The New Testament Church of God formerly known as the Holy Trinity Chapel, Mile End is Grade II listed and it is on the Heritage-at-risk Register.
The building was initially designed as a Tredegar Square Chapel in 1835-9 as a proprietary chapel on a site given by Sir Charles Morgan. Designed by James Gardener Austin it was eventually complete by 1839. Originally it consisted of five bays and galleries approached by stairs at the west end, linked to a narrower chancel. Two chancel bays were added in 1901 and a large hall was constructed as an extension behind the chancel with a smaller extension to the south of the newly constructed chancel. In 1910, the galleries were removed and the stairs were replaced by the west vestries. The elaborate pinnacles to the octagonal buttresses and the tall pinnacles to the porches were removed in C20. The church was damaged in WWII, the windows must have suffered damage as for example the original stained glass window to the chancel disappears and it is replaced with a plain design. The ceiling pattern seems to have changed between the end of the war and 1950s.
The church became redundant in the late 1960s and it was later taken by the New Testament Church of God following a period of vandalism and neglect. The building suffered from roof leaks, water penetration and feral pigeons entering and nesting in the church and within the roof voids. The walls internally have been covered with cementiciuos skim at some point in the past; this has been trapping moisture and causing delamination of the plaster on the walls. A protective net was fitted throughout to catch debris falling from the ceiling.
In this first stage the aim is to use the church for occasional worship and community activities while in the long term the desire is to bring it back into use, removing it from the Heritage at risk register. We have therefore phased the project: the current grant-funded work is for urgent repairs only. In order to identify the problems and outline the repairs scheme we carried out investigative surveys to walls, ceilings, roof and drainage. With the assistance of a conservation structural engineer and timber specialist we have also assessed the condition of the roof timbers. We have carried out holding repairs to ceiling to remove the netting catching falling debris in the Nave, Aisles and West porch. A sheer amount of scaffolding was erected internally to enable this work. The proposed work will include removal of cement skim and limewash to walls, local flooring repairs, cleaning of choir metal screens and window repairs which are possible within the current grant.
Phase I will be complete by the end of 2021, after which time we will progress with Phase 2 that will take the project on site.
Video courtesy of CJ Hendry