Sea Sunday

July 10th

Yesterday was Sea Sunday which we celebrated with great enthusiasm down at St Lawrence. Some of us read poems – three people, Dave, Derek and Wendy, ‘volunteered’ at the last moment and read so well, as did the usual suspects, Carole, Helen, Jane and Michael. Anne was at her best at the harmonium, which seemed very happy in the warm conditions, and accompanied loud and tuneful renderings of favourite hymns. I muttered about monks and ‘thin places’ and prayed for everyone and everything as I usually do. Four adorable little dogs waited patiently in the porch during the service. Calls for a ‘Pets’ service, one day? The hot and cold drinks were much appreciated, as were the Welsh cakes provided by Maureen and the lemon drizzle cake from Carole, and lots of us stood around and enjoyed social interaction (fellowship).

Pete, Michael and I had cleaned and prepared the church the day before and Pat did some serious polishing on the day. The beautiful flower arrangements were supplied by Julian from ‘The Florist’ and shells, driftwood and a buoy borrowed from Toni of ‘Lilypad’. Thank you, everyone, for a lovely afternoon!

For photos, see our Gallery page.

Marconi Open Day

Wow! What a day we had at St Lawrence yesterday (May 20th). Visitors poured into the former church for our Open Day on Marconi and the Development of Communication. They turned up in a steady stream, especially in the morning when there was a great deal of rain to deter them. Phil, Ken, Gordon, Bernie and other Barry Amateur Radio Society guys set up an aerial outside so that they could broadcast on short wave from their spot inside the church building; Mervyn from the Vintage Radio Society brought several old transmitters dating back to WW2 and Bletchley Park days. They all answered questions and chatted all day, as did some of us from the SALt working party. We had set up a Timeline along the north wall to illustrate, with dates and other information and artefacts, what had gone on since Marconi’s first wireless message over open water from Flat Holm to Lavernock beach on 13th May, 1897. The developments we pin-pointed related to radio, of course, but also telephone, tv, computer and cinema. We even had on display a huge pre-electronic megaphone and a 1940s Remington Remette typewriter. Courtesy of three big Thermos Jugs which we replenished twice, we dispensed tea and coffee to many, plus cold drinks and biscuits. The St Lawrence at Lavernock Trust (SALt) are very grateful to everyone who participated, including those who took photographs of the event (see Gallery page). For more information about Guglielmo Marconi click on our Marconi page.

Spring Newsletter

Newsletter No.3                                                                                                Spring 2017


Hello, everyone. Here is our third occasional newsletter about the former St Lawrence Church, Lavernock and what is happenening there.

Bringing you up to date

Some disappointing news first; the bid made by the Representative Body of the Church in Wales for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund was not successful. The Trust received the news in early March. The HLF’s explanation was that we were competing with churches across Wales that, unlike St Lawrence, were open every Sunday and there was massive demand for grants; their priority was to give money to open churches in use as regular places of worship. To have given money to us would have set a precedent, thus possibly opening the floodgates to more and more applications from closed churches like ours. The HLF were also concerned that we didn’t have a formal lease arrangement with the Church in Wales which would have demonstrated greater commitment on our part, and also that we weren’t applying as a community group. They advised against any further application.

There has since been a meeting of Trustees who agreed that the way ahead was to take a more phased approach; the Trust would seek to deal with the various repairs etc. separately and look for funds in smaller amounts from other grant-giving bodies. The possibility of asking the Representative Body for a leasehold or freehold interest in the former church would be considered.

Peter Leech (1924-2017)

We are sorry to have to tell you of the death on 3rd March of our much loved friend and Trustee, Peter Leech; he was 93. Peter was well known in Penarth as the former Head of English at Stanwell School and as an excellent and popular teacher. He wrote a seminal work on the local sculptor, Frank Roper, and was a longstanding member of the Diocesan Advisory Council.  Peter was an artist himself and was always full of ideas; as well as his great learning he had a sense of mischief and often a twinkle in his eye. His passing is a great loss to many and especially to us at St Lawrence.

Open Day on 20th May


Do call in and have a look round; we are planning to illustrate the development of many types of communication through the 120 years since Guglielmo Marconi sent the first wireless message over open water from Flat Holm to Lavernock Point on 13th May 1897.

Admission will be free, knowledgeable people will be on hand to provide information, and hot and cold drinks will be available.

Services in 2017

Sea Sunday (July 9th), St Lawrence (August 13th), Harvest (September 24th), Remembrance Sunday (November 12th), Christmas Lessons & Carols (December 3rd); all at 3 pm.

 If you wish to contact us

   Carole Alexander (Secretary to Trustees)

   Revd Margaret Stark (Hon.Trustee and Chaplain)
  029 20701303

   Registered Charity No: 1138257