Shake-up at Greyfriars
A 97-year-old Mt Eden church is temporarily closing its doors after a report revealed it may not perform well in a strong earthquake.
Greyfriars Presbyterian Church services have been relocated to the adjacent memorial hall until remedial building works are carried out.
The church, which was founded in 1915, was identified by Auckland Council as requiring strengthening in the next 10 years to bring it up to standard.
An initial evaluation by structural engineers found the building may perform poorly if a major earthquake strikes.
The floor of the building was strengthened earlier this year.
Northern Presbytery project manager Forbes Worn says the Presbyterian Church is being proactive and moving quickly.
Greyfriars is the first of ‘‘scores’’ of early Presbyterian churches in Auckland which will undergo further risk assessments.
‘‘The problem’s not going to go away. Rather than having it forced on us we want to start the ball rolling ourselves,’’ Mr Worn says.
The Presbyterian Church expects to know the outcome of the reports by the end of January.
‘‘We will then be looking at what the future holds.’’
Greyfriars parish minister John Malcolm says the church is a good, solid building.
‘‘It has stood for 100 years but we just need to err on the side of caution and make sure everything is safe,’’ he says.
Moving won’t be easy, he says.
‘‘I’m sure there will be mixed feelings.
‘‘People have got married here, had children baptised here and their children marry here so it makes it a precious place in people’s hearts and minds.’’
Divine intervention: Greyfriars Presbyterian Church parish minister John Malcolm is moving his flock as the Mt Eden Rd church undergoes an earthquake risk assessment.