On Friday evening, 11 May 1906, one hundred and twelve communicants who had seceded from Libanus Congregational Church held a meeting at the Primitive Methodist Church Schoolroom on Libanus Road, Ebbw Vale.
William Williams, Senior, presided. This meeting had been convened to consider the forming of an English-speaking church to meet the needs of a growing population in the area. After lengthy deliberations and the expression of various views, it was unanimously resolved to form a church forthwith. The Church Officers and Deacons were appointed at the meeting:-
Secretary: William Williams, Senior
Treasurer: William Edwards
Precentor: Hiram Jones
Organist: Miss S A Maynard
Assistant Organist: Thomas Lewis
Deacons: William Williams, Senior, David Evans, Edward Griffiths,
Thomas Williams, Edward Williams, Arthur Rhead,
John Morgan, Thomas Maylor and James Price
Sunday School Officers:
Superintendent: William Williams, Junior
Secretary: Thomas Lewis
Treasurer: Fred Bradshaw
On Sunday 13 May the first services were held at the Pontygof Girls’ School, hired from the Ebbw Vales Urban District Council. William Edwards conducted the morning service and Fred Bradshaw the evening service, with good congregations.
Weeknight services were also arranged:
Monday evening: Prayer Meeting
Wednesday evening: Society Meeting
Thursday evening: Band of Hope
These services continued, and each Sunday ministers, students and lay preachers occupied the pulpit. New members joined the fellowship and Deacons and Church Officers proceeded with negotiations to form a church.
On Sunday 1 July 1906 Mr E J Bryant officially initiated the forming of the church. At the morning service he gave an address on Church Principles and the duties of Church Officers. At the afternoon service he spoke on the Lord’s Supper and the duty of Church Members to the church. In the evening he conducted a communion service, at which one hundred and thirty two communicants were received into membership.
The congregations continued to grow, and on 2 August 1906 a special church meeting was convened to consider the erection of a church building. At this time the congregation numbered about one hundred and eighty, of whom one hundred and forty five were communicants. It was stated at this meeting that “owing to the increasing growth of the population in the west end of the town, we have deemed it expedient and essentially necessary to provide more extensively for the large percentage cooperating in the ultimate hope of uplifting the tone of the district, both spiritually and morally”.
The congregations were largely composed of young people and since the cause appeared promising, a Building Committee was appointed:-
Chairman: Henry Bowen
Vice Chairman: William John Wilcox
Secretary: Fred Bradshaw
Assistant Secretary: David John Williams
Treasurer: Hiram Jones
The Officers and Committee set to work to organise money raising efforts to provide funds for the stupendous task ahead. In the selecting and securing of a site for the building, many difficulties were encountered before the present site was obtained with the help and guidance of Henry Waters, the Architect.
Tenders were invited and five were submitted. The tender of D J Vaughan, a Tredegar builder, was accepted at the cost of £2155. At a church meeting held on
Monday 20 August 1906, it was proposed by John Morgan and seconded by Hiram Jones that the name of the church be West End Congregational Church.
On 16 December 1907 foundation stones were laid on the front and east side of the church. Two services were held - on the building site in the afternoon, and in the Pontygof School in the evening. Reverends John Rees, Abercarn, and T M Jeffreys of Waunlwyd officiated, and Mr E J Bryant presided.