A RENOVATED Malpas church has finally opened its new facilities, nine years after they were first mooted.

The extension to St Mary’s Parish Church on Malpas Road was officially unveiled at a dedication service led by the Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Rev Richard Pain, on Saturday morning.

It cost £400,000 to renovate the south side of the Grade II-listed building, which was built in the 1850s.

As part of the renovation, the church now has a toilet, a kitchen, disabled access and a space for additional activities.

Of the church's budget, a quarter was donated by Cadw, a quarter came from the church’s sale of a parish house and the other half was donated by the Malpas community.

Reverend David Parfitt, the church’s vicar and a former architect, said: “We have been bowled over by people’s generosity, we wouldn’t have been able to do this without the community coming together to support this wonderful venture.

“We didn’t want a modern re-make of the old but rather a building that would bring St. Mary’s into the 21st century."

And Trefor Newman, church warden and a member of the congregation, said: “I love our new church and its facilities. The building work looks incredible – it’s like Grand Designs meets the Kingdom of Heaven.”

The extension was designed by Cardiff-based Davies Sutton Architects.

Kevin Sutton, one of the company's architects, said: “It’s been a fantastic project to work on, and we’re really pleased with the outcome at St. Mary’s Church. It’s great to see the old and the new working so well together, producing a site that doesn’t just preserve history, but also updates it for the needs of today’s congregations.”