We all lead such busy lives today, attending church is not something many of us find time for. I don't think you actually need to attend a church to demonstrate the principles of appreciation, kindness and respect, for me its always been about how you live and treat people that matters, rather than ticking a box to say 'I go to church'. Some of the most spiritual feelings I have experienced have not been within the walls of a church, but out in wide open spaces, on mountains, clifftops, walking through virgin snow or in woods filled with the heady scent of bluebells and on the back of my horse feeling immersed in and part of the countryside around me. But sitting within the walls of this tiny ancient church this morning, with others from the same community where I grew up, felt harmonious, unifying and comforting and maybe that is what it is all about - being together and being thankful and respectful for what we have individually and collectively.
History of St Llywel's
The church is dedicated to St. Llywel, a Celtic saint, a disciple of St. Dyfrig (who died in 546 and is buried in Llandaff Cathedral). Llywel was also a companion of St. Teilo (who became bishop of Llandaff and died in 580). Llywel spent some time with Teilo in Pembrokeshire at the court of King Aercol whom he saved from poisoning. St. Llywel’s church is first mentioned in 1254. The font is Medieval and the limestone used in the south window of the chancel is a feature of other local churches of Medieval origin (eg the nearby church of SS. Peter, Paul & John, Llantrisant). The slit window in the North wall of the nave would also suggest that the church is Medieval. However, it was substantially restored in the 1870s when the West and North walls were rebuilt. The doorway was probably restored to match the walls as originally the door would have been divided. It is possible that the doorway was rebuilt during the reign of James I, the door lock is Jacobean and this suggests that a new door was fitted. The lintel is part of a medieval cross which would have stood in the churchyard. The pattern on the lintel is a compass drawn engraved flower. On the left hand side of the doorway, the doorjam bears three simple crosses. These may represent three men from the parish who joined the Crusades.