MEMBERS of two Penarth Methodist churches have united as one congregation after it emerged the cost of work needed to be done at one of them was too high.

Trinity and Albert Road churches have welcomed Penarth worshippers for more than 100 years, but a site check at Albert Road uncovered huge issues with the structure of the church, dating back to damage suffered in the Second World War.

A congregation at Albert Road, which has dwindled over the last few years, would not have been able to raise the £200,000 required.

Now, in what was one of Reverend Phyl Fanning’s last acts before he moves closer to his family near Liverpool, the two churches will merge and become Penarth Methodist Church.

Rev Fanning, who has been widely praised for “bringing the churches into the 21st century”, using social media and installing screens in the church so people can watch at home, says the new changes signal the start of a new positive beginning.

Musical director Janet Pedwell said: “This is not a negative thing, and will be a seamless transition, as the two congregations have been holding services together for a while now.

“It will make one bigger and stronger congregation, which made much more sense for us than trying to get the cash for the repairs.”

Services will still be delivered at the newly renamed church, which was Trinity, at Stanwell Road.

“We want it to be even more of a community church for everyone,” Mrs Pedwell added.