An unauthorised black and white plastic banner bearing the slogan “Penarth Welcomes Strangers” on the main route into Penarth which has been puzzling local residents and visitors – has been taken down by church authorities this morning.
The sign had appeared two days ago on the outside wall of Holy Nativity Church – in a prominent unmissable position adjacent to the roundabout on Windsor Road at the start of Plassey St.
Penarth being the kind of place it is, some might think such sentiments might well go without saying – although one van driver suggested the sign should add a proviso, like “Penarth Welcomes Strangers …provided they can park properly.” Others, however, thought the sign was “politically motivated”.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council imposes restrictions on the display of such banners and earlier this year launched an Enforcement Investigation against Trinity Methodist Church on Stanwell Road which had erected a (smaller) advertising banner promoting its “Bear-Pak” children’s activity sessions.
PDN understands that the “Penarth Welcomes Strangers” sign – which bore no attribution – had been erected without any authority in association with a pro-refugee, pro-asylum seeker exhibition at Penarth Pier Pavilion called Beyond Borders which began yesterday October 1st.
The Beyond Borders project “seeks to explore how creativity can encourage debate about journeying and asylum with families using the shore-line and a multidisciplinary cast of creative as catalyst” .The project is said to involve “storytellers, musicians, illustrators, poets will come together with archaeologists, geologists and representatives from the refugee council to converse, collaborate and create”
The project is part funded by Artworks Cymru, and is supported by the Refugee Council (a refugee support charity), Oasis (the Cardiff center for asylum-seekers and refugees) and the so called “pan-equality charity” Diverse Cymru.
Today a spokesperson for Holy Nativity Church said the banner, which has been in place for three days, was not authorised and – as of this morning – has now been taken down .