Friday, September 12, 2008

St Jerome's Church, Llangwm Uchaf, Gwent

On entering I gasped as there is a superb and complete C15 rood screen and loft (albeit much restored by Seddon) to the west of the chancel arch.
I am told that one of the Llangwm churches is to close, and there are only some six regular church-goers. St John's looks like the decision is already taken inside, but it is small and would be easier to heat. St Jerome's is larger and more of a financial headache to keep going, as well as being architecturally and historically significant. I hope it remains open. The loss of the interior of Llangwm Isaf to conversion, perhaps to a house, would be easier to bear and easier to get past conservation groups and planners than the closure of Llangwm Uchaf would be. Perhaps the money from the sale of the smaller church would preserve the larger one for years to come. And with some proper tourist signs and local publicity, visitor numbers could be increased at St Jerome's and be a source of further income. I never saw another visitor here on one of the sunniest of this year's summer days and although I did enjoy the tranquility I would rather lose some of that to ensure the church's survival.

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