Athol Street, Cemaes Bay, Anglesey LL67 0EP
A simple brick-built church of the mid-1960s built to serve Catholic construction workers at the Wylfa nuclear power station. One of a number of churches on Anglesey run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the church was closed in November 2017 and at the time of writing remains unused and emptied of most of its furnishings.
In 1943 Fr Maher celebrated the first Mass in Cemaes Bay since the Reformation, in Ye Olde Vigour public house for the small number of Catholics living in the vicinity of the town.
In 1963 work started on the building of the Wylfa nuclear power station, just west of the town. Among the many construction workers were numerous Irish Catholics, for whom Fr J. A. Taaffe OMI was appointed chaplain. This being a long-term project (the power station becoming operational in 1971), the community decided to erect a purpose-built church in Cemaes Bay. A town centre site acquired, on which stood a pair of dilapidated stone cottages; these were demolished in 1964 to make way for the new church. Fr Tom Purcell OMI laid the first brick on 12 June 1964 and on 1 March 1965 the church was opened and blessed by Fr Purcell. The workers from the power station undertook the demolition and construction work.
The church was built as a chapel-of-ease, served from Amlwch. The Oblate Fathers closed it in November 2017 and at the time of writing (August 2018) the building remains unused and emptied of many of its furnishings.
It was not possible to access the building so limited details were gathered by an external inspection. The church is brick-built, with a pitched pantile roof. There is a flat-roofed projecting porch at the west end; a fibreglass statue of St David is mounted on a marble plinth fixed to the wall of the porch.
The porch leads into the nave, which has three bays. The sanctuary at the east end is up two steps and is flanked by rooms that appear to be the sacristy and a confessional or store. The floor is covered with vinyl tiles and carpet in the centre aisle; the walls are bare brick and the ceiling plastered, there are brick wall plinths for statues either side of the sanctuary. The altar is modern and veneered light oak possibly by Ormesby of Scarisbrick, and there appears to be a plaster statue of St Joseph to the rear of the nave.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1965
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed