Broadcaster Huw Edwards champions the significance of chapels in Wales at Swansea University

In a forthcoming public lecture at Swansea University, Huw Edwards will argue that the importance of chapels in our national story needs to be properly recognised, embraced with enthusiasm, and promoted as a positive, rather than a negative story.

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Huw Edwards comments “Why would chapels need champions? Because they have very few friends in high places. Our cultural and heritage chiefs appear to be castle, cathedral and country house obsessives. This needs to change.”

The lecture entitled ‘Championing the Chapels’  will argue for the recognition and rehabilitation of the role of chapels in Welsh culture, history, and society.

“Chapels can be championed in several meaningful ways” Huw argues. “Their story can be retold and presented to a new audience, their place in the education curriculum must be revised, and the fabric of chapel buildings must be protected in a much more rigorous way, involving Cadw, RCAHMW, Senedd and Welsh Government, local conservation bodies and local authorities – who have often sanctioned some of the worst cultural damage.

“It is already too late for some of our best chapel buildings. Future generations will wonder what on earth we were doing. But it is still possible to save some for the benefit of their local communities.”

The lecture will be chaired by Professor M Wynn Thomas OBE FBA FLSW, of the Centre for Research into the English Literature and Language of Wales (CREW) at Swansea University, a Vice-President of the Learned Society of Wales.

The event is a free lecture organised by the Learned Society of Wales, in association with the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) and forms part of RIAH’s public lecture and event series which annually welcomes many high-profile speakers to Swansea.

Professor Wynn Thomas, Vice-President (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) of the Learned Society of Wales said, “The great Age of the Chapels has been erased from popular memory and written out of History. But at last its claims on our attention find a powerful voice in Huw Edwards”.

Deputy Director of RIAH, Dr Elaine Canning said, “It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Huw to Swansea and we look forward to a thought provoking discussion on the important and fascinating subject of the place of chapels in Welsh culture and society.”

‘Championing the Chapels’ takes place on 6 December 2013 at the Faraday Lecture theatre, Swansea University and starts promptly at 7.00pm. The lecture is free and open to all. Reception and refreshments from 6.30pm.

Huw Edwards will be available for pre-arranged media interviews from 6.30pm.

For more information:

Learned Society contact: / 02920 376971

Follow us@LSWalesCDdCymru


RIAH contact: / 01792 295190