in Victorian times
|The new age challenges an old church||
and the Non-Conformist
churches had an effect on many aspects of life in Wales in the 19th Century.
For example, at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, two societies
existed to run schools for people who could not afford to pay for their
children to be educated.
- Church of England
Nonconformist - outside the Church of England
a report looking into the state of Welsh education showed that education
in Wales had many problems resulting from divides in social class and in
The report itself was very unpopular because it included remarks that were offensive to Welsh people. Some Anglican clergy blamed a chapel upbringing for Non-Conformist children doing badly at school, and this too caused resentment.
period saw a tremendous growth in the Nonconformist
congregations in Wales. These consisted of people who did not
feel the Church of England was for them. They felt that the Church of England
was the church of the English speaking landowning classes.
The Nonconformists were mainly working people and tradesmen who felt more at home coming together with other people like them to build a chapel for themselves, and to worship together in their own way.
Many of these chapels held all their
services in Welsh and all the hymns
and Bible readings were in the language. In the countryside particularly,
where many spoke little English, this was important.