The Reverend Lydia Rajan (Anugrah Anglican Church @ St Alabans) was ordained Priest at St Alban's by Archbishop Fereimi Cama on Sunday 29th September.
The sub-committee (Vicar, Wardens and Architect) recently met with two delegates from the General Trust Board. We believe it to be the only direct communication between St Albans and the GTB since about 1925! There was a thorough exploration of the position of St Alban’s Church from both sides. We believe that a number of gaps in understandings have been resolved. It was agreed that a peer-reviewed and detailed engineering report, as recommended by the Conservation Architect, to provide a reliable, comprehensive and acceptable set of facts on the state of the building, is the only way ahead. For the processes, it was agreed that the detailed inspection and analysis be performed by Roger Thorburn’s practice and the peer review be performed by Peter Boardman’s practice. This report would then be placed before a professional costing service to establish estimates of the expenses of the work the engineers recommend. It was accepted that the overall process would be supervised by Adam Wild’s practice Archifact as a continuation of their Conservation Plan. We agreed that we should meet again when the report and costings are submitted to decide the future of the church building. The delegates pointed out that the GTB has no discretionary funds that could be used to help the Parish with the expenses of these reports. Consequently, the Parish ofﬁcers agreed to commission the work as soon as possible if sufﬁcient funds are in hand; our Architect who has considerable experience with these reports will estimate the costs. Because the Parish has been unable to ﬁnd any evidence that the building has been declared unsafe (in contrast to identifying seismic risks), it considers the instruction to vacate the church by November to be unreasonable in light of the Territorial Authority’s directive to remedy the building by 2053. The Parish Ofﬁcers requested the delegates to 1) report the determination to progress a thorough assessment of the building; and 2) to ask the GTB at its October meeting to review its decision and remove the instruction to vacate the church.
UPDATE Saint Albans Future:
All is full of hope. The instruction to vacate the church has been deferred until re-assessment in March. We have graciously been given the chance to discover for ourselves the possibilities for the buildings and the parish. We have a lot to do between now and the end of March next year. Having experienced the resilience of all those who have stayed as a part of Saint Albans, I know we are up to the task. I have great hope that with God’s gracious love we will discover the right way to fulfil His will. May God give us courage.