For the first nine months of the year, a frame was erected in the Höchstädter Stadtpfarrkirche. But there are no workers on the site. Pastor Daniel Ertl explains what needs to be done before the renovation
For nine months, a scaffolding has been erected in the parish church of Höchstädter. This ensures that no stone can fall. For preliminary inquiries actually scheduled later, church renovation experts had found that the veins of the vault were loose. And because the pastor of the city, Daniel Ertl, wanted to exclude any danger for his "sheep", he fired on November 22, braked urgently and let the church close (Höchstädter church: that do not go fast). A few days later, a scaffolding was installed and Christmas could celebrate Catholics in the parish church. Since then, at least from the point of view of uninitiated church visitors, not much has happened.
Renovation can only begin if …
"Many people ask me why nothing is happening – or is something happening soon?" Says Ertl. Although no construction worker is still working on scaffolding, a lot of things are done behind the scenes. "However, we can only start renovating when the planning is over," says the 40-year-old.
2023 is a big birthday in Höchstädt
The goal is to finish in 2023. For then marks the 500th anniversary of the dedication of the church, whose construction was started in 1442. However, subsidies are needed for the project worth millions of dollars. For this, it is also necessary to accurately calculate costs, which is currently being worked on by the architect Georg Hienle and the planners. In October, the construction committee of the Diocese of Augsburg meets.
And one should discuss the renovation of the parish church of Höchstädter after the ideas of Ertl. "Realistically, we will not be able to start the rehabilitation work until the spring of 2020 at the earliest," said the city's pastor.
Everything must be done
In the first section, it will be to build the church "for the next 200 years statically". In all cases, the roof structure must be prepared before proceeding with the renovation of the ribs of the vault. They are self-sufficient. Wertinger master builder Werner Hambach discovered that two attempts had been made to stabilize the ribs of the vault.
"I am now the third to look for a way to secure the ribs." Hambach now knows that his predecessors made a mistake in trying to tie the ribs with mortar to the vault. But the movements of the entire vault would have allowed to release the individual bricks.
The church tower stands, but work is also needed
The bell tower itself, says Ertl, is fine. However, the painting must be renewed – and in principle, the debris that has accumulated in the tower and under the roof of the church are managed since the church. Finally, the idea was asked whether the church steeple should not be prepared so that it could be opened for sightseeing.
The question of money
Ertl explained that the first phase of construction would require significant diocesan subsidies. Because it's about the stability of the building. Otherwise, it is the two building section. "Here is the question of knowing what we can afford," says the priest of the parish. The altars and the characters should be dusted off, the church space will be repainted. The organ needs to be renovated.
"We will need a lot of projects generating donations," Ertl said. And stresses that the preservation of the parish church of Höchstädter does not only concern the Catholics of the parish of the Assumption. The church was also used in the Reformation by Protestant Christians. "And this is not the question – Catholic or Protestant," said the minister.
The church is next to the castle, symbol of the city. Preserving it must be in the interest of all citizens. Church leader Hildegard Wanner said, "Our ancestors have created this beautiful parish church and it is our duty to preserve this heritage and to transmit it in good condition."
On Sundays there is a guided tour
Therefore, on Sunday, September 8, day of the monument, the parish of the Assumption will propose the program. In the parish church, there are guided tours after service from 10 am until 5 pm.
Ertl and architect Hienle will inform about the history of the church and the renovation. The Pfarrheim serves coffee and cakes. The proceeds from the sale will be used for the renovation of the church.