St Mary’s Conwy is the heart of the town: its oldest building, having been the site of the Cistercian Monastery (Aberconwy Abbey) since the late 12th century. It is packed full of history: stories our welcome team love to relate to our thousands of visitors. But it is still also a vibrant worshipping community, with year-round events and of course, a sanctuary of prayer, offering a space to encounter God.
Members of our welcome team come from all parts of our community, not just from the congregation. It’s a chance to make new friends and do something really positive for the town – and indeed, the whole region’s tourism and cultural offer. You’ll meet people from all over the world – and from around the corner! You’ll get the chance not only to meet visitors during our main season (Easter to September), but also steward at concerts year round, and at the annual Christmas Tree Festival.
Full training and support is provided – and you will never work on your own. So contact us today! We’d love to tell you more about it.
After a season of having to shut in 2020, we were excited to open for a 10-week ‘high summer’ season in 2021. There were weekly classical concerts and an art installation, as well as self-guided trails of the church and the graveyard.
The Butterfly Project
Summer 2021 was a very particular time in our history – the moment when we took the first, tentative steps out of the ‘chrysalis’ of confinement and protection. Just as the caterpillar is transformed through the darkness, we have emerged changed by our experience of the pandemic. But before we experience the total freedom of extending our wings, we are still fragile. Each beautiful, created and known by God. This was the inspiring idea of artist Jackie Ley’s, to allow all our visitors to record their feelings about the pandemic and their prayers on squares cut from OS maps, then made into origami butterflies and hung aloft in St Mary’s Conwy. We have also run workshops in local schools, as children and young people have been able to express their feelings, know the desires of their hearts are known to God and be encouraged to have hope in the future. He hears us when we pray.
We were also delighted to host an exhibition of young people’s work, inspired by our landscape:
Over the last two years, between March and October we have greeted a growing number of visitors (over 16,000 visitors in 2018, and 21,000 in 2019). When the volunteers talk about the time they have given, their most memorable experiences are the joy of meeting people from around the world, making new friends and enjoying a great community spirit.
Together, we have won accolades from our visitors by winning Trip Advisor awards for excellence in 2019, and the coveted ‘Travellers’ choice’ award in 2020.