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Church on offer for just £1000

04 August 2011

by a staff reporter

PROTESTERS fighting to save a church in south Wales which had been threatened with closure have now been told that they can buy it for £1000. Villagers have been staging a round-the-clock sit-in at All Saints’, Maerdy, in the Rhondda, since it closed on 3 July (News, 22 July).

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said last week: “I am giving the protesters in Maerdy exactly what they are asking for — a chance to save All Saints’ Church from closure. They are confident they can raise enough money to restore and maintain it, and now they will only have to find an extra £1000 to buy it. It’s a great op­portunity for them, as the com­munity would then own the building and the land, and its future would be in their hands.”

The £1000 would cover the costs of administrating the sale. The church is thought to be worth about £25,000, but the parochial church council had said that it needed about £400,000 in repairs. The PCC voted to close the church, as it was putting too much of a financial burden on the benefice as a whole, which also includes Ferndale and Tylors­town.

A statement from the Church in Wales says: “The Archbishop believes this offer is a fair compromise be­tween the wishes of the PCC and those of the protesters.”

Peter Blake, a former church­warden at All Saints’, said that the Archbishop’s offer was “very, very gen­erous. . . We are cautiously excited.”

Campaigners believe that they can raise funds to meet the sale price and the bill for essential repairs, which their estimates place in the region of £100,000.

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