We call on the Welsh Government to recognize and commemorate the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of William Williams, Pantycelyn this year (1717-2017).
We believe that Williams Pantycelyn has laid the foundations for the modern Wales through all his hymns (over 900), his various literary works (90), and his tireless mission work for the gospel through the whole of Wales for 40 years.
The Methodist Reformation of the 18th century, in which Williams played such a key part, led to the establishment of the first national organization in the history of Wales in 400 years, namely the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists (1811).
That in turn triggered a series of further educational, social and political reforms which were instrumental in creating the Modern Wales.
Pantycelyn therefore is more than just one of the major figures of the faith tradition in Wales. He is one of the major figures of our national story as Welsh people.
It is incumbent upon the Welsh Government to recognize his immense contribution to our nation and we call on the Government to arrange an appropriate celebration once the members have returned to Cardiff in September.
We note that the Welsh Government has organized similar celebrations to mark the contributions of two other prominent Welshmen recently. Last year, the contribution of the children’s novelist Roald Dahl was celebrated, and the previous year, the contribution made by the poet Dylan Thomas. Vast sums of Welsh tax payers’ money was spent on these events.
With this precedent having been set twice recently, we believe that it would be inexcusable for our national government to refuse to recognize the contribution of Williams Pantycelyn in the same manner.
With all due respect to Dylan Thomas and Roald Dahl, and their individual contributions in the appropriate fields - their contributions to Welsh life cannot be compared with that of the Sweet Songster, William Williams.
There has been fierce public reaction to the recent fiasco of "The Iron Ring" and the idea of spending £400,000 to celebrate the conquest of Wales by Edward I with a piece of art at Flint Castle. The complaint repeatedly expressed by members of the public was how on earth the Welsh Government could be so ignorant and insensitive in relation to Wales’s own history?
The celebration and commemoration of the life and work of Williams Pantycelyn in an appropriate manner would indicate that the Welsh Government is sympathetic to our nation’s history.
One idea that we would like you to consider is to transfer the funding allocated to the Iron Ring and erect a majestic piece of art in Llandovery to commemorate the Sweet Songster.