Administration completes demolishing of church

The St. Michael’s Church administration will lay the foundation for a new building on May 12.

Parish Priest P. Maria Joseph said here on Monday that after the Madras High Court vacated the stay against demolishing the more-than-a-century-old Church, the administration had completed demolishing the Church. As of Monday, it was in the process of removing the debris.

By May 12 (Sunday), it would go ahead and lay the foundation for the new Church, which would be spread over 9,000 sq.ft. The old building was spread over only 850 sq.ft and could not accommodate all those who went there for prayers. The administration hoped to complete the work in two years and had estimated the cost at Rs. 10 crore.

Even as the work was in progress, the administration would continue the prayer at a makeshift prayer hall, which had already been established.

Priest Joseph said prior to demolishing the building, the Church administration had obtained the consent of the Parish Council, the Senate, other bodies and also the Bishop of the Coimbatore Diocese. Likewise, it had also obtained permission for the building from the very same authorities.

Reiterating what he had told the Court, the Priest said that the administration was forced to demolish the building because it posed a threat to those who congregated there for prayers.

He added that the petitioner Thomas G. Rathinaraj was not a Parish Council member and was in no way connected with the Church.

Mr. Rathinaraj said that he would study the order and move the court, if necessary.