Landscapes of Faith project

The Landscapes of Faith project is a community treasure hunt to celebrate the world faith traditions in Wales of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Paganism and the prehistoric sites. The hills, valleys and coastal plains of South Wales are teeming with a rich heritage of faith, and yet many of the stories, heritage, sites and legends are lost or hidden. 

This project was created by Coleridge in Wales and the Diocese of Llandaff to bring to life the Welsh Government’s Faith Tourism Action Plan for Wales. It is funded by the Welsh Government, the Allchurches Trust and the Moondance Foundation. The project has continued and developed through the Covid-19 crisis and  delivers a Landscapes of Faith festival in South Wales in June 2021 made up of four journeys, each ending at the New Library, Llantwit Major.

Our project's philosophy and approach to community engagement has influenced the Wales' national faith heritage communities of professionals, civil servants and church officers. The Landscapes of Faith project continues its work through the New Library at Llantwit serving regional communities and national networks.

Coleridge in Wales Ltd has experience of running cultural programmes with local and national profile

Cultural Programme

The New Library’s founding partner Coleridge in Wales Ltd has gathered a huge amount of experience in bringing people together to make events, music, celebrations and festivals. We’ll be using this experience to augment and contribute to the existing cultural life of the town.

The church of St Illtud is already a venue for concerts, talks, events and community meetings and many of the New Library’s books deal with topics of aesthetics, culture and relationships in community, so the New Library cultural dialogue will offer to contribute to art, music, gatherings, community traditions, literature, dance, performance and voice.

Watch a short film of some of our work, developed over a few years, bringing the festivals of Halloween, All Souls and All Saints together in South Wales…

Educational Programme

As the New Library grows and develops it will provide a home for theological, social, practical and academic traditions of the relational Christian approach to life. The work seeks to:

  • promote the intellectual and academic heritage of the library collections and traditions
  • build partnerships and collaborations with universities and colleges.
  • host and develop conferences and symposia
  • expand the catalogue of the Beauchief Abbey Press
  • host school visits and provide education for children
  • receive visitors and introduce them to the collections and the work of the Library
  • provide consultancy on the relational Christianity tradition and its offer today
  • offer training in facilitation skills to allow people from all walks of life, especially church professionals, to understand how person-centred facilitation and community can dovetail with the daily culture of current society and the historic offer of the church
  • help individual church communities to foster confidence in engaging with this tradition
  • dovetail with the New Library’s community and cultural programmes

In our opening weeks we are delighted to announce that the New Library will be an Affiliated Centre of the University of Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism.

Journeys in Faith project

Journeys in Faith project was commissioned to  encourage churches to have more confidence to be the church when engaging in their local communities and landscapes. The project was created by Coleridge in Wales Ltd and the Diocese of Llandaff and is funded by the Allchurches Trust.

The New Library provides an accessible Christian tradition that bridges both the wider landscape of faith and the weekly witness of worshipping church communities. The New Library in Llantwit makes accessible a relational Christian tradition for children, families and the general public, as well as being a refreshment to professional theologians, clergy, congregations, academics and professionals in all walks of public life. It engages positively with non-Christian faiths in its interfaith programmes.

By exploring and celebrating the landscape of faith in South Wales church communities are becoming aware, through the Journeys in Faith project, that stories and culture celebrated inside their church buildings are also expressed in the landscape and history around them. Public celebrations of faith traditions in wider culture encourage congregations and church administrators to recognise that significant heritage from faith traditions is widely held and expressed in society.

The Journeys in Faith project has led to the establishment of the Library at Llantwit.

Inter-faith Conversation

The New Library is home to the Welsh Government funded Landscapes of Faith project that explores and celebrates stories of all the faith traditions in South Wales. The story of the Christian faith is written large on the landscape and history of Wales but the stories of other great world religions are also rooted in modern Welsh culture. The Landscapes of Faith project champions the witness and heritage of Wales’ world faith communities today.

The Library’s Coleridge in Wales Archive contains books on inter-faith openness and a philosophy of encounter and dialogue. The New Library seeks to extend this encounter and dialogue with non-Christian faith traditions making Llantwit a place of welcome and celebration for people from all faith traditions. The Library’s Kingdom of Heaven collection of the scholar John Rogerson engages with a philosophy of experience, relationship, social justice, poetry and aesthetic as well as with the history of biblical criticism. The Library welcomes and seeks open and gentle dialogue with non-Christian faith traditions to explore how the dynamics of the relational Christian traditions are expressed in different and contrasting ways in other traditions, to develop greater dialogue, insight and understanding in this area of culture.

Community

Whilst learning and growing, the New Library sets out to contribute in an active way to the life of town. Having established the Library in the 13th-century Old Gatehouse the project is already in conversation with neighbours, local residents and visitors, and has begun creating community activity and events.

The New Library’s educational and cultural programmes contribute the visitor offer and economy of the town. We’re calling Llantwit Major ‘The Iona of Mainland Britain’ and celebrating an historic and contemporary experience that allows visitors and residents opportunities to enjoy and participate in the area’s wonderful heritage.

Our community programme seeks to:

  • be very much volunteer led and shaped
  • encourage local residents to become involved in developing the visitor offer of the New Library and the church of St Illtud 
  • connect visitor’ experiences of the church and the New Library to the surrounding heritage and leisure offer of the town and region
  • dovetail with the New Library’s cultural and educational programmes

The Library is providing insights and experience of how faith, intellect, community and personal growth can come together in the 21st century. For everyone.

9th century Stone Cross in the Museum of Celtic Stones, Galilee Chapel, St Illtud’s Church, Llantwit Major

Relational Christian Tradition - A Public Offer

The New Library at Llantwit Major is an expression of relational Christian traditions. The Library seeks to serve the public, and the current prominent traditions that influence churches, with prayerful and practical insights that offer refreshment, coming together and public engagement on the heartline of the church’s offer and foundation.

The American scholar C R Sanders said of this sparkling tradition,

“Where else in the history of human thought is there a more remarkable combination of Christian idealism with love of truth, devotion to liberty, and yearning for intellectual and social unity? Where else is to be found a more vigorous body of ideas and experience relative to these?”