Fr Barry Scannell, Parish priest of St Mary of the Angels, Sunday 30 October, gave parishioners a progress report on the seismic strengthening of the iconic inner-city church.
Work on the seismic strengthening began on St Patrick’s Day in 2015 and over the last 18 months the project has consumed 30,000 hours on
- Completely new ground beam foundations running the length of the church
- 47 ground anchors throughout the nave to tie the new foundations to bedrock
- 32 further anchors to anchor the towers
- Replacement of 10 ornate columns
- Replacement of the main portals
- New shear walls at the end of the Church
- New steel cross bracing above the existing ceiling lining
- New gutters behind the parapets in the roof
- Build new foundations under the two towers.
Currently 40 tradespeople are on site.
As at 30 September, the total amount raised or committed to the project is $8.7 million.
The work ahead
To complete the task the church requires a further $1.3 million in order to
- complete the structural work including
- 1200 sq meters of new roof
- 370 sq meters of sprayed concrete walls on the side chapels
- 50 tonnes of structural beams and braces
- 500 sq meters of new flooring and
- 100 LED lights
- reinstate the Maxwell Fernie Organ
- remedy the drainage problem in the Crypt and Choir Room
- reinstate the vestry and sacristy
- repair and reinstate 14 stained glass windows in seismic frames
- reinstate the gardens and laws.
Speaking to parishioners at Mass, Fr Scannell expressed considerable gratitude for the generous donations received from individuals, family trusts, charitable foundations, the Lotteries Commission and Wellington City Council.
“Your generous support is allowing work to continue uninterrupted.
“If the generousity continues we will finish work in time to celebrate the 2017 Easter liturgies in the church”, he told parishioners.
St Mary of the Angels was closed following the earthquakes on Sunday 21 July 2013.
While the earthquakes did not damage the church, subsequently, engineers discovered the building was 15-20% of the New Building Standard.
After considering several strengthening concepts, mid 2014 it was decided to settle on one that retains the Church’s integrity and strengthens it to be as close as possible to 100% of the New Building Standard.
Donate at www.smoa.org.nz