Search

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

Yesterday, 14:34
The mayor and mayoress of Redbridge, Cllr Ashley Kissin and wife Hilary, with their grandchildren at Ken Aston Square's Christmas event

Christmas fever officially came to Barkingside last night at the switch-on for the festive lights.

Yesterday, 13:20
Shazim Zaheer and other children in Pakistan remembering the victims. Picture: Abida Iqbal

The world has stood united in sorrow and horror since the Peshawar school attack, which saw more than 100 children murdered by the Pakistani Taliban.

Yesterday, 11:44
Wes Streeting, deputy leader of the Redbridge Labour Group and cabinet member for health wellbeing

Funding cuts to councils will have an impact on frontline services, the deputy leader of Redbridge Council has warned.

Yesterday, 07:00
A £600,000 project has seen a major refurbishment of the library and the installation of a new 40 station gym and a studio. in South Woodford.

A £600,000 project to transform a library and provide a new gym has been completed – with the new facility set to open in January.

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition