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  St Tysilio & St Mary’s Church, Meifod 


Picture of Meifod church

Vicar

The Rev’d Jane James
The Vicarage, Meifod, Powys SY22 6DH

Tel: 01938 500231
Email:

Readers
Mr Ivor Hawkins, Mr Roger Waterfield




WORSHIP

First Sunday of Month

11.00am

Holy Communion

Second Sunday (Families
especially welcome)

11.00am

Holy Communion

Third Sunday

11.00am

Family Worship

Fourth Sunday

9.30am

Holy Communion


HISTORY

The earliest Meifod Church was built by St Gwyddfarch in about 550 AD. The site, as indicated in a Terrier of 1631, was on the present Church Walk. The remains of the early Church were apparently still visible in the 17th Century. The building was probably oak-framed and filled in with wicker work and clay, and thatched with reeds. There is a legend that when Gwyddfarch was asked where the small Church should stand, he replied "Yma y mae i fod" ("here it is to be"). Another explanation for the origin of the name "Meifod" is "mai-fod" ("the dwelling on the floor of the vale" or "may/summer habitations").

600-650 AD

The next name connected with the Ecclesiastical history of Meifod is that of St Tysilio. He was the younger son of Brochwel Usgythrog, Prince of Powys, whose principality was at Pengwern, Shrewsbury. He was said to be gifted by birth, position and attainment and may have been educated by the Monks of Bangor Iscoed. This was renowned as a seat of learning and was situated with the vast area of his father's lands.

Tysilio was the reputed author of a lost History of Wales. He is remembered as a wise pastor, and is said to have succeeded Asaph to the Episopal see. We learn from the poet Cynddelw that Meifod was the centre of his early ministry and devotion.

"A Church he raised with his fostering hand;
A Church of bright lights, with a chancel of offertory,
A Church over the streams by the glassy waters,
A Church of Powys paradise most fair"

In one of his poems, Cynddelw mentions three Saints connected with Meifod Church - St Tysilio, St Mary and St Credifail, which appears to disprove the suggestion that St Mary was a later dedication

750-800 AD
After the loss of Shrewsbury and the building of Offa's Dyke, Mathrafal became the chief residence of the Princes of Powys and Meifod was established as the main religious centre of the area until the Valle Crucis was built in 1200.

1154 AD
Madoc ab Meredydd, Prince of Powys, constructed the new Church at Meifod on its present site. The Church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Norman arches at the entrace to the vestry and the arch under the tower date from this period. It is interesting to note that they are of red sandstone, little used in the area and probably expensive and difficult to obtain.

Circa 1500 AD
The main body of the present Church was built, including the main and south aisles and also the present tower. The outlines of existing Norman arches can still be seen outside the building, above and o the side of the main door, and also above the small window at the base of the west side of the tower.

19th Century
In 1838, the north aisle was added to the building, and the Church was generally restored. In 1872, a further restoration took place when the north aisle was joined to the main aisle by a stone arcade. (The different styles of architecture are most noticeable when one stands in the central aisle and looks east towards the altar. The solid 15-16th Century pillars on the south contrast with the smaller Victorian ones on the north side). The west gallery, which was considered to be unsightly, was removed exposing the handsome pointed arch. The box pews were replaced by open ones. The ceiling waswas removed and the fine oak roof came into view. Five new stone windows were inserted into the side walls. The organ was installed in 1876.


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Last updated 27th February 2016.