Earthquake stops Mass at St Mary of the Angels

On Sunday Wellington’s earthquake brought the 5pm Sunday Mass in St Mary of the Angels to a premature halt.

After the 6.5 quake hit at 5.09pm, the biggest of a swarm of more than 230 that have struck the upper South Island and lower and central North Island since Friday, the celebrant Fr Tom O’Connor invited the congregation to vacate the church which displays warning notices about its vulnerability to earthquakes at each of its entrances.

Last year it was decided that the continued use of St Mary of the Angels was defensible, subject to appropriate signage, information for Church users and continued development of a credible strengthening strategy.

On Monday an assessment team inspected the building, and according to the parish priest Fr Barry Scannell, no damage was discovered. He is now waiting for a written report.

In the meantime Mass will be celebrated in the hall at least till the end of the week, when a further assessment of the situation will be made.

Sunday’s earthquake was the strongest earthquake experienced in Wellington since 1942.


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