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Friends of St Mary's Church at Caerau

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St. Mary's Summer Update

June 2015

Dear Supporter,

Firstly, apologies to anyone who turned up for the Easter Celebration, Big Picnic Event 28th March. This unfortunately had to be cancelled at the last minute, due to very wet weather.

The good news is, the 2015 CAER Heritage Project Archaeological Excavations are taking place from 22nd June to 17 July, and hoping for lots of local support. For all the details click on the link.

St Mary's Repair News

No start has been made to date, but we are still hoping that the most serious repairs will be carried out before too long. Cardiff's Bereavement Department budget has been cut, as have other councils' budgets in England and Wales, due to the "Austerity Measures" and Martin Birch, Bereavement Department Manager, directly responsible for St. Mary's upkeep & maintenance, has applied for extra funding from Cadw, which is taking time to process.

Friends/Taskforce/Residents and volunteers, concerned about the slowness of getting repairs underway, have asked that at least the growing hole in the east wall of the tower, and the weakened tower and chancel buttresses, are done as soon as possible, using some of Martin's existing funds while awaiting the outcome of the Cadw grant application.

We know Martin is doing his best to get these repairs under way and thank him for his efforts in this matter. Councillor Peter Bradbury is supporting the application to Cadw, and also the preservation of St. Mary's ruin.

Site security is a key issue. The majority of local residents want to keep what remains of this lovely community cultural asset, but there are others intent on causing serious damage both to church and graves. We have asked for extra police patrols, especially at night, and for people to visit the hill as regularly as possible, and report any antisocial/criminal behaviour they may see. Camera surveillance would be very useful to monitor the area, and would offer protection to visitors & workers also. This has been requested many times by the Friends.

On the plus side, Friends/Taskforce/residents/volunteers continue to visit as often as they can, to keep the site tidy and free of litter. Wild flower seeds have been scattered and paths around the graves and church have been weeded, raked and strimmed. Council contract workers earlier this year did a great job reducing the hedges and overgrowth around the church so it is more visible. See below the lovely photos taken by Friends' supporters.

I hope you will agree that the area looks fantastic and we hope you will visit, and also attend events that from time to time are organised in and around St. Mary's and the hillfort. And, if you have the time, please join us on first Tuesday of each month, rain or shine, on the hill. Next Taskforce meeting, Tuesday 7th July, from 11am to 1pm. Tea and biscuits provided. Time credits given.

Cadw Grant Assistance

Click here to see the Friends' reasons that have been sent to Cadw in support of the application for funds to preserve St. Mary's for future generations.

Taskforce and Friends of St. Mary's Caerau.