History and Heritage

Reverend David Richard Beynon
Jerusalem Chapel, Ystalyfera

The Reverend David Richard Beynon was minister of Jerusalem Methodist Church, Wern Road, Ystalyfera from 1928 until his death in 1953. During his 25 years of office, he participated in the great march of 1933 during the Depression, and oversaw the renovation of the chapel in 1950-1951.

Read about:-

The Start of his Ministry 1928
The Ministry of D R Beynon
His death in office 1953

Arrival of the Rev D R Beynon

The article from The South Wales Voice 30th June 1928 explains in detail about his inauguration ceremony.


Mr. D.R. Beynon Becomes Pastor of Jerusalem Chapel

There were large congregations at the induction of the Rev. D.R. Beynon as pastor of Jerusalem Chapel, Ystalyfera, on Thursday. A number of the members of Ebenezer Chapel, Mardy and Carmel Chapel, Blaenllechau - the late charges of the Rev. D.R. Beynon - were amongst the visitors.

The Rev. D.G. Jones, Soar, Pontardawe, presided, and the service was opened by the reading of Scripture and the offering of prayer by the Rev. Stephen Jones, Gwauncaegurwen. The history of the call was given by the secretary, Mr R.W. Hopkins, who said that Mr Beynon was accepted not as a servant of the church, but a servant of God, and a leader of the church.

A Feeling of 'Hiraeth'

Speaking on behalf of the East Glamorgan Monthly Meeting, the Rev. Dr. D.M. Phillips, Tylorstown, said there was a feeling of 'hiraeth' at Mardy at the departure of Mr Beynon. He had won a place for himself in the hearts of the people as he possessed grit to carry on. Mr Beynon had not been at Mardy long when he was appointed secretary of the monthly meeting, and if ever the history of the Methodists was written, an account of Mr Beynon's work during his term of office deserved inclusion. He had also been secretary of the Sunday-schools. Mr Beynon was a good leader; one who was with his people in time of need. He was, in short, the ideal pastor. His sermons were timely and educative. He had been greatly assisted in his work by Mrs Beynon.

Mr John Williams, Mardy (Ap Ioan) a deacon at Ebenezer Chapel, said that Mr Beynon believed in the highest ideals, and this fact explained the success of his work. He had not spared himself in the great work.

The Rev. W. Henry, Port Talbot, representing the West Glamorgan District, said the meeting that day was, in his opinion, a forecast of the success thhat would attend the union of Mr Beynon and Jerusalem Chapel. He (Mr Henry) did not like the word 'induction', the Welsh of which was 'sefydlu'. It gave one the impression that the pastor had been thrown out of office. It should be a meeting to 'urge' the pastor to work for the church and the church to co-operate with the pastor.

Others who spoke were Revs. D. Picton Evans, M.A., Morriston; E. T. Evans, B.A., Ystalyfera; E.D. Lewis, Ystalyfera; J. Fisher Griffiths, Pontardawe; John Beynon, Llansamlet; W.P. Jones, Cwmtwrch; Chas. Williams, Pontardawe; T. Roderick, Rhiwfawr; Messrs W. Richards, J.R. Jones, Ferndale; John Maddocks, Ystalyfera; W.E. Jones, Penrhos, and Mrs (Dr.) Jones, Llansamlet.

Before calling upon Mr Beynon to respond, the chairman asked the audience to stand as a mark of welcome eto [sic] him. This was done.

Mr Beynon thanked the speakers for their kind references to himself. He referred to the happy times he had spent at Mardy and Blaenllechau. There was a practice in some places to dictate to the pastor what subject to preach on; but a pastor should be free to choose his own subjects. He would try to do his best and asked for the help and co-operation of the church.

Following the meeting the visitors were entertained to tea. In the evening the Revs. Dr. Phillips, Tylorstown, and W. Henry officiated at preaching services.

Rev. D.R. Beynon

The Rev. D.R. Beynon, whose induction as pastor of Jerusalem Chapel, Ystalyfera, took place on Thursday, is a native of Trimsaran. He was educated at Carmarthen and Trefecca Colleges and Aberystwyth University College. His first charge was at Pontlottyn, where he remained for nine and a half years. During that time he served in the war, being connected with the Y.M.C.A On cessation of hostilities he went to Mardy, where he has laboured until now. He took over the charge of Carmel, Blaenllechau, on his departure from Mardy. Mr Beynon was presented with a roll-top desk, Mrs Beynon with a purse, and the children, Alun and Margaret with books, by the members of Ebenezer and Carmel Chapels. During his stay at Mardy Mr Beynon was a busy worker in quarters outside his church, and was secretary to the East Glamorgan District of Methodists and the Mardy Cymrodorion

Ministry of the Rev D R Beynon

The South Wales Voice newspaper of 3rd June 1939 is typical of the many mentions of the rev D R Beynon in the local press.


Rev D.R. Beynon, pastor, will conduct a children's service at Jerusalem Chapel on Sunday morning, when awards gained by members of the Sunday school at the recent Scriptural examination of the West Glamorgan Presbytery will be handed to them. Mr Emrys Williams, superintendent of the vestry Sunday school, is in charge of the arrangements.

Death of the Rev D R Beynon

The South Wales Voice of Friday 10th April 1953 brought news that the Reverend Beynon had been hospitalised.


The Rev D R Beynon, minister of Jerusalem Methodist Chapel, has entered Swansea Hospital for observation and treatment.

The South Wales Voice Friday 8th May 1953 brought the news that the Reverend Beynon had died, six weeks after collapsing and being initially admitted to hospital.


The death took place at his home Arosfa Tirbach Road Ystalyfera, on Wednesday evening of the Rev D R Beynon Minister of Jerusalem Methodist Church.

Mr Beynon collapsed six weeks ago and was admitted to Swansea General Hospital. He returned home a week afterwards but his condition grew worse and he died peacefully after being devotedly cared for by his wife and Doctor Margaret Beynon, his daughter.

Mr Beynon was born at Mynydd y Garreg near Kidwelly. He was educated at Carmarthen College and followed his studies at Trefecca and Aberystwyth Theological College.

Ordained at Llandilo in 1911, he took up his first pastorate at Pontlottyn and nine years later went to Ebenezer Church Maerdy. After eight years there he came to Ystalyfera in 1928.


A man of striking personality and strong character, he was a forceful and eloquent preacher. A wise guide and philosopher, he was beloved not only by his faithful flock but by a host of people who have received kind and sympathetic attention from him.

Greatly interested in the affairs of the Welsh Presbyterian Church, he had served on all its committees. He was as secretary from 1947 to 1952 of the Welsh Presbytery in East Glamorgan and Monmouthshire and West Glamorgan.

He was also past President of the West Glamorgan Welsh Presbytery. His greatest achievement however was as secretary from 1947 to 1952, of the Rota Committee. As such he had to introduce a new scheme of allocating ministers to different churches, no easy task. That he did it so successfully was a striking proof of his capabilities as an administrator.

Workers and miners in particular will not forget that he was the only local minister to take part in 1933, in the greatest unemployed demonstration ever to be held in the district.


He not only marched with the thousands of men on that memorable Sunday but spoke forcefully and impressively on the same platform at Pontardawe as Mr D R Grenfell MP and other national speakers.

His greatest friend, the late Rev Robert Beynon Abercrave, predeceased him in February. Although bearing the same surname they were not related.

Besides his wife and daughter he leaves a son Mr Alyn Beynon who is on the staff of the Midland Bank at Swansea.

He is also survived by two brothers and two sisters, residents in Llanelli.

The funeral, private from the house, is at 3 pm on Saturday. Friends are asked to meet at Jerusalem Chapel for Divine Service before proceeding to St David's Cemetery Alltygrug.

The South Wales Voice Friday 15th May 1953 recorded the funeral for the Reverend David R Beynon.


The funeral of Rev David R Beynon took place on Saturday and the large congregation of sympathisers attended divine services at his beloved Jerusalem Methodist Church before proceeding to St David's Cemetery Alltygrug for burial.

At the house a family service was conducted by Rev Oswald Jefferies Cwmbwrla and W D Gregory Pyle. At the graveside the burial service was conducted by the vicar, Rev J G Hughes, assisted by Rev Edward Harris Trimsaran and J E Davies Goppa Pontardulais.

Principal mourners were: Mrs J Beynon wife; Mr and Mrs Alyn Beynon son and daughter-in-law; Dr Margaret E Beynon daughter; Mesdames T Griffiths and J Jones sisters; Mr Tom Beynon brother; Mr and Mrs Willie Beynon brother and sister-in-law; Dr and Mrs T J Evans brother and sister in law; Mr and Mrs David Griffiths nephew and niece; Mr David Beynon and Rev Moses young cousins.

The South Wales Voice Friday 4th December 1953 recorded the details of a farewell service held at Jerusalem Chapel, on the occasion of the departure for Llwynhendy of the widow of the Reverend Beynon, and her family.


On the eve of her departure to take up residence at Llwynhendy, with her daughter, Mrs Jay Beynon Arosfa Tirbach Road, widow of the late Red D R Beynon, minister for 25 years of Jerusalem Methodist Chapel was, with her daughter, Dr Margaret Beynon and son, Alun, entertained by the church last Tuesday evening.

Never in the history of this church had there been such a large gathering, the function began with a high tea provided by the Sisterhood of which Mrs Beynon herself had been the secretary since its inception.

As small tokens of esteem and appreciation, Mrs Beynon was presented with a cheque by Mr H J Powell JP, treasurer of the church, on behalf of the members and with a handsome mantel clock, inscribed, by Mrs Martha Jones chairman of the Sisterhood. Mr Gwynne Jones, superintendent of the Sunday school, then presented her with a beautifully bound Welsh Bible on behalf of the Sunday school.

Mrs Martha Jones also presented Dr Margaret Beynon with a Welsh book of her own choice and Mr Phil Phillips, chairman of the Young People's Guild, presented Mr Alun Beynon with a cheque.

Mrs Beynon, though obviously affected by the occasion, yet very composed as befits a woman of strong character thanked the entire church for having been the means, through the members' kindness and cooperation, of making her late husband's pastorate in Ystalyfera the happiest period in the lives of her family.

Dr Beynon and Mr Alun Beynon also suitably replied.

Mr H J Powell JP presided.


We regret to report the death, on Saturday at Arosfa Ystalyfera, of Mrs M A Evans, widow of Mr D C Evans JP Dowlais, in her 80th year. She had resided at Ystalyfera for the past 15 years at the home of her daughter and son in law, the Rev and Mrs D R Beynon. In addition to Mrs Beynon, she leaves a son, Dr T J Evans Swansea and a brother, Mr O Rich Merthyr, to mourn.

The funeral which was strictly private, took place on Tuesday at Glyntaff Crematorium, preceded by a service at Jerusalem Chapel Ystalyfera.


The grave of Rev D.R. Beynon in Alltygrug Cemetery, Ystalyfera

The memorial to the Reverend D.R. Beynon inside Jerusalem Chapel, Ystalyfera

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