For 80 years, a Flintshire chapel served a loyal congregation until its poignant final service this week.

The United Reform Church in Northop, much referred to as “‘the little chapel” among villagers, has been in active service since 1937.

On Sunday, November 5, the church held its final service for “the life and witness of the congregation of Northop”.

Allan Fellows, from Northop, who first started worshipping at the church almost 70 years ago, said: “(It was) a joyous service of thanks-giving tinged with sadness that the chapel has had to close after 83 years at its present location.”

Peter Brown, who was “born in Mancot, but bred in Northop” has provided time, care and attention to the chapel for over 20 years.

Residents commented that his dedication to up-keeping the chapel’s garden and lawn was significant to the village, and that his work never went unnoticed.

Mr Brown said: “It’s a nice chapel in a lovely little location.

“I kept up the gardens and was very proud of those gardens.

“I was very upset about it closing, and a lot of people are upset too. I’ve been in the chapel committee for 20 years, and it was popular until around five or six years ago.

“On a usual service we would have around 12 members of the congregation but around 40 people came to the closing service, who weren’t all regulars but friends and family too.”

This ‘sad’ closure of the chapel falls down to a dwindling congregation.

Mr Brown said: “It was all about getting young people into the chapel. All the older people were dying off and as the congregation grew older, we were hoping for new blood to come in. But it wasn’t and it’s been forced to close.

“The chapel will probably be sold to housing. I don’t like it.”

Rev Richard Hainsworth, of Northop Parish, attended the last service and said it was “very sad to hear” that officials had closed the church.

He said: “We understand why it must be necessary and we respect the order for the decision to close it and the effort people have put in for many years.

“If any members wish to come and worship here at Northop Parish Church, they are welcome to do so.

“We feel (the congregation’s) sadness, but we respect the brave decision of the United Reform Church.”