Australind church grant funds a blessing
A landmark of Australind history is getting much-needed repairs, with the Church of St Nicholas one of 23 buildings to receive State heritage grants announced last Tuesday.
The church, built in 1844, is one of Australind’s earliest buildings and will receive $10,807 through the Heritage Council’s grants program.
Restoration committee member Suzanne Saunders said the church required structural realignment, electrical work and replacement of the roof, termite damaged timbers and floor boards.
“It was still at least able to be open and used occasionally, but over the last five years there’s been damage to it,” she said.
“The outside has been partially restored but there’s structural damage and deterioration to the roof, also some termite damage - it really needs a fair bit of work to be done.”
The grants program helps private owners with dollar for dollar funding to maintain heritage places.
“We had a special thanksgiving offering day from our parishioners last year and so they donated money to help us fund this project,” Ms Saunders said.
“It won’t cover everything, it will cover the structural work that needs to be done and the electrical work.”
In 2012, the church was severely damaged when a car crashed into it, causing major structural damage but missing the original working organ inside.
Ms Saunders said the outside had been repaired but protecting it from traffic in the future was their biggest concern.
“We’ve been in negotiations with the shire about that because there’s nothing to stop cars from running into it again,” she said.
We have looked at some protective fencing to go along the curve but that’s shire land so we really need the shire’s cooperation.”
Once the building is restored, historical furniture still in the parish’s possession would be moved back in.
Ms Saunders said the parish community wanted to open up the church again to continue its faith, historical and educational purpose.
“It is such an important heritage building, it’s State Heritage listed and it’s also on the Australian register because of its age and its purpose,” she said.
“Particularly we want it to be a place of blessing and a place of prayer.”
“It’s got a long history with us so we really want to preserve it and use it.”
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