Gwent church opens doors after 35 years
1:50pm Saturday 10th July 2010 in News
A GWENT church which closed its doors more than 35 years ago is open to the public again after a £50,000 renovation project.
The 14th century church of St Michael and All Angels in Llanfihangel Rogiet closed its doors in 1973 when a drop in worshippers meant all services were transferred to Rogiet.
The Grade II listed church fell into a state of disrepair until 2008, when the Church in Wales passed ownership of the building to Friends of Friendless Churches, which helps restore historically important churches no longer used for worship.
The charity secured almost £50,000 from CADW and Church in Wales to fund major repair work, before management of the building was handed to Caldicot and District Local History Society.
Secretary of the society Peter Strong said St Michael's would be open to the public each day during the summer, as well as being used for community event and a local history exhibition telling the history of Llanfihangel Rogiet.
The church will hold its first public event for 37 years on Sunday, with a sold-out charity harp concert to raise money for a Ugandan orphanage on behalf local teenagers Harriet Smith and Sarah Bray.
The girls, both 17, will be working in Uganda this summer.
Project coordinator Richard Jones said the event was just the kind of thing the society hoped the church would be used for.
He said: "We always saw the potential and beauty of the place, and we are just another part of a very long history, but we were keen to see that the church served a purpose for its community again."