Fire-hit church rises from ashes

Fire struck St Robert's  church in Morpeth.'Artists impression
Fire struck St Robert's church in Morpeth.'Artists impression

A FIRE-DAMAGED Morpeth church is beginning its journey back from the ashes.

Parishioners at St Robert’s Church in Oldgate had to flee to safety in June when a blaze broke out in the Sacristy during morning Mass.

A heavy wooden door prevented the flames from engulfing the main body of the church, but substantial smoke damage was caused.

The Herald reported last month that the Roman Catholic parishioners had been invited to use St George’s United Reformed Church while restoration work is carried out.

The programme includes carefully cleaning the statues and Stations of the Cross, and the church is also taking the opportunity to re-decorate and install a new altar, lectern and central heating system.

The project is now well under way, thanks to the help of Lewis Surveying Associates.

Designers Josie and Jenny Lewis have been researching colour schemes to ensure the interior matches the period of the Grade II-listed building and computer -generated images have been produced to present to the authorities who will have to sanction the work.

Meanwhile, their father Peter, who runs the business with his brother Paul, has been securing Listed Building Consent.

He said: “The church is Victorian, but of great historical significance, hence the listing.

“There are paintings of the Stations of the Cross on the walls of the church, which will need careful cleaning and restoration, and some new joinery that will need attending to.”

The work is expected to be completed by December, in time for Christmas services to be held there.