Wednesday Afternoon Services
4.00 pm in Church
During Lent there will be services every Wednesday afternoon at 4.00 pm.
Most will be lay-led, based on a Church Lent Service approved by Ven John Lomas.
The services will be short– no longer than 30 minutes, and will include readings, responses and prayer.
The first service will be on Wednesday 21st February , and will be led by Elizabeth Lord.
Concerts on a Sunday Afternoon
Robbie Savva’s Ukulele Band
Sunday 4th March 3.00 pm-4.00 pm
It’s the first of our one-hour Sunday afternoon concerts.
Who better to start the series than the Robbie Savva Ukulele Band? They are a local band with an impressive line up and repertoire. In the new acoustic of St Michael’s Church, they’ll sound fantastic.. Come and hear them, and sing along with them.
Refreshments (coffee, tea or glass of wine), during the break. £5 on the door– no tickets.
Concerts on a Sunday Afternoon
Concerts of just one hour on a Sunday afternoon followed by a glass of wine or cup of tea. A varied programme. Very reasonable entry charges.
That’s the formula for the forthcoming series of Sunday afternoon concerts at St Michael’s Church.
They will take place roughly every six weeks.
Why are we doing it? Simply because we’ve got a beautiful, warm church building now, and we want to see it used more. Why not open it on Sunday afternoon for some great live music?
There will be a concert by the renowned Chester Brass Band on 29th April at 4.00 pm and by the Vale Royal Singers on 10th June at 4.00 pm .
Who better to start the series, however, than the Robbie Savva Ukulele Band? They are a local band with an impressive line up and repertoire. Come and hear them, and sing along with them.
That’s on 4th March at 3.00 pm. It’s an early start time because it won’t yet be British Summer Time. No tickets– pay on the door £5.
Re-dedication of St Michael’s Church
17th December 2017
On a rainy Sunday, we were there to welcome Canon John Evans, Ven Chris Potter, Rev’d Sue Moriarty and Rev’d Vera Lewis to the re-dedication service, which was led by Bishop Gregory and Ven John Lomas.
The service brought together almost everyone who had had a hand in the renovation project. Among the congregation was the Project Architect, Robin Wolley, the contractor, Gareth Williams, and members of the church who had worked on it– the Buildings Committee (Bob Garside, John Harris, Vicky Jones, David Knights), and the support team (Peter Dooley, Sheila Garside, Sylvia Harris, Eileen Knights, Nerys Thomas).
It was good that Neil Parry, son of the late Francis Parry was there. Francis had been invaluable as a member of the Buildings Committee, with his practical knowledge as a skilled joiner and clerk of works. It was also good that Mrs Sue Clisham, Head of Ysgol yr Esgob attended along with Town Councillors and members of the Caerwys community. Pupils from Ysgol yr Egob have been involved in various ways in the project.
Ven John Lomas, who had spent hours up ladders fixing audio leads, as well as supporting us in meetings, introduced the service. The Singing Group sang the Psalm to Brother James’s Air– a beautiful rendition, and Joseph Jones and Tegid Leggett-Jones sang superb solos.
Among the congregation were the many who had donated, all anonymously, to the project. Without their contributions, the project would have had to be phased, and would still be in progress.
The media reported on the renovation, focusing largely on the re-discovered tiles in the chancel. Their reports can be seen on the church website:
The ITN Wales feature was notable for the precision use of a drone to deliver stunning footage of the church from high up in the rafters. It provided a unique insight into the tiling in the renovated chancel – and it looked even more beautiful than it appears at ground level.
Since then, there have been many visitors to the church. The time spent on preparing the website and the leaflets for visitors, which pupils of Ysgol yr Esgob had a hand in, was amply justified. The leaflets have been in much demand.
It was, for all, a moving moment when Bishop Gregory came forward to pronounce the re-dedication blessing. The changes brought about in the renovation project were now confirmed. Time to move on and to use the new facilities to the full.
Christmas Fair 2017
The Christmas Fair 2017 in St Michael’s Church raised £845 between Ysgol yr Esgob PTA and the church. Just on opening time there was a short hail storm followed by torrential rain. Even so the fair proved as popular as ever.
Here are some pictures from the day.
Open Church (Posted 18.10.17)
It was a busy Open Afternoon on 14th October as large numbers of Caerwys residents visited St Michael’s Church to view the renovated church. People took their time looking round and enjoying some refreshments. The next day there was a full congregation for the opening service followed by a celebratory glass of bubbly.
On 19th October, Ysgol yr Esgob gave a splendid harvest festival. All pupils took part, and it was great to see them make use of the new open chancel area to the full.
The church will be open every day now. It’s there for anyone who wants to go in and sit in the quiet, or light a candle.
You can take one of the new guide leaflets and explore the historical features.
As before, the church will be a venue for concerts, lectures and meetings, but it will, of course, be primarily a place of worship. Sunday services are at 11.00 a.m. Details are on the church website: www.stmichaels-caerwys.org.uk
On the afternoon of 5th November the Civic Service will be held in the church, and on 10th December at 11.00 a.m. Bishop Gregory, Bishop of St Asaph, will lead a service of re-dedication. Former Rectors and many old friends will join us for that service.
Other forthcoming events include:
Friday 22nd December 7.00 p.m. Carols and Readings Service.
The photographs show some of the interior of the newly renovated Church with the pews replaced by comfortable chairs, the font re-sited and the wonderful tiles that have been revealed by the altar.
Hidden behind the beautiful oak panelling, where the old organ was sited, is a small kitchen area and an accessible toilet.
I think everyone who has seen it will agree that the church looks wonderful and is a warm and inviting place in which to worship.
Return to the Church (Posted 28.9.17)
On the afternoon of 14th October, the congregation of St Michael’s Church will host ‘open house’ for Caerwys people to see the renovated church.
Drop in for a cup of tea or coffee any time between 2.00 pm and 4,00 pm on that Saturday afternoon.
We will return to the church with a Holy Communion and Harvest-themed service at 11.00 a.m. on 15th October. The service will be led by our Rector, Venerable John Lomas, Archdeacon of St Asaph. It will be a time for celebration and thanks. Do join us.
There will be a formal service of dedication of the renovations in November.
The repairs to the plasterwork, the windows, the flooring and the roof will maintain the integrity of this ancient building for a generation.
We have also taken the opportunity to adapt the church for 21st century worship and community use. As a result of this project, the church will be warmer, people will sit in more comfort, they will be able to hear better, and to see what is going on more clearly.
There is now a new toilet and a kitchen area. No more searching for the Portaloo in the churchyard, or going out to the tap outside for water to fill the kettle.
The chancel is now an open area, and the low wooden screen that was placed there in 1905 has been relocated along the North wall. In the chancel the Rector will lead services, choirs will sing, and nativity plays will be performed, all in clear sight of those seated in both naves.
The old wooden floors have been sanded and sealed, and the lighting has been vastly improved. The aim of this has been to highlight the memorials, the windows, the altar and the carvings which make the church such a beautiful heritage site. The carpet has been removed to reveal beautiful Victorian tiling, which has been carefully restored.
All this work has been possible because of the immense generosity of members of the St Michael’s Church congregation, the St Asaph Diocese, and of the following grant-awarding bodies:
The Heritage Lottery Fund, The National Churches Trust, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The James Pantyfedwen Foundation, The Maude Yeardye Trust, and The Allchurches Trust.
We have counted our blessings throughout the project.
The work has been undertaken by Gareth Williams Joinery, a local firm who specialise in work in ancient churches. Their tradespeople and their sub-contractors have proved skilful, and sensitive to the need to get the detail right. They have gone out their way to restore the church sympathetically. Robin Wolley, the Project Architect is amongst the most experienced and talented conservation architects. He has overseen it with care and imagination.
Throughout the Building Committee of the church, and individual members of the congregation have been supportive, and our Rector, John Lomas has given unstinting support and help.
We have made no structural changes. St Michael’s Church has never been the victim of wealthy people’s vanity projects. Each generation has made its mark, and has adapted the church to its needs. What you see now is the outcome of centuries of piecemeal change, and that it what makes it such an important heritage site.
If ‘heritage’ and ‘tradition’ meant ‘no change’ there would still be rushes on the floor, there would be box pews rented by the wealthy for their privileged use, and standing room for the rest.
For the church to survive as a heritage building it has to be used. Our challenge now is to use it to the full, to the glory of God, and in service of its community.
The Past Restored (Posted 1.9.17)
The Heritage Lottery Grant has funded two outstanding pieces of restoration in St Michael’s Church.
The north door, which carries the inscription 1760, was rotting from the base. Over the centuries rainwater has run down the door and accumulated in the sill near the ground. The rot had spread upwards through the joints.
Contractor Gareth Williams of Bagillt and architect Robin Wolley have restored the door so that it will be good for another 300 years. Gareth has replaced the rotted wood with oak, carefully interleaved into the door joints. He has removed the sill and raised the stone threshold of the door, so that there is not a gap at its base, and so that rainwater will run off down to the path.
The new wood will not be painted or stained. It will be left to weather so that it matches the original timber.
The inscription on the door remains, and so does the alleged bullet hole, carefully plugged, which featured in a recent story in the Chronicle by Brian Lord.
Inside the church, Gareth Williams and his team revealed some exceptional examples of Victorian tiling in the chancel area. The tiles had been covered by carpet and a considerable thickness of adhesive. When they lifted the carpet, the tiles came with it. It took a great deal of patience and care to restore the original design.
It was worth the effort. The colours and the motifs are impressive. The photos show Gareth Williams replacing the mosaic tiles, and a section of the finished floor prior to cleaning and polishing.
Work continues on the restoration of the stonework of the windows on the South wall, and the plasterwork in the nave and chancel has been comprehensively repaired, using many coats of lime plaster.
The screening for the new toilet and kitchen is now in place, and the heating is being upgraded.
The church will be in use for a wedding on 30th September, and will be officially opened in mid-October.