The small chapel in the village with the big name.
Ebeneser is referred to as the ‘capel bach’ in Pentre-uchaf, Llanfairpwll by the residents of the village. The building dates back to 1805 when the Wesleyans worshipped there. After they moved to a new chapel Ebeneser became the house of worship for the Welsh Independents.
The chapel has seen numerous changes over the decades. In the last decade of the twentieth century a new vestry was built on the foundations of the old wooden vestry and in 2016 work was commenced to transform the chapel building. We were given financial assistance by the Anglesey District Association, the contractors were busy working for some months, while we held our services in the vestry next door. With the help of a number of our members who painted, built furniture, set up sound and projection equipment, and cleaning. The work was finished and a special service was held to reopen the chapel during the summer of 2017.
By today, there are only two chapels still open in the village, Rhos-y-gad (MC) and Ebeneser. The two chapels have been working together happily for around a quarter of a century as part of the Llanfairpwll Area Pastorate and now there are five chapels within this pastorate, though Ebeneser is the only Independent chapel in their midst. We worship together around three times every quarter and throughout August.
We are extremely fortunate to have a keen, young minister caring for the pastorate, the Reverend Dr Alun Morton Thomas. He leads our devotion at 10am every third Sunday in the month. When the Wesleyan chapel closed a few years ago, many of the members came to us as members and they have been a wonderful addition to our cause. The membership is a good cross-section of the denominations from all across Wales. As with many causes, the membership numbers have declined but a high percentage of our members still attend services regularly.
Covid brought significant change to our services but because we are a part of an area pastorate we succeeded in holding frequent services over Zoom. We also had to curtail the chapel’s social events during this time. There had been a lively society here for many years with successful meetings and concerts held that would attract members and friends to be a part of the audience. We filled the chapel many times when we had entertainment from local artists from Anglesey and beyond. Indeed, some memorable evenings were held in the company of Dylan and Neil, Aelwyd yr Ynys, Hogia Llanbobman and Bro Alaw choir from Colwyn Bay. It is our hope that we can restart these activities.
As a church, we contribute to a food bank on the island and our members volunteer with the Warm Places scheme that gives a warm, welcoming refuge to individuals on a Friday morning in Rhos-y-gad. The vestry is a valuable and useful resource for many societies and choirs in the village and is available to rent by individuals and businesses at a very reasonable cost.