From 1881 Elias was rector of Efenechtyd and continued to be an HMI, relinquishing both roles towards the end of 1892 when he became vicar of Llanyblodwel.
The roles of rector and HMI could overlap. At various times, Elias, like his brother Timothy, accentuated the importance of religious education in schools. For him it was not enough for authorities to comply with the Education Act simply with regard to the expansion of school buildings; they should ensure the schools were genuine Church Schools, devoting the legal requirement of one hour a day to religious teaching.
Efenechtyd, a parish neighbouring Llanfwrog, is described as follows in A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833 & 1849, Samuel Lewis): "A parish in the Union and hundred of Ruthin, county of Denbigh; 2 miles (S by W) from Ruthin, containing 234 inhabitants. ... The land, the extent of which is about 1400 acres, consists chiefly of arable, pasture, and woodland, the portion under tillage being by far the largest, and in a state of high cultivation, producing excellent wheat, barley, oats, potatoes and turnips. The scenery is particularly picturesque and beautiful; the surface is boldly undulated, and ornamented in various parts with oak, ash, and poplar trees, and enlivened with several streams, the principal of which is the Clwyd, traversing the eastern boundary. ... The village is beautifully situated in a sequestered vale abounding with pleasing scenery."
In this article Elias describes the various piecemeal extensions that transformd a two-room glebe cottage into the large rectory he occupied at Efenechtyd. These resulted in some interesting changes in levels, negotiated by steps, as well as two staircases, and also "stole" some land from the graveyard. The current owners (2017) have created an ambiance such that it is easy to visualise Elias and his family in residence. They also possess one of Elias's publications with an example of his handwiting. (There are pictures of the church and of the rectory on the following two pages.)