James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
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The Controversy Continues

The next Sunday morning, following a service taken by the rector and attended by Elijah, the rector announced to an apparently hostile crowd that henceforth he was going to hold two services each Sunday at Llandegfan, one at 10 a.m. and the other at 4 p.m.. He and one of the Bishop's secretaries then argued about the legality of their various actions, the latter later attending the afternoon service taken again by the rector, in which Elijah took no part.

The Archbishop made his decision in favour of the Bishop on 12 July. Nevertheless, the rector, who had consistently been a law unto himself, wrote a letter to Elijah on 15 July which stated that the Bishop had not had the right to appoint a curate and Elijah's services were no longer required, thus denying Elijah the right to a significant income of £130. It was implied that subsequently Elijah and the rector had settled matters amicably - Elijah preached both services on 17 July - but the dispute rumbled on. Members of the congregation walked out when they found the rector taking a service and Elijah was apparently unhappy because he had expeced a sole curacy and found himself sharing the job. The rector, who had shown himself to be an early 'spin-doctor', then appears to have issued a press statement to the effect that the Church authorities had apologised to him and they had requested Elijah to do likewise, a statement vehemently denied by the Bishop's representatives. Meanwhile, no doubt heartily sickened by the whole proceedings, Elijah had resigned as curate of Llandegfan. (see reports).

Elijah remained as curate of Llanfaes and Penmon until 1888, when the North Wales Chronicle (4 Aug 1888) spoke of "the excellent services" rendered by him: "Mr. Owen is exceedingly popular amongst all classes in the neighbourhood of Beaumaris." This was apparent in the presentation, which included a purse of 100 guineas, made to him on leaving, in the attendance at the ceremony and in the kind words that were spoken (see report). His obituary stated that he then took up "the living of Llangoed with Llaniestyn and Llanfihangel Din Sylwy (see photo), which he held up to the time of his death. ...The living of Llangoed is in the gift of Mr. S. T. Chadwick, of Haulfre, and its net income is £106 with the vicarage." [North Wales Chronicle, 24 Feb 1894] In the report about the presentation (link above) a colleague said, "Llangoed, my friends, is no Paradise. But Mr. Owen will improve the garden." And Elijah quickly achieved results: "it is pleasing to note how warmly the vicar [Elijah]is seconded in his efforts to improve church matters, not only in Llangoed, but at Llaniestyn and Llanfihangel, by the bulk of the parishioners" [North Wales Chronicle, 29 Dec 1888].