The Archbishop of Wales led a candlelit service of rededication at one of Wales’ oldest churches.

Archbishop John Davies’ visit to St David’s Church in Llanwrtyd Wells marked the completion of a £152,000 project to carry out major repairs.

Renovation work was funded by grants and local fundraising, and included new lime mortar for the outside walls, new wooden floors, resetting the medieval font, re-laying the entrance porch slab floor to provide disabled access and digging out and providing a French drain around the church.

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The present church has a recorded history spanning more than 1,000 years with the site reputed to have been chosen much earlier by St David, Wales’ patron saint.

As well as the rededication of the church, the service also saw the dedication of a new altar frontal which has been designed by pupils from Ysgol Dolafon.

The children entered a competition to draw and produce their idea of an altar cloth design and the best was sent to local artist Sarah Evans to interpret the design into the cloth frontal.

Lorraine Alterations, from Llanwrtyd Wells, put the altar cloth together.

Churchwarden of St David’s, Howell Evans, said: “Following three-and-a-half years of fundraising, the renovation finally got underway on September 2018.

“It was completed in July this year to an exceptionally high standard – it’s so good to have our church back looking in pristine condition and retaining its timeless, simplistic appearance and spirituality.

“Having the archbishop to rededicate the church was the icing on the cake for our community, being yet another of many significant events witnessed by our 1,000-year-old church over the centuries.”

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Speaking at the candlelit service – St David’s has no electricity or running water – Archbishop John Davies said it was a “privilege to have such a beautiful building in such a beautiful setting”.

“Everything you’ve done will ensure that this lovely place remains for generations yet to come. You have pilgrims, or at least visitors, and when visitors, walkers, passers-by encounter these serene, beautiful places, we have to hope that because of the way that they are cared for and presented, they will in some way be touched by the essence of what the building is here to represent.

“It has to be a means, a vehicle, of grace. A place of welcome, a place of calm, a place where the grace and truth of God made visible in Jesus can be touched and felt.

“You do the physical job properly to ensure that the spiritual task that exists can be undertaken properly, and with hope and pleasure.”

The site of the church is reputed to have been chosen much earlier by St David, after the synod at Llanddewi Brefi in 519.