary, a role he served in for twenty-five years.
In August, 1915, Revd Urias Phillips was ordained as pastor of the two churches, Godre’rhos and Saron. He ministered at Crynant until 2 April, 1922, when he received a call to become a minister at Towyn church, New Quay. The area was shocked when he was suddenly struck by disease, and before he moved to New Quay, the Great Shepherd called him to eternal bliss on 6 April, 1922.
On 20 November, 1932, a invitation was made to the Revd James Evans BA, Rhos, Denbigh. He consented and began as minister to both churches in January, 1933. This well-known poet and writer served for about ten years. He died in March, 1943.
Saron was again without a pastor for a few years until a call was made in August 1946 to the Revd Dennis Lloyd Jones of Ebenezer, Treherbert, and he accepted, becoming minister of both churches.
The church faced many difficulties from time to time, but perhaps the biggest shock was the period between 1938 and 1947 when some nine church deacons were lost.
The church did not escape the adverse consequences of the Second World War, and showed its sympathy for Mr and Mrs Lewis ‘Anwylfan’s’ family, by placing a memorial tablet for their son Phillip, who fell in Salerno, Italy, in 1946.
In 2019, Rhys Locke became the first minister of Saron in 65 years after training for five years with the College of Welsh Independents. For 65 years the church relied solely on visiting preachers. His ministry and style has been inspired by a lifetime of service to the Welsh and English language chapels of the area and by the churches of Brazil whilst on trips there over the years as a missionary. Rhys, along with the entire church at Saron believe not only in preaching God’s Good News, but in living and showing it also: for this is the example of Jesus Christ the Lord and Saviour to us as a gathered and universal church that ultimately belongs to him.
Saron is a busy little church, and it is proud of its size, as in Luke 12:32, ‘God loves the small flock.’ We meet each Sunday at 4pm for a bilingual service and occasionally at 10.30am also; Monday nights we hold Fellowship and Bible Study along with a time of prayer, with coffee and biscuits. Tuesdays leading up to Christmas sees our Christmas card making group and we also hold a variety of events, such as coffee mornings and open air services in our grounds and vestry throughout the year. During half term holidays we hold kids club for the local children and we have recently restarted our kids club on a Sunday afternoon which is going well, thanks to God’s answers to our prayers. Over recent years the entire chapel has been renovated and modernised and we have seen a small but steady increase in membership and those attending the chapel in general. All praise and glory be to God our Father and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray his blessings on us in abundance. The church also believes in the importance of reaching out to others and the wider community: as so did Jesus himself.