Nestled close to the banks of the River Severn there is always a welcome by parishioners to all visitors when joining to hear Mass at the Church of Our Lady and Saint Richard Gwyn, and Saint Francis.
Our congregation is small, we average about 22 – 24 each mass, but the numbers swell with visitors during the summer months and on Feast Days. In the past “pilgrim” numbers in the hundreds came to be present in the town in where he was born and visit and celebrate Mass at the church containing a relic of St. Richard.
We might be small in number but we are an active community. We play an involved role with the broader community in Llanidloes – Cytun (Churches Together). Last Christmas we were the hosts in the hall at Chatwood for the Cytun Advent service; and like ourselves, churches and chapels hold a variety of functions in the hall for various ’causes’, and purely social events.
At the moment we are sorry to say that the church is under threat of closure. The building, for the most recent thirty years or so, has been wholly maintained in structure and decoration by the parishioners which gives more to our dismay as there has been little financial burden on the diocese. Since the departure of the Franciscans twenty five years ago priests from the Wrexham diocese have held the position to celebrate our Mass and have brought with them The Gift of The Eucharist and The Spirit to the community. Many of those priests have taken a most active role in the community, both within the church and the town. There are many fond memories and stories to be shared.
But now our future is uncertain.
For the present our services continue and we pray that ‘long may they last’.
Llanidloes is the birth place of Saint Richard and as such holds an important place in the lives of Catholics – he is one of The 40 Martyrs. This is the only church in the UK dedicated by name to Saint Richard and it is our hope, even if Wrexham remove the regular services of priests, that the building will remain for gatherings and worship for the Community of Llanidloes for many years to come.
In the past there were many pilgrimages to our church and town; we hope that by car or coach people will return in respect of Saint Richard and to explore this small market town nestled in the beauty of the Welsh hills.
We pray for the continuing presence of our Parish here in Llanidloes,
so that our spirituality and strong sense of community will continue to contribute to the welfare of our special town
– the Birthplace of Saint Richard Gwyn.