Plans to close church meet opposition from local worshippers

PLANS to close the Catholic church of Our Lady of the Angels and St Winefride in Queens Road have met with stiff opposition from local worshippers, who claim the move to Penparcau will leave them high and dry.

The Diocese of Menevia, based in Swansea, have applied for planning permission to demolish the current church and build a “residential development” on the site. They then intend to rebuild the disused Church of the Welsh Martyrs, situated next to the Tollgate pub in Penparcau.

The current church, which was the first Catholic presence in the town, was built in 1874, and was designed by local architects George Jones & Son in the Gothic Revival style. The Diocese claim the cost of maintaining the current building is now too high, and that the only option is to sell the land and rebuild the church in Penparcau.

The proposal has been criticised by local worshippers, who claim they have not been adequately consulted, and Students’ Union Societies Officer Dakota Dibben claims it will leave many students outside walking distance of the new church, 1.5 miles away. The proposal has also been featured in Private Eye’s “Nooks and Corners” column, which covers controversial redevelopments of historic buildings.

Elin Jones, Assembly member for Ceredigion, has called for the Church to be listed in a debate in the Senedd, and has submitted a proposal to Cadw, the body responsible for historic buildings in Wales.