This church is unique in being the only one (so far as we know) dedicated to St Fagan in the whole of the UK, and probably the world. Fagan was a missionary sent to Britain by the Pope in the 4th century AD. Our church is named after him because the benefactress, Lady Harriet Windsor-Clive, was a daughter of the Earl of Plymouth, whose estate was at St Fagan’s near Cardiff.
If a church can tell a story then St Fagan’s tells us about the development of Aberdare in the 19th century. It was built in 1854 to cater for the increased population brought about by the coal boom of that period. At different times there were no fewer than nine collieries in the area. The coal may have gone but the community spirit is still very much here, and it is this community that St Fagan’s seeks to serve today.
The visitor to St Fagan’s will be struck by its handsomeness, as befits a church designed by a pupil of Pugin, one Thomas Talbot Bury. Built in the Early English Gothic style, it has a nave, with north and south aisles, separated by 4 bay arcades, chancel and south porch. The bell tower was added in 1909. The church has some fine stained glass windows, some depicting stories from the Bible, others containing images of various saints, including our own mysterious St Fagan. The imposing stained glass in east window was installed in 1952 as a memorial to those lost in World War Two; the ornately carved rood screen is the parish’s memorial to the fallen of the 1914-18 war.