A project to conserve the heritage of an ancient chapel and church in Llanrwst worth almost £800,000 has passed the first round of National Lottery funding.
St Grwst’s Church and Gwydir Chapel has received over £80,000 to develop plans and get initial work underway.
The project to uncover the heritage of Gwydir Chapel and St Grwst’s Church, both of which date back to the 15th century, will provide new interpretation displays and activities to appeal to a wide range of local people and visitors.
In addition, the National Lottery award will preserve, protect and refurbish the buildings, undertaking vital repairs to keep them in good order.
The Reverend Sarah Hildreth-Osborn, Rector of St Grwst’s Church and Project Leader, said, “I am delighted to have passed the first round of National Lottery funding and we look forward to further developing our vision for these ancient treasures. By breathing new life into these historic buildings, we will attract more visitors to Llanrwst, raise awareness of the history, grow our congregation and thereby create a sustainable future for the church and chapel”.
The vision of the project is to enable the Church to become sustainable for future generations both for a variety of worship and community use. The project seeks to put the Church at the centre of community life providing a gathering place at the heart of the town providing a safe, light, welcoming, warm and multi-functional building for the community.
Urgent fabric repairs and conservation work will be carried out on the church and chapel as well as the monuments within. The church will be opened up to provide a more flexible space releasing it from the constraints of seating and space use of future generations. The creation of this welcoming space will enable the engagement in activities for both the congregation and the community for many and varied events such as concerts, exhibitions and community functions.
A brass rubbing centre is planned, using the church’s facsimile Brass Engravings of the nationally significant Brass Engravings in the Gwydir Chapel.
The project will present exciting opportunities for people in the community to harness heritage skills in developing the building conservation, archiving, heritage learning and interpretation. There will also be new volunteering opportunities for tour guides, archivists, historians, gardeners and hospitality teams.
Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, added: “Wales’s historic places of worship are often at the heart of our communities, and it is thanks to National Lottery players that we can protect these much loved buildings so they can continue to serve their local community. St Grwst’s Church and Gwydir Chapel will not only benefit from vital structural repairs, but also from work to improve it as an important facility for local people, helping make Llanrwst a better place for everybody.”