Hard to watch church's final moments

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 09:58 19/08/2014
 St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

TORN DOWN: A digger is used to demolish the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Seddon yesterday

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The final chapter in the life of the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church building in Seddon came to an end when it was demolished yesterday.

The building was declared unsafe because of damage sustained during the July and August earthquakes last year. Church minister Rev Dawn Daunauda said parishioners had been preparing for the demolition since April, but it was still difficult to watch.

‘‘It was sad to see it go. It was amazing just how quickly they [Simcox Construction] brought it down,’’ she said.

It had been hoped some of the valuable parts of the building could be saved and Daunauda was very pleased the copper guttering and some of the stained glass windows were salvaged.

The church management planned to sell and re-use what they couldn't
A date for the sale was still to be decided. Some parishioners had asked if they could have a small memento such as a brick, she said.

By yesterday afternoon all but one wall and the concrete foundations had been demolished.  Church elders were on hand to help with recovering what they could.

‘‘It was amazing how the digger driver [Dane Hurring] was able to so carefully pick things up like the digger was a pair of tweezers. The main thing is the building came down and no-one was hurt.’’ 

Demolition project manager Chris Hollingum said the team  would spend most of today carting away the rubble and cleaning up the site.

He expected work to be completed by the end of the day.

The decision to demolish the church building was made unanimously on April 13 after months of consultation with the Marlborough District Council, the national Presbyterian Property Trust and Simcox Construction.

A final service was held on July 27, which was attended by parishioners and a large number of community members. The congregation had been worshipping at the Catholic church in Seddon since St Andrew’s was declared off limits.

The church building is the first of two in Marlborough to be demolished due to earthquake damage. The St Peter Chanel Catholic church building in Ward is also due to come down.

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- The Marlborough Express

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