The Congregation decided on March 24 to proceed with Restoration of the 173-year old St Andrews Church building stage by stage, as funds are received via grants or donations.
Stage 1: repairing the front Spire will soon begin with $39,000 already donated from within the congregation. This will allow the front door to be used, and the church fully re-opened.
Funding of $100,000 is now being sought for Stage 2: repairing the Roof and Gutters.
Further high priority work will cost another $160,000.
Total Restoration costs, adding medium and low priority work, are estimated at $1.8 million.
The Congregation has already spent $35,000 on a survey by structural engineer John Bowley and heritage architects Hosking Willis to identify and cost the restoration needs of the building (with a $5,000 State Heritage grant to come.) The survey found the structure is mainly sound, well built with good foundations, and little structural movement.
However, in the process of the survey (April 2020) loose masonry was found at the top of the Spire, requiring the front door to be closed and the area cordoned off until repairs are made. Repairing the front Spire is Stage 1, about to begin.
How You can help...
The historic Saint Andrews, Strathalbyn Church is urgently in need of repairs...it was, after all, built in 1844.
The cost is substantial but, the building is of such historic and emotional significance to the town and people of Strathalbyn,
that a special fundraising effort is needed to help our small congregation.
We would wecome any donations...they will be kept specifically for the purposes of the restoration.
Donations can be made direct to:
Strathalbyn Uniting Church
Account 046 004 740
Streetscaping work around two sides of the Church is being done by the Alexandrina Council on Council land.
It includes a retaining wall, plantings, a footpath with entry ramps allowing people to cross from the park side of the bridge to the Church side, to access the new path around the west / north of the Church (Sunter Street) or the path around the south side of the Church. At the front of the Church, the two x stone walls with columns at the outer ends will be shortened (to preserve symmetry) to allow the path to proceed, and the columns restored to their original appearance.
Two photos taken on the evening of Wednesday 31/03 show the Church, paths and wall - with the wall partially faced with stone, in keeping with the building construction, and verge gardens on the road edge and above the wall, complete with watering system, mulch and native plants, in a similar style to existing gardens in the area.
Around the town, there are a number of new Information Posts - beautifully made metal and timber posts of varying sizes and styles, with historic information AND, the extensive use of a stylized graphic of the Church and clock tower.
It's very obvious that Saint Andrews is of incredible importance in the image of the town as we are all familiar with the use of a similar graphic on practically every street name sign and, others on business signage...check out one of the local bakery shops in Dawson Street for their sign graphic and obvious pride in this local landmark.