Llangynidr Parish Church stands in the middle of its now-closed graveyard in the upper part of Llangynidr village. There has been a place of Christian worship on the site probably since the sixth century but a fire in 1928 necessitated a re-build. It is therefore a relatively ‘young’, plain building and so the only non-listed church in the Ministry Area. Nevertheless, its smallness and uncluttered interior elicits many comments about how peaceful and welcoming it feels inside. The church is usually open from 9.00am to 4.00pm, approximately, each day and we invite anyone to rest and reflect quietly therein. In this sense we regard it as a community facility.
Our Sunday congregation may be relatively small, numbering fifteen to twenty, but it is a happy one and has a core of hard workers determined to maintain our presence in the village. Our service, be it Eucharist or Matins, takes place usually at 11.00am (the noticeboard in the lychgate will list details). However, we also have a long-established and valued rota of joint services throughout the year with the two chapels in the village. One such is the Remembrance Sunday service, which is always in the Parish Church as the War Memorial stands at the road edge of the graveyard, where the service in fact begins. This is a very well attended, whole-village occasion.
We delight in the use of the church occasionally for weddings; we welcome anyone to hold a funeral service but the burials now have to be in the nearby Community Burial Ground. We have no mains water or toilet so the use of the church is somewhat limited for other activities. However, on the strength of Baptism parties, pre-wedding drinks and funeral wakes, the neighbouring Red Lion pub will allow us the occasional use their toilet facilities!
We hold Coffee Mornings and Concerts in the Village Hall; we always have a stall at the annual Agricultural Show; the primary school, though not actually a Church school, visits at least once a year for their Christingle Service and a group of church and chapel members present ‘Open the Book’ in the primary school on a regular basis. We are experimenting presently with holding a Community House Group – early days. Throughout the year we try to support Christian Aid, Tearfund, the Christian Missionary Society and the Royal British Legion on Remembrance Sunday, as a minimum. Having a closed graveyard means no income, so a few loyal people of the village help voluntarily with the maintenance thereof; the maintenance of the fabric of the church is funded mainly through the generosity of the ‘Friends of Llangynidr Church’, so in this sense again we say the church is part of the community.
Now, in the Ministry Area, our horizons have been joyfully expanded and we travel to services in other Ministry Area churches from time to time. We appreciate the opportunity to experience hymn singing on a larger scale and meet many more of our fellow Christians. We have also enjoyed welcoming a variety of priests to lead our services.
Anyone from Llangynidr who wishes to speak with a priest should contact Rev Jeremy Bevan on 01873 830280; Rev Sally Rees delivers Home Communions where needed.