St Michaels Church Betws-y-Coed
the oldest building in Betws-y-Coed
Built in the 14th century, St Michael's Church is the oldest building in Betws-y-Coed, and is located on the banks of the River Conwy. Replaced by the parish church of St Mary's in 1873, St Michael's lay slumbering peacefully throughout the twentieth century. But by the early 1990's it was in a sorry state, with a leaking roof and associated plaster damage and it was urgently in need of repair work.
In 1994, the Friends of St Michaels was formed, to raise both awareness of the building, and money to preserve it. Declared redundant in 2000, the building is now leased from the Church in Wales by the St Michaels Betws-y-Coed Trust, a registered charity (No 1081038), run by the Friends.
Nowadays hundreds of people visit St Michaels in Betws-y-Coed in beautiful Snowdonia every year, and there are many different reasons for appreciating this simple and humble building.
Visitors from all over the world come and enjoy the oldest building in the village, whilst for those with an interest in history, the stone effigy of Gruffydd ap Dafydd Goch has a special fascination. Students of architecture and church history learn much from the inside arrangements of the church. Most people appreciate a quiet place in which to sit and think and pray.
St Michaels is important for local Christians too, and despite being declared redundant it is still consecrated. As a balance to the splendour of St Marys Parish Church, reminding us of the glory of God, St Michaels has a special intimacy and simplicity which can speak of the closeness of God. Nor is St Michaels important only for Anglican Christians: because the building dates from before the religious divisions of recent times, it belongs in some sense to all of us, of whatever denomination, a symbol of the unity which is Gods will for his church here.
Although the church is now officially closed for regular public worship, a service is normally held on St Michaels Day (29th September) and a candle-lit Carol Service at Christmas tide.
In addition, the Friends organise a Flower Festival in September each year, which attracts hundreds of visitors to admire the floral displays which are provided by many of the local village organisations.
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Events at St Michael's in 2011
The Church is open most days from Easter to the end of October. On some Sundays and the first Saturday of the month (10am - 2pm) a Steward is normally on duty. At all other times, if the church is locked, a key is normally available from the adjacent Conwy Valley Railway Museum or the Tourist Information Centre.
Friday 9th - Sunday 11th September 2011, 10am-5pm. St Michaels will be transformed with an abundance of floral displays all donated by local businesses and organisations. Entrance is free but a small donation is always appreciated.
The church will be open every day throughout September 10am-5pm (approx) as part of the Open Doors / Heritage Days initiative.
St Michael's Day Service
A service of Holy Eucharist will be held on Thursday 29th September at 5.30pm at St Michael's. Please come and join us.
Candlelight Carol Service
Come and enjoy Carols by Candlelight on Sunday 1st January 2012 at 5.30pm.