St Peter's, Aberdyfi - History
St Peter’s was established in Aberdyfi in 1837 and is part of the Bro Ystummaner Ministry Area. It is a fine example of a Victorian ‘barn’ church with extensions being added for the Chancel (1890) and the organ chamber (1907). Originally it had a small gallery above the entrance doorway with access via the Bell Tower staircase. This was dismantled about the time of the organ chamber extension. The Church, together with the ramp and the exterior wall to it, are protected by Grade II Listed Buildings status.
In 2010 a serious outbreak of dry rot caused considerable damage, resulting in the removal of lime plaster from the walls and ceiling around the entrance to the main body of the church. We also had to replace the large wooden window in the corner by the Vestry. The bare corners you can see either side of the chancel arch were the result of water ingress prior to the repairs to the roof.
On either side above the entrance doorway are the Creed and the Paternoster, written in Welsh. These have been covered to protect them since the repair work. The stained glass window, in the corner to the right of the door, depicts Mathew 25 v 35 onwards, and is the work of Ward & Hughes, from 1873. Walking down the aisle, on the right once again, is an original window from 1837 by David Evans. On either side of the archway ahead of you are the Ten Commandments. The alter window was made by a craftsman named Powell and installed in 1890.
The organ chamber was added in 1907 and the present organ was installed. Built by the well-known company of Brindley & Foster it is recognised as a fine example of their work. Apart from needing a major cleaning of the pipes it is still in remarkably good condition.
The Bells of Aberdovey
In 1937 St Peter’s commemorated its centenary with the installation of a set of bells that cost £600 and were paid for by donations and voluntary contributions.
The bells, played by a carillion shown in the photo, are often heard ringing out popular hymns including The Bells of Aberdovey, a well-known song of disputed origins popularised in the 19th Century.
The tower needed major repairs in 2015-16 and the Church was awarded a grant of £100,000 by the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Scheme, the maximum sum available and the only church in Wales to receive this amount. The repairs also required re-plastering the damaged interior walls which was a major undertaking. A special service of thanksgiving was held in January 2017 at which the Bishop of Bangor presided.