Costa Blanca's Javea church needs cash for repairs

JAVEA town hall will help Fr Salvador Torrentraise finance for repairs to the San Bartolome parish church. Emergency repairs are currently being carried out to seal the cracks in the walls and leaks in the roof of the fortress-church that was built between the 14th and 16th centuries. Work, authorised by the Heritage department, will cost around €500,000 and both the mayor, Jose Chulvi, and Montse Villaverde, Grants and Projects councillor, have offered help Fr Torrent apply to the EU and Spain’s Ministry of Public Works for aid.
The town hall is also willing to seek ways of reactivating the economic collaboration agreement with San Bartolome church which offset the expense involved in using the church for municipal cultural events. Not all of the local population approve of the town hall’s willingness to help out and slogans proclaiming “Let the clergy pay” recently appeared near the church. San Bartolome declared a National Artistic Monument in 1931, was originally municipal property, but the Diocese of Valencia registered the church in its own name in 2009. This was possible thanks to a 1998 law introduced by Jose Maria Aznar, enabling the Church to claim previously unregistered properties and churches.

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Lisa Burgess