Village Alive Trust
Village Alive Trust

Village Alive Trust aims to save a local church for community use

LOCAL buildings preservation charity, The Village Alive Trust, is exploring how the prominent Grade II* listed StTeilo’s Church at Llanarth, which is no longer used and up for sale, may be repaired and given a new lease of life to benefit the community. The imposing church was closed six years ago after a report showed it needed major roof repairs. Now the Church in Wales (CiW) is offering the church for sale for conversion, subject to planning permission. There are now more than 90 CiW redundant churches for sale.

Village Alive Trust chairman, Pat Griffiths, who was married at Llanarth over 40 years ago, was saddened to see the sale board go up as both her late father and her mother, now aged 91, had served St Teilo’s as church wardens. “I contacted Rev Dr Jean Prosser, the Trust’s founder and company secretary, and we decided we must try to save this building with new uses, rather than see it converted into a house. Head scratching, brain storming and meetings with our architect, the Church in Wales and other interested parties have led to the Trust applying for a grant for a feasibility study on new uses for the church,” said Pat.

Village Alive Trust members and trustees know that even such a lovely building as this church must be able to pay its way in future with income to cover running costs, and, importantly, a project must also ensure the building does not detract from use of the nearby Llanarth Village Hall. “If we can secure an Architectural Heritage Fund grant for some expert advice on repairs and basic facilities and the viability of new uses, we will have a basis to apply for more grants,” said Pat. “We are looking at future uses for a building that has delighted many generations of local people with its beautiful stained glass window and airy nave, which has interesting plaques we hope to conserve. The ideas so far are wide ranging with one idea - for the chancel - to become a separate, quiet, reflective space for cremated ashes to be kept in memorial niches in a modern day indoor Columbarium. The nave area could benefit from under floor heating with a new suspended floor and could find use as an exhibition space or for occasional festivals in the Christian calendar, or for concerts which require church acoustics. The tower may lend itself to small office spaces and the installation of services such as WC and beverage preparation area. We would also look to ecologically manage the churchyard and to make a record of all the families buried there so that their stories can be accessed on a website.”

Before we make any plans, WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THIS HISTORIC CHURCH. To register interest in this project and to receive a questionnaire in due course please email village.alive@btinternet.com or contact Jean on 01873 821405 or Pat on 01873821418.

AHF

St Teilo's Church