DenbighshireCYNWYDStJohnEvangelist(annalewisPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1 AnnaLewis

St John the Evangelist

A Victorian church built by the generous donations of local individuals.

Cynwyd, Gwynedd

Opening times

Open during daylight hours from March to end of October.


LL21 0HR

St John's remains much loved by the small, committed congregation of the 21st century.  

The church of St John the Evangelist in the centre of Cynwyd village was opened in 1856 when the old 12th century Llangar parish church was closed (it is now in the care of Cadw).

It was built on land donated by Sir Robert and Lady Vaughan Wynn of the Rhug Estate (only a few miles away and now famous for its organic farm). It is striking how the church came into being through the donations and support of local individuals, now remembered perhaps in name only (such as Miss Jones of Tynnllwyn who paid for the internal decoration).

The church is built in Early English style and is constructed of coarse, sneaked, dressed slate with sandstone surrounds to the windows. The buttresses are formed of dressed slate stone. The fine looking roof timberwork consists of bracketed knee braced trusses supporting purlins and open rafters. The plan of the building is a simple nave and chancel with a south facing porch towards the west end of the building, and a vestry off the chapel to the north side of the building. At the west end of the building the gable is extended above the roofline to form a simple spire which contains a clock and two bells.

One bell is to chime the time and the other is to call people to worship. The stained glass in the east window depicts the crucifixion and the glass came from Capromino of Bruxelles. It is said that the window cost £500 in 1855. The three fabric wall hangings were made and gifted to the church by Mrs Dee Smith. They depict the infant Jesus with Mary and Joseph, Christ's baptism, and Christ's crucifixion. Closer inspection reveals much symbolism.

In the churchyard can be found the grave of Jane Williams who drowned in the River Dee in 1868 and whose death inspired the traditional Welsh song, 'Yr Eneth Ga'dd ei Gwrthod' or 'The Rejected Maiden'. The song describes the girl's sorrow after being spurned by her lover and rejected by her family.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Dog friendly

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Church in Wales

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Old Church

Llangar, Clwyd

The writing’s on the wall.

Rug Chapel

Corwen, Denbighshire

Extravagant private chapel of an arch Royalist who clung to the old ways.

St Mael & St Sulien

Corwen, Denbighshire

People have been worshipping in this wonderfully preserved church for 900 and on a site chosen by the Breton missionaries, Mael and Sulien, who came here in the 6th century as Christian missionaries.