A church in the Isle of Wight has been closed recently on the grounds of poor safety, the church had failed a recent Health and Safety inspection, and was found to be severely lacking when it came to meeting required safety standards.
It was discovered that the churches last recorded electrical safety inspection had been done all the way back in 1997. St Michael’s had already been screened for closure by Portsmouth parish due to less and less numbers of people in attendance.
Biggest on the list of required works needed for the church, was the fixing of a rotting floor and a leaky roof according to reports. Numbers of midweek services had been limited to just 1 a week, however, the church was also said to be regularly used by community groups.
A spokesperson for the parish commented on the sad news: “Our diocese held a public meeting in July to explain the process for its possible closure, at which other options to keep the church open were also discussed. Those discussions have continued over the past five months. No regular church services have been held there since. An inspection of the buildings has now shown that there are a number of urgent repairs to address, including leaks in the roof.
“To protect the building, the last remaining funds in the church’s account will be used to repair its roof. The inspection also showed no evidence that any electrical safety inspections had been completed since 1997, and that the floor in the church hall was rotting. As these are both health and safety issues, the archdeacon was left with no option but to close both the church and church hall to public access until these issues are rectified. The short, medium and long term plans for St Michael and All Angels are yet to be determined and so it would not be right to seek fundraising support at this time. No formal decision has yet been taken on whether to close the buildings permanently.”