friends of st michaels

Restoring St. Michael's Old Church, Betws-y-Coed

Croeso - Welcome

.. to the website of St Michael's Old Church, Betws-y-Coed, formerly a church of the Church in Wales in the Diocese of Bangor, part of the worldwide Anglican family of churches. We hope that you will enjoy your online visit ­ and that you will visit us in person soon.

COVID-19 Notice

The Church remains closed to ALL visitors at present, but as and when we are able to do so, we will post advice here and on our Facebook page.

Built in the 14th century, St Michael's Old Church is the oldest building in Betws-y-Coed, and is located on the banks of the River Conwy. Replaced by the parish church of St Mary's in 1873, St Michael's lay slumbering peacefully throughout the twentieth century. But by the early 1990's it was in a sorry state, with a leaking roof and associated plaster damage ­ and it was urgently in need of repair work.

In 1994, the Friends of St Michael’s was formed, to raise both awareness of the building, and money to preserve it. Declared redundant in 2000, the building is now leased from the Church in Wales by the St Michael’s Betws-y-Coed Trust, a registered charity (No 1081038), run by the Friends.

Nowadays hundreds of people visit St Michael’s Old Church in Betws-y-Coed in beautiful Snowdonia every year, and there are many different reasons for appreciating this simple and humble building. The church is normally open daily, 10 am until 5 pm, Easter until the end of October. At other times a key is available, during opening times, from the Conwy Valley Railway Museum (opposite the church). However, during the current Coronavirus-19 Pandemic we were only able to open on 3 days in September 2020, and the church is currently closed to all visitors over the autumn & winter period. We will hopefully re-open in the Spring of 2021 around Easter time.

Visitors from all over the world come and enjoy the oldest building in the village, whilst for those with an interest in history, the stone effigy of Gruffydd ap Dafydd Goch has a special fascination. Students of architecture and church history learn much from the inside arrangements of the church. Most people appreciate a quiet place in which to sit and think and pray.

St Michael’s is important for local Christians too, and despite being declared redundant it is still consecrated. As a balance to the splendour of St Mary’s Parish Church, reminding us of the glory of God, St Michael’s has a special intimacy and simplicity which can speak of the closeness of God. Nor is St Michael’s important only for Anglican Christians: because the building dates from before the religious divisions of recent times, it belongs in some sense to all of us, of whatever denomination, a symbol of the unity which is God’s will for his church here.

Although the church is now officially closed for regular public worship, a service is normally held on St Michael’s Day (in September) and a candle-lit Carol Service at Christmas tide.

In addition, the Friends normally organise a Flower Festival in September each year, which attracts hundreds of visitors to admire the floral displays which are provided by many of the local village organisations. We were unable to hold the Flower Festival in 2019 or 2020 but we aim to return in 2021.

churchyardgrave stonesst michaels church, betws-y-coed, snowdoniainside church in betsy-coedeffigy of gruffydd ap dafydd goch

For a larger view of the virtual tour, click here to view in a new window.

Events at St Michael's in 2022 and 2023

Subject to any further restrictions or constraints that may be placed or imposed on us during the on-going Coronavirus-19 Pandemic, we hope that we may be able to host and take part in the following events during the remainder of 2021 and throughout 2022.

It is hoped to be able to re-open the Church on a (more or less!) daily basis from Easter to the end of October during 2022. This will be dependant on a team of volunteers to open & close

Open Doors - European Heritage Days 2022
Assuming that the Welsh Government and Conwy County Borough Council go ahead with the project again this year, which was cancelled because of the Pandemic in 2020, we aim to participate. We would hope to open the church on a daily basis throughout September (10am approx 5pm). If we are unable to do this, further information will be posted on this web site and on our Facebook page.

Flower Festival 2022
Again, subject to Welsh Government rules and guidelines allowing this event to happen, the dates will be Friday, Saturday & Sunday 9th, 10th + 11th September 2022. 10am 5pm daily.
The Flower Festival was not held in 2019 nor 2020 but we did host it last year (2021) and raised 561.

St Michael’s Day Service 2022
Thursday 29th September, 6pm (to be confirmed). Holy Eucharist.
Light refreshments will be served after the service.

Candle-Light Carol Service Sunday 1st January 2023
The Annual Candle-Light Carol Service will be held in St. Michael's Church on Sunday 1st January 2023 at 6pm. All villagers and visitors are welcome to come along for a service of readings and carols. It is often referred to as "The Alternative Carol Service" and has proved very popular over recent years, featuring readings of both seasonal secular and biblical tone. Seasonal refreshments are served after the service.

All events are provisional, and more details will be posted as soon as available.

Read our Newsletter

You can download our latest newsletter which is full of news about the church and the Friends.

Why not help by joining the Friends of St Michael's?

If you’d like to know more about what we are doing to preserve the church, why not join the Friends of St Michael’s and receive our regular newsletter? Membership costs just £15 per annum (£25 to cover 2 adults at the same address) – join or make a donation now.


Contact Details

You can contact us by the following:

e-mail Friends of St Michael's

01492 643526 from within the UK
+44 1492 643526 from outside the UK

c/o Mr J M Boughton,
Dalar Deg, 11 Nant y Goron, Llanrwst, LL26 0SN

finding us:
See the find us page for a Googlemap and route planner.

location map of st maichels church in betws-y-coed