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New affordable homes blessed on site of St Mary’s, Pontlanfraith

18 February 2022

Housing Justice

Some of the seven new homes built on the site of St Mary’s, Penllwyn

Some of the seven new homes built on the site of St Mary’s, Penllwyn

THE Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Revd Cherry Vann, has blessed seven new affordable homes built on the site of St Mary’s, Penllwyn, in Pontllanfraith, Wales. The church, which was constructed in 1957 for a post-war housing estate, closed for worship in 2016, owing to falling attendance.

The Church in Wales sold the site to the Pobl Group, who planned the new homes for social rent in partnership with the Faith in Affordable Housing run by Housing Justice Cymru. The work, carried out by Kingfisher Developments Ltd., began in March 2020. The site closed briefly during the pandemic, but work progressed during 2021; the homes were handed over in December, and the first residents moved in just before Christmas.

Housing JusticeThe dedication stone from the church has been incorporated into the new development

The dedication stone from the church was retained and incorporated into the new development, which was blessed by Bishop Vann at the end of last month. She said: “I am delighted that although this building has closed as a church, it continues to serve the community by providing much-needed shelter and housing. We should never underestimate the importance of having good-quality affordable housing available for local people. . . It is inspiring to see the project come to fruition and for these new homes to be occupied.”

The Faith in Affordable Housing partnership co-ordinator at Housing Justice Cymru, Sian Bradley, thanked the Church in Wales and the Pobl Group for making a commitment to its programme. She explained: “Since 2016, we have been helping to connect churches with housing organisations to bring church-owned land and redundant buildings into use for affordable housing. We recognise that, whilst it can be a sad time for church congregations when church buildings close, St Mary’s demonstrates that there can be positive outcomes.”

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