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Parishioners win Vatican appeal against church closure

Church of St Michael and All Angels, Conwy (N Chadwick/

St Michael and All Angels church in north Wales must remain open, the Vatican has ruled

Parishioners in Conwy, north Wales, have won their appeal to the Vatican against the closure of their church.

The last Mass at St Michael and All Angels church was celebrated in February 2018 after Bishop Peter Brignall of Wrexham announced its closure. He cited lack of clergy for the decision.

At the time, parishioners said they were “heartbroken” by the closure. Spokeswoman Anne McCaffrey told the BBC they were prepared to hire a canon lawyer to take their appeal to the highest level.

“To close a church building there needs to be grave cause, a technical term in church law,” she said.

“St Michael’s is structurally sound, financially viable with a strong community.”

The churchgoers have now been told their appeal to the Congregation for the Clergy has been successful, and Bishop Brignall has put the closure on hold.

A spokesman for the bishop said: “The intended permanent closure of the church cannot currently take place.

“The consequences of that decision have now to be considered by the bishop along with the parish priest, the presbyteral council of the diocese and the diocesan trustees, as well as the parish finance committee and pastoral council.”