Deacon is frustrated at lack of progress over chapel
5:30am Friday 9th May 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
DEACON Richard Cooke is frustrated that services still can’t be held at Rehoboth Strict Baptist Chapel after work on the new £16m Regent Circus development caused cracks in the building in February.
Excavation work at the ISG building site, neighbouring the Prospect Hill chapel, built in 1882, forced parishioners to find somewhere else to worship after the building was declared unsafe.
Initially services were moved to Mr Cooke’s 94-year-old mother’s front room with them now being homed at St Mary’s Church, in Commonweal Road.
Mr Cooke said he is in regular contact with the developer of the site about returning to the chapel.
He said: “There’s been scaffolding up for a few weeks now but nothing has happened for sometime.
“I think the scaffolding is just acting as counterweight for the building while there are some ties going through the chapel as well.”
Yesterday, as work was going on at the new leisure complex, expected to open in the autumn, the scaffolding and bricks next to the chapel stood untouched with no visible repairs taking place.
“The fact that we can’t use the chapel for services is very frustrating and upsetting.
“I would like to think we’ll be able to get back in there but that is dependent on what the developer says and whether our trustees agree.”
ISG has previously promised to make the necessary repairs to the chapel.
A representative from ISG was unavailable for comment when the Adver contacted them yesterday.
Mr Cooke said: “I’m in contact with the developer weekly and they tell me things are going to happen but we aren’t seeing too much work being done to the chapel. There seems to be lots of promises coming from them but very little seems to be done.
When the Regent Circus complex is completed it will house a Morrisons supermarket, a six-screen Cineworld and eight restaurants with tenants including Ask, Coal, Prezzo and Nandos.
In March, work on the site caused a hole to open up in Cross Street and some peoples’ homes suffered subsidence.
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