St James’ Church, Louth, is expected to be closed until early February after asbestos lagging was discovered on underground piping.
Reverend Nick Brown, Rector of Louth, spoke before the Louth Town Council meeting last night (Tuesday) and said that the asbestos was found during an investigation into the heating system, which stopped working at the Church at the end of November.
However, Rev’d Brown said that regular church services would continue, albeit at the Church House next door, and that additional church services are available at St Michael’s Church.
Furthermore, worshippers would not need to access St James’ Church as usual next Sunday morning (January 22), as Louth Methodist Church is hosting a ‘united service’ that members of all denominations are welcome to attend.
Rev’d Brown explained that the heating repairs at St James’ Church were postponed until the New Year due to the busy pre-Christmas period.
He added that he was relieved the repairs hadn’t taken place sooner, as the discovery of asbestos could have forced the Church to close over Christmas.
He continued: “The asbestos lagging is well out of reach, buried several feet underground.
“It will be treated, rather than removed, as it is generally safer to treat asbestos and leave it in place.”
In the meantime, the corporation pews at the front of the Church - which are used by town councillors and other officials during formal services - have been removed in order to allow the work to be carried out.
Fortunately, although the overall repair costs will run into tens of thousands of pounds, St James’ Church has a ‘fabric fund’ which benefits from bequests and donations which will be able to cover the costs - although this fund will still need to be replenished over time for the future.
Visit the Louth Leader website for further updates on St James’ Church in the coming weeks.
• For more information about asbestos and the reasons why its needs to be treated and contained, visit: www.maacenter.org/mesothelioma/asbestos/