St. David’s Uniting Church
St. David’s Uniting Church was inaugurated 5th January 2002 when two churches, Pontypridd United Church (Baptist and United Reformed Church) and St. David’s (Presbyterian Church of Wales) came together.
Our first minister was the Rev. Dr. Mary Cotes who departed in October 2003 to become the Ecumenical Moderator at Milton Keynes.
A year later the Rev. Simon Walkling was called to minister to us, having been previously at Christchurch United Reformed Church in Rhyl. Over the following 8 years we saw special growth in our work with children and young people under the encouragement of Simon and his wife Sue. In the summer of 2012 Simon took up the post of Moderator of the United Reformed Church Synod of Wales.
In September 2012 we welcomed the Rev. Dan Chambers and his family from St. David’s, Vancouver, Canada for a 9-month term of ministry.
Since the end of August 2014 we have been in a joint pastorate with Castle Square United Reformed Church in Treforest, when the Rev. Phil Wall came to minister to both our churches.
Ministers of St. David’s
Rev. Dr. Mary Cotes (2002-2003)
Rev. Simon Walkling (2004-2012)
Rev. Dan Chambers (2012-2013)
Rev. Dr. Phil Wall (2014-)
Church House was established in 1973 and is situated in Graigwen on the Whiterock Estate. It is a mission project set up by the Presbyterian Church in Wales and is the brainchild of the Rev. John Harris Hughes who was the minister of St. David’s Presbyterian Church at the time. It serves the community of Graigwen.
History of St. David’s Presbyterian Church
In 1878, the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Presbytery recognised the need to set up an English language cause in Pontypridd. Meetings were first held in the vestry of the Welsh Church, Penuel. In October 1879, the new English Church was incorporated.
St. David’s church hall was erected in 1880. The foundation stone of the chapel was laid on 11/01/1883 and the opening services in the completed building were held on 11/11/1883.
St. David’s has always been at the forefront of local mission and cultural activities. In the late 19th Century, they began and sustained a mission at the local Chain Works. Many musical festivals were organised in St. David’s church which had orchestral and choral items. Other cultural events were organised such as a lecture by H.M. Stanley on ‘Darkest Africa’, which he delivered after returning from his famous meeting with Dr. Livingstone.
The former St. David’s Presbyterian building is now used by Temple Baptist Church
Ministers of the former St. David’s since 1950
Rev. Granville Morgan (1950)
Rev. John Harris Hughes (1954)
Rev. David Smith (1984)
Rev. Alvan Richards-Clarke (1990 – 2001)
History of United Church
United Church was formed in 1969 when the English Congregational Church and Carmel Baptist Church joined together to become one church.
Carmel Baptist Church was first built in 1810, the congregation having previously met in a rented room above the Maltster’s Arms. The buildings of Carmel Baptist Church were demolished in the 1970’s and Plas Carmel, a block of sheltered accommodation flats, now occupies the site.
In 1874, the congregation of Sardis (Welsh Independant Chapel) passed a resolution to form an English Congregational Church. By the end of 1880, this new church had been set up and by August 1881 the combined chapel and schoolroom had been built in Gelliwastad road at a cost of £863 – 19s. In 1887 the church building itself took shape and was consecrated on the second Sunday in February. In 1906, the first chapel and schoolroom were replaced with a new church hall. These buildings subsequently became the premises for United Church and then for St. David’s Uniting Church.
Ministers of the former United Church
Rev. D H Fisher (1969)
Rev. John Henson (1969 and Associate Minister 1973 – 2002)
Rev. Dr. Michael Ball (1971 – 1982)
Rev. Howard Sharp (1983 – 1993)
Rev. Dr. Mary Cotes (1995 – 2002 when United Church joined with St. David’s Presbyterian church)