The New Library is a partnership between the Church of St Illtud, Llantwit Major and the cultural charity Coleridge Cymru. Working with the Diocese of Llandaff we’ve created and are delivering the Landscapes of Faith project undertaken with the Welsh Government. Parallel to the Landscapes of Faith project the Diocese of Llandaff asked Coleridge Cymru for help to find more confidence to be the church in the contemporary culture of Wales. The New Library is part of the response to that call and its establishment was funded by the Allchurches Trust.
Further funding partners and investment are sought.
Llantwit is a vibrant, welcoming Christian community who continue a tradition of worship stretching back 1,500 years.
The Church of St Illtud
The story of the church at Llantwit Major is an important part of the development of Christianity in Britain. Around 500 AD a man called Illtud established a monastery here. It became an influential centre, the oldest recorded foundation of learning in Britain. The community here attracted people from great distances. It is said that David, the patron saint of Wales, studied at Llantwit Major before establishing his church in West Wales. Illtud’s students and followers went on to build small church communities all over Wales.
Today’s worshipping community extends a warm welcome to all visitors. Weekly services are held here amid detailed 13th-century painting and stone carvings, and the gospel preached is made accessible for today’s hearts and minds. The West Church is now used as a community space, concert venue, refectory, welcome area and lecture hall. The collection of Llantwit’s internationally significant Celtic stones, discovered on the site, opened to the public in 2013 in the rebuilt Galilee Chapel following a £635,000 development supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
It is an active and outward-looking congregation who are delighted to share the heritage of the remarkable Celtic history which continues to attract and inspire people today.
The charity Coleridge Cymru delivers cultural projects and reveals new possibilities in public life, business, education, community, environment and well-being. It is a problem-solving initiative with a holistic approach, creating cultural space and dialogue where new things can happen. The team have created and delivered projects for government, local authorities, big business, small enterprises, communities, charities and campaigning organisations. New relationships. New confidences.
In 2016 the Diocese of Llandaff asked Coleridge Cymru for help in developing their mission. Coleridge Cymru has created initiatives that seek to help the church discover more confidence in being the church in the diverse contemporary cultural landscape. The work calls upon expertise in philosophy, theology relationship and culture. Coleridge Cymru is not a religious organisation, but provides cultural facilitation and has theological expertise. In the tradition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was a brilliant and major British theologian, and inspired by the trajectory of the British scholar John Rogerson, Coleridge Cymru’s approach to faith and inter-faith dialogue boasts robust theological and cultural insights.
Coleridge in Wales Ltd delivered an eighty day national festival across Wales in 2016
THE STORY SO FAR
We’ve formed a working partnership. The journey so far:
- developed the Galilee Chapel into a world class museum of Celtic stones with a £635,000 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant
- secured funding from the Welsh Government for the Landscapes of Faith project
- secured funding from the Allchurches Trust for the Journeys in Faith project
- established the New Library at Llantwit in The Old Gatehouse, a beautiful medieval building close to the church
- taken possession of books forming the Kingdom of Heaven Library and the Caldecott Threshold Collection
- established housing for the Coleridge in Wales archive
- begun exploring further acquisitions of Welsh, Cornish and Gaelic collections
- developing a cultural and community programme
- have become an affiliated centre with the Cambridge University Centre for the Study of Platonism
- hosting an academic conference in October 2022