The Bishop of Chester may contemplate spiritual matters on a daily basis but like the rest of us he also faces more down-to-earth concerns like the unstable car park wall outside his home.
Safety fencing has been erected around the wall by Bishop’s House off Abbey Square in Chester with the sign ‘Danger – unsafe wall. Keep off!’.
A large vertical crack has opened up between two sections of wall prompting cause for concern.
The bishop, Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, does list having ‘a general interest in DIY’ in his biography but it’s unlikely he will be seen donning a hard hat and mixing cement in Abbey Street.
His spokesman confirmed: “The upkeep of this section of wall is the responsibility of the Church Commissioners. It will be repaired in due course.”
This is not the first time structural repairs have been required at the bishop’s late 18th century home.
In 2009 there was concern about a wonky chimney stack leaning over the main house.
Listed building consent was sought by Church of England Commissioners to dismantle the tall chimney. The height of the chimney was then reduced and reconstructed so that it was ‘vertical and safe’.
In a submission to the council, architect Tony Nuttall wrote: “Following concerns from the Bishop of Chester and inspection from ourselves, we believe that an existing tall, obsolete, brick chimney stack situated in the north east corner of the Bishop’s House, is now leaning too far out of vertical to be safe.”
A bent restraint bar had indicated the lean was getting worse.