Reverend Alfred Augustus Mathews Vicar Of St. Paul's Church Newport 1904 - 1933

Photo reference number: 1585

Text and image from "St. Paul's Parish Newport" by Rev. T. Parry Pryce, 1936.

In February, 1904, the living of St. Paul's was offered to the Rev. A. A. Mathews by Bishop Lewis, Bishop of Llandaff, and accepted.
At the Annual Vestry held on Thursday, April 7th, 1904, on the motion of Mr. F. J. Heybyrne, and seconded by Mr. C. H. Jones, the following resolution was carried unanimously:-

"That this Vestry heartily thanks the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, for appointing as Incumbent of the parish the Rev. Alfred Augustus Mathews, B.A., whose views are so fully in accord with the majority of the congregation worshipping at St. Paul's, and the Vestry looks forward hopefully to his work amongst them as their Vicar."

For eight years he had been Vicar of Blaenavon, where his ministry had been most successful and excellent work had been accomplished.
He was instituted to the living on April 18th, 1904, and Inducted by Archdeacon Bruce, Archdeacon of Monmouth, on 18th of May.
He was a man of untiring activity and of boundless energy.
Immediately on his arrival he threw himself wholeheartedly into the work of the Parish.
By his genial and most sympathetic manner he soon won the confidence of his congregation and immediately set out on a programme of Church extension.
During his ministry of twenty-nine years he raised a considerable amount of money for Church purposes and made a most adequate provision for carrying on the spiritual work of the Parish.
We give below some of the things that were accomplished by him.

1904-5 The Church windows renewed and the Choir Stalls and Holy Communion table raised.
1905-6 South-West Porch erected and Clergy and Choir Vestries improved.
1906-7 St. Barnabas built.
1908 Vicarage Hall raised by one storey.
1909 Present Vicarage acquired.
1911 The Congregation Chapel, Dock Street, purchased and renamed St. James.
1912 Wrenford Memorial Hall erected.
1926 No. 6 Hill Street purchased.
1932 St. Thomas, Maesglas, erected.

Rarely has any Parish witnessed a greater extension of Church work in a corresponding period of time.
Nor was his vision bounded by Parochial boundaries. His great passion for the extension of God's kingdom can best be seen in the Missionary activities of the Parish.
Apart from the annual contribution sent direct to C.M.S., support was given to:-

Peshawar Hospital.
Mombassa Hospital.
Bible Woman Fukhein.
Pakhoi and Onitsha Beds,
as well as "Our own Missionaries."

For many years he has held the positions of Chairman of the Diocesan Association of the C.M.S. and Hon. Secretary of the Monmouth Diocesan Board of Missions.
In 1930 he was appointed Rural Dean of Newport, and in the same year was made Canon (The Cause of Missions).
In 1933 he was offered and accepted the living of Caerwent.