Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Friends of All Saints vs Church in Wales

Protesters: Friends of All Saints
Target: Church in Wales
Location: Maerdy Church, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales
Date: July to August

The lowdown

Around 50 campaigners staged a month-long sit-in at All Saints Church in Maerdy, Rhondda Cynon Taf, which has been threatened with closure. Protesters brandished placards that read 'Hear our prayer' and 'All we ask is time' as they held the protest. Included in the sit-in were two brides-to-be whose weddings were cancelled after the church was closed.

- Why the protest?

Church officials said All Saints was becoming 'too dangerous' to keep open as it needed around £400,000 worth of repairs. Campaigners have been offered the building for £1,000, well below the £25,000 market value. They said they could raise £1,000, but they disputed the repair costs, claiming they only amounted to £100,000.

- How did the Church in Wales respond?

Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan said: 'Nobody wants to see a church closed and my prayers are with members of All Saints. It is a matter of practicality and pooling our resources together.'

- How did the media cover it?

The story was covered by BBC local news, along with regional newspapers from other parts of the country. The Belfast Telegraph focused on the local brides story, and Herald Scotland mentioned the 'free fish suppers' handed out to the protesters by the local chippie.

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