Repairs for St Paul's Papanui

Repair work starts on historic Papanui church

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 19:02 12/11/2012
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REPAIRED: Reverend Andy Carley outside St Paul’s Papanui, which will be restored.

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Work is underway to restore the historic St Paul's Anglican Church in Papanui to its former glory.

The wooden church, built in 1877 and designed by architect Benjamin Mountfort, known for his work on the Christ Church Cathedral, was badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.

Reverend Andy Carley said the earthquake had caused damage worth about $650,000.

The church has been closed since the quake, due to the danger posed by large chunks of lath and plaster falling.

Church services have been held in the parish lounge, with up to 80 parishioners squeezing into the small space, Carley said.

He hoped services could return to the church about April 2013, when the restoration work was expected to be complete.

"It is really exciting to see something happening. It will bring the building back to its former glory," Carley said.

"They [parishioners] are going to love being back in there."

He said the work being done was a combination of insurance repairs and restoration work.

The large windows were to be returned to their original style and panelling installed in the 1970s removed to reveal the original tongue and groove angled wood detail, Carley said.

Remedial work would also be done, replacing timber that had deteriorated over time.

Insulation would be added within the walls where possible, he said.

To meet public access requirements, the porch and front area of the church would also be raised.

The church has a rich history, and was the location where Lord Ernest Rutherford married Georgina Newton in 1900. 

There are also many prominent Cantabrians buried within its graveyard, including Sir Robert Heaton Rhodes and Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham.

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