North East Wales

Row over Welsh language chaplain role at Wrexham prison

Artist impression of the prison Image copyright Ministry of Justice
Image caption Artist's impression of the prison

Concerns that a Welsh-speaking chaplain may not be appointed to work at the new prison in Wrexham have been raised.

It comes as chaplain roles have been advertised for people from different faiths when the prison opens next year on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

But some church leaders have expressed disappointment that speaking Welsh has not been made a priority.

The Prison Service said it would ensure inmates at HMP Berwyn had access to a "chaplain and suitable faith support".

It is due to open in February 2017, and will house 2,000 inmates, making it the UK's largest.

Rev Nan Powell Davies, from the Presbyterian Church in Wales and a former chaplain at Liverpool's Altcourse prison, said: "I'm angered by this.

"One of the main arguments for building a new prison in north Wales was to enable Welsh-speaking prisoners to be treated fairly."

The Union of Welsh Independent Churches has also expressed its disappointment.

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