Morriston Tabernacle Chapel celebrates

Published: Thursday, September 28, 2017


Government and civic leaders have joined the celebrations to mark Morriston Tabernacle Chapel’s place as Wales’ favourite church or chapel.

At the event, held at Tabernacle Chapel at 12.30 on Thursday 28 September 2017, a special ‘Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ glass trophy was presented to representatives of the chapel. The trophy was designed by Sandra Snaddon, a Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers. The chapel also received a prize of £500 from the National Churches Trust.

Tabernacle Chapel in Morriston, Swansea was voted as Wales' favourite place of worship in the ‘Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ competition held this summer in which the public voted for the Welsh church or chapel they liked the most. 

Tabernacle Chapel beat off 49 other churches and chapels in an online vote on the website. The ‘Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ competition was organised by the National Churches Trust to celebrate Wales’ churches and chapels.

Welsh Government Leader of the House and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt said:

“Congratulations to Morriston Tabernacle Chapel for winning this award ahead of many other fine religious buildings across Wales. The ‘Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ competition recognises and celebrates the important role religious buildings play in the culture and heritage of Wales.”

Huw Tregelles Williams, representing Tabernacle Chapel, said: 

“I am honoured that Morriston Tabernacle has won the Sacred Wales Award at a time when the Welsh Government and the City and County of Swansea are working towards securing a sustainable future for this iconic building which is both a chapel and a performance venue. Following a £1.5m restoration programme it is now in better condition than in living memory and is clearly admired by performers and audiences at the many concerts held there over the years.”

Huw Edwards, broadcaster and journalist and Vice President of the  National Churches Trust, said:

“I’m delighted that Tabernacle Chapel, ‘the cathedral of chapels’ won the National Churches Trust’s ‘Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ competition to find Wales’ favourite church or chapel ”

“With its eight huge Corinthian columns and arches, and a magnificent spire, Tabernacle is an unmistakable building in the lower Swansea valley. The chapel remains a vibrant centre for the community, hosting  local cultural groups, weekly choir practices by local choirs, activity days for the disadvantaged and disabled and, of course, regular Sunday services.”

“’Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ showcased 50 of the most beautiful and historic churches and chapels of Wales. It’s been a great celebration of some the most beautiful religious buildings anywhere in the world.”

The Right Worshipful The Lord Mayor of the City and County of Swansea Councillor Philip Downing, said:

“Congratulations to Tabernacle Chapel on being recently voted Wales’ best loved place of worship.  Religious buildings and heritage of Swansea  are important and require care and attention.  Swansea has been shortlisted for the Bid for City of Culture 2017 and it is important that we support the culture and heritage we have in the City to maintain this going forward in future years.”

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said:

“As a proud Morriston boy, I’m delighted that Tabernacle Chapel has been voted Wales’s favourite place of worship. This accolade is testament to everyone involved in the building’s administration and upkeep.”

“It’s important we do all we can, alongside our partners, to preserve and celebrate historic buildings of this kind. This is why a review of the Morriston Conservation Area first designated in 1975 has recently been carried out, which we’re currently consulting on."

“All feedback we receive will help inform a planning policy in future that will be aimed at better protecting Morriston’s heritage and character than ever before.”

About Tabernacle Chapel

A Grade I listed building, Tabernacle Chapel was designed by Welsh architect John Humphreys and opened in 1870. It was said to be perhaps the most ambitious chapel in Wales and cost what was then the huge sum of £18,000. It is known as the 'Cathedral of Welsh Nonconformity', and has a largely unaltered interior and fittings. 

Further celebrations

Further celebration of Tabernacle Chapel’s place as Wales’ favourite place of worship will take place on Sunday 1 October 2017 at 7.00pm at a concert for the whole community by the young voices of the Hywel Girls’ Choir, Hywel Boy Singers and Angelicus Celtis, ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists and BBC Songs of Praise artists, featuring popular highlights from the worlds of sacred music, opera and music theatre.  All proceeds will go to the Ty Olwen Hospice.


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