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Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau

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Autumn Update 2012

Dear Friends and Supporters

The autumn colours on Caerau Hill are truly lovely, as are the panoramic views of the Taff Gap, Castell Coch, the Garth Mountain, and over Ely and Caerau and all the way to central Cardiff. Despite the noisy By-Pass at the foot of the hill, the tranquillity at the top and in St. Mary’s churchyard remain almost unchanged and continue to be a source of comfort to many, especially in these difficult times. Do take the opportunity to visit while the colours last and before winter closes in.

Council work teams have recently completed many of the repairs needed to the church and removed all the old graffiti. Unfortunately, vandals have already begun to deface again the beautifully cleaned chancel arch, an ongoing nuisance and probably something we will have to live with, but as one supporter has noted, at least it does not seriously damage the structure. You will notice when visiting, two large concrete blocks at the entrance to the churchyard. They look ugly but are there to help keep trail and quad bikes out of the graveyard.

Despite the unfortunate new daubing, St. Mary’s is looking very fine indeed, and the present absence of litter on and around our heritage site is a credit to the Council Bereavement Department, and to all our supporters who made time to visit over the long holidays and collect litter and who continue to visit and care for this beautiful site.

Clearly, a ruin as frail and isolated as St. Mary’s will need on-going repairs and cleaning but we believe worth it to preserve this iconic landmark on what Time Team have revealed to be an important historic hill site. Look out for the announcement re Time Team’s TV broadcast of their 2012 excavation on Caerau Hill, expected early next year.

Our sincere thanks to Philip Amphlett and Martin Birch and their teams for organising and carrying out the repairs and cleaning and also to the Council for making funds available. Also many grateful thanks to local councillor Peter Bradbury for his enthusiastic support in helping to get this work done.

Ending on a sad note, we are sorry to hear of the recent death of Canon Jack Buttimore. Canon Buttimore very kindly presided over the Friends’ book launch in 2007 when the late Rev. Victor Jones was unable to attend due to illness. We were very grateful for Canon Buttimore’s support which continued until his death.

The Friends of St. Mary’s.

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