Skip to main content

Chapels (Preservation)

Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made in respect of the preservation of Welsh chapels since the publication of the second report from the Welsh Affairs Committee of Session 1992–93, HC 403, on the Preservation of Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments. [36586]

Responsibility for issues relating to redundant chapels has been delegated to Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from T. J. Cassidy to Mr. Ted Rowlands, dated 16 July 1996:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your Question about the progress towards establishing a redundant chapels fund in Wales.
In its response to the Welsh Affairs Committee Report. "The Preservation of Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments", the Government indicated that it was prepared to fund 70% of the costs of a mechanism to care for the best redundant historic chapels for which no other arrangement could be made.
In November 1994 the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, on Cadw's behalf, organised a Conference to identify the problems which such a mechanism might address and to promote the involvement of interested people. That Conference led to the establishment of a Working Group to consider the issue under the chairmanship of Dr. Roger Wools—an architect who has taken a particular interest in historic chapels. The Group's members included the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, an Executive Committee member of CAPEL, the Conservation Officer of Monmouth Borough Council, an archaeologist and a Chartered Building Surveyor. The terms of reference to which the Group has worked were:
  • to examine questions of redundancy and to consider if chapels of significance will be presented for which preservation is desirable;
  • to consider what mechanisms could be put in place which with support from the Welsh Office might address the needs of such buildings.
The Group has consulted widely, hearing the views of representatives of organisations concerned with chapels. Its report is due shortly.
We look forward to receiving the Group's report which we hope will help us identify important chapels which may be facing redundancy and indicate the best way forward.