Neath-based construction firm J.G. Hale Construction is working with Barry Historical Society to preserve the memory of a derelict church in Barry which has been demolished to make way for new apartments.
St Paul’s Church and hall in St Paul’s Avenue has been knocked down for a development of 27 one-and two-bedroom apartments — some of which will be adapted for disabled living — and 18 parking spaces.
The homes provided by the £3.1m project have been built as part of the Faith in Affordable Housing (FiAH) project, and are a result of a partnership between Housing Justice Cymru, the Church in Wales, housing provider Hafod, and J.G. Hale Construction Ltd.
The project is part of a wider initiative to utilise surplus Church in Wales land for affordable housing. FiAH is managed by Housing Justice Cymru and was set up to encourage churches of all denominations to release land and buildings for affordable housing, so that the Church can give something back to the community rather than selling land and property on the open market.
Bonnie Navarra, Director of Housing Justice Cymru said: “This fantastic development will provide affordable rented homes for generations to come and is a fitting legacy for the former church. It shows what can be achieved through partnership that focuses on the needs of the community.”
The project was approved by the Vale of Glamorgan’s Planning Committee in July 2019, with contracted work set to last for 78 weeks.
J.G. Hale Construction is determined that the memory of the church is not lost forever. It is working closely with Barry Historical Society to retain and restore a number of items from the church, including five stained glass windows, which will be moved to another church in Wales.
It will also preserve the church’s Corner Stone with memorial engravings, which will be donated to Barry Historical Society, along with a time capsule discovered at the site, which contains historical newspapers from Barry and some historical coins.
J.G. Hale Construction is a Wales-based firm recognised for its commitment to innovative, eco-friendly design, quality materials and finishes and sustainable building practices. The company is committed to using local sub-contractors.
David Harrhy, J.G. Hale Construction’s Group Managing Director, said: “Due to the history of the building and the fact this is a place of worship, we are handling the project with care and we are keen to preserve the heritage of the building. That is why we are working with Barry Historical Society on the scheme to ensure some of the most important items from the project are preserved for future generations.”
Elke Winton, Director of Housing, Support and Development at Hafod, added: “The site and former church hold a lot of history and memories for the community. We are keen that the new development will add to this by bringing another valuable asset for local people in the form of high-quality affordable homes, helping to improve choice and availability in a popular area where homes are much in demand.”
Header image is an artist impression of the St Pauls Barry development.