James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Church Buildings

The James Pantyfedwen Foundation regularly supports chapels and churches from all parts of Wales by offering grants to renovate and develop their buildings. Although applications for maintenance work are not excluded, priority is given to building improvements and especially where the building work is related to the life and mission of the church. The highest priority will be given to those projects which demonstrate a clear link with the mission and outreach plans of the church, and where there is evidence of sharing church buildings, such as the coming together of a number of traditions to create a new and united congregation. These priorities are of course in accordance with the vision of Sir David James, the founder and benefactor of Pantyfedwen.

Here are a few examples of churches which have received Pantyfedwen grants over the last decade.


St Fagan’s Church, Aberdare

The congregation of St Fagan’s Church are most grateful to the Trustees of the James Pantyfedwen Trust for the generous grant given to help with repair and improvement works to the church.

The first phase of the work was to treat dry rot which had infected the east side of the south porch, leading to rotten timbers, and the door frame around the south doors. The roof of the porch was repaired, the rotten timbers were replaced, the east wall of the south porch was re-plastered and re-painted, and the walls either side of the south doors were also re-plastered and re-painted.

The next phase was to replace the frame around the south doors and re-organise the whole south entrance. In place of the old solid timber doors we have installed timber-and-glass doors, and where there were previously wrought iron gates, we have installed new solid timber doors. This new arrangement means that for services and other events the outer doors can be left open, and the inner ones closed to keep the heat in; but the glass doors let a lot of natural light into the church and of course it makes for a more welcoming vista for visitors and worshippers.

Finally, a new set of stone steps has been constructed which was necessary upon the new arrangement of doors.

Everyone has commented favourably on the new steps and doors. We are pleased that a project that began out of necessity – the treatment of the dry rot – has enabled us to significantly improve our church and the welcome we are able to give to those who come.

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Waterfront Community Church, Swansea

Waterfront Community Church is part of The Apostolic Church network of churches in the United Kingdom. The Swansea fellowship began in February 1920 and has met and worshipped in different locations in Swansea, but moved to the current location on the exciting new SA1 Waterfront development in July 2006. The congregation consists of all age groups, with a contemporary approach to both worship and community activities.

The church applied for a Pantyfedwen grant as they wished to build an extension to the existing building in order to facilitate the increasing use of the building by the community and accommodate a growing congregation. The Orangery church extension was internally completed in time for Christmas celebrations, and has been of great benefit to both the church and community and they find themselves asking, "how did we manage without it?"  

The extension was extremely beneficial for the Community Carol Service where over 200 people were in attendance including the local Member of Parliament and the Honorary Consul for Romania in Wales. Without this extension it would have been very difficult to provide refreshments for so many people, and there has been so much positive feedback regarding the extension from people within the church, local community as well as businesses on the SA1 development.

"Without the generous contribution from the Pantyfedwen Trust we would not have been able to finish the project to this high standard. Once again thank you for your generous gift."     

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St John the Evangelist Church, Canton

St John’s Church in Canton needed to repair the floor of the church. This project included renewing, lifting and re-fixing loose wood blocks, renewing lengths of floorboard and re-fixing loose floorboards, reducing the raised edges of the recessed iron inspection chambers, and replacing the four cast iron heating grilles to finish flush with the floor. The whole floor was carefully prepared, sanded, stained and lacquer-finished for maximum durability. St John’s Church is keen to make the facilities of the church available for further outreach and community engagement, and the refurbished floor has made the space both attractive and safe and has already secured enquiries about increasing its activities.  


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Salem Chapel, Tonteg

We are all very grateful to the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for their support. Last year, we had terrible trouble with the outer wall of the chapel, above the old boiler house. We decided to demolish the old building and install modern electric central heating which has proved much easier to use and much better for the environment. Further to receiving grants from various financial sources, we are pleased to announce that the chapel wall is now safe and sound and community groups can once again use the vestry. We have also created a new yard where the old boiler stood, and it is great to see the youth group enjoying a game of football there. Thank you for helping us to renovate the chapel and provide a better service for our community.”



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 St David’s Uniting Church Pontypridd

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St David’s Uniting Church at Pontypridd is an active vibrant worshipping community, which has brought together a Baptist, Prebyterian and United Reformed Church. It’s mission objective is to "build the Kingdom of God in the community, while developing and servicing that community”. They applied for a Pantyfedwen grant to help with the costs of erecting a barrier on the front row of the balcony, in time for their ‘God Bless the NHS’ special initiative for 2018.

According to the report “the new safety rail ensures the safe use of the whole of the balcony enabling the church to fully accommodate the groups who currently use it. It also means we are able to welcome higher numbers of people to our activities, such as the parents of young children of the local primary schools with whom we work closely on Peace and Justice projects.

We are very grateful to the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for their support. “

 Ebenezer Baptist Church, Abertillery

Ebenezer Baptist Church in Abertillery applied for a grant to help with improving the building and facilities in the church and make the church lounge a more suitable venue for small group activities. Following the installation of a 10 kw solar panel system on the roof, they also wished to install a Solax 10Kwh hybrid inverter to store all the energy generated. The grant from James Pantyfedwen Foundation together with the grant from Coalfields Regeneration Trust enabled that work to be completed, and although there are still some months to go before the church sees a full year’s results, the early indications are positive with savings of around £20 per month. For this work, Ebenezer was Highly Commended in the Small Project Category in the Welsh Energy Efficiency Awards 2019, and we congratulate them on this commendation.



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Hope Church, Garnant

Hope Church, a branch church of Swansea Valley Bible Church, was planted in July 2011, and in 2015 bought the former Job Centre in Garnant as a meeting place. Further to the already successful installation of a new roof, a central heating system, and some new double glazing, the Pantyfedwen grant was allocated to the reconfiguration and re-flooring of the main foyer area, which involved the dismantling of some storage cupboards to open up the foyer area, and the screeding and carpeting of that whole area, resulting in an entrance area that is both warm & welcoming.

According to the Pastor of Hope Church, “further to the extensive work carried out over the Spring/Summer of 2017, we were thrilled to be able to officially ‘open’ the building,  when the former mayor, Kevin Madge, kindly officiated. Since then, we’ve been able to expand and broaden our various activities in the knowledge that our building is now both welcoming and fully functional. We sincerely thank the Pantyfedwen Foundation for the kind donation towards our Hope Church Renovation“.  

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All Saints' Church, Barry

All Saints'Church is a Grade II listed buiding in the town of Barry and they applied for a grant to restore the roof of the church. They received many grants alongside the James Pantyfedwen award, and the church has now been transformed into a structurally sound watertight safe building, ensuring the longevity of the building, allowing it to be used effectively as a place of worship, and encouraging its heritage use with respects to faith, tourism and the wider community.  

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St Tybie Church

St Tybie Church in Llandybie received a grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation, along with many other Trusts and organisations, to remove some of the pews from the front of the church and install some basic kitchen facilities. This work has created extra flexible space at the front of the church which makes better use of the building and has enhanced social aspects of worship. The project has also created more user friendly surroundings for disabled persons, will enable wider community use of the building, with improved facilities for family occasions such as weddings and baptisms.

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St Dingat’s Church, New Tredegar

 St Dingat’s church has undergone an extensive renovation during these last few years thanks to the support of the James Pantyfedwen Foundation and many other grants and donations.

The building had extensive work done to renew the roof - replacing more than half of the roof with new Welsh slate tiles. The heating efficiency of the building has significantly improved with the insulation that has been added to the roof space.

The interior of the church was completely stripped of its old plaster, and the walls and ceiling of the church were painted a shade of white which has created a bright, warm and airy church which many in the community have been wowed by.

The floor in the nave under went restoration to revive the wooden tiles while much more extensive work than anticipated. In the course of doing this some beautiful Victorian tiles were uncovered which have been beautifully restored by Taliesin Conservation, our main contractors.

The electrics were renewed and new lights installed to dramatically improve the lighting in the whole church, allowing the ability to dim the lights and create suitable lighting environments for the different variety of events and services held in the church. They were also able to install sky lights which has brought in more natural light to the building.

According to Leah Philbrick, the Team Vicar, “We have already seen the impact of the work that has been done in the response of the community to the events we have been able to hold and we look forward to building what we have achieved already”.

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Tabernacle Baptist Church, Newbridge

A 158-year-old former church and schoolroom building adjoining Tabernacle Baptist Church in Newbridge had been almost derelict since the 1960’s and was proving to be a major headache for the church leaders. Already engaged in an active programme of children and youth work and running a community luncheon club for over 50’s,  the church  realised that additional facilities were needed for its own growing range of activities and in the wider locality generally. This prompted the vision to transform the rear building into a centre for use by groups in the community as well as the church itself. Work on the project took 15 months to complete, and was supported by the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities Programme, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Community Regeneration Fund, the James Pantyfedwen Foundation, Tabernacle church members and friends, and invaluable help and support was also received from a number of other organisations and individuals.

Now renamed the Newbridge Vision Centre, the first-class facilities available for hire include two large halls, smaller meeting rooms, a computer suite and an accessible training kitchen. Tabernacle minister the Rev Peter Cho said: “We are really excited about the new opportunities these facilities will provide to enhance the quality of life of people in the community and our own programme of church activities which are very much community-focused. We thank God for His wonderful provision in this project and we give Him all the glory.”



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St Michael and All Angels, Aberystwyth 

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St Michael and All Angels Church in Aberystwyth applied for grant funding for essential roof repairs; the original roof was built in 1890 but battered by the terrible storms that hit the Aberystwyth coast in 2013 and 2014. The church received grant funding for the roof repairs from many grant awarding bodies, including the James Pantyfedwen Foundation, and they have now secured the roof for the foreseeable future. According to the Rev Mones Farah, the church are now working on grand plans to renovate the whole building, to make it more useful and usable for modern day life but without losing the identity and atmosphere of the building.


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St Michael's Church Caerwys

he James Pantyfedwen Foundation made a grant towards a project to improve facilities at St Michael’s Church, Caerwys so that it will accommodate growing congregations, ecumenical initiatives, and a wider engagement with the community. The project has provided toilet and kitchen facilities, improved the heating, and improved the lighting and audio-visual facilities so that people can hear and see with ease. It has provided new seating and floor surfaces, and improved provision in the chancel area by relocating a low wooden perimeter screen, and removing the choir stalls.

Also, at an early stage in the project, some Victorian mosaics and tiling of high quality were discovered, which the contractors restored with care. As the project developed, the work was revealing previously undiscovered features, and was encouraging the congregation to see features which had previously been taken for granted in a new light. According to Roland Ward, the Churchwarden: “The grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation was timely, and helped to roll all the phases of the project into one. At the end, our renovated church works well for us, but it also an inspiration”.

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Hope Church Newtown

This church in Newtown, Powys, had outgrown its premises and received a major grant from the Foundation to support a new church building project which would include a purpose built day nursery to increase the capacity of our building and extend our community work. This church's involvement in a range of local and UK wide mission initiatives is impressive, and in a community valuation, organised by Powys County Council a few years ago, it was estimated that the value of the voluntary activities delivered to the local community in 2013 was more than £290,000. The building project is still going ahead and each new stage can be seen on their church website.

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St Mary the Virgin Church in Halkyn 

The Church of St Mary in Halkyn received a Pantyfedwen grant to help with the installation of a kitchen area at the west end of the north aisle of the church. The kitchen has been designed to match the existing oak fittings of the church and to avoid looking like a kitchen when out of use. This facility will be a great advantage as the church supports its own fellowship and it community outreach work through various events and initiatives.

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St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

St Mary’s Church in Hay-on-Wye needed to replace the antiquated heating system in the church and  insatall proper and appropriate ramping to the main church entrance. Further to a grant by the James Pantyfedwen Foundation, they have now installed a new boiler, radiators and control box, which works well and can control the temperature in the church with ease and accuracy, and the new access has aided entry for the disabled and greatly enhanced the appreance of the entrance to the church.

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St Llawddog Church, Penboyr

The Church of St Llawddog in the parish of Penboyr were keen to renovate the spire of the church to ensure that the rainwater did not seep in to the church. They used their own financial resources as well as applying for a James Pantyfedwen grant, and the project has now been completed. The spire itself, the roof surrounding the spire and the western wall of the church have all been renovated with the church now being dry for the regular services and the use of the wider community.

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Capel y Nant, Clydach

Capel y Nant in Clydach was formed when the congregations of Hebron Welsh Congregational Church, Carmel Welsh Congregational Church and Salem Presbyterian Church merged to form a new congregation making use of Carmel’s church building. The grant they received from Pantyfedwen was to modernise and improve the vestry, which will be used for worship and church meetings and be available for community use. Their mission statement is a good example of the vision which our Trustees are seeking to support:

Capel y Nant is a Welsh Church which is seeking to support and promote the Christian faith in Clydach, Swansea. We accept that we are on a spiritual journey and that this 
journey is founded on the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit. We endeavour to do our best to appreciate and to free the gifts possessed by all in our midst. With the support of Jesus's message we seek to challenge injustice in our local area, in Wales and in the world.

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St Jerome's Church, Llangwm

When St Jerome's Church in Llangwm, Pembrokeshire, had to face a huge bill for restoring their crumbling medieval church, they applied to many funders for support, including the James Pantyfedwen Foundation. They also decided to turn to their 12th century Flemish founders for help. Plans for a major research project on the little-known part played by Flemish invaders and settlers included DNA testing of local men (which revealed a genetic link all the way back to Flanders), an archaeological dig, a film, and monthly podcasts. But the jewel in the crown was a tapestry, The Talking Tapestry of Langum, drawn by a local artist, inspired by the drawings of local school children and stitched by 30 local women. It’s now on display in the newly restored church. The programme of restoration and the Heritage Llangwm Project has greatly enhanced the community use of the church and the number of visitors it attracts.

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Gloddaeth Church 

Gloddaeth United Church in Llandudno were given a grant to reorder the premises to ensure accessibility to all. The work included removing pews, levelling the floor, upgrading the toilet facilities and kitchen provision, creating a quiet/prayer room and office. Gloddaeth Church was formed from the merger of the Llandudno branch of the Presbyterian Church of Wales with the local United Reformed church, Christ Church, and the project described above exemplifies the church’s spiritual and practical mission within its community. 

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Capel Cildwrn, Llangefni

A grant was awarded to the Llangefni Evangelical Church at Cildwrn Chapel to support the work of installing a new floor and heating system and removing the pews to create a more effective space of worship and community use. Following the completion of the project, a very well-attended re-opening service and Open Day was held at Cildwrn, Llangefni, over the 2017 Easter weekend; with an exhibition in the chapel house depicting the history of the building.



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