One of the most historic churches in the Caerphilly area is being re-consecrated this week after a major restoration project.
The congregation of St Barrwg’s Church, which looks over the village of Bedwas, is celebrating the completion of major restoration work to the Church, costing almost £260,000, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Church in Wales, CADW and Caerphilly County Borough Council, as well as a number of private donors.
The works, which have taken three years to complete include the replacement of the roof, following a beetle infestation, and creating a more community-friendly space with new kitchen and toilet facilities along with heritage interpretation of this church, which stands on a site which is believed to have been used for Christian worship since 1102, earlier than the nearby Caerphilly Castle.
This phase of the works to this Grade II listed building follows an earlier HLF-funded project to carry out major structural work to the tower.
Revd Peter Crocker, vicar of St Barrwg’s said: “It is very exciting to see the improvements to St Barrwg’s following this work. The discovery of the beetle infestation was a blessing in disguise; the resulting work has enabled us to create a space in the Church which helps us be a resource to the local community.
“The inclusion of a new kitchen and toilet facilities, and the removal of the pews give us a flexible space, which we can use for parent & toddler groups, coffee mornings and other community events. We have also installed a ramp to help with accessibility to the Church, which enables access for all to this stunning worship space.”
He added, “We are very much looking forward to making full use of the Church for worship, community events and to help local school children and visitors learn more about the history of the Church and the local area.”
Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, said: “Places of worship are among the UK’s most historic buildings, with fascinating stories behind them. Thanks to National Lottery players, this money will pay for urgent repairs at St Barrwg’s Church, whilst also helping to tell the stories of this special place to visitors. As a result the building itself will be more used by the whole community, and properly cared for into the future.”