The Church where the Welsh poet R. S. Thomas served as a vicar has received some much-needed funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Heritage Lottery Fund redistributes revenue generated by the UK National Lottery and uses it to help benefit buildings, parks, places of historical interest, and other causes that are considered to be of lasting importance to the British heritage. St. Michael's Church, Eglwysfach, is one of eight churches that will benefit from lottery funding. Speaking just before the New Year, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, stated his gratitude. "The eight churches are all grateful for the investment," he said, "but I am especially delighted that St Michael’s Church has received a grant award during a year of centenary celebrations marking the birth of RS Thomas."
R. S. Thomas was born in 1913, and served at St. Michael's Church between the years 1954 and 1967, so St. Michael's held several events last year, to commemorate the centenary of his birth.
St. Michael's has been awarded £16,800. The money will be used to fund urgent repairs, assist research on graves, and to pay for the development of a new website.
Jennifer Stewart, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Wales, stated, "Not only will our awards secure the immediate future of these particular buildings, it will also give the congregations the opportunity to adapt them, where necessary, so they can be enjoyed more widely throughout the community and in turn enable them be more enjoyed by many, for many more years to come."