The austere sign at the junction of Plassery St and Windsor Road

The austere – and unauthorised – sign at the junction of Plassey St and Windsor Road

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.

The sign has appeared on the corner of the grounds of Holy Trinity Church

The prominent sign has appeared on the corner of the grounds of Holy Nativity Church

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.

The official "Welcome to Penarth" sign - in which the welcome isn't restricted to just strangers- is almost lost in a forest of road furniture at the Baron's Court Junction

The official “Welcome to Penarth” sign – in which the welcome isn’t restricted to just “strangers” – is almost lost in a forest of road furniture at the Baron’s Court Junction

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 .

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Linda Guilfoyle says:

    The church is Holy Nativity and the Parochial Church Council will need to check that the banner has been authorised. We have a strict agreement with the Vale Council on the display of banners on the site. (Linda Guilfoyle, Churchwarden of St Augustine’s Church, Parish of Penarth and Llandough which includes Holy Nativity)

  2. Pamela & Alan Armstrong says:

    Why do we have to question everything – why not take it as a kind gesture to welcome people to our lovely town. Who ever put the sign up – Thank you.

  3. Huw Williams says:

    Holy Nativity Church actually.

  4. Christopher David says:

    Oh no…………..just leave alone…….. please. Always some spoilsport strange-r eh!

  5. Peter Church says:

    It was a miss print, they sent it to the printers but they missed out the “L”.
    Tribute Band in the Paget Rooms in November.

    On a serious point, I just love when other people presume to know what you think.
    This is the trouble with organised groups, they can get offended on your behalf.

  6. Michael says:

    Gossips: 0 Strangers: 1

  7. Mr Geoff Caldwell says:

    I didn’t really mind the banners here before, when they just invited people to church service etc.
    But this is wrong, everything from the phrasing and choice of words to the actual message.

    This Church Welcomes Strangers, YES
    Penarth Welcomes Strangers. NO

    I wish they would put up banners like this in the privacy of their own place of worship rather than trying to shove it down everyone’s throats.

    Shame of you Holy Nativity church if this was your doing.

  8. Wizzywoo says:

    Another reason to cut the funding to some of these so-called charities
    Get the Church whose land it is on to pay full business rates, if they accept advertising then they can be treated as a commercial concern.

  9. penarthblog says:

    In principal I agree, but it’s a bit simplistic.

  10. Tom says:

    Sounds more like a threat to me.

  11. Kevin Mahoney says:

    “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”

    I think the above passage just about sums it up for me.

    I suppose if anyone can actually understand the gobbleygook above they might get round to deciding whether to support or not support the aims of this event.

    Lets not forget of course the previous Labour councillor Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, Fred Johnson being heavily reported in the national media for his welcome to refugees

    Not a peep was heard from his usually loquacious fellow labour councillors in Penarth in regards to Mr Johnson’s little faux pas.

  12. Louise C says:

    I am a church warden at Holy Nativity. This banner was not authorised and therefor it has been taken down. See Linda’s post at the top of the page.

  13. 20 something Penarth still living at home! says:

    We can’t afford to house our own, young married couples who can’t afford to live in Penarth.
    I wish these do gooders would remember charity starts at home. If we have enough room for strangers why don’t we have enough room for our own sons and daughters?

    • Penileaks says:

      Totally agree, well said !

    • Michael says:

      Simple – tell the “young, married couple” not to live in Penarth and look elsewhere. The vast majority of couples have had to make sacrifices and compromises earlier in their lives.

      • Mark says:

        Completely agree with you, Michael. Where does this expectation come from that people should be able to buy where they were born?

      • William says:

        Michael, you are 100 percent correct, yet I’ve noticed in Penarth, a real nasty resentment towards ‘incomers’ who are seen as ‘taking the houses’ of people who were brought up here.

  14. Christopher David says:

    Look hells bells (oh a pun) its just a banner. A nice gesture. Can apply to anyone, doesn’t have to be refugees. Can even apply to weird church people Louise C. But whilst your here who funds the church and does it pay taxes and rates? Just trying to see if your paying your way- and so are (even) entitled to- dare I say, a very non Christian dictatorial opinion. Jeez leave it alone.

  15. Andrew Worsley says:

    No freedom of speech allowed then? unauthorised this unauthorised that petty officialdom is a pain in the neck and may one ask what harm the sign was doing? Of Course the Church couldn’t possibly tolerate such a thing. Now if the people /person had put “sayeth the Lord” on the end of the message the Church would have ignored it for a while. As for the words on the sign Penarth does not welcome strangers , it may welcome some but the others are treated with suspicion , indifference , in some cases hostility and when the good malicious gossips get you on their radar its open season , the natives are insular in many cases and some cases have a presumed air of superiority God alone knows why???????? As for the sign it needed taking down due to its inaccurate wording and nothing else . I’m not sure if its just me but Penarth or is that the VOG is rife with petty officialdom , we all remember the Council removing the plants residents had planted on the roundabout , along come the officials and pulls them all up . This is how the Council view it, ” we cannot have the residents of Penarth trying to jobs the Council wont do , the people must remember ‘THEY ‘ are the down trodden masses , WE are the bosses and if we don’t plant flowers we don’t plant flowers its not up to the people to take matters in to their own hands , they must know their place” . “We have the money and the wisdom they don’t , if we wish to destroy trees or disfigure them its because it needed doing , and if we ignore the masses of Potholes and let old people stumble into them crossing the road, that’s how we the Council want it “.

  16. Andrew Worsley says:

    Before anyone says anything I did go on a rant about the Council as well as the poster, so in fact went off the subject somewhat , but my words still stand even if I got carried away a tad.

  17. snoggerdog says:

    nail on head,20something.

  18. 249ers says:

    Maybe a trip to the exhibition ‘beyond borders’ at the Pier Pavilion will be food for thought. Here visitors are being asked to select one item they would take with them if they had to leave their house in an emergency.
    In the 1970s I was privileged to teach in a Leicestershire school where the Ugandan refugees were brought. Idi Armin had allowed these children to pack one suitcase of belongings before being transported to England. In Uganda, these families had a living standard similar to you or I and overnight they had nothing more than a suitcase. Leicester welcomed these strangers and I would hope if I was in that situation somebody would welcome me.
    What would you pack in your suitcase?

    • Peter Church says:

      Leicester best known for upstanding “English” football team and its upstanding MP, Mr Keith Vaz?
      Migration/Immigration over centuries is one thing, but when you squeeze 100 years into 100 weeks, this has implications on both side and never good ones at that!

  19. Christopher David says:

    Good for you Mr Worsley. The Commissars need putting in their place- as does “the church”. Still not sure if the latter are on free ride anyway! 249er I sometimes work with a Ugandan ex refugee, he came here as a child escaping Idi. Very successful professionally trained businessman and fun for a night out too. We are richer for so called immigrants. Tonight I entertain cooking from a recipe taught to me By Anand George of the Purple poppadum fame (try his cookery course or a lunch / dinner, Cowbridge Rd). Where would we be without influence. Caveat- immigration has to be managed. Anyway that banner can be for anyone- be a bit more Christian Louse C, Ms Guilfoyle (oh very Welsh) will you.

  20. Marie-Louise Feeley says:

    Austere? How can a banner that welcomes be austere. Maybe it should have read ‘Penarth welcomes strangers who will leave as friends.’

  21. Mark Foster says:

    It is a disgrace that the management of the Penarth Pier Pavilion are using their position of trust to make political statements and that representatives of Penarth churches are surreptitiously aiding and abetting this ignorant behaviour. They don’t understand the forces they are releasing.

    “Caveat – immigration has to be managed!”. Christopher David doit comprendre Merton’s Law of Unintended Consequences.

  22. Christopher David says:

    Indeed Mr Foster. Here in the UK we’ve been living with them for what……over a 1,000 years and very tasty they are indeed. Oh but…………..You surely cannot be suggesting that we in our green
    Island(s), should consist of white, genetically pure “British” people are you? Well if you are I have news- there is no such thing.

  23. Christopher David says:

    OOpps- forgot me grammar again G police. You your and you’re plus a syntaxical (sic) semi-parabolic hyphen violation. Sorry no excuses. Just pure laziness 🙂

  24. Andrew Worsley says:

    No need to show off Christopher David and its a bit silly !!!? or big headed to use words rarely used in everyday language , or do you talk like that too ??? thought not. And you are correct this forum is not intended or exclusive to people who came top of the class in English grammar or punctuation and its beyond petty to nit pick the odd error intended or not . I myself fall foul of typos quite a lot to the Grammar Police even this unforgivable , I bet some of those people get tired of checking out newspapers for such errors and writing or e mailing them , it must be quite a burden? This forum is for people who wish to express their views on certain topics, and that’s it , no showing off or picking out errors . You wont catch me doing such a thing even with show offs.

  25. Christopher David says:

    Wow- bet you’re not sure who you voted for in last election eh Lighten up- I can’t follow yer text anyway- far to convoluted- or intellectual for me. Here’s a big word, WORD, but please do better than me, “big” words are useful eh!

  26. Andrew Worsley says:

    Big words are ideal for Politicians as they say a lot without revealing much as with Politicians obfuscation is the order of the day in most if not all occasions , even more so in America as the late American comedian George Calvin once illustrated at a press luncheon. Such words as ‘moving forward’, ‘addressing the problem’.. determine as ‘we haven’t determined yet ‘ plus a string of other words designed entirely to avoid transparency and clarity.

Comments are closed.