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Pembrokeshire church gets Heritage Lottery Fund

St. Jerome’s Church in Llangwm in Pembrokeshire is to undergo a renovation Credit: Heritage Llangwym

St. Jerome’s Church in Llangwm in Pembrokeshire has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake the medieval church’s renovation.

The funding will also help pay for the creation of an exhibition that tells the story of the migration of people who fled the collapse of sea defences in Flanders and came to Pembrokeshire to settle at the start of the 12th century.

Development funding of £17,700 has been awarded to help the church and the Heritage Llangwm team develop their plans to enable them to apply for a full grant to carry out the work, at a later date.

St. Jerome’s Church was built by Flemish craftsmen around 1200, but modernisation work in 1830 and 1879 meant the church lost much of its original medieval character.

Pamela Hunt, Chair of the Heritage Llangwm Team, said: “This is a marvellous opportunity.”

“We have a church in desperate need of renovation, so while we are achieving that, why not create an exhibition that pays tribute to the very people who built it in the first place?

"We know so little about them at the moment, but that doesn’t stop us finding out. If you imagine the Fleming story as a 500 piece jigsaw that’s lost all but 50 of its original pieces.

"When this project is complete, we hope to have found another 300, enough to enable us to create a clearer picture of the lifestyle and culture of the people who made this part of Wales their home."

Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: "The future plans for this building means that it can be enjoyed more widely throughout the community.

"I am delighted that we have been able to award a grant to help develop the plans for this exciting project, further.”

The entire project is expected to be completed by April 2016.

Llancarfan church celebrates restored murals

The intricate early 16th Century reredos screen has been restored Credit: Church in Wales

A 500 year-old mural in the small Vale church of St Cadoc's in Llancarfan will be celebrated at an event later this evening.

It will mark more than four years of major conservation work in the church.

The intricate early 16th Century screen has been returned to its former glory by a team of three specialists over the last six months.

The work included the discovery and restoration of Medieval wall paintings of the St George and the Dragon and the Seven Deadly Sins.

The project was generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, among others.

Conservator Hugh Harrison says, 'Canopy work like the reredos at Llancarfan can be found in the choir in almost every cathedral and major church in England and Wales, but none of these grand arrays of woodwork are coloured and gilded as at Llancarfan.'


Welsh born Archbishop's last day

Archbishop's last day Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is spending his last day in the job. He's spent ten years leading the Church of England. The 62 year old, who was born in Swansea, is the 104th man to hold the role.

He leaves the Church of England battling to resolve long-running negotiations over the introduction of women bishops after legislation to introduce the first female bishops was defeated last month at the General Synod.

He'll now take up the posts of Master of Magdalene College Cambridge and chairman of the board of trustees of Christian Aid, the international development agency.

Vicar's 700 mile charity tractor journey

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, takes a turn behind the wheel Credit: The Church in Wales/ITV News Wales

A vicar from Mid Wales is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for charity after driving a tractor to every cathedral in Wales.

Rev Richard Kirlew made the trip to raise awareness of struggling rural communities, and was encouraging donations to charities and organisations that support farmers.

His journey, which began last Monday, took in St Davids, Bangor, St Asaph, Newport and Llandaff, ending up in Brecon.

Accompanied by his wife, the couple slept in a caravan towed by the JCB. Their maximum speed was 40mph, but Rev Kirlew said fellow drivers were extremely patient on all the roads.

"We’ve pulled in regularly to let faster drivers pass and lorries have flashed their lights in a supportive way!" he said.

"The main aim has been to raise awareness of the problems facing rural communities in Wales – there’s a perception everyone living in the countryside is rich but poverty, declining village life and isolation are real issues which are getting worse.”