Port Eynon Church dates from the twelfth century and is dedicated to St Cattwg, the sixth-century founder of the monastery of Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan. The church was extensively restored in 1861 with funds provided by Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot of Penrice Castle, so many of its features are Victorian. But there are still reminders of earlier times, including the lancet window (now blocked up) visible from outside low down on the south wall of the chancel and thought to have been a 'leper's squint'. The church is apparently unique in Gower in having a single north transept, once used as the the village 'school room' and now the venue for a popular Saturday morning cafe. The church and churchyard also contain several memorials to the ill-fated mission of the Janet lifeboat on 1st January 1916, when three members of the crew lost their lives.
10.15 am for Eucharist (1st & 4th Sunday of the month) and Morning Worship (3rd Sunday),
4.30 pm for Celtic Communion (2nd Saturday).
The church is open daily from Easter to September.
For detailed information on the church see either the leaflet available in the church by Madeleine Gill, or ‘A Stroll Through The Village Of Port Eynon’ by Moya Jones and Dawn Watton. Monuments within the church are dedicated to various locals, those who died in the 1914-18 and 1939-45 wars and those who died in the lifeboat disaster. There are also two interesting old plaques; one dedicated to Daniel Button of Overton, died, 1800 and placed on the wall by Thomas Mansel Talbot of Penrice and the other bears the initials RM, probably Rice Mansel, and an ancestor of the Talbot family. Against the east end wall are banners for the Port Eynon Mothers Union 1908, one for the church and a flag of the RNLI.
In the churchyard stands the memorial to the lifeboat disaster of 1916. Of those who died only the bodies of William Eynon and George Harry were recovered and they are buried in the churchyard. That of Billy Gibbs, the coxswain, was never recovered.
St Cattwg’s church now has a toilet suitable for the disabled and a facility to serve tea and coffee. The new facilities were made possible through generous grants from various organisations and villagers. The village has its own website www.porteynon.org
Port Eynon is served by a bus service running approximately every hour.
Rev Justin Davies
©The Parish of South West Gower is part of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon in the Church in Wales