Cwmavon residents urged to help church spire appeal
THE community of Cwmavon is being called upon to help raise cash to repair one of the village's historic buildings.
Residents are being asked to help support the St Michael's Church spire appeal.
The church has been a place of worship since the 12th Century and had its spire added in the 19th Century. But now the spire is leaking and needs urgent repair work.
It is estimated that £150,000 is needed to foot the bill.
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At a Cwmtogether meeting the vicar's warden, Trudy Freemantle, spoke to residents about the appeal on behalf of the church as she explained they did not have a vicar at the moment.
"We are appealing to the community because we need to spend a lot of money on the spire," she said.
"It is a landmark in our village. It is the only church in Cwmavon.
"It is a part mediaeval building and it is a significant building. We would miss it if it was not there and we want to look after it."
Ms Freemantle said the structure of the church was good but there were problems with part of the spire.
"We have a well-maintained structure but what is happening is water is coming down inside the spire," she said.
"It runs down to the base of the tower.
"We have got to do something on the spire."
She said they were given several solutions but they now had a new preferred option after conducting a survey on the spire.
"We know now that the spire is a generally of good construction," she said.
"But the top six layers are letting in water and there is a large crack."
The cost of these repairs is expected to be thousands.
"This is £150,000 we don't have at the parish," she said.
"So we have to look elsewhere."
She said they would be applying for grants, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, but they still needed the community to be on board to help raise funds.
"We have raised £2,500 so far and I think in this current climate it is very encouraging," said Ms Freemantle.
"The community has already responded splendidly and for that we are really grateful and we don't take that for granted."
Funds have been raised from donations, a Christmas raffle, a recipe book and events.
There has also been a musical night fundraiser which featured the Porthcawl Ukele Band.
"It was a wonderful night," she said. "The band gave their time for free and we raised £600."
The next fundraiser will be a car boot sale at Heol Jwbili car park on April 6. There will also be a summer fete on June 8.