Three months into the Refurbishment Project

The archaeologists have finished their excavations, the trenches have been filled, drainage and cabling pipes now in place and preparations are well underway for the underfloor heating to be installed.

First report from the Project Archaelogist, Alice Evans

Alice Evans, the Project Archaeologist from The Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd shares information on the ledger stones found in the church – a fascinating and an insight into the historical background of St Cadoc’s.

Seven weeks into the Refurbishment Project

An insight into the refurbishment work at St Cadoc’s – great progress after seven weeks with the removal of the asbestos now complete.

It’s finally happening! Will you help us to achieve our vision for our church?

Lying in the very heart of the historic Roman town of Caerleon, St Cadoc’s church has served its faithful worshippers and the wider community for hundreds of years but the fabric of the building now requires a substantial and urgent upgrade. The existing building lacks natural light, and has an inflexible space due to the lines of Victorian box pews. There are inadequate toilet facilities, the kitchen area is too small and disabled access needs to be improved. All of these factors impede using this wonderful space for worship and for wider community activities.

Our Parochial Church Council has been discussing the need to redevelop the church for nearly 20 years but with only limited progress. Over recent times, however, there has been a rapid increase in momentum and a new determination to bring about the proposed development. Wide consultation within the worshipping community, Caerleon’s various community groups, Cadw, The Heritage Society, Newport City Council, the Diocesan Advisory Committee and architect has been undertaken. Encouraged by feedback from these groups and the large number of supporting letters received confirms that we have the support of the community in our aspirations.

We are now ready to take the bold step to begin the work and have set ourselves three aims to guide us in everything we do. These are:

  • To be good stewards of an ancient building drenched in prayer and steeped in history and to ensure that it continues to be a centre of Christian witness in future years;
  • To create a church that is vibrant and inclusive, energetic and flexible and fit for purpose in the 21st century; and
  • To create a church which is responsive to its surrounding community and to create a space which can serve its needs.

We are delighted that our plans have been approved and a full faculty has been granted by the authorities. Chancellor Mark Powell KC wrote in his judgement:

This petition has, I am told, been some 20 years in the making, has undergone many modifications in the planning and I regard it as a praiseworthy and necessary attempt to ensure that for years to come St Cadoc’s will continue to rival the Roman remains in Caerleon as a viable building of significant religious, cultural and historical importance.

Mark Powell KC, October 2022

Some of the main changes are outlined below:

  • Stackable chairs will replace the pews in the nave to create a flexible open worship and community space. Storage space and a dedicated children’s area will be created along the north and south aisles,
  • The existing inadequate heating system will be replaced with underfloor heating, driven by air source heat pumps and solar PV panels. All of this will provide a constant ambient temperature providing a comfortable environment throughout the year and a smaller carbon footprint;
  • A hospitality area with flexible seating, toilet facilities, and fully fitted kitchen will be located at the west end of the church. A glass vestibule will allow the west doors to be opened welcoming natural light into the building. There will be a new stone floor;
  • Access to the mezzanine will be via a curved staircase and lift which allows accessibility for all. The gallery will serve as a meeting place for small groups, resourced with multimedia facilities, act as an overflow space for large services and events and provide space for performing musicians and singers; and
  • The materials to be used for the mezzanine, office, staircase, kitchen and toilets will sympathetically combine the historical and rich architecture of the church with the modern clean lines of glass, steel, wood and stone.

The vision statement and the architect’s plans provide a glimpse into the scope and scale of this exciting project.

There will be those who will find the proposed changes a challenge and it will not be easy for some to see their beloved building change. Sadly, however, our Church is not immune from the decline affecting so many places of Christian worship. St Cadoc’s church will change. Our vision is that it should grow and we have faith that these plans will help it to do so.

Chancellor Mark Powell KC in his judgement stated:

I am persuaded that the present configuration of the pews presents a major obstacle to the flexible use of the space within the church. I am also persuaded that the gallery proposed is an innovative attempt to maximise the use of the building and to provide facilities which are consistent with those expected in the 21st century. It is a sad fact that unless steps are taken to halt the drift away from the Church, there will come a time when the maintenance of this remarkable building will prove too expensive and it will be forced to close.

Mark Powell KC October 2022

The approved plans show how, with God’s help, we can protect and secure the future of St Cadoc’s church. We believe that this is the right time for changes to be made and that we need to get on with the task of building a worship and community space fit for the future.

Will you support us in this endeavour? We are launching a fundraising campaign and want you to be part of it. To find out how, please visit our St Cadoc’s Refurbishment Appeal page.