Thanks to the generosity of donors, we have been able to push ahead with the first phase of restoration works, leading up to the shrine’s inauguration on 22 October.
The newly applied gold leaf on the ironwork of the sidechapels has given a bright new look to the church, and allowed the names of the original benefactors to stand out clearly once more. It has also made much more apparent the variety of patterns that were used in the ironwork, with each chapel having its own unique decoration.
This chapel was in a poor condition prior to the cleaning, and the stonework and brickwork are now much brighter. Some further work remains to be done: cleaning the floor tiles and repairing broken stonework on the altar step.
The tatty old kitchen units which were long overdue for removal have been ripped out and the room stripped right back to the walls. In doing so, we discovered a rather nice little niche hidden behind one of the units, so we shall make this a feature of the restored room. We have also created a new storage space at one side of the room, so that bulkier items can be kept out of the way. The finished room will be a much more usable and pleasant space, and will be ready in time to receive the Cardinal and visiting clergy at the shrine’s inauguration on 22 October this year.
If you would like to support the restoration work, you can donate securely online.