ONE of the ‘Seven Wonders of Wales’ is enjoying an unprecedented visitor boom with tourists arriving from all over the world.

Snowdon and Pistyll Rhaeadr may be more obvious draws referenced in the famous rhyme, but it is St Giles’ Parish Church, with its iconic tower referred to as ‘Wrexham steeple’, that was getting all the attention, last year’s figures show.

Staff at the Grade I listed church are celebrating a surge in visitors which saw 33,300 people enter through its doors last year, a growth in numbers of 21 per cent compared to 2017.

Those figures would be swelled further taking into account last December’s popular Victorian Christmas Market and they herald an almost doubling of visitor traffic since 2014.

The increasing popularity of the oldest medieval place of worship in Wales is being attributed to some imaginative scheduling of recitals and concerts, special services and school and charity concerts as well as a spectacular Armistice Poppy Display for last Autumn’s commemorations and the Christmas market.

  • St Giles has been described as "The Glory of the Marches" and has been a site of Christian worship for 800 years.
  • It is home to the only set of ten bells in North Wales
  • According to TripAdvisor it is placed 5th out of 61 places visited by tourists in Wrexham County Borough.

Data recorded by the church each month as well as entries in the visitors book and on TripAdvisor demonstrate St Giles’ global appeal with visitors coming from as far afield as Australasia, Eastern Europe, the US, Brazil and Malibu in recent months.

Church Vicar the Rev Dr Jason Bray said: “It’s our mission at St Giles’ to be visible and active and to give everyone a really warm welcome, so it’s great to see that the message is getting out there by the increasing numbers of visitors, many of whom will also spend time in Wrexham town centre.”

Church officials have recognised the potential to draw in a wider audience.

Dr Bray sits on This Is Wrexham Tourism Partnership and there are plans to attract different generations to further increase visitor figures in 2019 including providing the venue for Wrexham’s music festival FOCUS Wales.

Next month tour guides will start to host the church’s popular tower climbs which are run on the last Saturday of each month through until September, offering panoramic views of the region to those venturing the 150 steps to the top..

These are in addition to the usual round of weekly services, prayer and worship together with regular church activities and events.

This Is Wrexham Tourism Partnership chairman Sam Regan pointed out: “St Giles Parish Church is a key attractor to the town centre and welcomes a range of different audiences throughout the year as these figures demonstrate.

“We, and the council’s tourism team, are keen to ensure the church plays a key part in the current tourism plan for the county and are supported in delivering a first class welcome to those who visit.”