by the Lord Bishop of Monmouth
The last quarter of the nineteenth century saw much building of churches to provide evangelistic outreach and pastoral care for the rapidly expanding population of South-east Wales, and the erection of the Church of St. Paul, Cwm, was one of the churches in that programme of development.
But the story of the first hundred years of its life, which is told in this booklet, fills in the necessary information to make that individual and particular story come alive.
Mr. Read has given us the necessary social and industrial back-ground, the record of local events - some of them achievements, and some disasters - and brief assessments of the people involved in the developing account of the fortunes of the worshipping community, whether priests or laypeople, who contributed to that story, and made it distinct from any similar account about any other church.
He is the better able to do this because by his own long and devoted service to his Lord in the Church in that whole area he has known personally, and supported loyally over many decades, those prominent in the Church community about whom he now writes. The writing has been for him a labour of love.
He has set down for posterity, at a significant moment for thanks-giving within the St. Pauls community, a worthy record of faithful worship and obedient witness to Christ.
Becauseit is a warm and intimate story, well told, it will inspire pride in the past and determination for the future which will give new spirit to young and old in the congregation which maintains the witness of the Church in Cwm today.
I commend this booklet warmly, not only to the local Christian fellowship but also to a wider readership as an encouragement and a challenge to continuing faithfulness amid the difficulties of today.
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