A NEWLY formed “The Friends of St. Peter’s, Old Cogan” group was officially launched at All Saints Church in Penarth last Friday, March 27.

The group hopes to promote and maintain St Peter's Church by holding a number of fundraising events.

Around 70 invited guests, including the Mayor of Penarth Cllr Martin Turner and the Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan Cllr Howard Hamilton, were welcomed to the launch event.

A display outlined the history of St Peter’s Church, Old Cogan - Penarth’s oldest building and a Grade 2* listed building - and the problems it faces.

The Friends group has set itself the target of solving a number of problems facing the church.

They would like to improve drainage to stop the ingress of water, replace the rotten wooden flooring, repair boundary walls, provide car parking facilities for visitors, build a toilet block, build a meeting hall, and promote the building.

Planning consent has already been given for a car park, an application has been made for lottery funding, architects have costed the urgent work needed, and the Friends group have held several meetings with a formal constitution approved

Chairman John Fraser spoke about the issues facing the church and outlined how the newly formed “Friends” hope to address them.

"Conservation is a priority, but the provision of parking is important too," he said.

"In the longer term, the “Friends” would like to construct a small building, sympathetic to the historical surroundings, which would provide necessary facilities.

"Situated in the centre of Old Cogan deserted medieval village, which is protected by being a Scheduled Ancient Monument, the little church has much to offer the community. It could be a valuable educational resource as well as a place for regular worship."

Mr Fraser thanked the committee members for their enthusiasm, hard work and support but said that he felt he had to mention St Peter’s sub wardens, John Rogers and Matthew Salisbury, by name in recognition of their work. The Conservation Architect, Bob Sandford, who is advising the project, was on hand to answer questions.

Following the introduction to the evening, the “Friends” and their guests were entertained by a group of musicians led by Richard Parry and the Petrus Recorder Consort. A buffet with a medieval ‘flavour ‘ was served on the Gallery.

The newly formed group intend to hold concerts and other fundraising events alongside the already established “Christmas Voices” concert and the annual open day which this year will take place on Saturday, July 4.

Membership of The Friends of St. Peter’s, Old Cogan, costs £10 (£15 for a couple) per annum. Membership details can be obtained from the Secretary, Pat Bartley (patbartley11@icloud.comt) or the Chairman (johnfraser6@sky.com – tel. (029)20631384). An informative booklet covering the history of St Peter’s, including its decline and Victorian restoration, costs £3 and can be obtained from the church itself, from All Saints Church or by contacting either the Secretary or Chairman.