St Mary of the Angels, Wellington
History and museums
St Mary of the Angels is a Catholic church on the corner of Boulcott Street and O'Reily Avenue in Wellington, New Zealand. It is the parish church for Wellington Central.
The building is classified as a Category I ("places of 'special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value'") historic place by Heritage New Zealand. The current building was opened in 1922, and is the third church built on the Boulcott Street site.
Plans for the church were prepared by architect Frederick de Jersey Clere in 1919. Architecturally, the design is traditional Gothic of French influence. Also innovative in that it is 'the first occasion ferro-concrete was used for a church of Gothic design'. It is built of reinforced concrete and brick with a timber roof supported by concrete arches with steel tie rods.
The church was closed following the July 2013 Seddon earthquake and the August 2013 Lake Grassmere earthquake sequence for structural strengthening. The church had been assessed as being between 15%-20% of the standard a new building would be built to. In New Zealand, buildings assessed as below 33% of standard are considered 'earthquake prone' and strengthening is required or a compulsory demolition can be ordered. Over $7 million dollars has been raised towards the strengthening of the building, with fundraising continuing to raise the remaining $2.5 million required to fully restore it. The church is aiming to re-open by Easter 2017.