The renovation of the Welsh Martyrs church in Aberystwyth has been announced by the Bishop of Menevia, the Right Reverend Tom Burns.
Generous donations have made it possible for a high quality renovation of the existing church and for the purchase of a presbytery on an adjacent site approximately 200m away, with a Parish Hall planned for the future.
An architect and contractor have been instructed to bring the former church, with seating for 150 people, up to a high standard in materials and workmanship.
The work, expected to be completed by Summer 2018, will start on the Welsh Martyrs site on 20 November 2017.
Referring to the closure of St Winefride’s church five years ago, on health and safety grounds, Bishop Tom Burns said:
“I have been acutely aware of the difficulties and pain of the past few years. Aberystwyth has been uppermost in my thoughts and prayers. Also, I have been conscious of the wise words of Cardinal Newman who said: A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault. Now, at long last, we have a way forward that is both realistic and achievable: one that celebrates our Welsh Martyrs to whom we owe so much and whose spiritual legacy we treasure.”
Unique in all of Wales, this Parish of Aberystwyth, is the only church to be dedicated to six Welsh martyrs canonised in October 1970 by Blessed Pope Paul VI.
The six Welsh martyrs are:
St Richard Gwyn – a layman and school-teacher
Hanged, drawn and quartered on 15 October 1584
St John Jones
Hanged, drawn, and quartered after two years of imprisonment and torture, on 12 July 1598
St John Roberts
Executed at Tyburn on 10 December 1610
St Philip Evans and St John Lloyd
Both executed in connection with the fake Titus Oates plot on 22 July 1679
St David Lewis – the last Welsh Martyr
Executed on 27 August 1679.
Bishop Burns urged the parish community to be renewed and said:
“We have the opportunity to move forward in an atmosphere of faith and hope for the future.”