Sacred Wales / Cymru Sanctaidd

Join in the search for Wales’ favourite Church or Chapel

With over 4,500 churches and chapels, Wales has some of the most beautiful and historic religious buildings in the world.

To celebrate and raise awareness of Wales’ religious heritage, the National Churches Trust, the UK’s church building support charity, has launched Sacred Wales/Cymru Sanctaidd giving people a chance to choose Wales’ favourite church or chapel.

From a list nominated by churches and chapels and religious and heritage organisations, you can choose one of fifty from all over Wales.

       

They include St David’s Cathedral, the Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt near Cardigan, and St Mary’s Tenby 

You can vote online at www.sacredwales.org.uk until 31 August 2017.

The winning church or chapel will be announced on 28 September 2017 and will receive a ‘SacredWales’ – ‘Cymru Sanctaidd’ trophy, together with a cheque for £500.

(A video about Sacred Wales can be downloaded at https://vimeo.com/224767104 (English with Welsh subtitles) and at https://vimeo.com/224670880 (English only).

Sacred Wales/Cymru Sanctaidd celebrates Wales’ churches and chapels. But it is also designed to start a debate about their future.

Once the centre of Welsh society, many churches and chapels are still vital for community life.  However, the job of looking after religious buildings is becoming harder as congregations decline.

The Supporting Places of Worship in Wales Survey 2017, a new report produced by the National Churches Trust, published in July 2017, highlights some of the problems being faced by many Welsh churches and chapels.

1. A severe shortage of volunteers to look after church and chapel buildings. Keeping churches and chapels open and in good repair is often up to volunteers.  However, 50% of churches and chapels say that they are not attracting new volunteers due to dwindling congregations and a lack of young people.

2. A lack of skills needed to raise funds for repairs.

60% of churches and chapels need funding from external sources to pay for repair and maintenance projects to keep their building in good condition.  But fundraising skills are in short supply. 28% of churches and chapels have no experience at all of making funding applications and 54% little experience.

3. Churches and chapels want funding to help carry our regular maintenance.

One of the best ways of preventing the need for expensive repairs is to carry our regular maintenance.  But almost half of churches and chapels surveyed (44%) do not have a maintenance plan. And over three quarters of churches and chapels (78%) said they wanted help with funding to carry out maintenance.

The survey was organised by the National Churches Trust on behalf of the Welsh Places of Worship Forum. A total of 219 places of worship responded between May and July 2017.

Read the survey in full