A Cardiff church is offering to come to the rescue of local people who are about to lose their popular community centre.
Saint Saviour’s church in Splott is planning to offer its parish hall for services like a mother and toddlers’ group, community meetings and other social events.
Splott is about to lose its popular STAR centre, to be replaced by a state of the art £9m community hub in Tremorfa. But many locals in Splott feel the community centre should be in Splott in the heart of the community.
The centre is much used and the library in particular is very popular with young and old. On Thursday mornings, a pre-nursery singing group for very young children is well attended and secondary school children use the computers after school.
The closure of the STAR centre has been a controversial issue in the Splott area for a long time, but the community hub at Splott pool in Tremorfa finally got the go ahead last year.
Now St Saviour’s church is hoping to step in and help the local people of Splott. “We want the church to be at the heart of the community,” said Glyn Perryman, church warden at St Saviour’s.
“We are in the centre of Splott, we have a lovely hall and good facilities and it would be lovely to welcome all kinds of people in,” he said.
At the moment the hall is used for activities including a food co-op every Tuesday morning when over 60 people come in to buy fresh fruit and vegetables at £3 a bag.
“We love when people come to the church,” said Mr Perryman.
“That is how it should be and we are just across the road from the STAR centre so it is not far to walk,” he said.
Many local people, particularly older people, feel the new hub in Tremorfa will be too far to walk.
One 86-year-old man, who uses the library every morning to read the newspapers, said he would not be able to walk that far.
The parochial church council is discussing the option of offering these services at the moment.
“It is still at a very early stage, but we are very keen to do it and the vicar Father Dean Atkins is very much about opening our doors to the public,” said Mr Perryman.
If the move goes ahead the church will look at ways to improve their facilities by refurbishing the hall and adding a new kitchen.