Rot causes Maindee church to close

Rot causes Maindee church to close

St Matthew's Church has closed due to dry rot making the building unsafe. Pictured is Father David Neale inside the church. (8438087)

St Matthew's Church has closed due to dry rot making the building unsafe Pictured is Father David Neale stood on what was the chancel area of the church. (8438098)

St Matthew's Church has closed due to dry rot making the building unsafe Pictured is Father David Neale inside the church. (8438103)

St Matthew's Church has closed due to dry rot making the building unsafe Pictured is Father David Neale inside the church. (8438109)

St Matthew's Church has closed due to dry rot making the building unsafe Pictured is Father David Neale locking the church gates. (8438117)

St Matthew's Church has closed due to dry rot making the building unsafe. Pictured is Father David Neale locking the church gates. (8438120)

First published in News

A MAINDEE church built in the 19th century is likely to become an arts centre or social housing after it had to close due to dry rot rendering the building unsafe.

Vicar of Maindee Reverend Canon David Neale said the cost of repairing St Matthew’s Church floor would be around £500,000, with the building unusable.

Although parishioners were originally “devastated” by having to move to new places of worship at the end of March, they said they understood the reasons behind the closure after funding couldn’t be secured to keep the church open.

Whatever happens to the building would benefit the community, Rev Neale said.

Gwen Vrettos, who attended St Matthews for around 30 years, saw her grandson’s christening there and said her husband used to dress up as Father Christmas each December.

Now attending church at St Mary’s, she said: “It was a really friendly church. All of us that used to go there were upset when it closed, especially when they didn’t know what to do with it. We all enjoyed it there but it’s nice to go to St Mary’s too.”

Groups ranging from the local food bank to the Brownies used the church hall but have now had to relocate.

Curate Christine Hockey said: “It was my privilege to work at St Matthew’s church. All the people who had to leave there were obviously devastated at the time, but I think they’d all say they have moved on with other churches in the parish. Sometimes things have to be; whatever happens I believe will be for the best.”

Rev Neale is now in discussion with Maindee Unlimited and Maindee Festival to see if the church can take on a new role as an arts centre, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, for example.

Rev Neale, who has been vicar of the parish for 11 years, said: “It was a relatively small congregation of around 15; some have gone to St Mary’s on Wharf Road and some to St John’s. All are still worshipping in the parish which I’m pleased about.”

St Matthew’s Church was built in the 1890s when Maindee was rapidly developing.

Now a decision on whether the building can be saved as a community arts centre will come down to whether grant bids are successful.

The likely alternative is the site would become social housing for elderly people.

Victoria ward councillor Majid Rahman said: “We have been working with the church to see if we can retain some aspects to be used for community purposes.”

Comments (9)

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10:29am Wed 23 Jul 14

golfer says...

Praise The Lord
Praise The Lord golfer
  • Score: -3

10:42am Wed 23 Jul 14

Severn40 says...

A great shame but a reflection that congregations are shrinking and that there is insufficient income to maintain ageing buildings. It will be a shame to lose the building as it is a local landmark and a small bit of greenery in a very urban area. Suspect a bland block of modern flats will eventually be constructed on the site and it will be very nondescript.
A great shame but a reflection that congregations are shrinking and that there is insufficient income to maintain ageing buildings. It will be a shame to lose the building as it is a local landmark and a small bit of greenery in a very urban area. Suspect a bland block of modern flats will eventually be constructed on the site and it will be very nondescript. Severn40
  • Score: 5

12:49pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Mr Bump. says...

I've read the story and am non the wiser where this church is. Is it the one on Church rd?
I've read the story and am non the wiser where this church is. Is it the one on Church rd? Mr Bump.
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Abertillery29 says...

Isn't it strange that with all their vast wealth the various religions are allowing their properties to fall into disrepair?
Isn't it strange that with all their vast wealth the various religions are allowing their properties to fall into disrepair? Abertillery29
  • Score: 8

2:33pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Good Job No Kids says...

They can do what the like as long as they don't get funding from the public purse. £500,000 for a congregation of 15?
They can do what the like as long as they don't get funding from the public purse. £500,000 for a congregation of 15? Good Job No Kids
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Wed 23 Jul 14

displayed says...

http://www.southwale
sargus.co.uk/news/11
341372.Car_crashes_i
nto_Maindee_church/


This the one where someone decided to "visit" the church before it was open............
They managed to "get thro the gates" (they used to be railings)...........
.
http://www.southwale sargus.co.uk/news/11 341372.Car_crashes_i nto_Maindee_church/ This the one where someone decided to "visit" the church before it was open............ They managed to "get thro the gates" (they used to be railings)........... . displayed
  • Score: -1

4:34pm Wed 23 Jul 14

mkaibear1 says...

Abertillery29 wrote:
Isn't it strange that with all their vast wealth the various religions are allowing their properties to fall into disrepair?
Churches don't actually have vast wealth (for the most part), especially ones like the CofE where the occasional huge church is paying to upkeep a bunch of smaller ones via the "parish share".

When you crunch the (publically available) numbers you find that the church is actually not that wealthy. It has a high income (most of which is from giving to the church) but it also has extremely high expenses - including the upkeep of many old buildings.

Unfortunately not every building can be upkept.
[quote][p][bold]Abertillery29[/bold] wrote: Isn't it strange that with all their vast wealth the various religions are allowing their properties to fall into disrepair?[/p][/quote]Churches don't actually have vast wealth (for the most part), especially ones like the CofE where the occasional huge church is paying to upkeep a bunch of smaller ones via the "parish share". When you crunch the (publically available) numbers you find that the church is actually not that wealthy. It has a high income (most of which is from giving to the church) but it also has extremely high expenses - including the upkeep of many old buildings. Unfortunately not every building can be upkept. mkaibear1
  • Score: -3

3:40pm Thu 24 Jul 14

mrleebob says...

Why doesn't god use magic to fix it?
Why doesn't god use magic to fix it? mrleebob
  • Score: 1

4:28pm Thu 24 Jul 14

russ angel says...

The article fails to actually mention where the building is actually located,which I believe to be on Church Road.
The article fails to actually mention where the building is actually located,which I believe to be on Church Road. russ angel
  • Score: 0

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