LATEST NEWS - ST RAYMOND'S CHAPEL OF EASE

At a meeting of the Council of Priests on Thursday 28th June, it was decided to recommend to the Archbishop that St Raymond's Chapel of Ease should cease to be a place of worship. The decision to close St Raymond's lies entirely with the Archbishop who will now consult with the Chancellor of the Archdiocese and others regarding what should happen to the building and whether or not to accept the recommendation of the Council of Priests. Fr Bruce and the Parish Council have no involvement it this process.

Structural Problems at St Raymond's

The following options were presented to members of St Raymond’s Chapel of Ease in a questionnaire in February 2018.


Option 1. Removal of the present concrete floor to a depth of approx. 4 inches, and replace with a new concrete floor and waterproof membrane. Cost approx £35,000 - £40,000.


Option 2. Removal of bitumen layer on present floor and replace with a new watertight acetate membrane. As the underlying problem will not be dealt with no guarantee will be issued with this option. Cost approx £10,000.


Option 3. Apply to the Archbishop and Trustees to start proceeding to close St Raymond’s.


Option 4. Do nothing and leave St Raymond’s as it is. Services would  have to be held at St Benet’s sure to health and safety reasons and the various running costs for St Raymond’s would still have to be paid.


After lengthly consultation with the Archdiocesan Surveyors and appropriate construction companies we have been advised that Option 2 - (Removal of bitumen layer on present floor and replace with new watertight membrane) - would not be advisable due to the depth and severity of the cracks. Option 4 - (Do nothing and leave St Raymond’s as it is) - Is also no longer possible as the damage will only get worse and could lead to more structural damage and possible health and safety issues such as asbestos contamination.


This now leaves us with 2 options.


Option 1. Removal of the present concrete floor to a depth of approx. 4 inches, and replace with a new concrete floor and waterproof membrane. Cost approx £35,000 - £40,000. (All interior fixtures and fittings will have to go into storage whilst the work is being carried out - Cost not yet known. New carpeting will also be required throughout the church - Cost £6,334 plus VAT)


Option 3. After necessary procedures, apply to the Council of Priests to consider the closure of St Raymond’s and to put forward their considered recommendation to the Archbishop and Trustees.


Because of the financial cost of Option 1 and the fact that St Raymond’s is only used on Sundays for 1 hour a week. The decision was made in consultation with St Raymond's congregation and the Archdiocesan Surveyors Department to begin the procedures require to recommend the closure of St Raymond’s Chapel of Ease.


The Clergy of our Pastoral Area met to discuss the decision on 1st May 2018.


The Council of Priests will discuss the matter in June or July 2018.


All the reports etc will then be passed to the Archbishop who will make the final decision on the future of St Raymond's Chapel of Ease.


Until then the 9.00am Mass for St Raymond's will continue to be celebrated at St Benet's, Copy Lane.


We wish to thank all of those who attend Mass at St Raymond's for the help and assistance they have given during this difficult time. We continue to ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirt in all our decisions.


St Benet and St Raymond, Pray for Us.