Five years have passed since the restoration of the dome and the facades of the church. Now, six months after the reinstallation of the restored iconostasis and the doubling of downspout capacity to prevent water infiltration, several works still need to be done urgently in our Saint Barbara Church in Vevey. Additional sources of funding are being sought to carry them out.
Connection to the district heating system
A new phase in the restoration of the church is about to start, aiming at converting the oil heating installation and connecting it to the remote district heating network of the city of Vevey.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, the obsolescence of the heating system of our church and the maisonette has been constantly emphasized by enterprises and specialists in charge of maintaining it. Indeed, the church was originally heated by a wood boiler placed in the basement. Hot air rose by gravity through heating grates in the floor of the north aisle. In the 1950s, an oil-fired boiler replaced the original installation.
This system is now out of service. It is polluting and likely to break down at any time. Moreover, the dilapidated state of the system contributes to considerably accelerate the deterioration of the cultural heritage represented by this church, e.g., its murals and paintings. Its complete replacement has been planned since 2005. The main objectives of this upgrading are the following :
- abandoning the use of fuel oil.
- installing air purifier filters against the soot from incense and candles.
- significantly improving the protection of the building, the iconostasis, and the murals.
- getting heating automatic regulation, including remote control.
- simplifying maintenance of facilities.
- removing asbestos from the old facilities.
- And, adding a heating installation in the basement for the parish hall, which cannot currently be heated.
These works are planned over 3 years for a total of 630,000 Swiss Francs, i.e., an amount of 210,000 Swiss Francs in 2022, 2023 and 2024 respectively. The works are scheduled to begin during the third quarter of this year.
Stairlift for people with reduced mobility
To guarantee free access to the church for people with reduced mobility, the installation of a stairlift is currently under consideration. Currently people with reduced mobility unfortunately cannot enter the church on their own. Such faithful and visitors must call on several people to enter the church and this is not only risky and uncomfortable, but also demeaning for these persons.
Therefore, installing a lift has become indispensable, if only to comply with the Federal Law on the Elimination of Inequalities affecting Persons with Disabilities. The option of a stairlift simply responds to the need for access for people with disabilities to a monument listed in “note 2” (i.e., object of regional interest) of the cantonal and federal architectural census.
The costs of these works are estimated at 44,000 Swiss Francs.
Restoration of liturgical objects
The monitoring (control process) of the liturgical objects was carried out on 17 May 2022. The experts are now preparing their reports with recommendations on the best way to continue using and maintaining such objects.
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