Wales

Wales' churches and chapels linked in religious trail

St Non's Chapel Image copyright National Churches Trust
Image caption St Non's Chapel in Pembrokeshire is one of those included on the trail

A pilgrimage trail will link 500 churches and chapels in Wales in a bid to bring back the flock.

The National Churches Trust (NCT) joined forces with Visit Wales to plan the 440-mile (708km) route.

Exploring Sacred Wales highlights holy sites which have been earmarked as forgotten or neglected.

Their history, art and architecture will be showcased online in a bid to make visiting the buildings part of holidays and short breaks.

The churches and chapels are all along and around the Wales Way, three national routes developed by Visit Wales - The Coastal Way, The Cambrian Way and The North Wales Way.

Image copyright National Churches Trust
Image caption Burnetts Hill chapel at Narberth, Pembrokeshire, is also included

The project also includes new photography and films, and has been funded by a Welsh Government programme.

BBC broadcaster Huw Edwards, vice president of the NCT, said: "From hilltop chapels to ancient churches to medieval cathedrals, the churches and chapels of Wales are some of the most beautiful religious buildings anywhere in the world.

"It's high time that the churches and chapels of Wales took their rightful place on the tourism map alongside our magnificent castles, stunning mountains and exhilarating coastline."

NCT chief executive Claire Walker said: "For too long, the history, art and architecture of the churches and chapels of Wales has been a secret known only to a lucky few.

"The sacred spaces of Wales are packed with history, culture and mythology and have the power to inspire the mind and invigorate the soul."

Image copyright National Churches Trust
Image caption The NCT and Visit Wales hope to make the buildings part of people's holidays and breaks
Image copyright National Churches Trust
Image caption It is hoped the project will shine a light on forgotten or neglected buildings
Image copyright National Churches Trust
Image caption The churches and chapels are all along and around the Wales Way

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