Search

Free 40-page supplement celebrating the Queen’s record reign in this week’s Recorder

On sale September 3

One Year On: Building to start in next ‘few months’ on Ilford Christian centre following collapse

10:19 31 January 2013

 The collapsed City Gates Christian centre Clements Road, Ilford

The collapsed City Gates Christian centre Clements Road, Ilford

Archant

With work set to restart in the next “few months” on a five-storey Christian centre – which came crashing to the ground in Ilford Town Centre a year ago today – the church’s pastor has spoken about the difficult year that followed the collapse.

City Gates collapse timeline

January 25, 2012

Topping out ceremony held at the new City Gates building.

January 31

4pm: Workers leave site early due to “poor light”.

4.30pm: City Gates Christian centre building collapses, leaving debris strewn across Clements Road. Rescue crews are called and thermal imaging equipment and search dogs are used to scour the site. Fifteen bus routes are diverted as police cordon off the road.

9.30pm: No people found and the site is given the all-clear.

February 1

Health and Safety Executive begins investigation. Reports of an object falling from a crane are dismissed.

February 2

Clements Lane, Chadwick Road, Handforth Way and Winston Way remain closed as Ashe Construction begin to dismantle the steel frame.

February 3

Fire breaks out after workmen attempt to cut away the remaining steel structure.

February 4&5

Steel frame taken to a warehouse in Derbyshire to be examined by investigators.

The Royal Mail Ilford office, which was forced to close, resumes deliveries to Redbridge postcodes.

February 6

Road reopens apart from a small section of Clements Road and Handforth Road.

The £7.5million City Gates Christian Centre in Clements Road has been deemed “an amazing miracle” by the Rev Stephen Derbyshire, after workers left the site early because of “poor light”.

The centre, which should have been completed in November last year, is expected to take just over 12 months to complete once work starts.

Mr Derbyshire said: “I found out today [Monday] that the settlement has been completed and all we need to do is agree to the terms, so work should be able to commence in the spring.

“This year has been a very strange and difficult one, the church has had to rearrange everything, including holding services in Cineworld.

“It hasn’t been easy but we can now see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

The building, which is set to include a 1,000-seat auditorium and conference facilities, was entirely funded by the church after 10 years of hard work.

Insurance payouts will cover the full cost of the rebuild.

Mr Derbyshire said: “The church is just so pleased there were no fatalities and we believe it was an amazing miracle.

“Twenty-three workers clocked off early that day, for the first time ever because of poor light. If they hadn’t there would have been no question that they would have been killed.

“We think God saw something wrong with the building and brought it down gently.”

The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed the investigation is still “ongoing” and could not confirm the cause or how long the process will take.

Mr Derbyshire added: “All I want is for construction to start and for the people who worked hard to fundraise to see the centre come together.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

12:00
Shalini Ganesh-Ram, 26

A devastated mum has paid tribute to her “beautiful” daughter following her tragic death less than a week after giving birth.

10:00
Al Noor primary school head Someena Butt and trustee Sadiq Kothia in the play ground

Councillors are set to debate plans to build a Muslim school at meeting tonight.

Redbridge Mayor Cllr Barbara White, centre, at the street party. Picture: Anne Hayes

The Mayor of Redbridge boogied past midnight at a street party commemorating the end of the Second World War.

07:00
Firefighters tackle a blaze in Gants Hill.

London Fire Brigade has released images showing firefighters tackling a blaze which left families homeless on Friday.

Most read news

Competitions

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder