Many of you may have been wondering – and some have been asking – why St Marks Church has been closed and unavailable throughout the summer even though Covid-19 restrictions had for a while been eased.

In the spring, part of the ceiling inside St Mark’s main hall collapsed. Fortunately, Lockdown meant the church was not in use at the time hence no injuries were sustained, however until we get the ceiling repaired and made safe, the building must remain out of use.

This unfortunately affects not just things like the youth activities, 3G, the Saturday and midweek services or Zumba classes, but prevents us from using the hall for crucial activities such as Lighthouse or Clothesbank or letting it out for community activities.

We have no current alternative for these wonderful activities, so the reinstatement of St Mark’s is absolutely vital.

We have been active over the summer. The building has been surveyed and assessed from a repair, health and safety – including asbestos survey – and tenders are being produced for the repair. We have also had some external guttering and drainage work completed in August that had originally been planned for early spring.

As it happens, the repairs to the guttering and drainpipes revealed what looks like a serious blockage to the rainwater drains. Luckily it does not affect the toilets or Baxter room sinks but could affect the fabric of the building over time so is something that we are looking at urgently.

We hope to get the final tenders for the ceiling repairs including availability of the builders by the end of October after which we will be able to produce a further update.