Welcome to St Ellteyrn Church, Capel Llanilltern.

St Elltern Church

Capel is the smallest church in the parish. It seats a maximum of 25 people and is a close and friendly little church.

It is located on the A4119, out of Creigiau, towards Cardiff. The present listed building dates from AD 1862 but the site is perhaps one of the oldest Christian religious sites in Wales, and incorporates the Vendumaglus stone going back to the 5th century. The site is visited by Arthurians who consider that Gwenhwyfar (wife of Arthur - Arthwys) was buried there. The location of the church is ideal. It is built in the warmest and most sheltered spot in the parish with is own spring nearby. The font dates from the 12th century, and the church has a rich collection of heraldry from the 15th century onward.

St Ellteyrn Patronal Festival 6th November

We have a church, of course dedicated to St Ellteyrn or is it Illtud? Ellteyrn is generally considered to be a corruption of Illtud, although a few years ago we came across a paper written by a Professor in St David’s College Lampeter dated about 1830, just a few years after the College was opened and received its own degrees, which claimed that Ellteyrn was not the same person as Illtud. However, that belief is not something that we have found supported elsewhere. So we assume, in our parish, along with the Church in Wales that Ellteyrn was, in fact, Illtud, the 6th century abbot of Llanilltud Fawr. His Patronal Day is celebrated in Wales on 6th November. The article that follows is taken from Parish Pump. Illtud –patron saint of NGOs?
Not many people have heard of Illtud, but perhaps we should make him the patron saint of all Christian NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) who work in emergency and famine relief.
Illtud did not set out to be an action hero, he was a gentle and learned abbot heading up a monastery in Glamorgan. Illtud spent his days reading the Scriptures and philosophy. Yet the year that famine struck the coast of Brittany, Illtud put down his parchments and became a man of action.
Illtud issued what must have been one of the earliest ‘emergency relief appeals’, and was able to collect a great deal of corn. Illtud loaded this corn onto several small ships, and set off across the perilous Channel in order to save the people of Brittany. Perhaps he had in mind the words of Christ:“I was hungry and you fed me...”(Matthew 25:35). Certainly, the people of Brittany never forgot Illtud’s kindness towards them:even today some Breton churches and villages bear his name. Many churches in Wales are also dedicated to this compassionate man.

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