History – Friends of Saron

By 2011 it was apparent that the condition of Saron Chapel and its Vestry was deteriorating very quickly and incremental improvements were no longer going to be viable. Urgent action was needed if the Chapel and its historical significance to the community of Treoes was going to survive.

In 2012 the members of the Congregational Chapel appointed a small team of volunteers to begin the process of applying for grants to restore the Chapel. The team consisted of:  Joan Thomas, Janet Day, Ann Hibbs, Jill Ham and Branwen Clarke. They then co-opted  the help of Robert Owen in applying for grant and appointed Alwyn Jones Architects.

To support the grant application another local resident, Kathy Harris, established a Make and Mend group to meet every other Wednesday in the Vestry. This led to the setting up of another groups in 2O13, who were interested in researching the area’s history. The results of their research, which has been compiled by Ruth Sampson, assisted by Ann Hibbs and Linz Owens,  is summarised in these web pages.

In 2016 the application for £99,200 to the Heritage Lottery Fund under their Grants for Places of Worship programme for the urgent repairs to the Chapel was approved. This still left the daunting task of securing another £55,000 of match funding. With further grants awarded under the Welsh Churches Act, the Listed Places of Worship, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the National churches Fund, eventually, sufficient funds were drawn together. The urgent repairs to the Chapel began in June 2017 and completed in November that year. These funds also covered the construction of this website, as well as the restoration of historical artefacts which date back to the establishment of the Chapel including a Peter Williams Family Bible.

The team have now set their sights on the renovation of the Vestry and work is in hand to secure the necessary funds. If this is successful, then the newly formed Capel Siriol company aim to establish a ‘Heritage Hub’ in the Vestry – , a place for the community to meet, share ideas, skills, and learn more about Treoes’ fascinating history, wildlife, traditions and cultural associations.

 

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