I warmly welcome the Welsh Government’s new Strategic Action Plan for Places of Worship.
The Action Plan – which has been developed through a cross-sectorial approach involving key stakeholders like the National Churches Trust, Cadw and the Church in Wales – aims to provide support to groups looking after historic places of worship, and finding ways in which religious buildings can retain or renew their value at the heart of communities.
To accompany the action plan a new organisation, ‘Sanctiadd’, will be established; providing support and training for those caring for Welsh places of worship, and widening access to grant funding which can be used to give buildings a better future.
Around 10% of listed places of worship in Wales are classed by Cadw as being ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’, which is worrying both for congregations and the wider community. The Action Plan for Places of Worship is a positive step forward for securing the future of historic religious buildings, of which there are many across Newport (including the beautiful church of St Brides in St Brides Wentloog - pictured above).
As well as actively supporting those playing a role in keeping religious buildings, Sanctiadd project is an important way of increasing public understanding and appreciation of Welsh places of worship, and their significance to the history and social life of communities.
It is good to see a multi-denominational approach underpinning the work being done – this is an essential element in securing the success of the Action Plan.