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
Mr Evan Davies writing in his History of the Parish in 1905, which in fact was the bulk of a winning essay at the Coedybryn Eisteddfod of 1901, stated, "While one admires equally both the hoary antiquity and the modem beauty of the hallowed walls, bearing the great name of its founder, and calls up all conceivable associations connected with the church, he would fain know more of its life's history, its changes of fortune, through the ebb and flow of adversity and prosperity, in the annals of the district; the zeal of its ministers, and the devotion of the successive congregations, that flocked to its sanctuary, under clouds and sunshine of affairs and events. But the past is mute and buried like the mighty dead that lie within and about its precincts".
The list of Rectors and Curates can be traced back as far as 1710:
1710 Rev. Samuel Williams, Rector
Samuel Williams and James Davies, better known as laco ap Dewi (1648-1722) were early figures of importance in the Teifi valley group of writers - together they copied, in National Library of Wales Llanstephan manuscript 133, one of the most important collections of poetry of the earlier centuries. He scraped at least part of his living by translating religious texts into Welsh, eight of which were published. Whereas laco ap Dewi was a dissenter, Samuel Williams of Llandyfriog (c1660 - c1722) was a priest who became rector of Llangynllo. He copied numerous manuscripts of earlier Welsh literature and translated a number of religious works from English to Welsh, but none was published. He composed some of the Teifi valley carols known as halsingod and published the only collection to appear in print, in 1718. Figures like laco ap Dewi and Samuel Williams represent a bridging point in Welsh culture between the era of the manuscript and the age of printing. Copying manuscripts remained important in a country without public libraries, cheap publishing and mass literacy.
Samuel Williams is less well known than his son Moses Williams (1685-1742) Born in Cellan parish, Moses Williams had been an assistant at Oxford to Edward Lhuyd, the great polymath who, in spite of his Cardiganshire mother, cannot rightly be considered part of the tradition of Cardiganshire culture. Williams became a priest after Lhuyd's death, and from 1715 to 1732 held livings at Llanwenog and Defynnog (Breconshire). Apart from his extensive religious publications, he produced a remarkable bibliography of Welsh printed books in 1717 and was responsible for the first printed edition of the Laws of Hywel Dda (1730). He had hoped to publish a major collection of early Welsh literature and other works of importance, including the Welsh Triads, but lack of patronage hindered his efforts, though he was an admired friend of some of the great English scholars of his day, and can be claimed as an Enlightenment figure.
1755 Rev. Thomas Griffiths, Curate
? Rev. William Williams, Rector
1763 Rev. Thomas Howell, Rector
1793 Rev. H. Bowen, Curate
1794 Rev. Thos. Griffiths, Curate
1795 Rev. John Howell, Rector
1795 Rev. John Jones, Curate (Rector from 1801)
1834 Rev. T. H. Davies, Rector
1854 Rev. Thomas Rogers, Curate
1864 Rev. Henry Jones, Curate
1868 Rev. Wm. Rees, Curate (Rector from 1871)
1885 Rev. Hugh Jones, Rector
1898 Rev. Edward O. Jones, Rector
1924 Rev. John Jenkins, Rector
1931 Rev. G. L. R. Davies, Rector
1937 Rev. J. Ernest Jones, Rector
1947 Rev. D. Ronald Jenkins, Rector
1956 Rev. J. E. Lewis, Rector
1962 Rev. C. H. Lloyd Jones, Rector
1971 Rev. W. J. G. Varney, Rector
1981 Rev. Canon David Pugh, Rector
1991 Rev. Canon J. H. Rowlands, Rural Dean of Emlyn
N.B. Since 1947, the Parish has been held in Plurality.