LOCAL worshippers will make their mark in the history books when the first ever Pembrokeshire Mormon chapel opens its doors in December.

The chapel for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will open in Johnston on December 8.

Peter Evans, who serves on the west Wales stake presidency, said: “This is an important milestone for us. But it’s also great news for the community, because the church is open to all.

“It is more for the community than for the members of the church. We see it as something that would be a positive influence in the area.”

Mr Evans, who joined the church in 1969, said that small congregations used to meet in various rented buildings in south Pembrokeshire as far back as the 1800s, before emigrating to the United States.

And after the application for a Johnston chapel was accepted by the first presidency in Salt Lake Valley, building began on the land, which was purchased by a small group of faithful members in 1974.

Former branch president Dave Baldry, who has been a member of the Johnston congregation for almost 20 years, said that this was a sign of growth.

“It’s not only good for our membership, but it also shows that the church’s optimism is high that the church will grow,”

he said.

“And it is growing steadily, although we would like more people to join and have the same values that we all have.”

Mr Baldry said that when he came to Johnston in 1993, there were just 20 active members in west Wales, compared to today’s 145.

The open day will be held on Saturday, December 8, from 9am to 5pm, and will include a live nativity, information on humanitarian work, family history help.

There will also be an evening drop-in on December 11 and 13, between 5pm and 8pm.