Sunday, January 26, 2014

Whither St Mary's Caerau?

English: St Mary the Virgin Church at Caerau, ...
English: St Mary the Virgin Church at Caerau, Cardiff, in 1971 before it was deconsecrated and fell into ruin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It has come to my attention that the ruin that is St Mary's Church,Caerau is "closed to the public"? Not sure how you can could do that given the lack of a gate and effective fence.

This has been a terrible tragedy for years, with the only advocates, the Friends of St Mary's doing anything to keep it safe,by having regular taskforce  meetings with faithful members engaged in cleaning it up, and  nagging Cardiff Council about its deterioration! There is not so much they can do.

At the beginning of the 21st Century part of the the  the tower collapsed and Cardiff council was planning to demolish it,however by the hard work of  the friends led by Delia Jay and Rosemary Lewis they involved Cadw who ordered Cardiff Council to save the tower. This was done with a rather cheap cement. It failed in the end because they vandalism continued, it would have been sensible if they had spent money to secure it. Now it's back to square 1 and what to do.
The tower is in a dangerous state and Cardiff Council does not have money to keep it safe.

Last year in May there was an exchange of emails between myself and others involved in saving St Mary's and those archaeologists involved in the current excavations of the Hillfort (see CAER and Time Team show concerned with it)

In that exchange of 52 emails there was general agreement that something had to be done.However disagreement on what. CAER saw it and a Caerau Heritage center as a good long term plan, ACE (formerly Communities First) did not have the resources. I suggested that a Trust should be set up  to maintain St Mary's using the disused Caerau Evangelical Church as a place for activities. the idea was dismissed by CAER and ACE saying that they were better placed to get funds. Yet St Mary's does not have time

Now I hear that CAER has been discussing setting a trust and using local labour (both suggestions I had made) perhaps the talking needs to stop and action needs to begin before the inevitable happens.
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