Tuesday, October 07, 2008

On the Faith Trail in Cardiff

I had a very useful meeting yesterday morning with John Winton, director of Churches Tourism Network Wales and Sian Parry-Jones, the Council's Tourism Development Officer, to discuss how to create a tourist trail of places of worship in and around the city centre - a 'Faith-Trail' as it's being described in the professional jargon.

Recently I put together a brief account of the two dozen known places of worship between Blackweir, at the top end of Cathays and the Harbour down the Bay, and this was our point of departure for thinking about development. The problem is always finding funding to mass produce a booklet, and publicise it. A good idea will attract funding, but how do you draw attention to it without something to show? Creating a professional website costs a couple of thousand pounds, but Google has some pretty good creative web tools available for nothing. So, after God on Mondays, and in between rain showers, I went out and took a dozen or more photographs to add to those I have already amassed on places of worship in the locality. This gave me sufficient to start work on creating a website using entirely my own materials. Between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon, a dozen hours work all told, I had the website up and running.

You can find the Faith Trails - Cardiff website here, if you want to take a peek. It still needs work doing on it, to include geographic maps with place marks, covering each of the three trails into which it was necessary to divide the whole area. Just getting the job this far gave me lots of satisfaction. Time will tell if the idea attracts the kind of funding that will result in a proper booklet and advertising. Lots more work also needs to be done that will ensure that places of worship are open at regular times for visits - perhaps no more than a third are open on a day to day basis. The rest are open only at advertised meeting or service times. There's plenty of interesting variety, but little uniformity in these matters.

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