St Mary's Church and notes from children to refugees at St Mary's Church
(left) Notes to the refugee family from St Mary's pupils (Credit: South Wales Ministry Area), (right) St Mary's Church (Credit: Eleanor Dalton)

Butetown project to house refugee family makes plea to landlords

A group is looking for a suitable three-bedroom rental property to offer a home to people fleeing conflict

A BUTETOWN initiative which has raised over £13,000 to sponsor a refugee family is now calling for landlords to help in a search for a suitable rental property.

The Croeso Butetown initiative was set up by two churches and a school in 2018 as part of the government’s Community Sponsorship scheme, which encourages people to sponsor refugees fleeing conflict.

Notes written to the refugee family by pupils from St Mary’s School Credit: South Wales Ministry Area

It wants to resettle a refugee family in Butetown and support them for two years using funds raised from the area and the wider Cardiff community.

The group, formed of representatives from Tabernacl Church, The Hayes, and St Mary’s Church and St Mary’s School, Butetown, is now looking for a three-bedroom rental property in Butetown for between £1,200 and £1,500 per month.

It would be wonderful if a local landlord could reach out to us.”

Father Dean Atkins, St Mary’s Church

“It would be wonderful if a local landlord could reach out to us,” said Father Dean Atkins, priest at St Mary’s.

“Whilst we are engaging with many estate agents, and viewing homes, sometimes our needs don’t suit the landlord, so it’s proving more difficult than we imagined.

“The ongoing housing crisis means that even when housing becomes available it gets snatched up quite quickly. Rental costs in this community, like other communities, have radically increased.”

“It is proving very difficult,” said Bill Davies, deacon of Tabernacl Church.

“As soon as something comes available it is gone, so that does make our position that much more tricky. But once the family arrive we are committed to support them for two years.”

Bill Davies, deacon of Tabernacl Church in The Hayes Credit: The Baptist Union of Wales

The group leaders believe it is part of their Christian duty to help the homeless and displaced. They are passionate about continuing with the project despite delays and setbacks due to lockdown and the cost-of-living crisis. The group had to continue fundraising well beyond the £9,000 required by the Home Office to participate in the scheme.

“I do not need to tell you about the images you see on television,” said Bill Davies.

“Our church believes that religion does not start and finish in a building. There are things that as Christians we should be providing outside of our building.

“We already help the homeless and vulnerable so we are happy to be going further by providing a home for refugees.”

Our church believes that religion does not start and finish in a building.”

Bill Davies, Tabernacl Church in The Hayes

The group has held many numerous fundraising events including quiz nights and curry evenings. A single Christmas event at Tabernacl in December 2023 raised over £800.

The team are interested to hear from anyone who might know of a suitable house in Butetown, or who can donate to the scheme. If you think you can help, email Father Dean at

• See here to find out more about Croeso Butetown

• See here to find out more about Community Sponsorship