A VILLAGE tradition is coming to an end with the closure of a historic church.

The Plygain Fawr in St Michael’s Church, Llanfihangel yng Ngwynfa, will take place on Sunday evening, January 12, 2020.

It is a traditional Welsh Christmas carol service, in which ‘parties’ from the congregation go to the front of the church to sing, usually unaccompanied. The tradition has been traced back to the 13th Century. The service is an important part of Montgomeryshire’s cultural heritage, and in Llanfihangel is especially significant as it marks the end of the Plygain season.

But it appears this will be the last Plygain to be held at the church and final service as the doors will finally close and singers and congregation will make their way to the Village Hall to enjoy a supper.

They will pass the grave of Ann Griffiths, internationally renowned hymn writer and mystic poet, who lived in the parish at the end of the 18th century and died in 1805, with its distinctive granite column, when approaching the main entrance to the church.

The present faithful members of the church have attended numerous meetings with officials from the Church in Wales, when the future of St Michael’s was discussed. It became apparent it was no longer possible to keep the building open for services, despite its important close cultural and religious connections with our rich Welsh heritage. An inspection of the building’s condition was conducted and it became obvious large sums of money are required in order to renovate the structure, as well as the annual running costs involved in the regular maintenance of the church. With great sadness, that the members have now no real option but to agree to their church’s closure.

Although it may be a shock to many, and will bring sadness to people far and wide, after a practical assessment of the situation, there appears to be no option – closure is the only way forward.

For more information please contact Church Wardens – Menna Rowlands at the Goat Inn, Ifan Owen, Llwydiarth Hall, the Rev Hermione Morris, Llanfyllin or Archdeacon, the Rev Barry Wilson, from the Church in Wales.