Sacred Heart Cathedral immediate closure
Following a verbal report from structural and civil engineers Dunning Thornton, the Parish has been working through a process of due diligence regarding the structural condition of the Cathedral. Yesterday it received a peer review of the detailed seismic assessment (DSA) that recently advised that the Cathedral was ‘’earthquake prone’’ under the Building Act 2004. Both reports have confirmed that the Cathedral currently presents a significant risk to occupants in an earthquake event.
Our Parish Finance Committee and Parish Pastoral Council met last night and recommended to the Parish Leadership Team of Fr. Ron Bennett (Moderator), Debbie Matheson (Lay Pastoral Leader) and Fr. James Lyons (Priest in Sacramental Ministry) to close the building immediately. This decision was not taken lightly. Cardinal John Dew has been advised of this recommendation and the Cathedral complex, including Connolly Hall closed today.
However, one piece of good news, Dunning Thornton have suggested an interim solution which would allow us to use Connolly Hall, Blessed Sacrament Chapel and the foyer (they are part of a separate structure built in the 1980’s and are not earthquake prone). We are engaging with the engineers and LT McGuinness to ascertain the cost and timetabling required. We are hopeful that work could be completed by the end of August which could then allow access to those areas.
Going forward all weekend Masses will be held at St Mary’s College Hall, Guildford Terrace at their original times. Parking is still available at the Catholic Centre carpark, and Sacred Heart Cathedral school playground as usual. There will be morning tea available after 10.30am Mass.
Weekday Eucharist will he held this coming week (July 16-20) at the usual times at Sacred Heart School, Guildford Terrace. There will be ushers available to direct attendees. A permanent venue for weekday Eucharist is still being sought.
Please note that there will be no Saturday morning Mass tomorrow 14th July.
There will be an opportunity for more information at a meeting to be held on Tuesday 17th July, 7.00pm at St Mary’s College Hall.