Capel Tegid, Bala
Bala can be regarded as the historical engine room of Welsh Methodism – in which case Capel Tegid and its environs would have been the captain’s bridge.
The first chapel here was built in 1757. The “square” outside the chapel was the location at various times of open-air Methodist services, other chapels and a Methodist college.
The original chapel here was rebuilt in 1809 and again in the 1860s, when the present building was completed. The name Capel Tegid came into use soon after. The new chapel had enough seats for two-thirds of Bala’s population! It also had a spire, which soon leaned to one side and was removed in 2000.
The old photo, courtesy of the National Library of Wales, was taken by John Thomas c.1885. Features visible include the spire and the recently installed statue of Methodist leader Thomas Charles.
Bala’s influence on the development of Nonconformism in Wales owes much to the Lloyd family of Plas-yn-dre, one of the town’s main houses. Simon Lloyd, who died in 1764, had visited Trefecca, Powys, where Howell Harris had established an institution for Calvinistic Methodists. Simon returned to Bala not only with renewed Methodist zeal but also a wife, Sarah, who was a central figure at Trefecca.
Their son Simon (1756-1836) was an Anglican curate until his support for Methodism meant that no parish would accept him. He was responsible for Thomas Charles settling in Bala, as you can read on our page about Thomas’ former home. Thomas was also an education reformer, and used the original chapel here for some of his pioneering rural school classes.
Today the chapel is one of seven churches in the Thomas Charles Area Pastorate of the Presbyterian Church of Wales. Follow the link below for details.
Postcode: LL23 7EL View Location Map