Careful church deconstruction plan preserves precious items

deconstruction plan

A careful deconstruction plan for a much loved Marlborough church is ensuring some parts of the building are salvaged during the process.

St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Picton had been deemed an earthquake risk after getting a new building standard (NBS) rating of 10 percent. In May, plans to deconstruct it were mooted. The task of taking the building apart began in July.

The last service at St Joseph’s was held in January 2019. After that, the church’s operations moved next door, to a new worship space at the now-closed St Joseph’s School.

Greg Stretch, Star of the Sea Steering Committee chair, says many of the church’s “precious items” had already been saved. Others will be salvaged as the building is deconstructed.

These include the foundation stone, the stained-glass window and some timber, he says.

“Other features, such as art work and pews, have already been incorporated into the new worship space.”

The deconstruction plan has programmed the work to be complete by late August or early September.

“The main reason to complete the demolition of the church was health and safety-related, due to its poor condition,” Stretch says.

The land the church stood on was likely to go on the market after the deconstruction work is complete.

However, Stretch says “no progress has been made on the sale of the land as of yet.”

St Joseph’s history at the site spans 158 years. The original church opened in 1865, but the foundation stone for the building currently being deconstructed was laid in 1917.


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News category: New Zealand.