The erection of the scaffolding and hoarding has now commenced in preparation for the conservation and repair works on St Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore that are due to start in August. In a project which will take over 18 months to complete, the roof slates damaged in the October 2007 hailstorm will be replaced. Father Paul McDonald, the Administrator of the Cathedral, said that the stained glass windows above the main entrance had already been replaced. However, one in four of the 62,000 roof slates were cracked by the hail. Restoration has been delayed due to the sourcing of new slates and their importation from Newfoundland. ‘While the scaffolding is in place extensive repair and replacement of guttering and downpipes burst by the hailstorm will be carried out,’ said Fr McDonald. Cleaning and restoration of the exterior Cathedral walls and drainage systems will also be undertaken, as well as some repair to the internal roof trusses. ‘The restoration of the brickwork is a delicate and specialised work, and must be carried out by hand. Because of the age of the brick and terra-cotta, high pressure hoses and harsh chemicals cannot be used,’ said Fr McDonald. Specialist heritage architects Conybeare Morrison International, whose recent works have included St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, have been entrusted with the development of the project, and Regional Project Managers Australia Pty Ltd who have recently completed the restoration of St Michael’s Cathedral, Wagga Wagga, will oversee the project carried out by local contractors. Fr McDonald said that it is fortunate that most of the cost of the project is covered by insurance. ‘St Carthage’s Cathedral celebrated its Centenary in 2007 and we are ensuring that Lismore’s beautiful Cathedral will be serving our community for another 100 years and beyond,’ Father McDonald said.