Plans drawn up for church refurbishment

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St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Ashburton could be reopen by the end of the year if a strengthening and refurbishment project all goes to plan.

The church, on the corner of Havelock and Park streets, has been closed since mid-2016 because of earthquake risk.

The pretty brick structure dates from 1874 and is surrounded by trees and lawns.

Since its closure services have been held in the adjacent Sinclair Centre.

St Andrew’s project committee chair Ross Thomson said engineers were working on the final plan and drawings to strengthen the church up to code.

Once that was completed building company Bradfords would then work out the costs involved in the project.

Mr Thomson said re-strengthening would bring the church up to 67 % of the building code.

“We’re hoping to start and have the church completed by the end of the year, but that very much depends on sourcing materials and the current covid climate.”

Engineering estimates are placing the cost of the project at around $500,000.

Mr Thomson said the church had secured funds to the pay for the project.

Other refurbishments and upgrades planned would retain the character and integrity of the near 150 -year-old church, both on the inside and outside.

He said parishioners were looked forward to being able to worship in the church again.

-By Mick Jensen