Pantycelyn: The Longing and the Legacy

Williams Pantycelyn: The Longing and the Legacy

Professor E. Wyn James

Wednesday 12th July, 7.30 pm

This year sees the 300th anniversary of the birth of the great hymn-writer, William Williams (1717–91) of Pantycelyn.

He is a one the giants of Welsh religious and cultural life. According to one literary critic he was ‘the greatest Welsh writer between the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century’, while another could say that he ‘cast a spell over the mind of Welsh-speaking Wales which endures to this day’.

Williams Pantycelyn is also a figure of international status and significance, whose hymn, ‘Guide me, O thou great Jehovah’, is sung in all corners of the globe, and not just on the rugby field!

Although remembered primarily as a hymn-writer, Williams made a wide-ranging contribution as a prolific author and as one of the main leaders of the Methodist Revival, a powerful spiritual movement which radically changed Welsh life and culture.

This talk will assess Williams Pantycelyn’s work and contribution, and ask what, if any, is his legacy today.

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