This tiny Norman church nestling in a wooded Gower valley has a thriving membership. In addition to two morning services (8.30 and 10.00) and an evening service at Nazareth Chapel, Campion Gardens, the local retirement/nursing home. It also holds services on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and runs its own volunteer-staffed bookshop - The lamplighterr - in the centre of the village of Bishopston.
The Parish Church of St.Teilo occupies the site of one of the earliest Christian settlements in Wales. The old Welsh name of the village was Llandeilo Ferwallt. Which means “Church of St.Teilo in Ferwallt” –which has a number of interpretations.
According to the Book of Llandaff, the church dates back to 460-490 A.D. when Teilo established a Llan ( Church) hidden in a dell above the stream. This was an enclosure, probably no more than a simple wooden fenced area, open to the sky, where the faithful met for worship and to celebrate the Eucharist. Later, a cell or small Chapel was constructed on the site.
In the year AD 1130 the Pope settled the patronage of the Church on the Bishop of Llandaff and it remained in that Diocese until 1920. Thus Bishopston derives its name from having been, “the Bishops Town”, an Episcopal Manor with its Court Leet, until 1923.
The Church, dedicated to St.Teilo, still keeps its ”mapsant” or Patron Saint’s Day which is on the 9th of February.