Baptist church receives funding boost
A Baptist chapel in Caerphilly which dates to the 18th century and only reopened in 2010 receives a National Churches Trust grant, enabling it to better serve its local community
The £8,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant will help New Hengoed Baptist Church in Caerphilly fund a project to install a kitchen and toilet and turn the interior into a community gathering place that is open during the day. It is hoped the chapel will host a wide variety of services that support the area, from counselling and health care to skills training and children’s play groups.
The new facilities are expected to be installed in 2019 at the same time as major repairs are carried out to the roof and stonework.
The Grade II listed chapel dates back to 1710, but was rebuilt in 1829 as it had become too small for the local population. Some of the oak interior was salvaged from the original building. The chapel closed in the 1990s but re-opened in 2010. The building now hosts gatherings for young people and takes part in a Fare Share scheme to turn surplus food from supermarkets into meals for those in need.
The Revd Kath Miller, from New Hengoed Baptist Church, said, 'It has been a privilege to serve this community for the last eight years. The renovations to the building, including the kitchen and toilet installation, will enable a far greater scope for the project and, therefore, meet the needs of so many in the local area.'
The church's grant was part of a £429,211 funding payout from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK. The latest funding supports a total of 77 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said, 'The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.
'So I’m delighted that New Hengoed Baptist Church is being helped with a £8,000 National Churches Trust Grant. The new facilities will help to ensure the church’s future as an important community building.'
Demand for funding from the National Churches Trust continues to grow, with 583 grant applications received in 2018, up from 473 grant applications in 2017, a 23 per cent increase. In 2018 the National Churches Trust awarded grants of £1.2 million to help 202 projects at churches and chapels around the UK.