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The Welsh Church Act 1914 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdommarker under which the Welshmarker part of the Church of England was separated and disestablished, leading to the creation of the Church in Wales. The Act was a controversial measure, and was passed by the House of Commonsmarker under the provisions of the Parliament Act 1911.

The Bill was politically and historically significant as one of the first pieces of legislation to apply solely to Wales (and Monmouthshiremarker) since the country's incorporation into the wider legal entity of England and Wales. In Wales the passing of the Bill was seen by many as the culmination of a long campaign which had begun in the mid-nineteenth century, led largely by Welsh Nonconformists who objected to paying tithes to the Church of England. The campaign was later strongly supported by the patriotic Cymru Fydd movement.

English author G. K. Chesterton ridiculed the passion that the Bill aroused when he asked "Are they clinging to their crosses F.E. Smith?" in his poem Antichrist, or the Reunion of Christendom: An Ode.

Owing to the intervention of the First World War, the Act did not come into force until 31 March 1920, when the Welsh part of the Church of England become the Church in Wales, an independent province of the Anglican Communion, with six dioceses led by the Archbishop of Wales.

Notes

  1. Jenkins, P. (1992) A History of Modern Wales 1536-1990. Harlow: Longman


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