Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , WILLIAM OWEN ( 1861 - 1937 ), minister of the ‘ Free Church of the Welsh ’, Liverpool ;

b. 7 April 1861 , at Penbryn , Chwilog , the son of Richard Jones , farmer , and Ellen Hughes . He attended several schools in the district, including that of Llanystumdwy . He also went to the Holt Academy , and to Clynnog School . He was subsequently at the Calvinistic Methodist Theological College , Bala , the University College of North Wales , Bangor , and S. John's College , Cambridge , where he took his B.A. in 1890 . His first pastorate was at the C.M. church at Waun-fawr, Caerns. , where he stayed for three years. In 1893 he accepted the charge of the church in Chatham Street , Liverpool , of which he was minister from 1893 to 1900 . Charges brought against him led to his expulsion ( 1901 ) from the C.M. connexion , and the formation of the ‘ Free Church of the Welsh ’; some 450 C.M. members accompanied him. The seceders, after a time reaching c. 1200, built chapels in Liverpool , Birkenhead , Seacombe [and North Wales ], but after a lapse of nine years their numbers diminished and many of them returned to their old allegiance or joined other denominations. In 1920 Jones and his followers became Congregationalists , retaining only their chapel in Canning Street . Jones published a volume of his sermons entitled Hope Hall Pulpit , 1902 , and from 1902 to 1920 he was the editor of Llais Rhyddid . This was a weekly publication until 1912 and afterwards appeared quarterly. He contributed a number of articles on the ‘ New Theology ’ which attracted considerable attention. He d. at Liverpool , 14 May 1937.

Sources:

  • Y Brython , 27 May 1937 ;
  • [ The Liverpool Daily Post , 15 May 1937 ].

Author:

Idwal Lewis, Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959