The church that meets at Tabernacl chapel, Cynan Road, Porthaethwy (Menai Bridge) is warm and welcoming.

It was founded on 21 April 1867 when the first members were incorporated into a church by none other than Gwilym Hiraethog, namely William Rees, the first President of the Union of Welsh Independents. At that time, Porthaethwy was still enjoying the benefits of opening the new bridge over the Menai, and was growing rapidly as a town.

However, Tabernacl church was never large in terms of numbers. In the early years just over 70 belonged to it, and today, the latest total we have, from the end of 2022, is 56, and among them are six deacons and five trustees. Furthermore, there are also five children connected to the church, but it’s commonly known that the number of children within churches goes up and down, it is the ebb and flow of things, after periods decline, there is sure to be an upswing.

Like all other congregations throughout the country, the period of the Covid-19 pandemic affected us greatly. All church activities came to a halt, apart from the worship, we are only now starting to take them up again. Having said that, we took full advantage of the period when the chapel was not in use, it was given a new ceiling and new windows were installed and painted. It was wonderful to come back after lockdown to a light and clean building.

At the moment, a service is held every other Sunday at Tabernacl, because we worship together with members of the local Presbyterian church in the Capel Mawr schoolhouse. The two churches worshiped together happily and harmoniously since 2019 and the arrangement to use both buildings alternately became permanent in 2020.

We have the company of our minister, the Reverend J. Ron Williams (who is also the minister of Salem, Caernarfon) once a month. In January this year, we celebrated his ministry with us for a quarter of a century. There was a special service in the chapel, and a feast in a local restaurant. On Sundays when the minister is not with us, the worship is led by guest preachers and leaders, and the fellowship is always sweet when we get together.

We have recently adopted the idea of an 'Open Service', which is a service led by members and which is open, if desired, to new ideas, new methods of expression, and to visitors who want to come to us. anew. It is possible that such a service will become a monthly event in due course, if that is the wish of the members, of course.

There is a remarkable willingness among the congregation to take on responsibilities. Recently, a number of them offered their service on the leadership team, and when it was announced that the term of service of the church secretary was to end soon, there was no trouble in finding a successor. And it’s gratifying to be able to say that. The members of the Tabernacl and Capel Mawr are keen to see the work of Jesus Christ succeed in Porthaethwy and realize that this means that all of us must do our part.

There is also a willingness among us to embrace change. We are currently planning for the future, and are undertaking the task fully realizing that this will mean doing things in different ways and through different methods. But saying that does not mean that we are going to lose sight in any way of the great message of the Gospel. On the contrary: our intention is to enable ourselves and each other, under the hand of God, to be better witnesses for Jesus Christ and the Gospel, and better missionaries for our time and in our community.

Like many other churches, we are active with Christian Aid, with the food bank and with preparing gift boxes for children at Christmas time. We have also decided on a new pattern of activity for our Association (which is organized jointly with the friends of Capel Mawr), and have re-established the adult Sunday school. In addition, we have a quarterly magazine, Llais y Tabernacl a’r Capel Mawr, we include articles such as news from the members, readings from scripture, snippets that are of interest to everyone, local news and news of the cwrdd chwarter (quarterly meeting), the Union and the World Association of Independents.

It is a happy church here at Tabernacl, we are an association of people of Jesus Christ supporting each other on their pilgrimage, serving God and the people of the community. If you ever come to the Porthaethwy area, remember to drop by on a Sunday morning to worship with us. We can assure you of one thing – that a great welcome awaits you.

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