St Tydfil’s, the Old Parish Church of Merthyr Tydfil, stands at the lower end of the High Street. It was built to keep sacred the spot where Tydfil was martyred because of her Christian beliefs. It is thought that some form of church has stood on this spot for nearly 1500 years.
The present church was not built until 1894, when the previous church, built in 1808 was replaced. It was designed by J L Pearson, who also designed Truro Cathedral.
Unfortunately, this church was closed for worship in 1968 when St. David’s Church, situated in the centre of the town became the new Parish Church of Merthyr Tydfil. The Old Parish Church is now used as a Chapel of Rest and for special services throughout the year.
After the church was closed for worship a group of people got together. Their aim was to get grants and raise money to ensure the church building would have a future. A new use for the church was found. It was decided to make it available for the people of the town to use as a Chapel of Rest and for funeral services. The Chapel of Rest area is the Lady Chapel and it is curtained off when in use. The money received from these services helps to keep the church in good repair.
The church is used as much as possible. Only three services of Holy Communion can be held each year. One is always held on St. Tydﬁl's Day, August 23rd. However, many other types of services are held. These include special services for Lent, such as The Stations of the Cross, a Christingle service at Christmas, a Mothering Sunday Service and a Harvest Thanksgiving.
One of the most popular services is the " Animal Service". In this service people are invited to bring their animals to be blessed. This is a wonderful occasion when the church is full of people and animals of all types, goats, horses, snakes as well as many dogs and cats.
Local schools are also encouraged to use the church for assemblies and other special occasions such as Carol Services.