JONES, WILLIAM OWEN (1861 - 1937), minister of the 'Free Church of the Welsh', Liverpool

Name: William Owen Jones
Date of birth: 1861
Date of death: 1937
Parent: Ellen Jones (née Hughes)
Parent: Richard Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: minister of the 'Free Church of the Welsh', Liverpool
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Idwal Lewis

Born 7 April 1861, at Penbryn, Chwilog, the son of Richard Jones, farmer, and Ellen Hughes. He attended several schools in the district, including that of Llanystumdwy. He also went to the Holt Academy, and to Clynnog School. He was subsequently at the Calvinistic Methodist Theological College, Bala, the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and S. John's College, Cambridge, where he took his B.A. in 1890. His first pastorate was at the C.M. church at Waun-fawr, Caernarfonshire, where he stayed for three years. In 1893 he accepted the charge of the church in Chatham Street, Liverpool, of which he was minister from 1893 to 1900. Charges brought against him led to his expulsion (1901) from the C.M. connexion, and the formation of the ' Free Church of the Welsh '; some 450 C.M. members accompanied him. The seceders, after a time reaching c. 1200, built chapels in Liverpool, Birkenhead, Seacombe [and North Wales ], but after a lapse of nine years their numbers diminished and many of them returned to their old allegiance or joined other denominations. In 1920 Jones and his followers became Congregationalists, retaining only their chapel in Canning Street. Jones published a volume of his sermons entitled Hope Hall Pulpit, 1902, and from 1902 to 1920 he was the editor of Llais Rhyddid. This was a weekly publication until 1912 and afterwards appeared quarterly. He contributed a number of articles on the ' New Theology ' which attracted considerable attention. He died at Liverpool, 14 May 1937.


Published date: 1959

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