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Elfed learned the alphabet by studying the upper case letters in the Bible. He received his early education at Sunday School and at a 'British' school opened in Blaen-y-Coed Vestry, where English was taught, before moving on to Newcastle Emlyn School. He is said to be so good as a pupil that he often helped his classmates with their lessons. His work was always thorough and polished. The same features were highlighted during his four years at the Presbyterian College in Carmarthen.


Elfed studied the classics as well as English and Welsh literature and learned to sing 'cynghanedd'(a way of writing poetry using strict rules- stressalliteration and rhyme). It would hardly be without a Sunday sermon during that time.


He could easily have gone to Glasgow University to study for a degree as did many of his fellow students at Carmarthen. But because of the sacrifices already made by his parents, he believed that it was his duty to find pastorate as soon as possible. At the age of twenty, Elfed received a call to minister at the English Congregational chapel in Buckley, Flintshire. When asked later about his decision to serve in an English church his answer was that it was the only call he was offered.


During his lifetime he was honored with MA, DD and Ll.D. at the University of Wales in recognition of his many publications on theological and literary topics. Elfed was the first to receive three honorary degrees from the University.


He published studies of the work of Ceiriog, Ann Griffiths and Morgan Rhys as well as a volume on the history of the Welsh sermon and hymnology. His service as a lecturer was in demand. He spent three months in America in 1910 and was accommodated in the home of the well-known Evangelist DL Moody. He was also in Madagascar ten years later on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the landing of the first missionaries in the country and those from Neuaddlwyd in Cardiganshire.


Elfed was regarded as a knowledgeable rather than a penetrative scholar.

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