Regular services are back on at Ashburton’s St Stephen’s Church after the completion of earthquake repairs and cosmetic improvements.
The Anglican church celebrated reopening with a special Spring Festival service on Sunday.
The church was closed for re-strengthening work in July 2013 and has only opened briefly since.
Before reopening, the vestry made the decision to repaint the interior of the church and parish centre in conjunction with earthquake repairs.
While repairs were being undertaken it was found there was asbestos in the tiles and under the pews and specialists were brought in to remove it.
Damage to the carpet during the asbestos removal meant that the church’s original plans of putting carpet tiles in place of vinyl tiles were impractical and the decision was made to carpet the entire body of the church.
The previous 50-year old carpet has now been replaced with plush red Wilton.
St Stephen’s has held open days this week from 10am until 1pm and organ recitals from noon to 1pm to celebrate the return to the church.