Presbyterian Church of Wales

The church had its beginnings in the evangelical revival of the 18th century. Its founders (both clergy and lay) were members of the Church of England. Soon after 1735 they established religious societies, similar to the Methodist societies founded in England by John Wesley. Societies in all parts of Wales were set up during the years 1735-52, under the charge of lay exhorters, and lay and clerical superintendents supervised the work. In 1811 a number of exhorters were ordained. Thus the movement became separated from the Church of England. In 1832 the Calvinist Methodist Connexion (as it was then called) formulated its confession of faith, rules and discipline, constitution and church government. In general the new Connexion was Presbyterian in polity. The first general assem¬bly of the church was held in 1864. In the 20th century the name was changed to the Calvinist Methodist Church of Wales, or the Presbyterian Church of Wales. In 1933 the amended constitution was adopted and received the assent of parliament. The church has strong ties with the Presbyterian churches in North India.

Among the primary concerns of the Presbyterian Church of Wales are: a) the challenge of sharing the Christian gospel and ministering at the beginning of a new century in a country where only 5 percent of the population now holds official church membership; b) working within the new devolved political structure in Wales with the setting up of the Welsh National Assembly; c) peace and justice and poverty relief issues; d) the decline in membership, the dearth of ministerial candidates, and the need to strengthen the ministry of all God's people. Programmes related to these issues are: a) restructuring the ministerial pattern and the lay ministry; b) new ministerial projects and a connexial training programme held under the mission programme sponsored by the Council for World Mission; c) involvement in interdenominational projects; d) mission to young people; e) the restructuring of the church's administration.