South West Wales

Margam Roman Catholic social club to shut over alcohol sales

Our Lady of Margam Roman Catholic social club
Image caption The club has attracted football fans heading to Swansea's Liberty Stadium

Members of a 40-year-old Port Talbot social club say they feel let down by a Catholic church which is closing it down partly because it sells alcohol.

Our Lady of Margam Roman Catholic social club has been ordered to close by the Diocese of Menevia next month.

The members say business is thriving and profitable and they have not been told what will happen to the club.

A diocesan spokesman said clubs all over the country were affecting the church's charitable status.

But Les Davies, vice-chairman of the club, said it was popular in the community and attracted visitors from outside too.

"The members are appalled," he said. "There's no other words.

"We've absolutely no trouble there whatsoever. I've run it for 29 years and we've never had a problem.

"We've got three pool teams, two football teams, a ladies' darts team and there are elderly people who have lost their wives who gather at the club.

"We've also had Manchester City and Everton supporters on their way to the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

"But the diocese has not spoken to any of us and will not speak to us."

Mr Davies said the club received a letter informing members that the diocesan trustees had decided to take all clubs in the diocese back into its ownership.

The club has been told it will close on 25 June.

Father Michael Burke, communications officer for the Diocese of Menevia, said clubs all over the country were affecting the Catholic church's charitable status.

"The church is about the promotion of religion and the promotion of God. Selling alcohol does not go hand in hand with that," he said.

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