Much of the information contained on this website has been drawn from the excellent guidebook to St Cynllo's written by Rev. Brian Whatmore - this lovingly written and scholarly guide is highly recommended for those who would like to learn more about the history of this beautiful Church.
Copies of the guidebook
are available at the
On Sunday September 6th Rev'd Gareth Reid and the members of St Cynllo's Church hosted an Interfaith Act of Commemoration to celebrate our church's long connection with the Bronwydd Estate. We were very honoured to be joined by three former pupils of the Jewish Aryeh House School in Brighton which during the war, was evacuated to Bronwydd 'Castle' as it was described, and as they have fondly remembered it through successive decades.
The Rev'd Alan Greenbat OBE, although now technically retired, is still an honourary consultant in the office of the Chief Rabbi and was awarded his OBE for his services to Interfaith and Young People - his whole life has been dedicated towards forging better understanding between peoples of different faiths and cultures.
Mark Negin has been an artist and theatre designer all his life in Canada, the US as well as Europe and the UK, and in retirement illuminates manuscripts and paints murals. He is Chair of the Conservation Area Advisory Group in Ramsgate and vice Chair of Ramsgate Montefiore Heritage as well as keeper of the only ‘estate synagogue’ in the UK built by Sir Moses Montefiore in 1833 and now listed as one of the top ten synagogues of Britain - hence the parallel with our Church which is the estate Church to Bronwydd and described by CADW as the best example of an estate church in SW Wales. In retirement, his illustrations of the Hebrew text of The Scroll of the Book of Esther, the Megillat Esther have been seen in London as part of the British Library's exhibition of SACRED, an exhibition of illuminated manuscripts of the three monotheistic religions.
We were also joined by another former pupil of the Aryeh House School, Suzanne Belson who travelled from Montreal to be with us especially for the occasion - She is the Executor of Mark's sister's will (Patricia Negin) and joined us specifically to present our Church with a water-colour of Bronwydd which was painted in 1977 by Mario Ferlito for Pat especially as his friend. Mario Ferlito was the Italian POW who painted the Henllan Chapel and together, she and Mark have determined that "Patricia Negin would wish the painting to have a permanent home near the site it represents."
Their visit culminated in what has been described as a 'groundbreaking' event at St Cynllo's on the afternoon of September 6th which included a wonderful address by Rev Greenbat in which he recounted and recalled many boyhood memories of his early years spent at Bronwydd - The Interfaith Act of Commemoration included hymns, psalms, and prayers that are shared in common by our respective Faiths, and were sung and spoken in the three languages of Welsh, English, and Hebrew. Rev'd Reid and Rev'd Greenbat were joined in giving the final blessing by Rev'd Canon Dewi Roberts - the deeply moving words of Numbers 6. 24-26 spoken in the three languages will, we hope, be a lasting memory for all of those who attended, and remain as an enduring symbol of the understanding gained through this very special and unique occasion.
The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’
& Mark Negin
Suzanne & Mark visiting the now ruined Bronwydd 'Castle'
An extensive exhibition including previously unseen archive material, photographs and paintings is currently on show at the Church and can be viewed by appointment - please contact the exhibition curator Mrs Sue Wright or any of the church officers to arrange a visit (details on the home page under Contacts)
The painting of Bronwydd by Mario Ferlito and a letter and photographs to accompany it given by members of Patricia Negin's family.
The members of St Cynllo's Church would like to offer their most heartfelt thanks to all those who contributed and took part in this wonderful occasion - to all those guests and friends who were fortunate enough to attend the Act of Commemoration, we offer our renewed fellowship and welcome.
Particular thanks are extended to Mrs Sue Wright for curating and presenting the wonderful exhibition, and to Ms Sarah Foster-Russell for her sole initial vision and her unstinting hard work in organising, liasing, and preparing the event - its undoubted success is largely attributable to her dedication and determination.
We hope very much that the new friends we have made from the Jewish community will one day be able to return for another visit, and we hope that those new (and old) friends from our local community will also know how welcome they are to join us at any of our regular services and events.