Building Roof & External Walls Works
The maintenance of the Cathedral building is no mean feat. It is a constant cycle to ensure that the facilities are in good running order. One such issue that we have been facing for many years now is with the degradation of the roof over the Main Cathedral building.
There have been various leaks that have been patched up over the years, but the overall condition of the roof has been slowly deteriorating causing more leaks into the building. It is currently in need of urgent and major repairs. The water and moisture damage is also taking a toll on the building's exterior.
The photos below highlight the condition of the roof and the extent of water damage on the building walls.
An initial dilapidation survey shows the need for the roof gutters to be replaced, as well as supporting structures and details such as metal flashings, fascia panels, and damaged roof tiles and purlines.
The exterior of the building is also in need of a fresh coat of paint, with repairs to specific areas where the plaster on the facade is damaged, or where algae growth is visible due to moisture within the building's fabric.
4 February 2024
Last week, I informed you that the engineers have found more safety concerns in the main cathedral building that need addressing. Let me take a few minutes of your time to give you some more details about them.
The initial area of concern that was found was in this area here. When the wood inside one of the beams of the buttress there was exposed, it showed cavities.
That’s when the recommendation came to close for 2 weeks to fix it and check for more damage.
A scissor lift was rented to look in the nave, and inspection was also done of the chancel area. Further damage was found in some of the other trusses. And some of the nuts are old and need to be replaced.
Most of the damage seems to have been caused many years ago by termite activity but the termites are all gone now because we have an active termite baiting and monitoring system in place.
Still, the damaged parts of the timber structure need to be replaced – and this exercise will need great care and expertise and time.
The engineer is now working on “repair design and procedures” – in other words he’s drawing up a plan for how to rectify all this –and it’s complicated by the fact that it is a heritage building.
And once we’ve got that, then we will need to find out how much it will cost to fix and how long it will take to do – bearing in mind that everything we propose to do will need to be vetted and approved by Jabatan Warisan.
All this is being attended to by the Building Board on an urgent basis – and they are doing so under the oversight of the Cathedral Council.
So please do pray for them and for all who are involved. Let me lead us in a prayer together.
Heavenly Father we thank you for giving us this lovely old building in which we can meet in the name of your Son, and from which we can make disciples of all nations. We thank you for all those who have gathered here before, and for all who will come after us. We pray that you would help us as we seek to be good stewards of this resource that you have given us.
We thank you for keeping us safe all this time as we met there, and we thank you that the damage was found pre-emptively rather than following any incident. We are so grateful to you for that.
We do pray for wisdom for all who are involved in this project. We pray that the right decisions will be made each step of the way, for the good of your people who meet there. We pray that you will provide whatever resources that we need to get all this fixed. And we pray that even as we do this, we will continue trust your sovereignty and will not be distracted from our primary ministry focus.
So we pray that you will continue to look after us as your people, and that you would continue to sustain us in every was, as we seek to glorify you, in response to your grace, by making disciples of your Son.
We ask this in his name. Amen.
The works to repair the roof and external walls will be extensive. Due to the status of the Cathedral as a National Heritage Building, works will need to be carried out by a conservation contractor under the supervision of a certified conservator. The initial overall cost was estimated at RM250,000 for the roof repairs, and another RM250,000 for the external wall refurbishment and painting works. However, with the most recent discovery of the damage in the roof trusses, this figure is expected to increase significantly.
To share in the collective burden of this effort, details for contribution via Bank Transfer are as below:
Bank: Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad
Account no: 312-1-4233469-1
Account name: St Mary’s Cathedral
Description: Building Roof Walls
If sending from overseas: SWIFT CODE SCBLMYKXXXX
Total donations collected : RM 251,175
(as of 5 February 2024)