Friends’ Events

The Friends of Llandaff Cathedral organise a number of events throughout the year. See below for some of our past and future events.

For all the details of Llandaff Open Doors 2021 and to watch last year’s events, click here.


Saturday 15 October - Annual Heritage Day

This year's Heritage Day will take us on a conducted tour of historic churches in the Neath area.
More details and how to book will be posted as soon as all the details have been settled.

Friday - Saturday 16 - 17 September 2022 - Open Doors

The Friends will again be co-ordinating the Cathedral's contribution to the CADW/European Heritage Open Doors programme.

FRIDAY 16th September - 'Explore and Draw in the Cathedral' - event for local primary school children

SATURDAY 17th September - Friends' Open Day at Llandaff Cathedral

12-30 p.m. Organ demonstration and talk about the organ

1-30 p.m. Archives - a chance to ask a question

1-30 y.p. Taith Dywys y 'Ffrindiau' yn Gymraeg oamgylch yr Eglwys Gadeiriol

2 p.m. Guided tour of the cathedral in English - meet inside near the West door

3-15 p.m. and 4 p.m. Guided tours of the Bell Tower - please book on 07388 420001 as numbers for the bell tower are limited. No under 5's and please wear sensible shoes.

LIGHT REFRESHMENTS available in the Prebendal House throughout the afternoon, organised by Howell's School.

2022 - Tours of the Cathedral

Tours of the cathedral on Bank Holidays have been a regular part of our programme for many years, until they were interrupted by Covid.

This year we have been able to resume, with a well attended tour on Easter Monday, 18 April.

If you have friends or family who would like something to do away from the Bank Holiday crowds, come to the cathedral at 10.30 am for a tour of the building led by our historian Arthur Impey. There is no need to book. The next tour will be posted here in due course.


Friday - Sunday 1 - 3 July 2022 - Friends' Festival Weekend

Ms Linda Quinn, Chair of the Trustees, writes:

It was wonderful to be able to host our first Festival since Covid and to showcase the very best of Llandaff Cathedral.
We had a convivial and sociable lunch at the Malsters on the Friday.
Then on Saturday, following a guided tour of the Cathedral and our AGM, the Venerable Philip Morris, former Archdeacon of Margam, gave the Friends' lecture about the Celtic Community at Llantwit Major, which was founded by St Illtyd in the 5th century and rapidly became the first great hub of Celtic Christianity. At Festal Evensong we heard glorious music from the two Cathedral choirs, including Stanford's Canticles in A and Parry's anthem 'I was glad.' The Friends' Chorister Awards for service to the choir and Cathedral community were presented to choristers Lily Robinson and Zach Halbert by President of the Friends, Capt Sir Norman Lloyd Edwards and myself.
On Sunday we welcomed acting Dean Archdeacon Michael Komor who preached at our Festal Eucharist.

Saturday 19 February 2022 - Visit to Paul Kirner's Music Palace, Ynyshir

The Music Palce is housed in what was originally the Saron Chapel in Ynyshir, Rhondda. It now contains a fine collection of theatre and cinema organs rescued from across the British Isles. All have been restored to playing condition, and 47 members and their guests were treated to an excellent afternoon of explanation and demonstration. The outstanding exhibits were the Christie organ from the Regal cinema, Edmonton, N London, the Compton organ from the Dominion cinema, Tottenham Court Road, London, and the LaFleur organ from the Capitol cinema in Cardiff.
Afterwards most people moved to the Crispy Cod fish restaurant in Gelli for a fish supper.
Our thanks to trustee David Gwesyn Smith for organising such a enjoyable outing.

Sunday 26th September 2021 - Annual Pilgrimage 2021

Because of the need to observe the rules on social distancing, this year's Pilgrimage was less ambitious than in previous years. At the invitation of Canon Stewart Lisk, the vicar, we visited St Margaret's and St Edward's churches in Roath, Cardiff.
At St Margaret's we were treated to an excellent account of the history of the church and a tour of the building, both inside and out, by Mrs Jean Rose, the author of the book "Discovering Cardiff's Churches". Then after a cup of tea, we moved to St Edward's where we joined with the local congregation for Choral Evensong sung by the St Edward's choir. 21 people registered to attend all or part of the event.

Friday & Saturday 17th/18th September 2021 - Open Doors 2021

The CADW/European Heritage Open Doors programme has come back to life after the Covid 19 lockdowns. The Llandaff contribution was again coordinated by the Friends, with the following programme; part of it was live, and part is available on-line:

On the Friday we organised an "Explore and Draw" event which drew in 156 children together with 10 staff from all four primary schools in the parish. The children explored the cathedral, and then chose an item which had captured their interest and settled down to create a picture.

In the cathedral on the Saturday, 106 people were able to enjoy:

• 12.30 pm A recital and demonstration and tour of the organ
• 1.30 pm Conversations with the Archivist
• 2.00 pm Guided tour of the Cathedral

In addition, the following talks and films are still available on the Cathedral’s website.

• A special talk about the newly restored Marshall Panel and other medieval works of art, with our Secretary, Historian Arthur Impey
• An opportunity to visit the Bell Tower and the Archives.
as well as films from our friends in the Llandaff Open Doors cluster group, including Howell’s School and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Saturday 12th September 2020 - Open Doors

Each year the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral organises a series of events as part of CADW’s Open Doors event, taking people inside special places across Llandaff that normally wouldn’t be seen by visitors. This is an opportunity for schoolchildren in particular and the general public can take a look at the various activities which go on in the cathedral's building. This year’s event was inevitably cancelled but we’re delighted to have been able to create this virtual Open Doors event to bring you as authentic an experience as possible. If you go to the cathedral's main website you will find:
An Introduction by Canon Chancellor Jan van de Lely,
A Tour of the Cathedral
A Visit to unseen parts of the Organ and organ music
A Trip up the Bell Tower
A Visit to the Archives
and a contribution from the Llandaff Society about the History of Llandaff.

For further information, click here.

Thursday 20th February 2020 - Annual Lunch

The Annual Lunch was held in the Management School of Cardiff Metropolitan University, Western Avenue, Llandaff, and was attended by over 50 members. Canon Precentor Mark Preece presided, and grace was said by Canon Chancellor Jan van de Lely. After an excellent two-course lunch, we were treated to a lively talk by Revd Dr Paul Fitzpatrick, who was the Coordinating Chaplain to the University. He talked about the structure of the chaplaincy team and the variety of ways in which it related to both the students and the staff, in a university where a multitude of religions is represented.

Wednesday 1st January 2020 - New Year's Day - Guided Tour of the Cathedral

With 2020 marking the 900th anniversary of the commencement of the building of the Norman Cathedral, the year began by the Friends of the Cathedral organizing one of its regular series of guided tours of the Cathedral, on New Year’s Day

6th October 2019 - Friends' Annual Pilgrimage

This year's Annual Pilgrimage was a visit to the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Penrhys (at the top of the Rhondda valley). After prayers at the shrine led by Archdeacon Christopher Smith we moved on to St Peter's Church, Pentre (known as the cathedral of the Rhondda), for a guided tour of this magnificent building, followed by a sumptuous tea and Evensong, which was sung by the Cathedral Choir which was also visiting.

13th - 14th September 2019 - Open Doors

The Friends have participated in European Heritage Open Days, now organised by CADW, for many years.

On the Friday, the Friends hosted a Schools' Drawing Event, enabling pupils and their teachers to explore the Cathedral and record their thoughts and feelings in drawings. About 180 children and staff from the four primary schools in the parish came to explore the cathedral and draw the things they liked best.

On the Saturday, the Friends organised an Open Day at the Cathedral, with music, open archives, and guided tours of the Cathedral and the bell tower. Over 130 people participated.

5th - 7th July 2019 - Friends' Festival Weekend

The Friends celebrated their Festival Weekend, starting with the Festival Dinner on Friday evening. Held in the Llandaff Rowing Club on a beautiful summer's evening, with views over the river, we were entertained after the meal by our recently appointed Canon Precentor Mark Preece, who, amongst other topics, gave us an overview of his cathedral responsibilities .

Saturday afternoon's programme started with a guided Tour of the cathedral, concentrating on the Victorian restoration of the building, completed 150 years ago. This was followed by the AGM, and then we moved to the Lady Chapel to hear Rachel Howells talk about the work she is undertaking to restore the cathedral's medieval panel from Bishop Marshall's throne. Then, after a cup of tea, we attended Choral Evensong sung by the full Cathedral Choir.

The weekend ended with a Festival Choral Eucharist on Sunday morning, during which a certificate was presented to Conrad Thorndike, who had been nominated as this year's Friends' Chorister.

Monday 22nd April 2019 - Easter Monday - Guided Tour of the Cathedral

Members, families, friends and the general public were invited to join in one of the Friends' regular Guided Tours of the cathedral.

Friday 8th February 2019 - Friends' Annual Lunch

This year's Annual Lunch was held in the refurbished Great Hall at Howell's School, Llandaff, attended by 55 members and guests. After an excellent meal, Richard Read, the School's Director of Finance and Operations, gave us an enthusiastic talk about the refurbishment of the Grade 2 listed building and the many hurdles which had to be overcome. The hall is decorated with the Staniforth "Shakespeare" murals which had been restored by Rachel Howell, who is currently working on the cathedral's Bishop Marshall panel. Rachel will speak at our Annual Lecture.

Tuesday 2nd October 2018 - Annual Pilgrimage

25 pilgrims from the Friends travelled to Gower and Swansea ‘in the footsteps of the Saints’. Christian worship has taken place on Gower for at least fifteen hundred years, and in many cases, churches stand where simpler structures of the Celtic period stood. A great number of carved and lettered stones and other remains connect to the ancient past, and to the faith of those who worshipped there.

Four very different and interesting churches were visited, and the pilgrims had a warm welcome at each one. After starting at St Mary’s Pennard, and lunch at Mumbles, the pilgrimage moved to St Nicholas, Nicholaston, known locally as the “Cathedral of Gower”, and then to St Teilo’s, Bishopston.

Our final church was St Mary’s, the civic church in Swansea city centre, where we had tea before Choral Evensong.

We were sent on our way from Llandaff by Fr Edward and spent a thoughtful and enriching day with pilgrim prayers and hymns, as we were guided around.