A place of worship and a place to meet
With the help of Allchurches Trust, St Cadoc’s Church is becoming a hub for the community
Built in the Norman style, parts of St Cadoc’s Church in Raglan, Monmouthshire date back to the fourteenth century. Having withstood the elements for centuries, the church was beginning to show its age in 2015, as the old stone roof started to let in water.
The PCC were determined to turn this challenge into an opportunity. As building work was a necessity, they decided to investigate the feasibility of improving the facilities within the church to benefit the local community.
To make sure any improvements met the requirements of everyone in Raglan and not just the churchgoers, the PCC devised a survey and questionnaire to solicit views from over 850 households across the region.
Building consensus and community
The responses showed that there was a real need for a community meeting space in Raglan, as venues for clubs and societies were extremely limited. Installing refreshment facilities and a meeting space at the church could make a real difference to groups across the community.
For instance, St Cadoc’s already played host to primary schoolchildren through the local ‘History Detectives’ initiative. Every week children visited the church and used QR codes in the grounds to access online information. Yet the church couldn’t offer them proper refreshments due to the poor facilities on site.
There were other opportunities too, as with its ideal acoustics the church had already hosted a number of musical evenings. But again, the refreshments were limited and members of the congregation had to bring food to the church on foot, then take plates back home to be washed.
By installing a kitchenette at the base of the tower while the work on the roof was being carried out, St Cadoc’s could ensure that everyone who visited had a warm and refreshing welcome.
St Cadoc’s PCC put a working team together to apply for grants to pay for the building work. They also carried out a number of fundraising initiatives, including an abseil down the tower by someone dressed as a teddy bear!
The PCC’s vision to attract more people to this thriving church struck a chord with Allchurches Trust when we visited, and we were more than happy to support them with a grant. Work is scheduled to begin in April 2016 and should be completed by the summer, giving people across the community a much-needed venue for meetings and companionship.