In 1899 a notice went out from Canon Hugh Roberts, the Vicar of Colwyn Bay, entitled
‘Final and Urgent Appeal Towards a Welsh Church’.
“May we respectfully bring our case and an exceptional one, we believe, to your kind notice? To supply the necessary Church machinery for so large and sudden a bilingual population of 6000 souls, together with the yearly stipends of the Vicar and assistant Clergy, &c., has been a heavy strain upon us, and the bulk of the people are lodging-house keepers. It is a new Parish, with an endowment of £120 a year.
There is still a Welsh Church to be built. We have got a site and £1035 has been raised… we are very anxious to be in a position to start building at once, for the delay is a serious hindrance to the success of the Church amongst our Welsh speaking people – the very class the Church in Wales is now so serious to regain. There are 2,000 of them in this parish.”
The next announcement was that “The erection of the New Welsh Church will soon be commenced the contract having been entrusted to Mr Evan Jones of Groesllan, Caernarvon, who built Christ Church, Bryn-y-maen.”
The appeal undoubtedly gave an extra boost to enable the building of the church to be completed. It was built adjacent to, and parallel with, the south side of the parent building of Saint Paul’s. However it should be noted that it has a reversed orientation, the altar being at the west end – the normal place is facing east. It is a simple rectangle shape, with a three-sided apse for the Sanctuary at the west end. It was completed in 1903 at a cost of £1,858.
Record is made at a meeting in 1916 of the great loss to the parish by the death on February 22nd of the Vicar, Canon Hugh Roberts, who had for 23 years been an indefatigable worker for the church in this parish. Whilst Vicar of Colwyn Bay, he had completed St. Paul’s Church, built St. David’s and St. Andrews, and also built the Vicarage and the Church Room.
Recently Dewi Sant has taken up a new vision under the Vicar, the Rev’d Nigel Williams. The church has undergone a complete internal reordering, enabling ARC Communities to continue its work with the homeless and vulnerable people in Colwyn Bay. The first floor is fronted with glass partitioning making an office and meeting room. At the front of the church there is a railed off carpeted area that is used for Welsh services. The building is in use every weekday. The Bishop of Saint Asaph officially opened the new facilities on Palm Sunday 2011.
St David’s Church, a Grade II Listed Building, stands on the west side of Rhiw Road, behind St Paul’s Church. It was built as a Welsh church in 1902-03, and designed by the architects, Douglas and Fordham.
John Douglas, 1830-1911, was one of the most notable regional architects of North Wales and North-West England. There are a number of fine examples of his work in Colwyn Bay, including St Paul’s Church and St John’s in Old Colwyn.
The church is of distinctive and individual design with its red tiled roof and its large square bellcote which rises from the roof at its eastern end. The bellcote is topped by an octagonal spire.
The walls are of squared limestone with contrasting red sandstone dressings, such as to the window openings and window tracery and string courses. An apsidal chapel stands at the western end of the building.
The south side elevation is divided into five bays with windows glazed in square leaded lights. The small front porch facing Rhiw Road is of pleasing design, also with a tiled roof, black and white Tudor detailing and boarded timber sides. Windows flank the sides of the porch, with a larger window above facing the road. The other side (north) elevation is of similar design to the south elevation.
In contrast to other buttresses seen on ecclesiastical building in the town, note here the tapering buttresses and the date stone of 1902 to the right hand side of the porch.
St David’s and St Paul’s (with the police station, town hall and court buildings opposite) form an interesting group of buildings in the town centre.