Whitchurch Methodist Church

Penlline Road, Whitchurch Cardiff CF14 2AA

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The Old Pulpit

 
When the second Chapel at the Melin Griffith Works was being planned, a discussion was held about the proposed pulpit for the new Chapel. A decision was finally made in November 1851 to purchase the redundant pulpit from St John's Church in the centre of Cardiff. The deal was concluded with the Church Warden of St. John's, Mr.William Luke Evans for the sum of £4. This was finally installed on completion f the Chapel in 1852. The actual age of the pulpit was never established but an estimate of about 100+ years was assumed in view of the early Church records at St. John's. The Chapel was finally opened in December of that year.

 

 
 
 
 The pulpit was always a source of concern. It was regularly used for preaching until the 1970s when it became more customary to use a lectern within the communion area. This  was very cramped particularly when communion was being administered. The pulpit also caused major obstructions when staging or concerts were being held. During the planning and redesign of the Church sanctuary, the fate of the pulpit and the design of the front could not be agreed and so a decision was made to defer any changes to the front at that time. After about 5 years, a further plan was agreed to modernise the front of the Church. Various options about the pulpit were discussed including the resiting of it to the right ride, outside of the communion rail, to allow better use of the space. It was finally decided that, as few preachers wishes to use the pulpit due to its size and difficult access, it should be removed.
 
The Welsh Folk Museum at St. Fagans was approached to offer it as a gift. The museum, however, declined the offer as it already had several examples of pulpits of this age and design within its collection. It was therefore offered for open sale and disposed of accordingly.
 
Further information has recently come to light from St. Johns Church in Cardiff:

 It is recorded in an old vestry book that a former vicar, the Revd Samuel Lowder removed the old pulpit at the end of the 18th century without consulting the congregation. I recently read in the diaries of John Bird, Agent for the Marquis of Bute that whilst a church meeting was being held to decide what to do about the vicar's unwelcome treatment of the pulpit,workmen arrived to build a new one in 'deal' ie.,pine. I read on your website that you had a pulpit from St John's bought for £4 in the 19th century which was subsequently moved to other buildings until finally removed.We have a photo of the interior of St John's church taken in 1886 which shows the current pulpit so it appears that the one sold to your original chapel may well have been the one put in by Vicar Lowder. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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