Page last updated at 05:58 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 06:58 UK

Open-door churches 'must adapt'

St Hywyn's Church, Aberdaron
The Archbishop wants churches to be at the heart of local regeneration

Churches are being encouraged by the archbishop of Wales to adapt their buildings to the 21st Century to bring new life to their communities.

Dr Barry Morgan will tell a conference in Llandudno later that churches should "think creatively" about facilities.

He said: "A church that is closed Monday to Friday is the worst possible advertisement for Christianity."

The archbishop will say how some churches are already making the most of their buildings to attract visitors.

"We cannot go on locking up our treasures in closed buildings any more. We have to open the doors of the churches physically, as well as metaphorically," said Dr Morgan

He wants churches to think about how their buildings are used, with conference facilities, catering for school groups and counselling services as possibilities.

Dr Morgan added: "Developing community buildings will involve us in new relationships with our communities and opens doors for us to rediscover and develop a proper and appropriate place alongside others in our parishes across the whole of Wales."

The conference, Transforming Communities and Congregations, will hear how churches in the Bangor and St Asaph dioceses have succeeded in changing people's perceptions of the church.

Interior of St Hywyn's Church, Aberdaron
St Hywyn's has been upgraded to serve pilgrims as well as parishioners

One of the churches to feature at the conference is St Hywyn's at Aberdaron, Gwynedd, which has been renovated to serve pilgrims making their way to Bardsey Island, as well as local visitors.

Meanwhile, St Maelog's at Llanfaelog, Anglesey, has built a meeting room above the church for wood and glasswork by local artists, and hosts concerts and classes, as well as worship.

At Menai Bridge, a renovation of St Mary's Church has improved the building for religious services and other uses.

Sliding doors have been fitted between the nave and the church's restored Victorian chancel, so the former can hold secular events.

There is also a meeting room, kitchen and gallery in the rear of the old nave.

The Reverend Raymond Smith, vicar of St Mary's said the restoration and new facilities have been welcomed by the congregation.

"We are a church in the community, for the community and we are involved in the community," he said.

The church nave has been used for concerts and a keep fit class, amongst other events.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific