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25 July 2014

THE chapel of Gwydir Uchaf lies on the border of the two ancient Welsh dioceses of Bangor and St Asaph. It was originally built as a private chapel by Sir Richard Wynn, of Gwydir, in 1673, as a place of worship for his family and estate workers. The exterior is simple, but the interior is elaborately decorated with a painted ceiling, colourful cut-out angels, a west-end gallery, and carved furniture.

The setting is spectacular. It sits in woodland, high above the Conwy Valley, in Snowdonia, between Llanrwst and Bettws-y-Coed. Although the chapel is owned, through inheritance, by the Willoughby family in Lincolnshire, it is cared for by Cadw (Welsh Heritage).

Permission has recently been granted to resume regular quarterly services using the Book of Common Prayer, and the services are sung by the North Wales choir Cantamus. All are welcome, of whatever denomination, and congregations have been growing - this year, up to 50 worshippers at each service.

The next such service will be choral evensong, on 28 September, to mark the outbreak of the First World War. The preacher will be Major General the Revd Morgan Llewellyn, a former Chaplain of Christ College, Brecon. The Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Revd Andrew John, will also be present and will give the blessing.

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