Churches Unlocked

Welcome to our Churches Unlocked festival with activities and events taking place from Tuesday 21 – Sunday 26 June, 2022

We are one of ten churches in the Diocese of Llandaff taking part in the Festival, and you can discover more of the riches of our diocese being unleashed during this festival week here


We have a packed programme at St Mary’s Church in Butetown as we explore and celebrate ‘Welcome, Sanctuary and Diversity‘ and here you’ll find all you need to make the most of your visit. Here are some quick links to some of the items on this page:

Timetable | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | On Display | Wild Side | Tours | Prayer and Worship | Extras


As well as participating in the Churches Unlocked festival, we’re also celebrating Refugee Week and The Great Get Together (inspired by Jo Cox)

Check out how our Church Schools are leading the way in celebrating Refugee Week with this article from the Diocese of Llandaff featuring St Mary’s School


We love working with others and we have a number of different organisations taking part this week.

Each day, there’ll be an Audio-Visual loop from St Mary’s School, as well as an exhibition from Tiger Bay and the World, Women Seeking Sanctuary Advocacy Group, Cardiff Street Pastors, Info-point. Yes, we love working with others!

In particular, we are working together with St Mary’s School throughout the whole week. Why not check out an amazing video from the school called Butetown’s Colourful Journey which celebrates our vibrant and diverse community:


Feel free to move around the church and grounds, taking in the sights and sounds, discovering a story behind every item. Our volunteers are on hand to help, and if they don’t know the answer to a question, they’ll do their best to find out!

Info-point: Take an interactive tour and pilgrimage through St Mary’s using the Info-point trail inside the building. Discover more about Info-point here. Using your Smart Phone simply scan the QR code available in the church for wi-fi and the particular tour, and you’re off!

Stations of the Cross: You can also walk the Stations of the Cross with our simple reflections available here

Faithful Butetown: there are secrets to be discovered in the streets of Butetown, and our guided tours through our community reveal the faithful past and present of the city, discovering significant sites and stories from different religions, and celebrating the part that religious groups have played in the life and growth of our city. There’s an opportunity to participate in one of these on Saturday when we ‘Meet at Betty’s statue’ as we partner with The Great Get Together

‘Enter the Mystery’ On Friday at 2pm, you can discover the Mystery and History of St Mary’s Church on our guided, interactive tour

We also have our own colourful Guide Book available to purchase at just £3

Recording God’s Garden Adventure with Nicki Prichard, Headteacher of St Mary’s School, and Matt Batten from the Diocese of Llandaff


Yes, we do have a wild side! Our gardens are open for you to explore – you can dig deep into our wildlife area and discover the beauty of nature in the heart of our city, or take an interactive journey on your Smartphone.

Prayer and Reflection: Take our audio-visual trail through the wild side, reflecting on God’s Creation and our repsonsibility towards the natural environment. Here you can explore our Stations of Creation and God’s Garden Adventure (designed for children but popular with those not so young too!) or visit some of the other reflective areas and shrines, including Our Lady and St Francis of Assisi.

Get Wild: You can discover the Wild Side QR Code Trail here which explores some of the features of our gardens and how we are helping to take care of nature and offer a space for people to reap the benefits of getting close to nature.

Wild Activities: we have some Nature spotting activity sheets available, as well as a few bug hunting jars – popular with children – and a few other activities available during the week. Remember to tread carefully – and be kind to every creature!

You can access the garden through the far left hand corner of the church, where you’ll find the Meeting Room (where you can grab a coffee!)

There are two interactive experiences for both children and adults


Whilst St Mary’s is an historic place, with a rich heritage, it is, above all, a place of prayer and worship, a home to the church which gathers here. Each day throughout the year there is a regular pattern of prayer, and all are welcome.

This week is no different, and each day is maintained by a rhythm of Mass and prayer. (including our weekly Mass on Wednesday with pupils from St Mary’s School). You can discover these times in the timetable below where you will also find links to Morning and Afternoon Prayer (using the Universalis webpage) as well as the Angelus and the Rosary.

However, there are also some interactive prayer staions available this week which have been designed and created by Beccie Morteo our Diocesan Education Officer, to explore some of the themes of Refugee Week.

A snapshot from the Easter Vigil 2022


The Kettle’s always on, and you’re welcome at the table!

Tea, coffee, cake and biscuits available throughout each day from after Morning Prayer to 3.30pm, all served in The Meeting Room – yes, a place to meet people! It’s at the far left corner of the church where you’ll also find a toilet, and the entranceway to the gardens.


Children can discover an amazing secret on our Tiger Bay Treasure Hunt – The Mystery of the Stone Head. Pick up a Guide in church or check out more details here


In the weeks before there is also a Poetry Competition for Church Primary Schools with the winners announced at the Schools of Sanctuary Celebration on Thursday

Kimberley Abodunrin plays Betty Campbell in the one-woman show



8.30 am
Angelus and Morning Prayer

[The Angelus bells ring three times a day from St Mary’s. Check out the meaning of the chimes in a reflection here]

9am onwards
Flat Holm - A Walk through Time: The guys from this amazing project will be with us through the day as they provide an opportunity to discover the history and religious significance, the nature and conservation of the island which is situated in the Bristol Channel at the southernmost part of the parish. Interactive activities, including a 3D experience of the island.

10.00amBetty Campbell: A Journey through Butetown' - Betty Campbell Play (for St Mary’s CIW Primary School)  You can find out more about the play here

12 noon
Angelus and Mass  

1.30 pmBetty Campbell: A Journey through Butetown' - Betty Campbell Play (for St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School)*

Afternoon Prayer (Link to Universalis webpage)


Angelus and Morning Prayer (Link to Universalis webpage)

School Mass. Each week on Wednesday we celebrate Mass with pupils of St Mary's School. This week, we'll be celebrating what it means to be a welcoming community. All are welcome!

12 noon
Angelus and Mid-day Prayer

1.00 pm
‘Betty Campbell: A Journey through Butetown' - Betty Campbell Play (for Mount Stuart Primary School)*

Afternoon Prayer (Link to Universalis webpage)

‘A scandal to have lost’
In an edition of St Marys Parish Magazine of 1872, we read “It now remains for the Welsh Churchmen of Cardiff to aid the Vicar in his endeavours to restore, what is a scandal to have lost, Welsh Services for the Church of the most important town in Wales. (Join us for this bilingual event with simultaneous translation, as we discover the contribution towards the Welsh Church and the Welsh Language of a past Pioneer priest of St Mary’s, Fr Griffith Arthur Jones, led by Revds Dyfrig Lloyd and Dean Atkins.

'Sgandal i fod wedi colli'
Mewn rhifyn o Gylchgrawn Plwyf y Santes Fair yn 1872, darllenwn: 'Mae’n nawr yn nwylo Eglwyswyr Cymraeg Caerdydd i gynorthwyo’r Ficer yn ei ymdrechion i adfer yr hyn a oedd yn sgandal i fod wedi ei golli, sef Gwasanaethau Cymraeg yn yr Eglwys, yn hon, y bwysicaf o drefi yng Nghymru'. Ymunwch â ni ar gyfer y digwyddiad dwyieithog hwn gyda chyfieithu ar y pryd, wrth inni edrych ar gyfraniad offeiriad Arloesol y Santes Fair, Tad Griffith Arthur Jones i’r Eglwys Gymraeg a’r Iaith Cymraeg. Arweinir y noson gan y Parchedigion Dyfrig Lloyd a Dean Atkins

You can discover more about the event in this news article from the Diocese of Llandaff
Fr Jones of Cardiff

We also have a Beta version trail throughout Cardiff and Wales exploring the life and heritage of Fr Jones of Cardiff.


Angelus and Morning Prayer (Link to Universalis webpage)

Faithful Butetown Walk (for St Mary the Virgin Church in Wales Primary)

12 noon
Angelus and Mass

‘In our words’
Children’s presentation from St Mary’s School about Welcome, Sanctuary and Diversity. What does it really mean to be a School of Sanctuary?

Drinks Reception for the Schools of Sanctuary Celebration

3.30 pm
Schools of Sanctuary Celebration

SORRY - due to unforeseen circumstances, the choir have had to CANCEL the following event (However the event on 30th is still going ahead)

‘Interfaith Choir’ Rehearsal and gathering – all are welcome as the choir prepares for their event at St Mary’s next week – Freedom of Religion and Belief Conference: End the Persecution’ on 30 June.
The Interfaith Choir, rehearsing this week on Thursday evening at St Mary’s are preparing for this amazing event which takes place the weke after our Festival on Thursday 30th June


Angelus and Morning Prayer (Link to Universalis webpage)

‘In our words’
Children’s presentation from St Mary’s School about Welcome, Sanctuary and Diversity.  What does it really mean to be a School of Sanctuary?

12 noon
Angelus and Mass

'Enter the Mystery’ Discover the Mystery and History of St Mary’s Church on our guided, interactive tour

4.00 pm	Afternoon Prayer (Link to Universalis webpage)

En-route – Faithful Butetown


Church open

Morning Prayer (Link to Universalis webpage) and Rosary

Mass and Angelus

Faithful Butetown Walk – ‘Meet me by Betty’s Statue’ - a shared walk with conversation beginning at Central Square and finishing in the Bay, as we discover the faithful past and present of Cardiff and Butetown.

This event is also registered as a 'Great Get Together' event (inspired by Jo Cox) and there is an invitation to extend the walk from Cardiff Bay across to Grangetown Pavilion for the Great Get Together gathering there!

LINK: You can find links to all our Faithful Butetown and Faithful Cardiff Walks at our Visit page which takes you around the city centre, through Butetown, and around Cardiff Bay

Afternoon Prayer (Link to Universalis webpage)
Our Saturday afternoon ‘Faithful Butetown’ walk invites you to meet at Betty’s statue in Central Square at 1pm
Our Faithful Butetown Walk is registered as a Great walk Together. It won’t be the same without you!


Solemn Mass – on Sanctuary Sunday which marks the end of Refugee Week

12 noon
The Great Get Together Barbecue! All are welcome (Vegan, vegetarian and halal options available)

Visit the Great Get Together Map which includes details of the ways in which we are getting involved, including our Barbecue and the Faithful Butetown Walk

God’s Garden Adventure


Our website has an array of resources and insights, including our blog featuring fascinating articles and reflections.

For example, Under the Same Sun is an article which explores how Butetown came to be what it is today – a diverse and multi-cultural community, whilst The Boxers of Tiger Bay begins with an appreciation of Tiger Bay Boxing Club which is carrying on a rich heritage in Butetown and, most importantly, helping young people to flourish!

Check out our colourful resource for schools

Within the Walls and Windows: check out our colourful resource for schools with ideas of teaching and learning. St Mary’s is a great resource for learning in the heart of our community.

Every item tells a tale, and this bell came from a Napoleonic ship docked here in Tiger Bay

Articles of Faith: there’s usually a story behind the objects you see. Check out our growing catalogue of Articles of Faith, many of which have a link to a wider reflection in our blog. For example, did you know that the brass eagle-shaped lectern is linked to Cardiff becoming a City, and the stone-corbal head at the entrance to the Lady Chapel reveals a thousand years of history?

Community: we are an intrinsic part of the community which we love, and we are committed to working together with others to celebrate all that is good, and to address issues and concerns so that our community can be strong and flourishing. Check out some of the ways in which we are involved in our Community

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