The Vatican has dramatically over-ruled a British bishop’s decision to close a parish church.
Bishop Peter Brignall had originally told parishioners in Conwy, north Wales that he was forced to close the church due to a shortage of priests to minister in the Diocese of Wrexham.
The last Mass was celebrated at St Michael and All Angels Church in February 2018.
However, almost two years later parishioners have been told that the Vatican has decided that the closure cannot go ahead.
Parishioners had consulted canon lawyers and made an appeal under Church law to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy.
It emerged this week that the Vatican has backed the parishioners and Bishop Brignall has been forced to put the closure on hold.
A spokesman for the diocese 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,” the spokesman said.
The parishioners who organised the appeal said they had approached the bishop to discuss what happens next to the church, but would not be commenting while this consultation takes place.