September 1904 was an important month in the history of Wesleyan Methodism in Colwyn Bay. In that month many of the best known residents of the rapidly developing town gathered for a stone- laying ceremony on the site of a new English Wesleyan Church and Schoolroom on the corner of Abergele Road and Nant-y-Glyn Lane. The land had been purchased in 1903 at a cost of £950.
The new church was to make provision for worshippers in the east end of the town, which had expanded in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Prior to this, English Wesleyans had worshipped at the Welsh Methodist chapels in Greenfield Road and Rhiw Road, or at St. John’s Methodist Church in Conway Road. A number of people from these churches marched in procession, headed by the Colwyn Bay Silver Band, to the stone-laying ceremony for the Nant-y-Glyn church in a symbolic transfer to the new site. A ‘time capsule’ containing coins, a programme of the day’s proceedings and copies of local journals were deposited under the first stone. Hundreds of people attended the ceremony from a variety of Christian denominations in the town.
At a public meeting on that same evening at St. John’s, the Chairman, Mr. Thomas Walker J.P. said that the new chapel “… was perhaps not as fine as St. John’s but would suit the inhabitants of that part of the town much better … a great many of them were of the artisan class and it would not do to have too fine a building. The one to be erected would meet the ideals of the population around it better than anything else. It was beautifully situated and the site could not be improved upon.”
At the Church’s opening ceremony on Friday 16th June, 1905 the doors were officially opened by Mrs. John Hammond of Haford Euryn and Mr. George Little, and a sermon was given by the Reverend John S. Simon, Principal of Didsbury Theological Institute, Manchester. Again, the ceremony was attended by civic dignitaries and representatives from churches of the town. After Mr. Little had opened the schoolroom doors, Mrs. Hammond opened the chapel doors and, on ascending the steps, said in a loud voice “Let us enter His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise.” The dedication service which followed was filled to capacity and an afternoon tea for around 200 people was provided in the schoolroom.
At 7 o’clock on the same evening at a public meeting the treasurer of the chapel trust, Thomas G. Osborne, detailed the donations and money raising events which had helped pay for the new building. He referred specifically to contributions from other churches in the town. Mr. John Brock J.P., the Chair of the public meeting, declared himself to be a member of the Church of England and congratulated the Methodists on making such significant progress in Colwyn Bay.
The first baptism at the new church was in July 1905, of Jessie Eleanor Wiggin-Jones.
Special Silver Jubilee celebratory events were in 1955 held from a Thursday to the following Sunday. People who had attended the opening ceremony were present including Sister Ethel Tomkinson, a Missionary recently returned from India, and who hosted the celebratory tea on the Saturday afternoon. In a letter of invitation to the Jubilee activities, the Minister, the Rev. S. J. Dain, wrote “There is a deep feeling of gratitude in the heart of present worshippers at Nant-y-Glyn that we have entered into the heritage of this lovely church. We wish to honour those whose vision and sacrifice made the church possible.”
The Centenary celebrations in 2005 included two services recorded for Radio Wales that were broadcast on 13th February and 10th April, 2005. On Sunday 12th June at 3.30pm members of the congregation and visitors, some wearing Edwardian dress, assembled outside the building in Greenfield Road which had previously housed the Welsh Methodist Chapel and walked in procession along Abergele Road to the Nant-Y-Glyn Church for a full circuit service of celebration.
This particularly fine complex of buildings is built at an angle to Abergele and Nant y Glyn Roads to take account of the steeply sloping ground. The church and the associated hall form an interesting architectural composition which rewards careful study. The architect was Arthur Brocklehurst of Manchester and was built at a cost of £6,000 by local builders John Tucker & Sons.
In general terms the group of buildings are distinctively red – red tiles (with courses of shaped tiles to add interest to the roof), fine, narrow jointed Ruabon red brick complimented by the use of terracotta for horizontal banding, window tracery, gable parapets and buttress tops.
Looking at the church from Nant y Glyn Road, note the way in which the ogee gutters are supported on corbels, the arched windows with their hood moulds and the square downpipes. The elevation facing Nant y Glyn Road is divided into bays by buttresses. The windows are of leaded lights or stained glass.
The elevation facing Abergele Road stands high above the road. The main features to note on the bold front gable facing towards Abergele Road include the projecting front porch with the pairs of windows to the sides, the large window above formed of terracotta tracery, the buttresses which frame the gable and are capped by decorative finials. The central portion of the gable projects forward slightly to add depth and interest to the gable and to create additional shadows.
The principal approach to the church is from the corner of Abergele Road and Nant y Glyn Road, marked by limestone pillars and ornate gates which lead to flights of steps up to the church. The high stone wall running along Abergele Road prevents much of the side elevation being seen. Another similarly imposing access lies at the eastern end of the main road frontage.
Returning to Nant y Glyn Road we arrive at the hall which is linked to the church. This building is constructed of the same materials and handled in the same way as the church and has its own imposing entrance marked by pillars and gates.
The link between the church and the hall has a fine doorway flanked by three narrow windows to each side. As with the church the side elevations are divided into bays by buttresses.
An adjoining modernized house stands to the rear presumably formed part of the complex.
The church and hall have survived remarkably intact and display a high standard of design, making the most of the sloping site and displaying a high standard of craftsmanship.