Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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PAGE, LESLIE ALUN (1920-1990), Minister (Cong.).

Alun Page was born in Maesteg, Llynfi Valley, Glamorgan, where he spent his childhood. As a consequence of the depression and unemployment of the 1920s, the family moved for a period to Bexley Heath, on the outskirts of London, and he often spoke of his great indebtedness to the influence that the chapel of his denomination at Woolwich had on him. Following his family's return to Maesteg, he began preaching there at Noddfa, Cwm-felin. He was educated at Myrddin College, and in 1937 he entered the Presbyterian College, Carmarthen, and the same year, the University College, Cardiff, where he graduated B.A. in Hebrew and Philosophy in 1940.

In 1945 he was ordained minister of the English Congregational Church at Pembroke Dock, where he remained for four years. He was one of the small group responsible for starting the publication Dock Leaves in the 1940s, the journal which later became the Anglo-Welsh Review. He moved to the Tabernacl, Skewen, in 1949, and remained there for twelve years until he moved in 1961 to Milo and Mynydd Seion, Penygroes, Carmarthenshire. His last charge was Priordy, Carmarthen (1975 -1990). In 1981, he added to his care the Congregational Church at Cana and the Presbyterian Church at Banc-y-felin.

Alun Page read widely and meditated in both English and Welsh literature. He was impressed by T. S. Eliot, Waldo and Gwenallt and often quoted from them. He spoke of the greatness of R. T. Jenkins as a writer, and praised D. J. Williams and his ‘square mile.’ Karl Barth was another influence and he was not unfamiliar with the thoughts of Freud and Marx. He was indebted to his teachers, T. H. Robinson who made the prophets of Israel so alive and contemporary for him – he was very much impressed with the prophet Amos – and C. H. Dodd for enlightening him in the New Testament. For many years he had a very lively column in Y Faner, and he was a columnist also in Y Tyst. He contributed a number of articles to Cristion and he published collections of essays (‘observations’) on a variety of topics, many of contemporary concern, Y Byd o'r Betws (1971), Lle Bo'r Gwreiddyn (1972), Arwyddion ac amserau (1979) and a book of poems, Cerddi Byd a Betws (1983). He was the President of the Union of Welsh Independents 1978-79. He delivered his address from the Union Chair at Llandysul under the title, Yr Oes Olau Hon (published in 1978), which evoked a lively discussion on some of his comments.

Alun Page died at Glangwili Hospital Carmarthen on 13 July 1990, and following a public service at Priordy, his remains were laid to rest at Llanybri cemetery on the 18th of the same month.

Sources:

  • Personal research;
  • Y Tyst 9 August 1990;
  • Blwyddiadur yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg (Welsh Congregationalists Year Book) 1991;
  • Y Faner 8 August 1990.

Author:

Ioan Wyn Gruffydd, Pwllheli

Published date: 2011