CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 September 2018

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Repairs to fire-gutted church begin

HONG KONG (UCAN): Reconstruction of the 143-year-old former Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Ningbo, China, which was gutted by fire just one year ago, has begun.

It is a famous church in China. The parish priest, Father Jin Yangke, said that the cause of the blaze is still not known.

Explaining that although a lengthy investigation was carried out by government officials, Father Jin said that he still has not been informed of the findings.

However, he added that he does not believe the blaze in the brick and wood structure was deliberately lit.

The Ningbo diocese and local authorities hope to complete the reconstruction by the end of the year.

Since the church was listed as a national relic in 2006, the government will provide two-thirds of the funding for the reconstruction, which is estimated to be about US$3.2 million ($24.78 million).

Jiang Wei Hai, deputy head of the Relic Preservation Bureau in Hangzhou, told the Ningbo Evening News that the restoration project will strive to retain its original appearance, including the bell and bell tower.

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