Drag artists help save historic Cardiff church

Drag performers have been attracting large crowds to a historic church to pay for expensive repairs to save the building.

The events have taken place over the past five years and have raised more than £20,000 to help repair broken parts of the church, which has been open since 1897.

This edition was called 5 Gold Rings and was put together by Nathan Wyburn, a local artist known for using unusual materials, and Wayne Courtney, a local radio show host, along with Rob Keetch and Angela Grech, with 12 drag acts performing on stage along with a team of helpers and sponsors who make the show so popular each year.

Every show has raised more than £5,000, with the first year raising over £10,000 which helped fix the leaking roof. This year’s event was no different with £5,552.10 raised after they sold 500 tickets in less than two hours. 

St Andrew’s and the church will soon be turned into a feature film, inspired by the story of bringing two very different communities together in Wales to help save their historic church.

When the Reverend Des Kitto contacted Nathan and Wayne to ask for help with fundraising ideas, they came up with a Christmas carol service with a twist.

This edition took place on the 6th of December, which was sponsored by Out & Proud, with help from The Golden Cross and Mary’s, popular LGBTQ+ bars in the city centre, who supplied bar staff. James Keane provided a laser which lit up the stage with the performers’ names.

The show saw local drag queens, both new and old take to the stage to perform renditions of Christmas classics, hymns and pop songs. Actor Stifyn Parri provided his own version of the Nativity story and many raffle prizes were donated and given out by local companies.

It had a community feel with Jenny Rathbone MS also in attendance. With pews full, it brought two very different communities together to help keep a historic church open for the community. All of the money raised from ticket sales, the raffle, the stalls and the bar will go towards the maintenance of the church.

Nathan Wyburn, said: “This event raises money to save this incredible church here in Roath. In previous years we have raised five, eight, 10 thousand pounds, it’s growing and growing.”

“It’s so exciting, we sold out this event, 500 tickets in an hour and a half when they went online which is amazing. It’s a huge mix of festive joy and bringing two worlds that are very different, but it is also showing that we are all part of one world together.” 

Revd Des Kitto, said; “One of the fundraising events was to bring a group of Cardiff drag queens into the church to produce a Christmas carol type service, that went viral and it went really well. It’s a fantastic evening and it is so heartwarming to see so many diverse groups coming together to help save this beautiful building.”

Categories: Feature

Tagged as: , , ,

Leave a Reply