By Mick Jensen
The red carpet has literally been rolled out at St Stephen’s Anglican Church on Park Street and church services will resume soon.
Earthquake repair and strengthening work and asbestos removal have meant the church has been out action for much of the last four years. Church services have been held instead in the adjacent church hall.
With the building work signed off, and both external and internal painting completed, the church is shaping up to reopen.
Plush red wool Wilton carpet was laid this week and covers the full length of the church, around 38m, and stretches across its 11.4m width.
The carpet was impossible to find in that colour in New Zealand and was ordered from England.
It took four carpet layers three days to put down and includes a thick underlay.
Church furniture including pews, the pulpit and choir seating will go back in over the coming days.
St Stephen’s Church people’s warden Gwen Clucas said it was hoped to have the church open for regular services from October.
A spring festival service was on the cards and churchgoers were really looking forward to getting back in, said Mrs Clucas.
Cosmetic upgrades had gone well and smart new carpet now covered the entire floor area, unlike before, when the area under the pews was left uncarpeted.
Earthquake work and upgrades had been funded by the parish and through insurance payments, said Mrs Clucas.