PoW chapel in need of Friends


 A chapel decorated by Italian prisoners of war in Wales during WWII is in danger of being closed. The owner of the little church of the Sacred Heart, in Henllan, near Llandysul, Ceredigion, Bob Thompson, 86, has announced that he plans to retire and as yet, there is no one to take up his duties. The PoW''s chapel was the idea of Mario Ferlito, one of 1,000 prisoners held at camp 70 in Henllan. The homesick men made ornaments out old tin cans and paint from tea leaves, clothing dye and squashed fruit. A mural, depicting the Last Supper, was painted over the altar. The inscription over the door reads: "Questa e la casa di Dio e la porta del cielo" (This is the house of God and the gate of Heaven). For a long time after the War, ex-PoWs made an annual pilgrimage to Henllan for Mass and a reunion with old comrades who had settle in the area. Their last visit was in the mid-1990s when Mr Ferlito was among the group. Parish priest Fr Jason Jones said the church was still "stunning and "very beautiful". But, he said, it is showing its age. Efforts are being made now to form a group of Friends of Henllan, to look after the chapel. Fr Jones said: "It is hoped the chapel is not fated and people can continue to enjoy this little bit of Italy in west Wales."

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