IT REMAINS unclear when a historic church will re-open after a section of ceiling collapsed.

A section of 3.5ft by 3.5ft ceiling, made of lime plaster, fell at St Andrew’s Church, Droitwich, at the end of last month meaning it had to close its doors.

The collapse, which took place on September 23, was during the evening when the building was not in use.

The town centre church was previously open every day for visits and private prayer and contemplation, as well as services and other events – all of which have had to relocate.

Reverend Laura Handy, Saltway Ministry curate, said the plan is put up temporary netting but this could take another couple of weeks.

“We’ve been wary for a while as there are a few cracks across the whole ceiling,” she said.

“The section that came down wasn’t in use at the time, as we were particularly concerned about it, so it was cordoned off.

“It’s old plaster which has been in place for 60 or 70 years and it just gets to a point where it needs repairing.

“A chunk came down, so we have to assume the rest could come down too.”

The netting will catch any falling plaster to prevent it causing injury, with the following repair work to be done in the coming months as part of a larger redevelopment of the space.

Rev’d Handy said the revamp to the grade I listed building will help to modernise the church “making it more fit for community use”.

“It’s a big community space in a prime location in the town. Along with the community, we will be exploring how we can make it more community friendly.”

Sunday and midweek services will take place at next door’s parish centre, while the Messy Church sessions on October 20 and November 17 will be held at St Nicholas’ Church.

Rev’d Handy said the ministry is currently in the process of gathering quotes from specialised plasterers for the work, but was unsure of how much it would cost.

“If plaster comes down in your house, you just get it fixed but it takes a bit more to get things done when it’s a church,” she added.