Cambrian News photographer - The bank has refused to sanction a £360,000 loan to the Diocese of Menevia to renovate the Welsh Martyrs Church in Penparcau

THE future of the Catholic congregation in Aberystwyth has been thrown into further doubt after the Diocese admitted that a bank loan for the £360,000 renovation of a Penparcau church to replace St Winefride’s has been refused by the bank.

The Cambrian News reported “Bishop Tom Burns and the Diocese of Menevia have now taken to asking parishioners from other parishes to donate to pay for the wholesale renovation of the Welsh Martyrs Church in Penparcau, which currently lies in a bad state of disrepair.

Bishop Burns decided last April to spend £360,000 renovating a derelict church in Penparcau instead of renovating St Winefride’s Church on Queen’s Road – closed in 2012 amid health and safety fears.

Bishop Burns assured parishioners that the work would be completed by December last year, giving them a place to worship for the first time in over four years, but no work has taken place.

While neither Bishop Burns nor the Diocese answered questions from the Cambrian News over why no work had taken place on the site – it was revealed in a Diocese newsletter on 19 March that the bank had refused the loan, leaving Aberystwyth parishioners up in arms that they weren’t told.

Parishioner David Gorman said: “It is quite shocking that this important development was not communicated to the Parish of Aberystwyth prior to being published in a Diocese-wide newsletter” here.

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