Martin Gilbert of St Edeyrn's Church with Santa at their Christmas fayre and open day

Church with no running water celebrates Christmas open day success

Families queued out of St Edeyrn’s Church for cheap food, drinks and fun

CARDIFF’S oldest place of worship raised £1,200 in a Christmas fair aimed at creating a fun experience for the family at a low cost.

St Edeyrn’s Church, Old St Mellons, was founded in the Sixth Century and has no running water. However, this did not stop them from helping families by slashing prices at the event. Those attending did not have to watch their wallet as a welcome relief to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

“This is our first fair and open day in three years as people were still uncertain about mixing with covid,” said Martin Gilbert, event co-ordinator and bell ringer at the church. “We usually hold our open day in the summer but thought this time it would be nice to combine it with the Christmas fair.”

All prizes and gifts were donated by churchgoers and the wider community. Their generosity saw prices lowered for activities at the events to make the day more affordable.

“You can’t really put a price on donations and we are very grateful at how generous people have been. There are 50 bottles left in the tombola which has halved in an hour. It just means that we can make the prices lower than we had at our last event in 2019,” said Mr Gilbert.

Bottle tombola at the event where tickets were 3 for £1.

Those attending could enter a raffle and bottle tombola, priced at £1 for three tickets. Prizes included bottles of gin, wine, and whisky alongside non-alcoholic options and cooking fluids. Children could visit Santa’s grotto and receive a chocolate selection box. Their parents could shop for handmade wreaths, honeys and chutneys.

“It is great to see so many people turn up. Things like this let people know that the church is here for the community,” said Mark Emmott, an attendee at the event.

Refreshments were on offer at the bargain price of £1 for a hot dog or a turkey roll alongside hot drinks and mulled wine.

Churchgoers Audrey and David Evans serving refreshments.

A popular feature of the day was lessons in bell ringing in the church tower. This could also be watched on a screen set up at ground level.

“The bells are one of the most costly things to restore. In 1993, it cost around £200,000 to restore them, so nowadays you’d be looking nearer a million pounds for it,” said Mr Gilbert.

The £1,200 profit made from the event has been donated to a fund to help restore the church.