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'Churches Unlocked' Festival

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English content

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Saturday 18th - Sunday 26th June 2022

Welsh content

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Celebrating our churches - past and future

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'Churches Unlocked' - our first ever Churches Festival, featuring ten of our gorgeous buildings which will be open to visitors for tours, family events, flower festivals, bell-ringing, music, concerts, family history and themed exhibitions. Plus tea and Welsh cakes of course! So come and have a look inside our wonderful churches - we're looking forward to welcoming you between the 18th-26th June, though please check church opening times before setting out.

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Festival booklet (2 page spread)

The Festival booklet with details of churches taking part

Booklet (2 page spread)

Festival booklet (single page)

The Festival booklet (mobile version)

Booklet (single page)

Festival Events

The full day-by-day schedule of Festival events

Events

Access & travel information

Find out about how to get there and wheelchair access

Travel & access

Festival Poster

Download an A4 poster with information about the Festival

Poster

Newsletter sign up

Sign up for our Churches Unlocked monthly newsletter all about church visiting and events

Sign up

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10 Churches to visit

Llandaff Cathedral

EVENTS AND OPENING TIMES

Founded in 1120 and one of the four medieval Cathedrals of Wales, Grade I listed Llandaff Cathedral has a dramatic history including partial destruction by a WWII bomb. Contains a wonderful variety of architecture and stained glass. Epstein's sculpture 'Christ in Majesty' dominates the nave and divides opinion - see what you think.

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St Catwg, Cadoxton-juxta-Neath

EVENTS AND OPENING TIMES

Grade II* St Catwg's is a medieval church dating from the 13C. The fine series of wall monuments from the C18 and C19 tell the stories of local families including Henry Coombe-Tennant, the WWII spy who became a monk. In the churchyard the 19C 'Murder Stone' remembers Margaret Williams and her unsolved murder in 1822.

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St Cynwyd, Llangynwyd

EVENTS AND OPENING TIMES

St Cynwyd's was a focus for pilgrimage in medieval times, and is listed Grade II* for its surviving medieval work, the high quality of the C19 restoration and its setting at the centre of the hilltop village. The romantic story of the Maid of Cefn-ydfa is commemorated in the chancel. The church is surrounded by one of the largest churchyards in Wales.

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St Andrew, St Andrew's Major

Events and opening times

A Grade II* medieval church retaining much of its historic fabric and situated in a delightful country churchyard. The chancel has a beautifully painted ceiling. Interesting connections include a plaque commemorating Charles Wesley's visit in 1740 and a churchyard monument remembering 19C local Bard, Dewi Wyn o Essyllt.

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St Michael & All Angels, Llanmihangel

EVENTS AND OPENING TIMES

This charming little 13C church with its saddle-back tower fortified with arrow slits, nestles below Plas Llanmihangel. The porch has its original stone benches where marriages would have taken place in medieval times. There is no electricity in the church, so it is lit by oil lamps and candles. Nearby is a holy well, dedicated to St Anne.

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St Thomas, Neath

EVENTS AND OPENING TIMES

Situated in the centre of Neath and founded in the 13C, the old town church of St Thomas is a fine example of an early Georgian church with furnishings which are rare in Wales. The church has a lovely collection of stained glass including possibly the only church window we know of featuring a merry-go-round!

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St Mary the Virgin, Cardiff

EVENTS AND OPENING TIMES

St Mary's was built in 1843 to replace the medieval church destroyed by a flood , the work funded partly by a sonnet written by William Wordsworth. Gorgeous painted decoration in the chancel. An anchor rather than a cross hangs over the altar reflecting the church's seafaring heritage. A church with a fascinating story of the diverse community of Butetown.

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St Michael, Beddau

Events and opening times

An unique design, St Michael's is a remarkable essay in modern movement architecture; a rare and early example of expressionism in church architecture in Wales. Built in 1936, to the design of Lady Juliet Rhys-Williams of Miskin Manor, and the agent to the estate, Arthur Thomas. You won't visit another church like this!

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St John the Baptist, Troedyrhiw

EVENTS AND OPENING TIMES

Commissioned by local ironmaster, Anthony Hill, who insisted that only he should be buried in the church - he now lies under the altar in three coffins of yew, oak and lead. St John's was an early design of John Prichard who built many of the 19C churches of SE Wales, and retains many of its Victorian fittings. The stained glass in the E window is glorious!

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St Theodore, Port Talbot

EVENTS AND OPENING TIMES

Designed by top Victorian architect JL Pearson the church was built between 1895-7 having been commissioned by the immensely wealthy Emily Talbot of Margam Park in memory of her brother Theodore and sister Olive. The interior is magnificent, no expense having been spared in the quality of the furnishings.

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