Caring for our Vineyard

The volume Gofal ein Gwinllan, which was published at the National Eisteddfod in August 2023 and whose title may be translated ‘Care for our Vineyard’, is the fruit of an ambitious project that traces the contribution of the Church in Wales to the Welsh language and its culture over the centuries.

The volume contains 14 articles which encompass the period between the translation of the Bible into Welsh in the 16th century and the end of the 18th century. It includes studies of key individuals and of several important topics, including the educational movements of the period, hymns and carols, prose classics of the 18th century, and the contribution of women to the life of the Church.

The starting point for the volume was a series of monthly seminars via Zoom. Recordings of the original seminars are available on the Church in Wales website. The seminars were conducted through the medium of Welsh, but simultaneous translations into English are available on the website.

Like the seminars, the volume is intended to give popular introductions to the people and topics under consideration. That said, all contributors are experts in their fields and are well known in the world of Welsh scholarship and culture, as can be seen from the fact that nine of them, including the volume’s editors, are members of the Learned Society of Wales: Ceri Davies, Dylan Foster Evans, Rhiannon Ifans, Christine James, E. Wyn James, A. Cynfael Lake, D. Densil Morgan, Huw Pryce, and Eryn M. White.

This is the first in a proposed series of volumes that will bring the history down to the present day. And while the volume focuses on figures from the Church in Wales, it will be of interest to all who treasure the nation’s cultural legacy.

A. Cynfael Lake and D. Densil Morgan (eds), Gofal ein Gwinllan: Ysgrifau ar Gyfraniad yr Eglwys yng Nghymru i’n Llên a’n Hanes a’n Diwylliant, vol. 1 (Y Lolfa, 2023), x+196 pp., £12.