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Llandudno

St. Johnís Methodist Church was part of the expansion of the town in Victorian times. Its pioneer was the Rev. E. Crump, appointed to the Carnarvon and Bangor Circuit in 1859. But a Cornish local preacher, Captain Vivian, working in the Great Orme copper mine, was already leading a society class. The first project was for a temporary building, which was all that local resources could afford. This was completed on Lloyd Street in August 1861 at a cost of £260. Fortunately the connexional Watering Places Fund, established at that time, was able to make a grant of £1,000 towards a permanent church. With a local membership still only 33, this was opened as St. Johnís, Mostyn Street on 27 September 1866 in the neo-Gothic style advocated by F.J. Jobson. The total cost for church, complete with corner tower and spire, and manse was just over £5,640. A hammer-beam roof, added in 1877, solved the acoustic problems caused by the original barrel ceiling.

A century later, the need for extensive restoration of St. Johnís led to consideration of the controversial demolishing of what was by then a grade II listed building. Despite a public enquiry in 1977, it was decided to keep the listing and to restore the church. Under the leadership of the Rev. Donald Ryan this was undertaken, phase by phase, during the 1980s. Tower and spire were renovated, the inside of the church was completely remodelled, heating and lighting modernised and recarpeted, changes made to the windows, and the organ repositioned and restored. As a result, St. Johnís continues to be an outward-looking church at the heart of the community, with varied activities serving both residents and the many holiday-makers.

Llandudno became the head of a separate English-speaking circuit in 1867. In the circuit meeting minutes in 1894 a request was received from the Local Preachers meeting for a second place of worship. Eventually the rapidly growing neighbourhood of Craig y Don was chosen and various temporary locations were used before the first mission chapel was built in 1897. The present St. Davidís church was built in 1924, with the Sunday School added in the following year.

To meet the needs of an ever-growing congregation, the premises were extended in the 1980s, including an enlarged hall, a new coffee lounge and a well equipped kitchen. In the next decade the sanctuary and seating were modified and the stained glass replaced by clear windows to enable the congregation and community to see each other. In 2014 a sensory garden with access for wheelchair users was built alongside the church.

Entry written by: BR
Category: Place

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