FOR eighty years the Catholic church of Our Lady of Peace had stood out as a spiritual beacon, not only for the people of Newbridge and its surrounds, but also those travelling on the main road along the Valley who glimpse its unique magnificence. And unique it is- with its clean, clear Italianate design picked out boldly in white.

But eighty years is a long time, and enduring though both the church and the faith of those who use her are, some urgent attention must now be paid to the physical structure which is one of the very few Grade 2* listed buildings in the locality. The church which is a source of pride not only to Catholics now needs a facelift and repairs to the front-facing wall, the cost of which has been estimated at £115,000.

Our Lady of Peace is God’s house but the Almighty is generous, and so it has uses other than worship. Excellent acoustics make it perfect for musical concerts and indeed, some of these are planned. The church has close links with the neighbouring school and other links with the community – whether Catholic or not – are maintained. Nowadays of course, a building without access for the disabled is unthinkable, and so a further £5,000 must be found for a wheelchair ramp.

Finally, Lighting. Spiritual light of course, but the man-made sort which illuminates the church from the outside and provides the safe, comforting glow within, has to be installed, maintained and paid for at a further cost of £8,000.  In all of this the Church will help, but Her charitable commitments throughout the world are vast. Support from bodies within the United Kingdom are also to be hoped for, but it is, after all, a part of South Wales’ architectural heritage, and we must take our part.

If you can make a donation towards any of the three projects mentioned above, you will have our gratitude. Your thoughts as to how sufficient funds might be found are always welcome. Given these things, we will be here to enhance the pride we all feel in our locality, and to serve as a prayerful and holy place for another eighty years, and far beyond.