A powerful monument to the faith and dedication of its members, the Cardiff Stake chapel recently reached its 50th year of existence earlier this month. The event was celebrated with a special commemoration day that was not only attended by members of the Church, but also by Welsh Assembly Member Julie Morgan. It was a coming together of both the Church and the wider community, which is befitting for a building that has been a part of Cardiff since 1966.
When plans first came together for its construction, it must have seemed a highly ambitious project. Although the new building could fit a couple of hundred people when full, the branch that attended it in its’ early days only comprised of around 30 members. Nevertheless, latter-day saints exercised their faith that they would one day be able to fill the chapel if they constructed it, and work on the building commenced. This exercise of faith was particularly powerful as it was members of the Stake who did the actual building – giving of their time and energy to lay the foundations, place brick upon brick, stone upon stone, until the chapel was done.
Leonora Russ of the Cardiff Ward, who was a child at the time of the construction, and who spoke at the recent chapel commemoration day, recalled, “All the members got involved. Children did whatever they could to help and not hinder. They just came up and donated their time whenever they could. And I can remember it being cold and damp and muddy, but it was a really lovely feeling to know that we were going to have a nice building at the end of it.” Leonora helped by carrying water in a bucket around to where it was needed on the construction site.
Since then, the numbers attending the chapel have grown and grown, and the Stake has increased in strength. Current Stake President Jared Somerville said, “There’s a famous quote: ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants,’ and I think some of the people we’ve heard about today are giants, with their wonderful contributions. I’m also mindful of the hard work that has been done by the previous Stake presidents”.
All previous stake presidents were able to attend the commemoration day, as did many who had been baptized in the chapel building over the years. It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the great things that came from those who exercised faith all those years ago.