In early 2018, we asked engineers to inspect the building and give us a report on what we would have to do to strengthen the building to bring it up to Earthquake Strength of 67% of the building code, as the Diocese has told us we should be by 2024. Upon completing the inspection the engineers informed us that our building was only at 15% of the code. We had previously been informed by the council that we were at 34% - the minimum we needed to be at to be safe to occupy.
I have spoken to the Diocese and they have recommended immediate evacuation of the building, as has happened in other parishes in the Diocese (i.e. Eastbourne, Waiwhetu). This means that from now on we will have to hold Sunday services in the centre, until we can establish a way forward.
The next step will be that we will get an estimate of costs to strengthen the building and then we will have an idea of what our next steps can be.
However, in all of this, we can be grateful for the vision of those who built the wonderful centre that we have. While it's not the same as the church building, it will certainly keep us warm and dry as we move forward. So while this is unsettling news, it is not the total disaster that some parishes have faced, who have been left with nowhere to meet. For this we are grateful.
We ask that we all pull together and be accommodating as we try to work out how best to move forward, and how to adjust to this new reality.
We appreciate your prayers and support throughout this time.
Rev Ben Arcus
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10am - 12noon