SLOW drying plaster means there will be no going home for Christmas for the congregation at St Andrew’s Church this year.
Church members were hoping that renovations to the church building would be complete in time for Christ’s birthday.
But instead a second Christmas will be celebrated in the school hall, a temporary home for the last 18 months whilst builders repair the damage done by the lightning strike and make improvements to the interior.
Whilst most of the work is now complete, the cold damp weather has meant that the specialist lime plaster used on the walls and ceiling has not dried enough for painting to start, with the knock on effect that the new carpet cannot be laid.
“It is disappointing that we can’t be there for Christmas,” said church warden Ian Ashworth.
“But the church will look fantastic when we do get back in.”
Most of the scaffolding is now down, new doors installed at the back of church and only finishing touches needed in the kitchen.
“It’s more or less there,” said Mr Ashworth.
With the Bishop of Bolton, Chris Edmondson, due to rededicate the church on January 25, it is hoped that the renovations will be complete and the building handed back to the congregation within the next six weeks.
A work day has provisionally been arranged for January 24 in order to give the church a final clean and replace all the items stored temporarily in the school and elsewhere.
St Andrew’s can then get on with plans to make the building the heart of the community once again and invite local people to make use of the superb new facilities.