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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

MS calls for action to secure future of religious buildings

* St Collen's is one of Wales's most famous religious buildings.

North Wales Senedd Member Sam Rowlands is calling for urgent action to secure the future of religious buildings in Wales. 

Mr Rowlands, who is  trustee of a local church in the region, was responding to a Senedd debate on religious buildings, which received Welsh Government and cross-party support.


He said: “It is extremely concerning that we continue to see the closure of religious buildings up and down Wales, and I am sure all members will agree that faith is an important aspect of Welsh life.

“Religious buildings are often the heart of communities, and, at times, bring all parts of our community together. Even for non-believers, faith is what many people reach out to in times of need. 

“While these buildings are merely structures to hold the church, the significance is beyond bricks and mortar it is what they represent."

He added: "These buildings often hold important family and community memories of celebration, memories of grief, and every emotion in between. 

"They have also been the gathering place through generations, the support in dark times and good times, and I argue they will need to be in place for future generations too. 

“But, sadly, as we know, the future of many buildings of religion and of faith across Wales is not secure. This is also sadly the case in my own region of North Wales, with many important buildings having an uncertain future. 

"For example, St Mary's cathedral in Wrexham, a Grade ll listed building, is currently facing a worrying time with the cathedral hall needing a full refurbishment and the heating system needing to be replaced. Also coming to mind is Llanrhychwyn church in the beautiful Conwy valley, which many people claim is the oldest church in Wales.

“Now is the time for Welsh Government to work with all denominations in Wales to discuss the future of religious buildings, and most importantly ensure they are here to stay for our future generations.”

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