PEOPLE who live or have lived in a Monmouthshire hamlet have started an online campaign to prevent its Grade II-listed parish church being closed.

Parishioners, past and present, are supporting a campaign on Facebook to prevent St Llywel in Llanllowell, near Usk, from closing after its parochial council decided that might be the best option at a meeting last month.

The church is part of the Usk and Gwehelog with Llantrisant and Llanllowell parish and has Norman origins and a medieval font.

Supporters keen to keep the church open include the managing director and founder of the Monmouth-based Mandarin Stone company, Alma Small, and Charles Rowlands, whose family has lived at Pentwyn Farm in the halmet since 1936.

Mr Rowlands said he was keen to keep the church open and that the community needs to “capitalise on its investment”.

Reverend Julian Gray, who leads a service every fortnight at the church but is leaving the parish in September, said he was keen to help preserve the church but that there would need to be progress to keep it open and pay for repairs that could cost up to £150,000.

He said: “(The church) has a lot going for it. It is beautiful and it would be a great, great shame if it closed but like so many countryside churches.”

He said: “The number of people who come (to the church) is small but they are very committed.”

There will be a meeting at the church to discuss its future on Friday evening.