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Artist donates original painting in support of MPs general election campaign

26 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Eglwys y Grog / Church of the Holy Cross Mwnt, Wynne Melville Jones

An original painting of the iconic Church of the Holy Cross at Mwnt in Ceredigion has been donated to support the general election campaign of a local MP.

The painting of the church, which dates back to the 13th century, was donated by Wynne Melville Jones (Wyn Mel) to support Plaid Cymru MP Ben Lake’s re-election bid.

Following a recent review of the constituency boundaries, a considerable part of north Pembrokeshire has been united with Ceredigion to form the new constituency, Ceredigion Preseli.

Ceredigion Preseli

Mr Lake, who was elected to represent the Ceredigion constituency at the General Election in 2017, has called for an active and energetic awareness campaign in response to the new boundary changes in Ceredigion Preseli, and plans to stand for the proposed new constituency at the next general election.

Mwnt Church, together with the most isolated chapel in Wales, Soar-y-Mynydd near Tregaron, are both whitewashed buildings and stand out as strong iconic images as reminders of Welsh religious and cultural heritage.

Wyn Mel has painted a small collection of paintings of both religious locations, with his interpretation of Soar-y-Mynydd now part of the art collection of former USA President Jimmy Cartrer, who visited the chapel in the Cambrian Mountains when on a fishing Holiday in the area in 1986.

During January 2022, the church at Mwnt was considerably damaged by vandals and an appeal was launched to help pay for the restoration of the church and to ensure its future use as a place of worship.

Shocked and disgusted to learn of the vandalism, Wyn Mel donated a painting of the church towards the local appeal, raising £895, thus helping organisers  to hit their £30,000 target.

Wyn Mel says he’s a proud and enthusiastic supporter of all things Welsh, and despite his support for Ben Lake MP, says he is not political activist.

He said: “I consider Ben Lake to be an exceptional candidate and an ideal representative for all the people in the constituency at a time when public services and amenities, especially in rural areas, are at a low ebb.

“It is vital the area has representatives of the highest calibre to defend and protect the quality of life we deserve, and I am delighted to show my support in this way.

Wyn Mel presents his original painting of Mwnt church to Elwyn Jones, Plaid Cymru to raise funds for Ben Lake’s campaingn in the new Ceredigion Preseli electorate at the forthcoming general election

He added: “The western edge of Wales has a rich and colourful history of able politicians and we in these parts have been very fortunate with the calibre of representatives.”

Elwyn Jones, one of the organisers of the auction set to take place at the Marine Hotel in Aberystwyth on 10 November 2023, said that they were grateful for the enthusiasm of the many people who have supported and  contributed over 60 lots for the auction.

“Although there is an increase in size of the new constituency, there are many social and cultural similarities between Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire. As a party we are looking forward to establishing new and effective networks to serve the people of the area.”

He added: “We also have the advantage that Ben has established himself as one of the most effective MP’s in Wales and has cross-party support and appeal”.

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