The Moriah Church

In each of the Census reports for the UK the number of people declaring themselves as Christian has gradually declined. A fall of over 4 million to 33.2 million has occurred over the last decade alone. The Census cannot tell us if the belief in God is fading. Church attendance figures are a more accurate barometer for the spiritual health of the nation than census figures.
Not all self-identifying Christians regularly go to church or are particularly observant, but that on certain occasion they are. In recent tragedies that have gripped Wales, such as the disappearance of April Jones, communities have turned to God in great numbers to seek solace.
This narrative project was inspired by these Census findings and the intention was to see if the four churches of the town of Abercynon were still being used. The town at one time had over twenty chapels within walking distance of the main street.
It would have been easy to capture the stereotype, rows of empty seats, decaying architecture and aging preachers shouting the word of God at a handful of parishioners. What this project actually ended up recording is a small community of friends, joined together by their devout belief in God.
The small icons they wore as jewellery served as a metaphor for the dwindling visual presence of Christian faith, now almost seen as an embarrassment, in modern British society. Despite being occasionally let down by their aging in bodies they were full of spirit and energy. Their strength comes not from the heavens but from their lifelong friendships with each other.

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