All Saints about to be A-OK
Palmerston North’s historic All Saints Church has staved off a date with the wrecker’s ball.
The parish has united to save the historic brick building on the corner of The Square.
The city’s largest brick structure was dedicated in May 1914, and has been closed to the public and parishioners since Easter 2013, following an assessment that found it met just 3 per cent of the New Building Standard.
In limbo since then, the costs to demolish and to strengthen the church were estimated both at around the $4 million mark.
On Sunday, more than 120 members on the parish’s electoral roll voted unanimously to strengthen and enhance the earthquake-prone building and bell tower.
The strengthening option with the least impact on the look of the church would see steel tension ropes drilled vertically through the brick walls, braced against concrete foundations below, and a concrete beam above. Some brick parapets would also be removed, but the historic pipe organ could stay put. Improvements to electrical wiring and lighting along with construction of a covered entranceway on Church St, could be carried out at the same time.
Vicar John Marquet says the decision was a milestone in the church’s history, and would preserve a building for which the community held great affection.
All Saints Church on The Square is to be preserved