A chapel belonging to the Union of Welsh Independents has been named as the favourite church or chapel in Wales, in a ‘Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ competition. Over 7,000 people voted for the magnificent Tabernacl chapel in Morriston, Swansea known as the ‘Welsh nonconformist cathedral.’
The result was announced by broadcaster Huw Edwards as Vice President of the National Churches Trust which had called on the public to vote for the Welsh church or chapel they liked the most.
Mike Hedges AM (pictured), who lives in Morriston and represents Swansea East in the National Assembly of Wales, also announced the result in the Senedd in Cardiff.
Fifty churches and chapels were entered. Runners up were St Michael and All Angels, Efenechtyd with 4,498 votes and the Church of the Holy Cross, Mwnt with 1,884 votes.
A Grade I listed building, Tabernacle Chapel was designed by Welsh architect John Humphreys and opened in 1870. It was said to be perhaps the most ambitious chapel in Wales and cost what was then the huge sum of £18,000. It is known as the ‘Cathedral of Welsh Nonconformity’, and has a largely unaltered interior and fittings.
Tabernacle Chapel will receive a special ‘Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ glass trophy, designed by Sandra Snaddon, a Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers, and a prize of £500. The trophy and prize money was handed over at a presentation on Thursday 28 September at Tabernacle Chapel.
Huw Tregelles Williams, representing Tabernacle Chapel, said: “As members of Morriston Tabernacle congregation we are delighted that this iconic building has won the ‘Sacred Wales – Cymru Sanctaidd’ competition. We would like to thank all those in our community and further afield who have made this possible.”