Recently Timaru had the happy news that St Mary’s church has reopened for business.
It’s been closed for the last 3 years after the Earthquakes that rocked our region. Although the damage to the church was not significant enough in terms of long lasting damage or danger to the public, the diocese did not want to take risks and had a detailed engineering report completed before opening again.
The main area of concern was the beautiful Rose Window at the western end of the church. For many years this has been protected by Plexiglas on the exterior of the window but not the interior. As it sits inside a lattice of stone it was decided that similar Plexiglas panels needed to be placed over the interior of the window as well in order to prevent any possible injuries that may have resulted in the case of another major earthquake. Two semi circles of the clear plastic sheeting, several mm thick, are now in place and once again our beautiful church is in action.
The Rose Window was originally built as a memorial of the late Edward Elworthy, commissioned by his wife and children after his death in 1899. It was manufactured by the well-known London firm of W. Powell and Sons and the best time for viewing is when in afternoon sun is shining through. The Plexiglas has not diminished its beauty but made it safe and secure again for us all to enjoy. The church is open for visitors from Tuesday to Friday 9.30-3.30 and, of course, for Sunday services.
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