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Rectorial Benefice of Neath
© C L Evans for Rectorial Benefice of Neath
The Church of St. Catherine
History of the Church An Anglican place of worship serving the community of Melincryddan, Neath can be traced back to at least the middle of the 19th century. The present church of St. Catherine, however, was consecrated and dedicated on Thursday 23rd April 1891 by the then Lord Bishop of Llandaff the Right Reverend Richard Lewis. The Church, which was designed to accommodate in excess of 500, cost some £3000. Although the Church is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria - whose symbolic 'Catherine Wheel' is incorporated in the Reredos - it is more likely that the building owes its dedication to the fact that one of its principal founders and benefactors was a certain Miss Catherine Place, a local lady who ministered for many years to the wants of the sick and the poor in the local community. Built of native stone with Bathstone facings in Gothic style, with the bell turret over the chancel St. Catherine's has several interesting features: The, already mentioned, carved wooden Reredos incorporating both the Catherine Wheel and the Llandaff Diocesan Coat of Arms; The marble pulpit and the font given to mark the opening of the Church; The later gift of the imposing brass eagle lectern. The pipe organ, which now stands in the Church, was built at the turn of the century. St. Catherine' s is also able to boast some impressive stained glass windows. Notably the large East window depicting "Suffer the little children to come unto me" dedicated in 1911. Another window, dating back to 1920 depicts "The Good and faithful Servant". The newest stained glass window depicting Mary and the young child Jesus was given in 1970.
St. Catherine’s Church is now closed.