The most notable aspect of the restored St Mary of the Angels church is that it looks the same as it always did.
The church was reopened and blessed by Cardinal John Dew, the Archbishop of Wellington, last week.
It had been closed for almost 4 years to undergo earthquake strengthening.
At the completion of the $9.5 m project the only visible change is the addition of two sheer walls at the rear of the church.
Large parts of the church have been taken apart and rebuilt.
But special care has been taken to retain its original appearance.
Before the work began the church was assessed to be between 15 and 20% of the current building standards. It is now close to 100% compliant.
“But you’d never know the difference thanks to 3D digital mapping that’s helped preserve the 1922 gothic architecture and some creative solutions to replace columns along the 21-metre-high ceiling,” said Brian McGuinness.
He is the managing director of LT McGuinness, the construction company that undertook the project.
He was at Mass in St Mary of the Angels when the second Seddon earthquake occurred.
It is understood the cost of the project was put at more than $20m but LT McGuinness gave the church “value for money”.
There has been widespread praise for Fr Barry Scannell, the parish priest of St Mary of the Angels.
He made the difficult decision to close the church and he then energetically led the money raising campaign required to fund the restoration.
“No-one else had the determination, vision, courage and cheek to enable this to happen,” said Cardinal Dew after he had blessed are re-opened the church.
News category: New Zealand.