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Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau

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St. Mary's Spring Update

April 2017

St. Mary's Missing/Stolen Cross

No further info despite extensive enquires/searches by police. Given the odds against the stolen cross being found, and no luck finding the original second cross, Friends are requesting a replacement cross. The cross atop St. Mary's tower could be seen from many parts of the community and is much missed by all who look for it. Caerau and City Councillor Peter Bradbury agreed to discuss getting a replacement cross with Martin Birch of the Council Bereavement Department.
Repairs needed to top of chancel arch.
The view from the top.

St. Mary's Repair Meeting

This was held on 4th April 2017 and was attended by Councillors Peter and Elaine, Bereavement representative, Carmel, and Dave Horton, from ACE, in addition to residents and Friends.

Heritage Lottery Fund Bid Report

Dave H reported that ACE has received 1st Phase lottery grant for development funding and is hopeful 2nd Phase will proceed with four working groups, to include development of Gospel Hall with possible extension, and management of hill fort.

Two figures given: 150,000 for Gospel Hall & extension, due to start in June this year and continue through to May 18. 25,000 for church repair training (during second phase development, if successful).

The Gospel Hall at the foot of Caerau Hill may be used, among other things, as an 'interpretation centre' for the whole hill fort Scheduled Monument, which includes the remains of St. Mary's church. St. Mary's 13th century font and Piscina, discovered in pieces by a visiting Cambridge historian, and reassembled as best he could, have been located, and could eventually be on display in the Gospel Hall.

Repairs to lower church structure

Photos of top of chancel arch needing repairs -- see picture -- given to Carmel to pass on to Martin, requesting that these be attended to. Also, the cavity at waist level in the west wall of the tower, as previously reported, needs to be dealt with.

Stabilisation of tower

Dave H confirmed that this won't be funded by HLF, who consider these repairs the responsibility of owner (Council). Stonework training courses during the HLF delivery phase 2 could, however, include and fund this, probably at least a year and half away, if second tranche of HLF money is granted. Next St. Mary's repair meeting will be October 3rd 2017 at 1pm, the Dusty Forge, Cowbridge Road West. Please come along if you can.

New Hillfort Group

Paul Kemble has circulated a draft constitution for proposed new group, Friends of Caerau Hill Fort, to improve communication between the various interested parties. For further information, please contact Paul.
Tea up! Taskforce volunteers relax after hard morning's work.

Taskforce News

Taskforce group of volunteers continue to meet 11am at St. Mary's on first Tuesdays of most months, to carry out light gardening duties, repair of grave stones where possible, and general tidying and rubbish collection. Taskforce's aim is to keep the church and hillfort an attractive place to visit.

We are helped with this by Bereavement gardening services, and also by the many residents and Friends who regularly visit to collect litter, and who, while 'looking-out' for St. Mary's, enjoy some peace and quiet away from their busy lives. The view from the top of the ringwork is spectacular -- no photo can properly do it justice, and the beauty and tranquil setting of the church and graveyard make a visit worthwhile. Please keep the footfalls coming as often as you can. It really does make a difference.

Delia Jay, Founder.
Email: founders@stmaryscaerau.org