The Historical Society of the Methodist Church in Wales (Cymdeithas Hanes yr Eglwys Fethodistaidd yng Nghymru) was founded in 1946. In the same year the Society published the first volume of a new periodical with the title Bathafarn. The title refers to the home near Ruthin of Edward Jones who played a central role as a missionary among Welsh speakers at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. 32 volumes of Bathafarn were published between 1946 and 2003. The volumes include many important articles about the history of Methodism in Wales. Although the historian A. H. Williams attempted to ensure that the periodical would record the history of Methodism in both languages the majority of the articles have been concerned with the Welsh-language work and have been written in Welsh. The complete set of volumes has been digitised by the National Library of Wales as part of its ‘Welsh Journals Online’ project. They are available without charge on the Library’s website http://welshjournals.llgc.org.uk In 2011 the Society launched a new historical publication entitled Bathafarn Bach (Little Bathafarn). All the issues are available on the Synod Cymru website.
From 1947 onwards the Society arranged a series of historical lectures which were delivered during the Welsh Assembly and, from 1974, during the Spring Synod. Most of the lectures were subsequently published in Bathafarn.
Synod Cymru’s History Committee is responsible for arranging the Society’s activities. Today every member of Synod Cymru is a member of the Historical Society without charge and receives each issue of Bathafarn Bach with the Gwyliedydd. Recently the Society has begun an annual ‘pilgrimage’ to visit places and districts which are important in our history.