Caerau Friends and Residents, December 2018. Photo by Delia.
St. Mary's Update Spring 2019
Replacement CrossCaerau Friends and residents met with Peter and Martin and Carmel on the hill just before Christmas and heard the very good news that Martin was ready to proceed with this and asked Delia to make contact with our chosen stonemason Paul M. Sadly, however, we learnt that Paul was unwell and not now able to undertake the work. We asked Martin to request Architectural Stone to carry out the work and Martin agreed. Architectural Stone has an excellent record in their previous involvement with repairs to St. Mary's tower and arch, and we are hopeful there will be a new cross atop the church before too much longer.
UNITYLast year one of our valued overseas Friends Les Phillips wrote to the Echo & Western Mail asking businesses to donate to a fund to help with the repair and maintenance of St. Mary's. Les pledged £50 to start the fund. Regrettably nothing came of this, and Les agreed to Delia's suggestion to send his donation to Unity, a local charity set up & run by a group of mothers in Caerau/Ely, who fundraise to provide children with fun activities in school holidays. Les was happy to do this. Keeping children occupied in school holidays is in St. Mary's interest as petty vandalism in the long holidays can be a problem.
Winter snow, by Paul Kemble.
Grave MapSince Friends' grave map was completed we have had many enquiries from people, several from overseas, seeking to find loved ones believed buried at St. Mary's. We are always pleased to help where we can, and even if names being sought are not identified on our map because the stones have been lost, damaged, or unreadable, we can direct families to other places, for example the Glamorgan Archives, where a separate register is kept. We were recently contacted by a Canadian family who identified their loved ones from our grave map and are coming to the church to view their great, great grandparents' grave. They wrote in their email that they were "excited" to find our website and map, and were pleased to learn that this historic site is being cared for. The family asked to meet with the Friends to learn the history of the church and site when they are visiting for the first time in the summer, and we will be pleased to do this. The St. Mary's grave map was completed several years ago under the supervision of Tony Jay and helped by Angela, Paul, Ben, Delia and Olly, and the Bereavement gardening team. We are always interested to hear from people who believe they have relatives buried at St. Mary's.
Spring flowers, by Paul Kemble.
CAERWe have recently learnt that CAER has secured a tidy sum from the Heritage Lottery Fund and some of it may be used to benefit St. Mary's. We certainly hope so, as losing this wonderful cultural asset would be very sad indeed for all our community, past and present. Finally, please visit the church and graveyard as often as you can. It is looking very good at the moment thanks to the Bereavement Team maintaining the graveyard and hedges and the approach road; and Caerau Friends regularly visiting to collect litter, weed paths etc., and report damage. The Friends love being on the hill and the views across Cardiff are inspiring. News updates and historical background can be found on our website. Please report anything suspicious to the police on phone nu. 101 and quote St. Mary's postcode CF55NA. You can also contact Councillor Peter Bradbury, or send an email to the Friends. Thank you, Caerau Friends.
Grateful thanks to Paul K for the photography.