A petition of nearly 400 signatures protesting at the ‘heart and soul’ being removed from an iconic Tenby church has been handed to clergy.

As the Western Telegraph has reported, plans to bring the 19th century St Julian’s Church up to date with the 21st century have caused a storm in certain quarters.

At a public meeting in the town on Thursday chaired by the Rector, Canon Andrew Davies, he emphasised that ‘creating a future’ and ‘a rescue plan’ for the harbour side church is the focus of the proposals.

“The aim is to save St Julian’s because it is dying,” he said. “It has a great past, but we want it to have a future.

“We want to create a space in which we can worship Jesus and invite all sorts of people to meet Him in the modern world.”

The proposals would see a small extension being constructed to house a kitchenette, toilet and storeroom. This would be accessed through the church’s east wall.

The altar would be re-located to the north wall with a driftwood cross above; roof timbers would be lightened and hung with ‘sails’ of translucent material, with a roof skylight in the shape of a cross.

A glass entrance porch would be built inside the front door, with wall plaques relocated to a prayer corner, and dedication plaques under the stained glass windows replaced with etched glass windowsills.

Said team vicar, the Rev Robb (correct) Wainwright: “One of the glories of this design is that those attending divine worship can see what beautiful views we have from St Julian’s.“

He said that the Bishop of St David’s, the Rt. Rev Wyn Evans, is ‘absolutely adamant that the building - iconic as it is - is a diocesan resource’ and added: “It will take the church in Tenby into the 21st century and hold the type of praise and worship that is all the rage amongst young people.”

But Sarah Williams, who has set up the Save St Julian’s Campaign, which has over 500 supporters on Facebook, told him as she handed him the petition: “It looks just like a visitor centre.”