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Leader Magazine
JULY 1961.
SIR MEIRION: No. 2.          by R.M.
Cader Idris has many legends associated with it. The name, of course, means the seat of Idris, in fact the giant Idris Fawr who was the legendary inventor of the harp, and who studied the stars from his seat on the mountain top and made the music which gave the Welsh people their love of song. One of the stories about the mountain tells how the great god of the neighbourhood was Gwynn ap Nudd, or Light, son of the morning mist. This spirit had a pack of hounds with which he hunted the souls of the dead when they sought refuge in the crags of Cader. When his hounds seized them he took them down to the underworld. He later became king of fairyland and there are many legends about the visits which the fairies, who are said to have lived deep inside Cader, made to the local people.
Rising from the South Western slopes of Cader is the Afon Cader which flows down a narrow, steep sided valley to meet the Dysynni. Near the head waters of the stream is a small village, Llanfihangel y Pennant (the Church of St. Michael the Archangel at the Head of the Stream). The name Llanfihangel is common throughout Wales and has a ninth century origin when many churches were dedicated to St. Michael. An old story tells of deep vaults under the church where smuggled goods were hidden. This area many years ago was notorious for its smuggling activities, goods being brought from the continent and from Ireland.
Llanfihangel y Pennant is known for another reason. A girl from the village indirectly caused the formation of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Mary Jones was born here late in the 18th century. Her father, a weaver, was very religious but very poor and he could not afford to buy a Bible which, in those days, was very expensive. For a long time she saved every coin that she could spare and, when she was 18, she had enough to buy one. The nearest place where it was possible to get one was Bala.
One morning she set off at dawn and walked barefoot across the mountains to reach Bala late in the evening. The Reverend Thomas Charles, who distributed the Bibles, only had his own copy left but nevertheless, gave it to her to take home. She then walked back. Later, inspired by Mary's action, he formed a committee which led to the formation of the British and Foreign Bible Society so that inexpensive editions of the Bible could be printed and distributed where they were needed.
Every year the American section of this Society sends a wreath to be placed on the monument, erected to Mary Jones at Llanfihangel in memory of her part in the formation of the Society.





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