The Welsh Church / by Heather Sutton

Maysand has restored plenty of ecclesiastical buildings over the years, but in the case of Liverpool’s Welsh Presbyterian Church the contract was less cosmetic surgery, more life saving operation.

Designed by George Ashdown Audsley and built between 1865 and 1867, the grade II listed building, known locally as Toxteth Cathedral and is thought to boast the second highest spire in Liverpool.

It had to be stabilised after a Dangerous Building Notice was served on the church’s current owners, a Nigerian-based religious organisation. It was already derelict but had more recently lost a large section of the roof to high winds and what remained was in imminent danger of collapse.

The Maysand team removed the remaining slates to be stored safely before covering the roof in plywood and visqueen to protect the interior from the elements. That done, new galvanised steel sections were bolted to the existing timbers to support the roof structure.

Steve Hartley, manager of the timber preservation division, explains: “The only safe way to get the steel in place was by lowering each section gently into position through the roof using a 90-tonne crane.”

Throughout the project Maysand worked closely with consultant structural engineer Curtins, where John Kelly has nothing but praise for the Maysand team: “We had worked together before, at Our Lady and St Nicholas’ Parish Church on Liverpool’s waterfront so I had every confidence in Maysand’s capabilities,” he says, adding, “The Maysand name is coming up again and again on prestigious heritage projects. Its reputation is growing, and with good reason.”