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Church of the Nativity reopens

Work being done at the church last Tuesday. Photo: Lara Pickford-Gordon

After temporary closure for repairs, the Church of the Nativity, Crystal Stream, Diego Martin will have its first Mass—a healing Mass, tomorrow September 24, Republic Day. Fr Harold Imamshah, priest in the Diego Martin/Petit Valley/Crystal Stream cluster will be the main celebrant. Weekend Masses resume September 29 and 30.

The 6.9 magnitude earthquake on August 21 caused extensive damage to ceiling panels, frames and lights of the church. A minor crack in the terrazzo floor of the nave was widened.

The church was initially to be closed for ten days but was closed for one month. After cleaning, repairs on the ceiling began September 5 while tiling of the floor started September 11. In the interim, the Wednesday through Friday weekday Masses were held in the sacristy.

Last Tuesday, workers of KM Electrical and Construction were at the church installing the last ceiling panels and cleaning the decorative tiles along the centre aisle of the nave to replace the cracked section that had to be excavated.

The pews which were moved out were cleaned. The temporary closure has allowed for improvements to be undertaken. The Catholic News was informed the lights in 5,900 sq ft ceiling, which had been supported on the panels and not on beams, all fell out during the tremors. This was rectified and the lights were also repositioned facing north-south.

Decorative panels were installed above the altar and the projectors used to display prayers and hymns during the liturgy relocated. The altar’s backdrop and the sides were painted.

Fr Imamshah, the Project Manager throughout the repairs, told the Catholic News, “This repair, restoration and renewal of the Church of the Nativity has been very encouraging to watch as each stage of restoration neared completion”.  —LPG