Parishioners hope and pray for good report on cracks

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 15/11/2012
st mary's geraldine
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
REPORT: An engineer's report on St Mary's Anglican Church in Geraldine is due back next week, confirming the extent of the building's earthquake damage.

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Another church is awaiting an engineer's report after sustaining cracks in the earthquakes.

Engineers have inspected damage to St Mary's Anglican Church in Geraldine and are expected to present their report to the vestry at the end of this month.

The church, on Talbot St, has sustained cracking to some of its interior walls, but it is not known which earthquake is likely to have caused them.

Although many of the South Island's earthquakes have been centred near Christchurch, a 4.5 magnitude quake in June was centred near Geraldine.

Parish council member Hugh McCafferty is optimistic the damage to the church will be superficial.

He said demolition was too extreme to be considering at this stage. Instead, it was more likely a substantial amount of money would be spent on repairing the damage, if necessary.

"We aren't going to worry about something until there's something to worry about," he said.

"We're nowhere near talking about demolition.

"There's some cracking, but there's no significant damage from the earthquake . . . but what's happening now of course is we're expecting the [building code] standards to be somewhat higher than they were in the 1850s."

Mr McCafferty said the vestry had called for an inspection as it was the right thing to do, not because it had to.

Until the report came back, it was business as usual, he said.

"We're expecting to hear something back by the end of this month, but we don't know what it will be. Meanwhile, we worship here every Sunday and feel quite safe."

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- The Timaru Herald

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