AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled to turn Cardigan’s iconic Tabernacl Chapel into Wales’ first designated poetry centre.
They come after the much-loved Methodist Calvinist place of worship was put on the market after falling into disrepair.
The dwindling Tabernacl congregation attended the last emotional chapel service on Saturday before the doors of the 200-year-old building at Pendre were closed for the final time.
Now the company Cymdeithas Aberteifi, together with the community group 4CG, has made a bid for the site with the aim of making it part of the community again.
“This iconic building in central Cardigan has been at the heart of the community for over 190 years and it’s a tragedy to think it could be lost forever,” spokesman Richard Jones told the Tivy-Side.
“With speculation abounding, the future looks dire, but there is hope on the horizon.
“The vision is to make it the first designated poetry center in Wales.
“Tabernacl is ideally located and SCS believes that since the chapel was built by the people of Cardigan for the people of Cardigan, it is only fitting that its future should be placed in the hands of the people of Cardigan.
“Poetry has been used for generations as a means of recording and transferring knowledge and the goal of this project is to continue that tradition.”
And Mr Jones said the project would take inspiration from local art.
“For example, Dic Jones’ ‘Cynhaeaf’ (Harvest) would be the seed of an exhibition of traditional farming methods – the verse 76 ‘Ballad of the Albion’ would begin a journey exploring Cardigan’s maritime history.
“By using poetry to combine arts and history, it’s possible to create something truly unique – something locals can be proud of.”
Mr Jones added that although the project was in its early stages, CAS had already been successful in securing a Cynnal Y Cardi grant for a feasibility study and was in the process of applying for additional funding.
“Links have already been established with the Literature Museum in Dublin and the Seamus Heaney Homeplace in Bellaghy, both of which are extremely supportive,” he said.
“Feedback from poetry groups and organizations has also been very positive.”
A public meeting is planned and further information on the proposed project can be obtained from Mr Jones on 07837408659 or [email protected]