Church going up for tender

HEATHER SIMPSON
Last updated 07:17 24/04/2014
Ward church
Derek Flynn

Coming down: St Peter Chanel Church in Ward will be demolished due to quake damage. The church committee is seeking expressions of interest from the public to buy the doors, windows, roof materials and church bell. Pictured are parishioners Tom Hickman, left, and Kevin Loe, right

Ward church
Derek Flynn
Tom Hickman and Kevin Loe outside St Peter Chanel Church in Ward

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Materials from inside the earthquake hit St Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Ward are being sold off to fund the church's demolition.

Parishioner Kevin Loe said sacramental objects, such as the chalice, from inside the church had been given to other Catholic churches but significant structural pieces were open to expressions of interest from the public.

Buyers can snap up a piece of church history including church windows, doors, the roof and church bell.

Loe said he believed people interested in retaining the history and the character of the church would be interested buyers.

"The roof structure of beautiful rimu timber is sound and could be taken away in its entirety and could be used as a nice gable for someone interested in forming a little winery," Loe said.

People would also have the opportunity to buy the bricks after the church was demolished.

Built in 1924, the red brick church suffered damage after the Seddon earthquakes and was deemed dangerous. The church had been in sporadic use with around six parishioners attending services.

"The Seddon earthquakes caused significant damage and the cost of repair was not practical for the church," Loe said.

Tenders for the demolition of the church are out until the end of May and the Ward Catholic Church Committee expect to make a decision on the successful tender next month.

"It is a shame. What has happened has happened.

"The community was able to move on.

"There is still a good church in Ward which runs combined religious services."
APL Property Limited project and property manager Samantha Forrest said materials reclaimed from the church made a unique collection.

"It is a very interesting building.

"It could be a treasure trove for winery owners or people involved in historic restoration or houses."

Expressions of interest were open until 4pm on Thursday, May 29 through APL Property Ltd in Blenheim. 

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- The Marlborough Express

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