Presbyterian Church of Wales

Presbyterian Church of Wales

Modern logo of the Presbyterian Church of Wales
Classification Protestant
Orientation Calvinist
Polity Presbyterian
Moderator Professor John Gwynfor Jones
Associations Cytûn,
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland,
Conference of European Churches,
World Communion of Reformed Churches,
World Council of Churches
Region Wales
Origin Formally separated from the Church of England in 1811 during the Welsh Methodist revival;
Presbyterian Church of Wales formally established as an independent church in 1823.
Separated from Church of England
Congregations 620
Members 24,000[1]
Ministers 45 plus 30 Christian workers

The Presbyterian Church of Wales (Welsh: Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru), also known as The Calvinistic Methodist Church (Yr Eglwys Fethodistaidd Galfinaidd), is a denomination of Protestant Christianity in Wales.


Castle Square Presbyterian Church, Caernarfon

The church was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival and the preaching of Howell Harris and Daniel Rowland in the 18th century and seceded from the Church of England in 1811. In 1823, a Confession of Faith was created and adopted, based on the standard Westminster Confession.[2] Theological colleges for ministerial training were opened in Bala, then in Merionethshire, now Gwynedd (1837), Trefeca, then in Brecnockshire, now Powys (1842), and Aberystwyth, in Ceredigion (1906). It produces a quarterly journal Y Traethodydd and a monthly periodical the Treasury. It is distinguished from other forms of Methodism by the Calvinistic nature of its theology. For the history of the church, see Calvinistic Methodists. In 1840, the Foreign Missionary Society was formed in Liverpool to provide missionaries to India. It held its first General Assembly in 1864. In 1928 it officially adopted the name Presbyterian Church in Wales but still retained the name Welsh Calvinistic Methodism with equal standing. In 1933 its constitution was modified as a result of the Presbyterian Church in Wales Act of Parliament in 1933, receiving Royal assent.[3] In 1947 the Association in the East was established for English speaking churches. In 1978 Pamela Turner became the first woman to be ordained as a minister. In 2004 the central office moved to Whitchurch, Cardiff. In 2007 new boundaries and structures was adopted for presbyteries.[4] It claims to be the only truly Welsh denomination in Christianity, and is rare among Presbyterian Churches, by originating in the Methodist Revival rather than deriving from the Calvinist Reformation.[5][6]


Tabernacle, Whitchurch, Cardiff

The Presbyterian Church of Wales has around 24,000 members who worship in around 620 churches. Most of these churches are in Wales, but due to strong historical links between the Welsh and certain English cities, there are churches using both the English and the Welsh languages in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry and Liverpool.[7] Churches belong to one of eighteen Presbyteries, grouped into three Provinces, the Association in the South, the Association in the North (Welsh language), and the Association in the East (English language), along with a General Assembly.[8] About 5% of the Welsh population have official membership.[5]

The Church offices are located at the Tabernacle Church, 81, Merthyr Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 1DD.

The Moderator is Professor John Gwynfor Jones.

Social Issues

The church is active in discussing social issues within Wales. In 2014, the church opened up a discussion on whether to bless or recognise same-gender relationships.[9]

On women's issues, the church has ordained women as ministers since 1978.[10]

Bodies to which PCW is affiliated

See also


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