In the bustling mountain gateway to Snowdonia, St Mary's continues the tradition of a 'prayer house in the wood' (betws y coed).
Built in the 14th century, St Michael's Old Church is the oldest building in Betws y Coed, and is located on the banks of the River Conwy.
Replaced by the parish church of St Mary's in 1873, St Michael's lay slumbering peacefully throughout the 20th century. But by the early 1990's it was in a sorry state, with a leaking roof and associated plaster damage and it was urgently in need of repair work. In 1994, the Friends of St Michael’s was formed, to raise both awareness of the building, and money to preserve it. Declared redundant in 2000, the building is now leased from the Church in Wales by the St Michael’s Betws y Coed Trust, a registered charity (1081038), run by the Friends.
Nowadays hundreds of people visit St Michael’s Old Church, in beautiful Snowdonia every year, and there are many different reasons for appreciating this simple and humble building. Visitors from all over the world come and enjoy the oldest building in the village, whilst for those with an interest in history, the stone effigy of Gruffydd ap Dafydd Goch has a special fascination. Students of architecture and church history learn much from the inside arrangements of the church. Most people appreciate a quiet place in which to sit and think and pray. We still hold two services a year, which are normally on St Michael's Day (29 September) and a candlelit Carol Service at Christmas.