Saint Mary's Church Westport: History & Renovations
Our church has been established on this site for over 200 years. It was built in 1813 and has evolved and changed with the times, addressing the needs of the parish as well as providing a historical and social interpretation of the times.
1882: A lease was obtained to build a catholic church on this site.
1813: The foundation stone was laid
1928: A new church was planned and dedicated in 1932.
1958: Building recommenced to complete the 1928 church and finished in 1961.
1973: The alter and sanctuary were remodelled.
2004: Major structural works were carried out to reinforce the foundations of the original church.
2015: Structural problems arose with the roof and ceilings.
2016: Renovation work commenced.
Renovations: The Situation Today
In July 2015, part of the ceiling in the side aisle collapsed falling onto the seating below.Thank God no one was injured.
While examining the cause of the ceiling collapse it became apparent, after exhaustive investigations, that defects in the building were much more extensive, serious, varied and widespread. The reality is, our ‘200 year’ old Church is ‘physically a lot sicker than it looks’ with serious problems extending from the cross on top of the roof right through to the foundations in the ground.
Substantial remedial works are required. The time spent investigating the problems and appropriate solutions has been worthwhile. This process has ensured that poorly planned and abortive works are avoided. The time and effort has undoubtedly saved us money. In the first instance, we have identified the most urgent works to protect your safety and secondly to protect the structure and fabric of our historic building.
Accordingly, the works are now divided into four phases in line with what we think we can afford at this time. The more detailed elements of each phase are outlined under the headings below.
We deeply appreciate your patience during this process.