'Y Gymdeithas Hanes' or the History Society seeks to celebrate the rich history that we have as Congregationalists in Wales as well as to apply lessons and challenges to this day and age.
At the 1920 Union held in Pwllheli, a motion was passed to instigate forming the Independent Congregationalists History Society. Even though a motion had been passed previously in 1909 to do so, nothing had come of that decision. The inaugural meeting of the society was held on 31 May 1922 during the Union’s Jubilee meetings in Carmarthen. The society’s aims were, to quote from the minutes: ‘To promote research into the history of the beginnings and the growth of Welsh Churches and Congregationalist Institutions.’
An address was given by Thomas Shankland, the College of the North’s librarian, on the subject of ‘The first Nonconformists and Dissenters of Wales’ and it was published in the first edition of Y Cofiadur (The Recorder), the society’s magazine in 1923. The Cofiadur is still published today.
The society’s meeting would ordinarily be held during the Union’s Annual Meetings, but recently they have been held at different times of the year and in various places north and south in the form of lectures or addresses.
The History Society is encouraging the churches to safeguard their documents and records, especially when churches close, urging that they should subsequently be transferred to the care of the National Library or local archives.
2021 is a big year for us as Congregationalists in Wales. We celebrate the founding of the Union at Ebeneser Chapel in Swansea, and to commemorate the occasion, Professor Prys Morgan lectured on the very day and at the same location, October the 12th, 150 years on.
In February 2021 the History Society held it's annual Lecture over Zoom with the guest speaker; the Revd Dr Alun Tudur discussing 'The Plague and the Response of the Church.