Llangelynnin Old Church is one of the oldest churches in Wales, dating back to the 12th century and next to a 6th century holy well. Yet in this ancient place of worship, something new has been happening. Here, in this ‘thin place’ where heaven touches earth, we offer ‘Celtic Praise’ every month from April to October.
Sharing Communion at sunrise on Easter Sunday morning will remain long in the memory. It is hard to capture in words the beauty and depth of experience we enjoyed, as we stood in awe, sang, prayed, jammed ourselves like sardines under the ancient boughs and gathered around the table of new life. Here are a few pictures, kindly sent in by some of those who were blessed to be there.
Credit (clockwise): Susan Blagden, Helen Tattersall, David Parry
Credit (clockwise) Tarnya Newell, Tarnya Newell, Kimberley Heginbotham
Credit (clockwise) Tarnya Newell, David Parry, David Parry
Credit: Tarnya Newell, Helen Tattersall
The ‘we’ is not a congregation, as such. Every month is an open invitation to meet with God: a shared experience in a space that belongs to everyone.
Fitting with Llangelynnin’s hilltop location and panoramic vista across the Carneddau mountains and the Conwy valley, we invite everyone here to gain the ‘higher perspective’. With music led by acoustic instruments, prayers and a reflection, there is time to contemplate.
We arrive by many paths and recognise that many will be at different stages of a journey in faith. The ‘we’ can include you, even if ‘church’ is something you would not normally do. This is a space for everyone to meet God.
You will never sit in someone else’s seat.
For that extra sense of pilgrimage, there is a monthly walk across the hills to the church. You will receive generous hospitality (of tea, homemade cake and a loo stop!) at a nearby smallholding. What’s not to love?
Following the restrictions of Covid, and the loss of being able to worship in the church building, we were able to gather for ‘Praise in the hills’ in 2021, and one of 2022’s full season of services included another outdoor act of worship . Even the horses joined in!
- LL32 8LJ
- OS Grid Reference SH751737
Watch here Rev David Parry’s Good Friday pilgrimage of 2020, as he carried the cross alone (because of covid restrictions) up to Llangelynnin:
For all who find God on a mountainside, as we do, be blessed by this beautiful prayer from John Fleetwood (FX Cumbria, Mountain Pilgrims), translated by our own Meira Shakespear:
A blessing for a new day
Be blessed by the songs of the birds of the air
for they have no worries.
Be blessed by the silence
for God is whispering to you.
Be blessed by the falling rain
for it is the water of life.
Be blessed by the gusting wind
for it blows where it will.
Be blessed when the way seems hard
for you have found strength
Be blessed when tears are in your eyes
for you have been touched.
Be blessed when your soul soars
for God has spoken.
Bendith diwrnod newydd
Bendith cân yr adar arnom:
maent hwy yn ddibryder.
Bendith distawrwydd arnom:
Duw sydd yn sibrwd wrthym.
Bendith diferion y glaw arnom:
dyma ddyfroedd bywyd.
Bendith y gwynt anwadal arnom:
mae’n rhydd i chwythu fel y myn.
Bendith y llwybrau geirwon arnom:
Bendith dagrau’n llygaid arnom:
cyffyrddwyd ein henaid.
Bendith arnom pan gwyd ein hysbryd i’r nef:
clywsom lais Duw.
History of the Church
St. Celynnin’s Church itself is Grade 1 listed and dates back to the 12th century. You can see St. Celynnin’s Well with its reputed healing waters. Mae Eglwys Sant Celynnin yn restredig Gardd 1 ac yn dyddio’n ôl i’r 12fed ganrif. Cewch weld Ffynnon Celynnin, a honnir bod ei dŵr yn gallu iachau pobl.
St. Celynnin’s Church Eglwys Sant Celynnin
The Church rests quietly in an isolated position, high on the hills above the Conwy valley, 900 feet above sea level on the south side of Tal-y-Fan. The nearest villages are Llangelynnin, Rowen and Henryd, and it’s one of the oldest Churches in Wales. It was dedicated to St. Celynnin, who founded the first religious settlement on the site in the 6th century. The Church has a serenity and ancient beauty that captures the pilgrim heart, and gave its name to our Bro Celynnin Ministry Area. Click here for more historical information.
Organising a pilgrimage to Llangelynnin
When the days of travelling together return, if you would like to bring a group to Llangelynnin:
- for a tour of the building and its history: contact Local Warden, John Shakespear (01492) 650905
- for any more details about Celtic Prayer and Praise, or to host a service: contact Rev Eryl Parry on firstname.lastname@example.org or via our contact form
Click here for 2019
Click here for 2018