© Copyright Alex Ramsay, with thanks

© Copyright Alex Ramsay, with thanks

St Michael's Church, Discoed

The modest 'Shepherd’s' church of St Michael in Discoed (Old English 'dic' and 'cot' a cottage by Offa’s Dyke), on the border between Powys and Herefordshire, acts as a both a spiritual and artistic hub to the community. This chapel of ease for St Andrew’s, Presteigne, is medieval, with 'admirably restrained' Victorian modifications. The circular site, the spectacular ancient yew tree, and the spring by the churchyard gate, suggest that the sanctity of this place has been respected for much longer. It remains a haven of rare tranquillity and natural beauty (with at least thirty-two species of wild flowers) set in unspoilt Welsh Marches border countryside.

The Friends of St Michael’s

St Michael’s Church is inseparable from the 5,000 year old yew tree that presides over this ancient circular site. The yew is largely self re-generating, but the church – the centre of our tiny community – is not.

The Friends of St Michael’s, under President Edward Storey and with Patrons, Professor David Bellamy, Dr Ronald Blythe and David Wheeler, was formed to raise the funds for the repair, renovation and development of our much loved church. As a daughter church of St Andrew’s, Presteigne, it was unrealistic to believe that the use of the church for services would justify the expense that would be needed to achieve these aims. A parallel commitment was therefore made to use the building for as wide a range of arts events as possible.

The essential repairs to the fabric of the church, (for the time-being!) are now complete, an efficient modern heating system has been installed, the paths have been relayed and the interior adapted to a much wider range of uses.

We are proud of the wide range of events that have been put on at St Michael’s over the last few years including concerts, literary events and art and ceramic exhibitions. The Friends have probably raised some £150,000 since their formation but more importantly they have created a strong and committed group of local enthusiasts backed up by a wider group of supporters across the country. While the Friends still need to raise funds for the long-term future of St Michael’s we are also ready to help other causes.

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