PHOTO/FILE

. . . and here is the steeple

Work is under way on what is probably the biggest project undertaken so far by Masterton’s Henley Men’s Shed, restoration of the bell tower and steeple from Tinui’s Church of the Good Shepherd.

The previously flood-prone church, focus of Anzac Day commemorations, has been moved to a nearby site on higher ground and is undergoing restoration.

As part of that work, the church’s minister, the Rev Steve Thompson called in the Men’s Shed to tackle the steeple, which was seen at the time of the Anzac centenary celebrations to be unsteady.

The bell, believed to weigh around 400kg, was removed and put into storage.

Barry Clement strips tiles from the steeple, to reveal the rot beneath. PHOTO/KEVIN BALL

The structure arrived at the Men’s Shed last week, and the member overseeing the project, Barry Clement, quickly found extensive rot, requiring considerable rebuilding.

Notes and photographs are being kept to ensure the structure’s original appearance is retained.

Parallel to that work has been the preparation of displays of Marseilles tiles used for cladding by CE Daniel Ltd when the church was built in 1902. The building was consecrated in 1904.

The tiles were later replaced with corrugated iron when it was found they had leaked, but the damage may already have been done.

Thompson said it was hoped the work could be completed in the next four or five months.

“We’re hoping to have it done by October-November,” he said. “There’s a lot to do, but it will definitely be ready by the Anzac Day.”