Beginning of the restoration of the Church of Our Lady of Peace in Newbridge

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A CATHOLIC church used since the end of the Second World War is to be renovated.

Work has started on the first phase of restoration at Our Lady of Peace in Newbridge.

The first phase, which is expected to last nine months, will include repairs to the south and west elevations of the road and the installation of an access ramp to the main entrance.

The White Italianate Church is a Grade II listed building designed by architect PD Hepworth. It has stood proud for decades in the city, but has become less visible and weather-worn in recent years.

The church was completed just months before the outbreak of World War II and was not consecrated until the end of the war in 1945.

Father Kevin Paine said of the church: “During the war and by order of the War Office, Our Lady of Peace was painted entirely in camouflage so as not to aid the navigation of enemy bombers.

“Our church was repainted and consecrated as soon as the war was over, but that was quite a long time ago now and recent surveys have shown the urgency of major repairs and updating of our facilities.

“We believe it is important that our church is not only a beacon of the Catholic faith, but an asset to the whole community in this part of the South Wales valleys and something that Newbridge can be proud of. The church has excellent acoustics and we would expect it to be used for musical and other cultural events.

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Restoration Group President Mandy Lovell said: “£ 170,000 has been made available for this phase of the work. Our own restoration group got to work and got the support of the Catholic Archdiocese, our own parishioners and the community. We are also grateful for the generosity of the AllChurches Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the National Churches Trust, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Welsh Church Act Fund and the Wolfson Foundation ”.

Chloe Evans, AllChurches Grant Manager, said: “We are delighted that our funding is supporting the restoration of Our Lady of Peace. The rich history of the church means a lot to the community. The repair work will bring it back to life as a landmark and space to unite local populations. ”

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