Welcome to St. Hywyn’s Church, which stands above the beach over-looking the Irish Sea. Often you can sit inside in the stillness and hear the waves breaking on the shore outside. Our fellowship on both Sundays and Thursdays attract many visitors, especially in the summer months as Aberdaron is a significant tourist destination. There is always an offer of free refreshments after the services. The bookshop has a selection of gifts made by local artists as well as books on pilgrimage and poetry by RS Thomas.
Since the medieval period the Llyn Peninsula has attracted thousands of pilgrims. There are two ancient pilgrimage routes winding their way towards the Holy Island of Bardsey (Enlli) once mentioned by Pope Calixtus 11 when he said in 1120 that three visits to Bardsey was the equivalent to one visit to Rome. In another document dating to 1122 Bardsey was described as ‘the Rome of Wales’ and that there are 20,000 saints buried on the island. St Hywyn’s Church is where the Northern route (www.pilgrims-way-north-wales.org) and the Southern route meet and has always had a very close relationship with the island. Our patron, St Hywyn, came to Wales during the sixth century from Brittany as one of the many companions of St. Cadfan and established a community of monks in this place. It was Cadfan who founded the Celtic monastery on Bardsey at the same time. Gruffydd ap Cynan, King of Gwynedd, made it possible to build stone churches in this part of Wales, when much of the present church was constructed. There are many interesting features about this church one of them being the two sixth century grave stones commemorating two priests, namely Senacus and Veracius. The Senacus stone also states that he is buried with a multitude of brothers – could this be an early suggestion of those 20,000 saints buried on Bardsey? Next to this ‘history in stone’ is a much more modern ‘prayer on stone’ where contemporary pilgrims and visitors are invited to pick up a stone from the beach and write a name or a prayer on it and lay it on the pile of stones bearing similar prayer requests. During late October the stones are then returned to the sea as part of the Sunday morning service.
We look forward to welcoming you to our church.
"The location of St Hywyn’s overlooking the sea is spectacular."
Jenny Asenbryl, St Hywyn’s Church Warden
"Ten centuries of prayer have left their spiritual imprint in the stones of this medieval church."
Val Wood, St Hywyn’s Church Warden