by Revd Dr A Warmback
A few years ago parts of the roof of the church were found to be badly damaged by borer and water, resulting in tiling battens and beams disintegrating and causing the roof tiles to fall off. To avert a potentially dangerous situation, the church was vacated in January 2018 and preparations were made for restoration to begin.
“Part of the preparation was to remove the organ pipes from their chambers, this was handled by Pyporrels Organ Specialists. They were safely stowed in the side chapel and were cleaned and reinstalled in March 2019″
The building was recorded, measured and re-surveyed for final details to be prepared before construction began. The roof battens and waterproofing were found to be the worst affected, damaged beams and ceiling boards were identified and replaced. All material was stained to match the existing as closely as possible. The roof tiles were removed and put back and broken tiles replaced. New waterproofing and insulation was laid and all leaks were sealed to avoid further damage to the interior.
The electrical system was inspected and found to be non-compliant and unsafe. It has therefore undergone a complete overhaul, including new energy-saving light fittings and fans. A water tank has been installed next to the church. A new sound system has been added. The interior received a (much needed) new coat of paint which has brightened the interior. The parquet floors were sanded and sealed to reveal their beautiful Oregon colour. As a landmark building in Durban it will be essential to keep the process of restoration going as many historical items are in need of restoration.