Abergorlech is a picturesque village on the banks of the beautiful River Cothi on the road between Brechfa to the southwest and Llansawel to the northeast. The surrounding area is primarily devoted to farming and forestry. As the name suggests it is where the River Gorlech meets the Cothi, which is renowned for its salmon fishing. Abergorlech stands on the edge of the Brechfa Forest and is a popular destination for walkers and mountain bikers, who enjoy the variety of trails that the forest has to offer.
The village grew from a single 16th century house, Tlr Mawr, and now consists of 35 houses, a church, church hall, chapel, pub and a charming old stone bridge – the Pont Cothi. The bridge, with its very irregular arches, also dates from the 16th century and is one of the oldest surviving bridges in Carmarthenshire.
Abergorlech is a vibrant and welcoming community, with many activities taking place in the church hall – Merched y Wawr, Community Council meetings, whist drives, an annual Eisteddfod & Drama, concerts and parties. The village also holds fund-raising events for charity, including the annual duck race.
The church of St David, Abergorlech, played an important role in the spread of early Methodism in the county. At first, use was made of the building by the then-moribund Established Church – the Chapel of Ease of St David’s. This allowed Carmarthenshire Methodists to avoid celebrating the Lord’s Supper in meeting houses or private dwellings. There was a society at Abergorlech by 1743.
The present church was built between 1828 & 1834 and renewed in 1872. A strong revival took place during the ministry of John Harris (1738-48). The interior of the church is noted for its magnificent brass oil lamps.
Church services are predominantly bi-lingual as most of the communicants are Welsh speaking. Although traditional forms of worship are normal, this friendly and relaxed congregation is open to different styles of modern worship. During the church year several special services are held; the Harvest Thanksgiving in church is followed by a Harvest supper at the Black Lion public house – a most popular evening. This service is attended by members of the chapel and the support is reciprocated when the chapel holds its own Harvest Thanksgiving service. The Carol Service on the Sunday before Christmas is held alternately with the chapel.