in Victorian times
  Meeting new challenges
  In 1851 there was a religious census which recorded peoples religious practices. There have long been arguments over how accurate this was, but it was clear that far more people in Wales attended Nonconformist chapels than Anglican parish churches.
This fueled further anger against the Church of England which was the official religion of Britain, and which had a lot of influence over children's education.
Anglican - Church of England
Nonconformist - outside the Church of England
  Nonconformists still had to pay a kind of tax called a tithe to the Church of England. This growing resentment was a challenge for the Church.The Church responded and in the later part of the 19th Century, and between 1870 and 1920 all Welsh bishops spoke Welsh.
Parishes were redrawn to meet the needs of a changing population, and many parish churches were renovated.
Finally, after years of argument, a separate Church in Wales was created in 1920.

The Non-Conformists also had to face new challenges as thousands of English-speaking people moved into Wales in the Victorian period. New chapels were built with services in English in the towns to meet this challenge.
It is hard to imagine today but the chapel played a very important role in the lives of ordinary people in Powys. They were much more than just places to worship. They organised all kinds of activities and were at the heart of many social events in towns and villages across Powys.


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