A VILLAGE church is open again more than a year after flood damage caused its closure.

St Cynog’s Church in Llangynog was forced to close 18 months ago for repairs. Over the years the rain sweeping down the Tanat Valley had penetrated the west wall, causing black mould to spread over the interior.

Now conservation contractors Phillips and Curry, based al Llynclys, have clad the wall sympathetically with Welsh slate. The building has dried out and services can start again.

At 10.30am this Sunday, September 29, worshippers from the Tanat Valley Mission Area and beyond will join people from the village for a special eucharist.

It will celebrate the reopening of St Cynog’s as a ‘Pilgrim Church’. Afterwards everyone is invited to gather in the Memorial Hall for refreshments.

In the Church in Wales Pilgrim Churches enjoy a special status. No longer serving as parish churches, they have been chosen to be retained as simple, wayside places for visitors and a focus for the local community.

They can be used for around six services a year and also for funerals, baptisms and wedding blessings. Their funds are held in an individual account.

St Cynog’s is already open daily for anyone who is seeking a place for quiet reflection, as well as for visitors to the village. The church has a long history.

First mentioned in 1254 it was rebuilt many times, most recently in 1894 by the architect William Henry Spaull of Oswestry.

But it gives the impression of a much older building and retains traces from earlier times, including a fascinating collection of carved and painted slate tablets on the walls of the vestry, now open to view.

The round churchyard, perched high above the road, contains one ancient yew tree and many slate headstones, beautifully inscribed. A guide telling the story of St Cynog and the church he founded is available to read. And after looking round, visitors can choose between Llangynog’s two adjacent pubs: the New Inn and the Tanat Valley Hotel.

Helpers from the local community are needed to keep the church open and cared for; to provide further displays and to make sure that services can continue in the years to come.