Light Up St Cadocs!
A fundraising project has been underway for 3 years to light up the church. We are proud to day that sufficient funds have now been raised and the church looks lovely!
Excerpt from 2005 Llancarfan Society Newsletter 2005 by Kay Brain
When Ann Ferris asked me to write a piece for the Llancarfan Society Christmas Newsletter, I firstly agreed and secondly wondered what on earth I would write about. It didn’t take too long to decide on the subject of “Light up St Cadocs”. I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to document a tribute to a community whose efforts and determination enabled the project of illuminating St Cadoc’s Church to reach fruition……and where better to write about it, than our very own historical society.
It was in the Millennium year 2000 that temporary lighting was first placed around St Cadoc’s Church. This proved to be a great success, with plenty of positive comments from all who viewed the Church in all it’s glory in the dark. In fact a particular memory comes to mind…. Steve Powell and my husband Graham had worked hard to placed temporary lamps around the church trying to ensure that health and safety regulations were complied with, and decided to surprise Father Malcolm Davies with the glorious view of the Church….I remember they grabbed him and covered his eyes him..telling him they had a “surprise” for him, goodness only knows what he thought! They took him to the churchyard gates and told him to uncover his eyes….and there Malcolm saw a vision that he had long been wishing to see…it was emotional and I think it was at that point a seed was placed in Graham’s mind…to make this site a permanent feature of the church.
Two further Christmases passed and temporary lighting was placed around the church each time by popular demand, and was enjoyed by all. It wasn’t until January 2002 that the first steps were taken to commence the task of raising a committee and writing the very many letters necessary in such a project. The first letters were sent to the PCC and the Community Council, laying out all the plans, and seeking approval in principal from them. Alan Taylor Steve Powell and Graham Brain organised a village petition to gauge the views of local residents, and the project got overwhelming support with 53 households signing the petition in support of the scheme. A committee was then set up to move the project forward and consisted of John Angell, Graham Brain, Malcolm Davies, Sue Evans, Rob Gretton, Steve Powell, Nick Renwick, Alan Tayor, Steve Vink and myself. The first meeting was held on March 18th 2002 and a constitution was drawn up to underpin all of the future plans and decisions to be made on the project, which included planning permission, fundraising, grants and finance, quotations for work and electrical items etc.
Rob Gretton set about putting together quotations to carry out all the necessary groundwork's and getting estimates for the supply of electrical equipment. Nick Renwick made investigations into the possible planning regulations involved in such a project.
I was voted Treasurer and opened our “Light Up St Cadocs” bank account with Nat West in Cowbridge……and our very first donation was from the Tuesday Club…a generous and supportive gesture which is typical of our treasured ladies. Our very first fund raising event was a Monopoly Night held in the Village Hall on April 28th 2002. This was very popular and a very enjoyable £287.94 was raised for the fund. In May 2002 the Reynard Group held a memorable auction at the Fox and Hounds and kindly donated the net amount realised to swell the coffers even further … we were off to a great start.
In July the Llancarfan Society allowed us to run the bar at their annual Hog Roast…and we gladly obliged, raising a further £303.67. Our next event was a “Family Fun Day” which was held in the magnificent home of Mike and Barbara Camillieri in Walterson. Mike and Barbara were generosity personified…providing a hog roast and bouncy castle…croquet on the lawn children's games etc…and opening their home to all who attended. This wonderful day raised a staggering £ 1,173.80.
Then our very first Church Concert….September 20th 2002…with the Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir…Ben & Rachel Patel, Alison Lazda and Lucy Brain…all performing to the delight of one and all. Afterwards we repaired to the Fox and Hounds where 81 meals were professionally served and enjoyed by everyone. This concert raised £630.45.
After such a hectic first year of enthusiastic efforts, we were of course a long way short of our required funds to commence works to install the scheme. I started to apply for grants and funding from various sources, and despite my efforts nothing was forthcoming…..these applications were often lengthy and in the initial stages were promising, but in every case…the same response….. “your project does not fall into this category of funding” and naturally I became a little despondent.
Christmas 2002 was upon us and again the temporary lights were placed around St Cadocs, reminding us that our efforts would eventually be not in vain. In the depths of January Graham gave a brief talk to the Tuesday Club on “Speed Cameras” a subject to fire the hearts of the most sedate audience , for which they gave us another donation. Our next fund raising event was in February 2003 when we held a “Bric a Brac” sale in the Village Hall. Sue Evans and myself organised a most enjoyable event and we relied heavily on the experience of the Tuesday Club ladies experience in pricing etc. This raised £405.56.
With the guidance of John Angell , we at this point commissioned R W Gregory consulting engineers to carry out a survey of the church exterior and draw up plans to outline the positioning of the proposed lighting. They produced a working drawing of the proposed lighting and we then had a sound basis for all our plans.
At this point we were working towards a Christmas 2003 switch on….but it was not to be! We just did not have enough money to commit to the overall cost of the project at that point, and yet again when Christmas came we installed temporary lighting around St Cadocs Church, with the hope that the following Christmas would see the installation of permanent lighting.
Now in 2004, our next event was an Irish night held in the Village Hall , and as usual had a great evening with delicious home made Irish Stew , Hot Toddies and Mary Neary’s village troupe delighting all with their toe tapping skills. The flags were flying and the spirits raised with potien tasting at the end of the evening. Almost £500.00 was raised which was shared with the village hall committee who co-ran the event.
Our next fund raising event was a splendid Italian Evening held in the Village Hall on June 12th. It was Pizza and Pasta, with lashings of Italian arias…provided by Lucy Brain, Andrew Mathews, Luke Williams and Anna Page…..romantic and exciting.
Our next concert in the Church was on November 20th, when a most enjoyable evening was had by all who attended and delighted in the performances by young musicians from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Ben and Rachael Patel, Lucy Brain and Alison Lazda. We raised £856.00. We were absolutely delighted to learn that the Reynard group had earmarked a large sum of money some £2,500.00 to donate to Light Up St Cadocs, this sum together with other kind donations would most definitely see us through to the end of the project.
Christmas 2004 was upon us and yet again our project was unfortunately not quite there, delays meant that temporary lighting had to be put in place again. So near yet so far! Throughout the summer Rob Gretton completed the scheme and finally a date could be set to organise a suitable date for the “Switch On”. We then had the task of finding someone to do the switching on……….not an easy task. One person stood out in everyone’s mind when this was discussed…..Rev Malcolm Davies!!!....he had been such an inspiration in the church during his years at St Cadocs, and we were delighted when he agreed to officially illuminate the Church on the night. We decided to use the residual monies left over in the project to fund the concert and buffet, enabling us to offer a free event for all. It was decided to set a date of September 17th, and we organised our final concert in the Church with the Cardiff Male Choir , supported by Ben & Rachael Patel and Lucy, the concert was another success and was followed afterwards by a buffet in the Village Hall. When Malcolm switched on the lights and the tower was illuminated, as I walked from the Church to the village hall, I found it quite emotional, I looked back towards the Church it looked so beautiful. It marked an end to an enormous village effort. It was something lasting and good, it was a labour of love with ups and downs, but most of all it was rewarding and enjoyable.
The Llancarfan Christmas Tree is now in its 19th year, and again as in previous years, a painting competition is held in the Primary school to find winner to switch on the tree lights