Wellington Catholic Church buildings OK after quakes

WELLINGTON — Overall, Catholic Church buildings in Wellington archdiocese have come through the recent earthquakes fairly well, says archdiocese general manager Paul Bayliss.
In a notice posted to Wellington archdiocese’s website (www.wn.catholic.org.nz) on July 24, Mr Bayliss said there are no reports of structural damage to buildings although there has been damage to items inside buildings.
“Buildings of the Archdiocese that are workplaces and other significant buildings are in the process of being checked by structural engineers, particularly those that have been classed as earthquake prone,” he said.
“We’ve been in contact with all of our parishes to ask them to look for any signs of damage to assess the need for a check by a structural engineer.”
Like many other property owners in the region, the Catholic archdiocese of Wellington is currently in the midst of a long term process under the name “Project Stronger” assessing the seismic risk of buildings and any necessary remedial work. Mr Bayliss said these earthquakes are a timely reminder of the need to do what we can to improve the strength of our buildings for people’s safety and confidence.
“Many people in our community may be feeling nervous and unsettled, our pastoral leaders — priests and lay people will be fulfilling their normal role of pastoral care and support at this time,” he said.
“As always, we will be reviewing our response to these events and will be recommending any improvements where appropriate.”
All on-going communication on this matter should be directed through to the Support Services office via David Mullin, 04 212-3547, [email protected].
A message on the Anglican Taonga website noted that checks of Anglican church buildings in Wellington and Nelson show no significant damage from the earthquakes.
But Anglican parishes were being asked to ensure buildings are safe and to check them again if there are further earthquakes.
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake on Sunday, July 21 at 5.09pm occurred as Choral Evensong began in Wellington’s Anglican Cathedral of St Paul. The service was stopped and the cathedral emptied immediately.

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