Extent of repair work remains unknown

Geraldine's Anglican parish is waiting patiently to find out the full extent of work needed on two of its churches.

The vestry has received the engineer's report on the structural integrity of St Mary's and St Thomas'.

However, it plans to wait until the royal commission report is released, which would determine if the Timaru District Council needs to update its policy on earthquake-prone buildings.

The main body of St Mary's needs strengthening work. Buttresses added 40 years ago have helped, but they need to be strengthened further and more added.

St Thomas' also requires some work. Access is restricted to the church's sanctuary area because it is below the level of new building standards.

However, St Thomas' is still being used for worship. The Rev John Hayhoe said there had been no new developments since late last year, when the vestry decided to close the doors to St Mary's until further notice.

"There's been nothing fresh and there won't be until the Government issues new building [codes]."

The Timaru Herald