Friday, 19 October 2012

A Priest stands up to his Bishop

More on the Aberystwyth Church of St Winefride, the one that the Bishop of Menevia, Thomas Burns, is keen to demolish so that the land may be sold for big money.
To be fair to the Bishop, he plans to spend £2.6 million on providing a new church, trouble is, it's well out of town and that does not appear to be so sensible.

But, the newly appointed Parish Priest, Fr Neil Evans, is having none of it.

He has resigned from his post on the Bishop's board of trustees.

Here is how The Cambrian News reported the matter:-

A CATHOLIC priest has resigned from the diocese board of trustees just days after taking command at St Winefride’s Church in Aberystwyth, writes Antony Gedge.
Father Neil Evans stood down as a Diocese of Menevia trustee because he opposes controversial plans to demolish the church, replace it with a housing development and build a new church in Penparcau.
It was also revealed this week that Father Neil has been homeless since taking over at St Winefride’s because the presbytery used by outgoing priest Father Ross Patterson has now been closed on health and safety grounds.
Church bosses say insurers won’t allow it to be occupied. And it is feared that the church will close at the end of the month for the same reason.
Church bosses say the buildings are too costly to repair but objectors have produced a surveyor’s report which suggests they can be easily repaired.In a letter sent to Bishop Tom Burns and copied for parishioners, Father Neil launched a scathing criticism of how the church authority has dismissed the possibility of renovating the church.
He said: “As you know, I have been unhappy about the failure of the trustees to adequately address, with conviction and resolution, other possible solutions to the problems facing us in Aberystwyth. Unfortunately the perception exists that the trustees have from the beginning pursued with conviction and resolution only the last option.
“Of course, it may well be that, in the end, this last option proves to be the only option left to us (even if not the best option), and so there will be no choice but to knock down the present church and presbytery and build new in Penparcau.

Fr Neil is a humble and holy man and also, obviously, a brave one. It takes real courage to face up to Bishop Burns. Please remember him (and the Bishop) in your prayers.

NB The full text of Fr Neil's letter will be posted tomorrow, Saturday 20th!

No comments:

Post a Comment