Members of the Porthmadog congregation celebrated the opening of their new meeting house by inviting the public to an Open House, with special invitation to Mrs. Liz Saville-Roberts, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, and members of Porthmadog and Penrhyndeudraeth Town Councils. Displays in Welsh and English on family history, service in the community, families, humanitarian aid and the youth and women’s programmes were on show around the building with tours given by local members and missionaries.
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“My overall impression of you and your new chapel is one of sheer joy,” commented one visitor after attending the event.
Christopher Jones, currently serving in his 6th year as local Church leader (Branch President) commented, “After many years of meeting in community venues in the area, from Barmouth to Penrhyndeudraeth, it is such a blessing to us to have a place of our own here in Porthmadog. The Church has been in the area since the late 1840s, and it is a special privilege to honour that legacy, as well as look to the future. We have so much to offer the community, and now we have somewhere to do it.”
Mrs. Saville-Roberts spent considerable time in conversation with members and leaders. Along with other visitors, she was invited to make up a hygiene kit for a refugee, and in all, close to 50 kits were completed at the event. These were given to local refugee-charity CEFN, for transport to a camp in Greece. CEFN representative, Caron Dukes, who attended the event, was delighted at the continued support. “The church members all do such good work, not only with refugees but the homeless and elderly. I helped by knitting plastic carrier bags into blankets. It was only a row, but every little helps.”
Visitors were also invited to index genealogical records into the online database. Under the guidance of 14-year old Aedan Jones of Criccieth, both Mrs. Saville-Roberts and Mr. Selwyn Griffiths, chair of Porthmadog Town Council, indexed details of Probate Records from the 1700s, from Beddgelert, Dolwydellan and Trawsfynydd.
Some forty members of the congregation were available to explain their role and purpose, and important beliefs. Through holding the open house, Porthmadog congregation members hope to have shared a little of what is important to them, and how they serve in the communities in which they live.