WORK to strengthen and repair St Luke’s Church has started and couples are hoping it will be fixed in time for their weddings.
St Luke’s at Waerenga-a-Hika suffered earthquake damage in the 2007 Christmas quake.
Anglican Reverend Joan Edmundson said insurance had covered most of the building work needed.
“We are very fortunate. We had a really comprehensive cover for St Luke’s.
“Although it has obviously cost more in premiums over the years, we are really grateful for it now.”
Insurance covered the contractor’s costs, two engineering reports and the bulk of the architects and council consent fees.
Rev Edmundson said she understood the comprehensive cover for St Luke’s, which covered council-required strengthening as well as the repairs, would not continue to be offered by insurers because it was too expensive for them in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes — with so many councils now requiring strengthening upgrades.
Rev Edmundson said improvements to be funded by the parish included rewiring work and replacement of window frames.
Work should be completed by the end of October because a wedding was planned for November, she said.
A wedding ceremony is booked for early next year by former Gisborne girl Sarah Browne and her fiance Alex Hewton-Malins from Auckland.
The couple visited St Luke’s and Rev Edmundson yesterday.
“I am confident it will be finished by the time we want to be married . . . well, hopefully.
“St Luke’s is the perfect church.
“My siblings and I were all baptised at St Luke’s. I used to live down the road as a kid,” said Sarah.
Rev Edmundson said work on the church began about a fortnight ago and it has been “full steam ahead” with fine weather this week.
“The church interior is full of scaffolding to hold it up. The roof will be replaced, but that won’t happen for awhile. The contractors are working on the south side first.”
“It is wonderful to have work finally taking place on our church.”