National Churches Fund

St Chad’s Church Receives Grant from National Churches Trust December 2015

The £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant was to help fund a project to provide new side aisle roofs and so help to maintain a dry, warm and safe environment for the people who use the church for a wide range of uses. Thank you to the Trust. There had been frequent occurrences of rain water coming through the roof during bad weather that was affecting the delicately carved oak ceilings of both side aisles. Water was also dripping down onto the organ pipes, the sound system control box and the upholstery of the side aisle chairs.

Hanmer does not have a village/community hall. The church is used for a variety of other uses, e.g. arts and craft exhibitions, village primary school weekly visits, PTA Autumn fairs, choir concerts, lectures, mothers union meetings, PCC meetings and Heritage group visits.

St Chad’s is a beautiful church in a splendid setting with a wonderful heritage. The old medieval stone church, predecessor to the present church, dates from the middle of the 12th century. It was this first stone church that saw the marriage of Margaret Hanmer to Owain Glyndwr in about 1383. It was badly damaged in 1463 in the Wars of the Roses at the time when the great Welsh language poet, Dafydd ab Edmund, lived and wrote here. It was occupied in the Civil War and a battle took place here in 1643. It had a new roof in 1892 after a damaging fire. The poet R S Thomas was curate here in the first years of WWII.

What we see today is the third restoration after the major fires of 1463 and 1889. The original 12th century style and plan were retained through each reconstruction, so in its graceful pillars we have an architectural continuity of over 700 years. Today this church remains a heritage treasure and centre of a village community.

Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said the following at Christmas 2015.

“I’m delighted that this Christmas the future of St Chad’s Church, Hanmer is being safeguarded by a National Churches Trust grant. This funding will help ensure this beautiful and historically important Welsh church continues to serve local people for many years to come.

At the heart of the nation’s history and at the centre of local communities, churches and chapels are some of the UK’s best loved local buildings. But their future is not guaranteed. So this Christmas, when people visit a church for a carol service or even just walk past a church on the way to do the Christmas shopping, I urge them to think about how they can help ensure that churches remain open and good repair for future generations.

Everyone can make a contribution to the future of the UK’s church and chapel buildings. That could be by helping to clear drains and gutters to help keep churches watertight, volunteering to help out as a guide to show people the history and architecture of places of worship or keeping an eye out for vandals or thieves. Churches and chapels may be historic buildings, but they can be part of our future, too.”

Entered 15th December 2015, updated after completion of roof repairs 19th January 2018 by Bill