Home » Christmas funding boost will keep the roof on at St Mary Magdalene church, Monknash 
Community South Wales Vale of Glamorgan

Christmas funding boost will keep the roof on at St Mary Magdalene church, Monknash 

A MUCH-loved South Glamorgan church is to share in a £421,000 urgent funding pay-out from the National Churches Trust. 

A £3,000 National Churches Trust Gateway Grant will help to pay for urgent Chancel roof repairs at the Grade II* Listed 12th Century church of St Mary Magdalene in Monknash.

The church also received a £9,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant from the Wolfson Foundation on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust to help pay for the repairs.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of the National Churches Trust, said: “I’m delighted that St Mary Magdalene is receiving a Christmas funding boost for urgent Chancel roof repairs at this beautiful church. This will safeguard unique local heritage and keep St Mary Magdalene open and in use for the benefit of local people.” 

“Whether seeking quiet reflection, access to community services or a place to worship, the National Churches Trust helps hundreds of churches each year and with the support of local people, keeps them thriving today and tomorrow.” 

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “As well as being places of worship and buildings of beauty, churches sit at the heart of the community. In many ways they stand between the past and present. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the National Churches Trust to support the preservation of these significant, much-loved historic buildings across the UK.” 

Help for churches

49 churches across the UK will stay open and in good repair thanks to £421,000 of funding awarded by the National Churches Trust in this latest round of grants.  

In 2022, the National Churches Trust has made over 200 grants to churches throughout the United Kingdom with funding totalling more than £1.6m. This year, its funding also helped to remove 18 churches from the Historic England Heritage at Risk register.

The church 

St Mary Magdalene church dates from the early 12th century. It is Grade II* listed as a largely complete early medieval church which has retained its character and has a number of important features.

It originally served a Cistercian monastic grange, which was established when the land was given to Neath Abbey by Richard de Granville in 1129. The grange operated until 1533.

The walls are of Norman construction. But the only visible external features from that time are the remains of a blocked doorway in the north wall, which would have provided access from the grange, and a small window in the north wall of the chancel.

The churchyard includes the remains of crews of some of the many ships wrecked off the coast and of bones uncovered as a result of cliff erosion. This has been the subject of research by Cardiff University, which was covered in the BBC series ‘Digging for Britain’.

The church is part of a proposed Pilgrim Trail covering several ancient Christian sites in the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Ministry Area.

The project

The £3,000 Gateway Grant and the £9,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant will facilitate urgent Chancel roof repairs to this Grade II* listed church building.

Marie Sheppard, Churchwarden at St Mary Magdalene’s, said: “This is a tremendous boost to getting our project on the way.  We are very grateful to the National Churches Trust and the Wolfson Foundation for their support.  With the help of all our supporters, we should be able to get essential repairs completed in 2023”.

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