Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Holiday homes blamed for closure of 1,500 year old place of worship

30 May 2022 2 minute read
St Madoc of Ferns. Picture by Robin Drayton (CC BY-SA 2.0).

A place of worship in Pembrokshire will close after nearly 1,500 years in July, with a large number of holiday homes in the area being blamed for its fate.

St Madoc of Ferns in Haroldston West, near Haverfordwest, was founded in 583 by a disciple of St David. The church was mostly rebuilt in 1883 on its medieval foundations, but now its congregation has dwindled to two and it will close.

Jane Main, 78, one of the wardens, said that the influx of second home owners had contributed to the decline.

“There are 55 homes in the parish,” she told the Telegraph newspaper. “A lot of them are holiday homes now, though some of them do come to church and help out financially.”

The other warden, Diana Thomas, said there were regularly 30 or 40 people attending services. “It was near enough a full church at that time, and we had a lot more services,” she told the Tablet.

“It was a flourishing little church but people have moved away and people die and new people are not coming in.”

Shirley Norman, who runs a gallery in Little Haven and was considering using the building for an exhibition, said: “We live in Broad Haven and 50% there are second homes. In Little Haven, it’s 80%.”

The last service will be on July 31, and the hope now is for the Church in Wales building to become a community centre.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

27 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ceramike
Ceramike
6 months ago

The destruction of local communities due to the influx of second home owners is regrettable. The disparity in wealth between different areas of the UK is at the root of this problem.
The closing of a church that has been at the heart of a local community for 1500 years symbolises the changes that have in effect removed local populations by an ever increasing economic discrimination.
The insidious nature of this trend is now all too evident.

I. Humphrys
I. Humphrys
6 months ago

Time to get militant? Doormat Labour not up to it!

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

Mmm imported non-culture.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
6 months ago

Holiday-home impact in a nutshell. This will only stop with further and more-effective legislation from the Welsh Government.

Last edited 6 months ago by Wrexhamian
Pob lwc
Pob lwc
6 months ago

I know the excessive use of homes as holiday lets is a real problem and I’m sure it has contributed to this, but generally Wales and the UK are also becoming less religious, will younger generations much less religious than older ones. The Church is seeing a decline in attendance everywhere and has been for years, which I’m sure is also contributing to this.

Last edited 6 months ago by Pob lwc
Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago
Reply to  Pob lwc

Agreed. The cuckoos make it worse, but the trend is still downwards

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
6 months ago
Reply to  Pob lwc

Also agree, second homes may have speeded things up but society becoming less and less religious means that this would have happened anyway, it’s just happened sooner rather than later.

Jk jk
Jk jk
6 months ago
Reply to  Pob lwc

Agree, to blame this on second homes alone is disingenuous. Churches are closing in well populated areas and the article really should have mentioned that.

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago

The blight of holiday homes impacts negatively on everything I totally agree. But also the country (ours and the “Union”) church attendances have been shrinking for over 50 years now. Most church services I know of are attended mostly by Baby boomers and Gen X (I’m a Gen X atheist). So I would not expect that shooing off the home blockers to increase attendance significantly

Cedric Wyn Jones
Cedric Wyn Jones
6 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

I can’t understand why any fool would waste his money on a holiday home in Wales. It is a dead end place.

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago

Great. Keep thinking that. Don’t get one

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 months ago

Cadw should take over the running of this, and other historic churches which are no longer in use, to preserve them for posterity.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

This is cause & effect sadly. But I hope any solution to the second homes crisis here hasn’t come too late, because I’m sick & tired of the whining Welsh Tories & right-wing media attacking any measures to combat these issues, be it raising council tax or tourist levy, as “Anti-English” when areas of England face similar pressures but not the same hostility & rhetoric hurled at Wales.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

It’s never too late. Going forward, the new measures will discourage second home ownership and stop people being able to avoid paying basic rates of council tax. It’ll take time to reverse some of the damage but we are on the right track.

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
6 months ago

So now holiday homes are to blame for the decline of attendances at Churches in Wales- Wow these second home owners are very handy to point the finger at almost everything that is wrong with the world. Next headline will be Welsh holiday home owners responsible of famine in Africa, starting the Ukraine war and goodness knows what else.

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago

I spent time in Ukraine before the war and I pre-emptively rescued a number of attractive Ukrainian women.

Let me tell you. The entitlement of the Russian speakers in the Donbass region is nothing compared to the English in Abersoch Tesco Extra

So yes. Putin started this war straight from the Edward I playbook!

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

Nope. I’ve never been to Ukraine. Imagine if you had a personality of your own. Then you wouldn’t have to try and undermine others.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
6 months ago
Reply to  Cynan

Why not post in your real name?

Welshman Tomos
Welshman Tomos
6 months ago

This is genocide on another level. Never mind the Russians destroying Ukraine, the same is happening here….just in another way. Kick them out, if they don’t live in their homes permanently then it should be returned to the community.

Last edited 6 months ago by Welshman Tomos
I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
6 months ago

Nationalist Christians, with your higher birth rates, take heart.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.