The Diocese of Huron is aiming to raise $1-million for “serious and urgent” repairs to St. Paul’s Cathedral on Richmond Street, which is suffering from structural issues that threaten its future, according to officials with the church.
Those officials have launched “Project Jericho” in an attempt to raise funds to cover the cost of the project, which aims to stabilize trusses, replace damaged bricks, replace its roof membrane and slates, install new eaves troughs and downspouts, and repair and refurbish the interior of the church.
The group hopes to complete the work by winter in order to avoid the risk of a roof collapse.
The parish first learned of the structural issues in 2015, when an inspection of the church’s gutter work was done following the discovery of water leaks. Crews discovered several of the church’s wooden trusses had rotted away, putting pressure on the building’s walls.
As of last check, the church had raised $120,000 of their $1-million target. However, Melissa Broadfoot, Senior Churchwarden of the cathedral, says they are confident the community will rally around and support the “iconic” part of London’s downtown.
“We relaunched the campaign in mid-May and opened it up the community and broader area, being it is heritage property and the centre of London,” Broadfoot said. “Since we’re the centre of London, and we’re so intertwined with the history of London, we wanted to make it a community project.”
Along with applying for several grants, Broadfoot says organizers have been in touch with the City over possible funding.
“We haven’t had anybody [from the City] come forward yet — our hope is that the City will support it,” Broadfoot said, “We received a letter from the Mayor that said he recognizes the importance of the property to the city and that he’s fully-supportive of heritage in London — so our hope is that we will be able to get that financial support from the City.”