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