Desire to keep Lawrence church

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Lawrence residents have expressed a desire to retain a historic church in as yet unspecified community ownership.

The Catholic Parish of St Patrick’s held a public meeting at its Colonsay St church last week to help decide the 128-year-old building’s future, following an assessment of its condition last year.

Parish chairman Geoff Blackmore said the 40 people who attended the meeting wished to retain the church ‘‘in the community’’ rather than cede it to private ownership.

The parish would make a final decision during the next six weeks, he said.

Work identified includes complete reroofing, refurbishment of about 25 windows, minor earthquake strengthening, and addressing rising damp, at an estimated total cost of more than $1 million.

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