View from Westminster by Stephen Doughty MP

First published in Penarth news

IT was a real pleasure on Saturday to attend the open day at Penarth’s oldest church – St Peter’s Old Cogan.

This tiny, ancient building stands within the mediaeval village of Old Cogan, and predates by many centuries the development of both Penarth and Cardiff.

It has been a site of Christian worship for 1,400 years, yet goes unnoticed by many, who are unaware that it stands hidden away but just a few hundred yards from the modern-day housing developments in lower Penarth and Dinas Powys.

It was a delight to meet parishioners and guests at the open day – and to join in with the singing at this wonderful old church, where I also sang in December at the Christmas Voices event.

On this visit I learned more about the history of the building which, along with the surrounding village, was designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1997. The church itself is Grade II listed by Cadw, and continues to host weekly services as well as concerts and special events.

It really is a lovely place, which evokes a special sense of history as you imagine the centuries of worship that have taken place there.

But as with all ancient buildings, the battle with the elements is taking its toll. Water ingress and damp are threatening the fabric of the building, and could even lead to this important church being closed to the public.

Conservation work is urgently needed, and a restoration project has been instigated with the aim of putting right the damage done over the years and securing the future of this beautiful little building for generations to come.

I am fully supportive of the project, and as part of that will be joining the Friends of St Peter’s group. I would encourage Penarth Times readers to do the same, to learn more about this fascinating church, and to get behind the efforts to ensure it remains a place of public worship well into the future.

For more information on how to get involved, contact the Parish administrator on 02920 703170 or email admin@allsaintspenarth.org.uk

Like many readers, I am looking forward to the Summer Festival carnival day on Saturday. As ever a great deal of hard work has gone into the planning of the event by the town council, so here’s hoping the weather holds and Penarth turns out in force for what I’m sure will be another fantastic day!

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