SERVICES at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port of Spain, are expected to resume today from 6.15 am – three days after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake damaged portions of the building.
However, the Very Rev Shelley-Ann Tenia, the cathedral’s rector and dean, said the services would not be held inside the church but at the Garden of Peace, on the western side.
“We are determined that worship will continue despite what has happened,” she told reporters at a news conference, yesterday.
“We usually have weekday services at 6.15 am and 6.30 am. Those will resume as well as midday, those resume tomorrow (today). They will be conducted in the Garden of Peace.”
Tenia said the church was awaiting a response from the Port of Spain City Corporation on using City Hall, Knox Street, for its Sunday services.
“But we have a Plan B if that does not work, and trust me, if all else fails, we are getting a tent and dropping it in the Abercromby Street car park.
“We will worship there if it comes down to that. But there will be worship at the cathedral on Sunday at 8 am as usual.”
Tenia said a dilapidation survey was being undertaken on the 200-year-old church to determine the actual cost of restoration.
Structural engineer Danielle Steele, a member of the diocese’s lands and buildings committee, said a figure was yet to be determined.
“At this point, we don’t actually have a figure as yet. When we have gone through and conducted the dilapidation survey then we will be able to better assess and determine what that figure will be for the final cost,” she said.
Steele expected the assessment would take four to six months.
Tenia added: “Given that we know the RC Cathedral would have cost $55 to $60 million, and our building is 200 years old, we have been, for our own purposes, aiming at $75 million, because we don’t know what to expect.
“And so, we just need to put something for ourselves and for our community so that we can do some budgeting and projections.
“So we started at $75 million given the reality, to be guided by the dilapidation survey.”
Tenia said the church has opened an account at First Citizens, Independence Square, Port of Spain for anyone wishing to contribute to the restoration.
The number is 1841216.
“We are accepting Euros, US, anything.”
She thanked those who have offered support and prayers to the church since the earthquake.