Rees, William


b Llansannan nr Denbigh (Clwyd) 1802, d 1883. He briefly attended the local school while also working on the family farm, largely teaching himself as he grew up from the Welsh literature available to him. While still farming as labourer and shepherd he began a preaching ministry in independent churches at the age of 27, and soon became an accredited Congregational minister. He served at Mostyn on the Flintshire coast (1831–37), Denbigh (1837–43) and Liverpool (his longest pastorate, 1843–75), and together with his brother Henry was widely recognised for his powerful preaching gifts. His writing featured in some politically radical newspaper articles, and in Liverpool he edited the Welsh journal Yr Amserau. He urged the abolition of American slavery. His popular lectures included a decisive address on Wm Williams Pantycelyn (qv) which alerted a new generation to the greatness of his preaching compatriot and hymnwriting predecessor. He also wrote under the name of Gwilym Hiraethog, by which he is sometimes best known in Wales. No.424.

Hymns and songs by Rees, William

Number Hymn Name
424 Here is love, vast as the ocean