South East Wales

Under-threat Cardiff church 'saved' by flats

St Paul's Church, Grangetown Image copyright Google maps
Image caption Parishioners at St Paul's Church will share the 127 year old building with new neighbours

Part of an under-threat Cardiff church is to be turned into affordable flats to save it from closure.

Plans to build 12 apartments inside St Paul's Church, Grangetown, and two semi-detached houses in its grounds have been approved by Cardiff council.

The Grade II-listed church, home to a World War One memorial window, will still be used for services.

The Rev David Morris said the restoration would save the church from "rack and ruin".

St Paul's, which opened in 1890, faced permanent closure after a survey found at least £1m needed to be spent over 10 years to replace the roof and repair the building.

It was put up for sale by the Church in Wales in 2008, but no viable buyer came forward.

Under the arrangement, Wales and West Housing Association will pay for renovation works to the church, which featured in a 2015 episode of Dr Who, in exchange for using the rest of the building for tenants.

The existing aisles and nave will be turned into 12 apartments, while services will be moved into the smaller chancel, vestry and sanctuary areas.

Image copyright The Church in Wales
Image caption The Rev David Morris with the World War One memorial window at St Paul's Church in Grangetown

The church's organ will also be removed and sent to another church in Wales, as it would be "too loud" and would overpower singers in the smaller space.

Mr Morris said he hoped the idea would save the building for its 50 to 60 parishioners and could be used to help keep other struggling churches open for services.

"They [the church in Wales] thought the building had gone beyond our level of maintenance, the financial implications would have been beyond our means," he said.

"We have to now consider noise nuisance with our new neighbours, we are going to have to find a smaller instrument for a smaller space."

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