A Neglected Field: Wales

Bill Echols
Indianapolis, Indiana

"The field is the world . . ." (Matt. 13:38)

The restoration plea was sounded in Great Britain much sooner than in America. At least one group of churches was established after the New Testament order as early as 1669. It was not until 1836 that the "Restoration Movement" as we know it really began in Britain. This movement was led by James Wallis of Nottingham who broke from the Scotch Baptists after reading the writings of Alexander Campbell.

Many of the older churches, however, were carried away with the digression which cut deeper in Britain than in America. Most of the churches which remain are strongly influenced by long standing traditions. Today there are faithful churches in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but none in Wales.

The principality of Wales is slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey with a population in 1961 of 2,640,632. Nearly half of these reside in Glamorgan County. Most of the population lives in the cities. Several cities have a population of over 25,000. Among them are Cardiff, the largest, Swansea, Rhondda and Newport. The last reported church of Christ in Wales was in Newport. The most famous Welsh hamlet is named Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysigliogogogoch. It is usually referred to simply at LlIanfair, P. G.

The major religious groups now meeting in Wales are the Church of Wales (the Anglican Communion), Roman Catholic, Calvinistic Methodist Church of Wales, Baptist, Methodist and Independent (Congregational).

Wales, a land of castles, would be a wonderful place for someone to take the gospel of Christ. It is a land of hard working and religious people who love music and poetry. The people are most hospitable to foreigners. Who will go to this neglected field? Who will help in support??

December 1967