St. Mary’s Church in Caerhun

The Grade I listed Church lies within the Roman fort of Canovium. Mae’r Eglwys restredig Gradd I hon yn sefyll yng Nghaer Rufeinig Canovium.


Nestling quietly alongside the banks of the River Afon Conwy, St. Mary’s Church Eglwys offers an oasis of calm on a site that was once a bustling Roman fort. The building has a beautiful simplicity and welcomes those who live nearby in villages such as Rowen, as well as those who live far away. It offers a place of serenity to experience worship, grounded in God’s Word that has been spoken as blessing, teaching, comfort and peace for over 700 years. It is open daily for visitors in the Summer. During the Winter, it’s open most weekends and public holidays.

Open Doors

The Church welcomed visitors on 7th and 8th September during the annual Open Doors Drysau Agored, and there was an Exhibition on The Romans of Canovium, including aerial photographs of Canovium during the drought of 2018.

The Cistercian Way

The Reverend Susan Blagden gave a talk on The Cistercian Way on 20th August, which is the Feast Day of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who said:-

“There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity.
There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity.
There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.”

Susan, a theological educator, explained the worship and spirituality of the Cistercians, and their engagement with the community. This monastic way of life shaped our Christian heritage, and our buildings. The Cisterican Day started at 1.30am, when they got up and started the Nocturnes office at 2am. They would finish with Compline at 8pm, saying the same psalms every night to put the world to bed, before it was their bedtime at 8.15pm. That’s just over 5 hours to rest and sleep!

Ascension Day

The Bro Celynnin Ministry Area celebrated Ascension Day at St. Mary’s Church, in Caerhun, on 30th May, to commemorate Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven.

Good Friday and Easter Day

On Good Friday morning, we gathered at St. Mary’s Church, in Caerhun, to worship together. The light was shining through the East window, and wooden crosses had been placed on the altar.


After the Service at 10am, we carried a cross through the beautiful Conwy valley and Conwy town to St. Mary’s Church, in Conwy, for the afternoon Service at 3pm. The cross was carried down the aisle.



On Easter Day, the Resurrection Light was shining through the windows of all our Churches, as we proclaimed ‘Christ is Risen, He is Risen indeed – Alleluia!’.

Sunday Worship 11am

Services are mainly Eucharistic (i.e. they include Holy Communion, which is when the faithful receive bread and wine as a symbol of the body and blood of Jesus Christ). Eucharistic Services are taken by ordained Priests and they follow the Church in Wales (2004) Book of Common Prayer in Caerhun. Occasionally, Morning Worship Services are taken by Lay Readers. Click here for a list of all the upcoming Services and Events.

Tuesday Morning Prayer 8.30am

Early on a Tuesday, we say Morning Prayer together at 8.30am. You are very welcome to join us for this short act of worship.

Opening Times (10am – 5pm)

This year, St. Mary’s Church will be open daily from Sunday 24th March to the end of October (10am – 5pm).

Services and Events

Click here for Services and Events that happened in 2018.

Click here for Services and Events that happened in 2017.


St. Mary’s Church dates back to the 13th century and was built by the Cistercian Monks of Maenan Abbey. The Church is located in the North-Eastern corner of a large Roman fort called Canovium, which was built much earlier in 75AD. Legend suggests that the fort lasted long after Roman withdrawal. In the 6th century, it was occupied by the King of Gwynedd Rhun ap Maelgwn, hence the name Cae-rhun.

IMG_1225Two of the yew trees are over 1000 years old!

IMG_1223Beautiful 18th century lych gate, but duck your head!

St. Mary’s Church was a place of Christian worship long before King Henry VIII’s Reformation. Unfortunately, many of the features of Roman Catholicism were destroyed, but restoration work was carried out in the 1970s, which unearthed a medieval stoop, that had previously been hidden in the corner of the building!

Click here for more historical information.


Vicar: Reverend David Parry  07403 635510 and (01492) 593402

Local Wardens: Simon Baldon (01492) 660094 and Jenny Young (01492) 650451