On the 29th of September, the St. Augustine church was news in the Telegraaf, the largest Dutch daily morning newspaper. There it reads:
St. Augustine church too dangerous for Mass – 29 September 2016 – Tessa Heerschop
UTRECHT – The St. Augustine church is immediately closed to the public. Recently fell a piece of plaster from the ceiling to the floor. Despite that the mass would begin only half an hour later, were already present twenty persons. No one was hit.
The St. Augustine church is already for quite a while in scaffolds and was being renovated from both in and outside. In fact these works are not related with the fall of the debris, according Fr. Ton Huitink:
“The church goes until the St. Jacobstraat and the Rozenstraat. There are constant works in the Bijenkorf shopping mall, the parking garage and in the street. The church is an old building, that possibly could not withstand all the vibration.”
In the past the church suffered cracks due to works in the city. “Then we didn’t immediately rang the bell, when all the costs came from our own account. This time lets conduct a good investigation to understand the cause”, says Fr. Huitink.
The city hall, the contractor and an expert are conducting investigations. “We don’t know exactly what is happening. If there is a piece loose, why doesn’t fall the rest? That is why no one is allowed in church.”
The St. Augustine church is the only Catholic church that is opened daily for the public and that has mass in both Dutch and English. The masses are meanwhile being celebrated in the St. Catherine cathedral in the Lang Nieuwstraat.
Daily, during the weekdays, come around thirty people to mass, the most are visitors and tourists. On Sundays sit in the church’s benches between hundred and two hundred people.