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T&T’s first Catholic church in urgent need of restoration

The St Joseph RC Church established in T&T’s first capital is testimony to the Catholic Church’s early history. At 204 (1815–2019), the structure has deteriorated and urgently needs restoration. The parish has begun raising the TT$$8 million required for this project.

Catholic News’ Senior writer Lara Pickford-Gordon posed a few questions and got details on the condition of the church and its restoration from structural engineer Danielle Steele, managing director of Danielle Steele Consultancy.

Can you identify the specific areas of the church which require attention? The areas which would require restoration are the trusses and rafters which support the roof of the church; the gutters which are currently rusted through and are allowing water to enter the walls of the church; the roof in which a number of the ridge caps and some sheets need to be replaced; the walls which are completely rendered over with Portland concrete on the inside and the joints on the outside are sealed over (this impermeable barrier forces water to remain within the walls of the church) and finally the drains around the church which are cracked thus allowing water to get into the soil under the church.

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