3rd June 2013: The planning application submitted by SoS has been approved by Aberystwyth Town Council. This will be good news to everyone who sees the Church as a naturual part of town life.
In its meeting tonight, Aberystwyth Town council unanimously rejected the Diocese's application to demolish St. Winefride's. At the same time, the planning application to build a new church hall next to the church on the Queen's Road site as submitted by SoS Save our St. Winefride's was unanimously approved. It is encouraging that the Town Council, which possesses considerable local knowledge, has not been swayed by repeated misrepresentation of the structural condition of the church on part of those supporting demolition. The consistent lack of consultation by the Diocese with Aberystwyth parishoners was also remarked on by the councillors.
With the inspired move of approving the planning application of SoS Save our St. Winefride's, the Town Council has taken an extremely positive step to ensure preservation of a significant part of its Victorian architectural heritage, as well as its cultural development. With the feasablitiy of the SoS plans for repair of the church now approved by one public body, it is to be hoped that the Rev. Bishop Burns would be more receptive of the wishes of his parishoners in Aberystwyth.
To help ensure a similarly favourable outcome in the County Council, it is essential that parishoners and other concerned parties make known their opposition to the proposed demolition of St. Winefride's. The Town Council's decision is but advisory. See item below for information on how to make a planning objection.
Mai 18 2013 To ensure that your objection to the planning application to demolish St. Winefride's has a fair hearing, write to the County Council before the 13th of June.
Are you as a Catholic and Borougher of Aberystwyth happy to see St. Winefride's demolished to make way for another housing development in the centre of our town? Are you prepared to see the True Church vacate the centre of Aberystwyth for the suburbs? If not, you ought to make your objections known to the County Council. It is very important that as many objections as possible are made, as this has influence on the planning process. If you have made objections with the previous applications, you may write in to make known these objections still stand. Reasons to object include:
Please make your objectios in writing to Mr. Owain Davies, Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron, SA46 0PA, stating references A130337 + A130338CA. Examples of previous planning objections are available here Important: write to your County Councellor as well.
Fencing was placed round the church on May 7-8, a measure which many would regret. This could be seen as a move to reinforce the argument put forward in the diocesan planning application to demolish that the church is unsafe. Following the fall of a small piece of coping stone on Feb 5-6 (see photos in Newletter 1, here) during a violent storm, the council commented that the dilapidation is likely to accelerate unless significant remedial work is carried out to the buildings. This underlines the importance of carrying out the works recommended in the Barratt survey and in the new plans by architect Gareth Lewis for the church and hall.
1st of May 2013 Aberystwyth: The SoS Committe is pleased to annonce that a planning apllication has been submitted for the erection of a new church hall adjacent to the present church in Queen's Road. A brief description of the plans can be found here
Says Mr. Michael J. Maloney, Chairman of SoS: "The SoS comittee is of the opinion, after the overwhelmingly positive way our plans for future development of Saint Winefride's has been received by a great majority of parishoners, that a planning application ought to be made. We are aware the these plans will be met with strong opposition by the Diocese, but as at the time of speaking more than 260 parishoners have declared in favour of keeping the present church and against its demolition, their voice is entitled to have a hearing by the planning authorities."
"Myself and the other members of the SoS comittee are convinced of the suitability of the plans developed by Mr. Gareth Lewis, a local architect with an excellent reputation. We await the decision of the Ceredigion County Council in anticpation."
28th of April 2013 Aberystwyth/Aberffrwd: After the latest Pastoral Letter from the Rev. Bishop Burns, it is registered with disappointment that the appeal to Rome over proceedural failures in closing the church has been turned down. According to Mr. Michael J. Maloney, Chairman of SoS: "It is obvious that the SoS comittee, myself included, is dissapointed at this outcome. It seems that the Congregation of Clergy in Rome has accepted the Rev. Bishop Burns' line of argumentation that the closure of the church was an emergency measure and thus strict adherance to Canon Law can be wawered. It is difficult to see the need for emergency measures in that it will be remembered that it took more than a month from a Pastoral Letter in which the Rev. Bishop Burns spoke of the dangers represented by the so-called "deteriorating condition of the church" till the initiative to withdraw insurance. This provides ample time to prepare a proper decree of closure. It will also be remembered that the church has been inspected twice recently by County Council safety officers and found to represent no danger ot the public whatsoever. It is not possible to offer any further comment at this stage as I have not yet seen the actual communiction from Rome."
On the matter of pending planning approval, said Mr. Maloney: "While Rome's authority in the matter of Canon Law is above any discussion, it is equally obivous that planning is a matter dealt with under British Commmon Law. The decision is up to the Ceredigion County Council, and up to parishoners to respect their future decision as good British Citizens."