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Catholic church in Halifax ordered to immediately close over safety concerns

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A prominent church in Halifax has been ordered to close until further notice due to safety concerns with its steeple.

On Wednesday, the city posted an Order to Comply on the Saint Patrick's Church building, located on Brunswick Street in Halifax. The first order requires the premises be vacated, while the second order calls for the installation of a safety fence to "protect the public along Brunswick Street immediately in front of the church."

In a release from the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, spokesperson Aurea Sadi said Friday once work has been done to make the structure safe, the parish community will determine how to remove important and sacred objects and when the final mass will be celebrated at Saint Patrick’s.

Sadi said the loss of a historic place of worship that has played a significant role in the life of a parish community and the community at large is sad and is to be grieved.

A fence is seen out front of Saint Patrick's Church in Halifax. (James Morrison/CTV Atlantic)

A news release from the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia Thursday says it has learned that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth has plans to demolish the church's steeple by the end of June.

The organization says as both a municipal and provincial registered heritage property, any substantial modifications to the church, including demolition, require permission from the Governor in Council.

Heritage Trust says to its knowledge, the archdiocese does not yet have permission.

The steeple of Saint Patrick's Church in Halifax is seen in this image. (James Morrison/CTV Atlantic)

A release from the archdiocese says they've been in the process of determining the removal of the steeple, as advised by a recent report from structural engineers.

The release also confirmed masses and activities at Saint Patrick's Church have ceased and the building is closed to the public.

In May, Archbishop Brian Joseph Dunn made the decision to close Saint Theresa's Church on North Street and Saint Patrick's Church on Brunswick Street following recommendations from the parish leadership of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi Parish, according to news release from Sadi on May 13.

At that time, Sadi said finances, attendance, pastoral capacity, proximity to other churches, as well as the structural concerns of the buildings were all factors that led to the recommendations to close.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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