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Our Parish

The history of the present day Catholic Church dates back to the days of Lady Catherine Ashburnham, who had a private Chapel in Pembrey House. Her first Chaplain was a Belgian priest, who was succeeded by Fr. Jarvis. Fr. Jervis served also as Parish Priest to the local Catholic community.

A disused school in Morlan Terrace was used as the first church for the public celebration of Holy Mass. In 1933 the congregation moved to Pencoed Road where Mass was celebrated in a corrugated iron hut. This building had previously been used as a skating rink, a church hall, the local H.Q. of the Y.M.C.A.(Young Men’s Christian Association), and a military canteen during the First World War.

The primary benefactor of the parish of Burry Port & Kidwelly was Lady Howard Stepney.

In 1964 a new church, situated a few yards behind this old iron hut, was finally opened. The old building was then demolished to make room for a carpark that would serve the congregation. The church, which was opened and consecrated by Bishop Petit, includes a very simple but pretty Lady Chapel. The tations of the Cross, which are the work of Italian craftsmen, are carved in wood and are very fine.

When Fr. Owen basil Rowlands began his ministry in the parish in 1927 he also celebrated Holy Mass once a fortnight in Tumble. He had to walk a distance of 10 miles along the Gwendraeth Valley to Tumble, celebrate the Eucharist, and then make the same walk back in reverse until he arrived at Burry Port, before he eventually got a car.

Originally the Massnwas celebrated in the hall of the Old Tumble Hotel, with the Altar being situated in the club boxing ring. Eventually a small chapel was built in Tumble.

During the 2 nd World War the congregation moved from the church at Tumble to a chapel that had been opened in. The congregation achieved many positive goals within the local community. In 1961 a Catholic church was opened in Pontyberem (Eglwys Y Croes). Then in 1975 Bishop Langton Fox opened what is the present church in Kidwelly, which is dedicated to the patronage of Our Blessed Lady and St. Cadoc, whose Feast day is The parish priest of Burry Port, which includes Kidwelly,had, for many years, to offer Holy Mass four times each Sunday, two at Burry Port, one at Kidwelly and one at Pontyberem.

This situation continued until 1989 when the church at Pontyberem was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Parish of Llandeilo.

Priests who served the Parish of Burry Port & Kidwelly:

  • Fr. Jarvis 1917 – 1927
  • Fr. Owen Basil Rowlands 1927 – 1933
  • Fr. Thomas Williams 1933 – 1936
  • Fr. John Tole 1936 – 1938
  • Fr. Wifrid Brodie 1938 – 1951
  • Fr. William Cubley 1951 – 1954
  • Fr. William Andrews 1954 – 1957
  • Fr. James Howard 1957 – 1975
  • Fr. David Bottrill 1975 – 1982
  • Fr. Bernard Norris 1982
  • Fr. Sylvester O’Donnell 1982 -1986
  • Fr. Michael Lewis 1986 – 1988
  • Fr. Michael Burke 1988 – 1994
  • Fr. Peter Allen 1994 – 1998
  • Fr. John Patrick Thomas – 1998
  • Fr. Charles Higham – 2005
  • Fr. Harding Rees 2005 – 2006
  • Fr. John Murphy 2006 – 2007
  • Fr. Michael manning o.Carm served from Llanelli 2007-2008
  • Fr. Thomas Kochalumchuvattil 2008 – 2011
  • Fr. Paul Joseph 2011-2012
  • Fr. Benedict Koledoye 2012 – 2015
  • Fr. Richard Jones O.S.B. 2015 – 2018
  • Fr. Martin Donnelly 2018 –