Monthly Archives: August 2012

Restoration & Reordering: Day 1

On Sunday 20th May there was a fire at St Robert’s that badly affected the sacristy and left its mark on the church.  On Sunday 19th August, we celebrated Mass in the church for the final time until Advent and the building is now closed for restoration.  In the coming months the sacristy will be restored and the church will be reordered; changes will include a new altar, ambo, decoration scheme and heating system (just in time for winter!).  Regular posts on this website will show the progress of the work, which began yesterday, the church having been cleared by parishioners on Sunday evening: many thanks to everyone who offered assistance.

The story so far

“Then, in my vision, I saw a door open…” (Rev 4.1):

The inner sacristy beyond this door will become a reconciliation chapel for the dignified celebration of Confession in accordance with the guidance of our bishops: “The reconciliation chapel is an important place for the Christian’s encounter with Christ.  As a liturgical space it should express what it means to encounter the mercy and love of God, to be reconciled with the community of the Church even when not in use.”  (Consecrated for Worship, 251)

The room has now been stripped out in preparation for work to start:

Monday 20th August was a busy day in the church as work began to restore the Stations of the Cross which were affected by smoke:

Then, in preparation for scaffolding to be erected for decorating, the pews were taken into storage:

The end of the first day:

Watch this space for future updates as well as information about venues for Mass.  This Sunday (26th August) all three Masses will be celebrated at St George’s URC located at the end of Bridge Street (NE61 1PD).  Interestingly, the foundation stone of St George’s was laid in 1858 less than a decade after St Robert’s opened (1st August, 1850) and they share a number of architectural features.  We are very grateful to the minister, Ron Foster, and congregation at St George’s for inviting us to use their church.

Please pray for the successful and timely completion of the restoration and reordering of our church.  St Robert of Newminster, ora pro nobis!