St Anne's, High Cross

St Anne's is the smallest of our three churches, serving the High Cross area of the parish. Although it is smaller than the congregations at St Basil's and St John's, St Anne's has its own sense of community and its own activities. Both modern and more traditional services take place to offer prayer and worship. Each Sunday, it holds the 'Time for God' service which attracts all ages to a mix of songs, worship and prayers, and which suits the modern church building well. During the week, members of the church family run a 'Sounds Fun' music group for babies and toddlers, offering activities and fun to children and their parents and carers in the Church Hall. Over the years, this had led to a number of people joining the church and some of those toddlers are now members of the Sunday School.

 

A Brief History

After a gift of land from Lord Tredegar, the Rev. G.W. Jenkins, then vicar of Bassaleg, had erected a Mission Room in High Cross and the first service was held on 1st March 1933. Services were held each Sunday and three years after its beginning, the first curate, Rev. E.T. Davies, arrived at the Mission Room.

As the local population grew and offertories increased, money was accumulated and it became possible to erect a permanent hall in 1954. Shortly after this, the vicar, Rev. I.C. Bartle-Jenkins recommended to the Parochial Church Council that a sub-committee be formed to look into the possibility of building a permanent church in High Cross. Over the next few years, plans were laid and on February 18th 1958 work began. This was something of an act of faith, as the cost of construction was forecast as being £9,548, while the funds available at the time were less than half of this. However, a provincial church fund provided £1,000 and loans covered the outstanding amount.

The Church Building

In October 1958 the name of St. Anne was settled upon and on December 11th 1958 the new church was dedicated, with the first service of Holy Communion occurring the next day.

The members of the church worked hard fund-raising and some five years after St. Anne's was first used, the loan which helped pay for the church was paid off.

St. Anne's church seats about 200 people. While it is a relatively small building, it has an air of spaciousness - probably related to its fairly high ceiling. A lofty arch separates the sanctuary from nave and permits an uninterrupted view of the altar with its unusual canopy extending from the West wall, under which is suspended a wooden cross.

It is an interesting fact that the font, situated at the rear of the church, was originally that of another church. The church of Kemys Inferior, on the banks of the River Usk, had fallen into disuse. Some of the stones from that church were incorporated into cathedral extensions at St. Woolos, Newport, while the font was brought to St Anne's and installed there.

 St. Anne's church reached its 50th birthday this year (2008) and celebrations took place in July. Bishop Dominic attended a special service at the church to mark the event.