The damage from the post-Christmas thaw of almost biblical proportions was to the surprise of one Church of Ireland Minister, with deep fissures appearing in her church hall’s cast-iron radiators — the damage done still affecting the many community activities run from the building.
Reverend Elizabeth Hanna of the Saint Nicholas Church on the Lisburn Road told the Community Telegraph: “I checked the church building on the Monday (December 27), a few of us had checked everywhere when the thaw began on Boxing day and everything was fine — so I wasn’t expecting anything too severe.
“To my horror though, large cracks had appeared in the frozen radiators in the church hall, I have never seen cracks as large in cast iron before — I didn’t think it was possible. As the radiators were still frozen thankfully no water was leaking from them.
“However when I went out into the minor hall I was met with water — it was coming from the gents’ toilets.
“On opening the door to the porch, I found water cascading from the overhead pipes and ceiling.
“There was at least four inches of water had already gathered on the floor up near the stage toilets too.
“I went up to get the plumber’s number I remembered seeing in the main church, so I headed over and unlocked the church door — only to be met with more water pouring down from a great height above into the vestry. The toilet area above was suffering a similar fate.
“It was a good thing that I couldn't find the plumber's number in the hall or I'd never have discovered the problem in the church.”
Fortunately for the church, work began this week to replace the damaged radiators with their insurance covering the costs to repair the damage — however the insurance premiums will be rising as a result.
In the meantime the many diverse community activities that run in their church hall have been greatly stunted, including the South Belfast Methodist congregation as they too use the building at the present time while their new church build gets underway.
Rev Hanna added: “The whole experience has left us feeling how lucky we actually are though after seeing what has happened in Brisbane and Brazil.”