About this church
Dedicated to Our Lady St Mary, as well as the 7th century Welsh saint St Winefride, it is a 20th century creation, begun in 1932 and consecrated in 1937. The architect was Giuseppe Rinvolucri, an Italian from Piedmont who came to Britain as a prisoner of war in World War I, then married a Welshwoman and settled down in Conwy.
As an homage to Amlwch's maritime history and proximity to the sea, Rinvolucri designed the church to reflect the shape of an upturned hull of a ship, complete with porthole like windows near the bottom. These windows open into the parish hall on the ground floor, underneath the main body of the church.
The church was constructed of reinforced concrete in the shape of a parabolic curve. This allows the interior to be a simple but impressive space, with no intruding roof trusses or columns. The arched structure is highlighted from inside with a series of glass rooflights, which provide excellent lighting within during the day, as well as giving the building a stunning appearance from outside at night when the interior lights are on. The church also includes five small star shaped windows on the north wall, around the alter, and one large star at the south end over the main entrance.
The façade of the church was originally mainly rough stone, with a smooth plastered area around the star shaped window. It was like this until the late 1950s or early 1960s when it was completely covered over. The plasterer very carefully decorated the plaster so that it looked like finely dressed stone.