The Malta Independent 20 January 2022, Thursday

St Venera To inaugurate new Lm600,000 church on Sunday

Malta Independent Thursday, 14 July 2005, 00:00 Last update: about 9 years ago

The new church at Santa Venera, estimated to cost Lm600,000 when finished, is finally in its last stages and will be inaugurated on Sunday.

The first designs by the late Guze’ Damato were made almost 50 years ago, while the foundation stone was laid in 1990.

So far the building has cost over Lm550,000, of which Lm496,322 have already been paid. Once the remaining structures relating to the belfries and a central structure on the façade are completed, the total cost is estimated to reach some Lm600,000. The money came mostly from fundraising and donations.

The details of the Church’s building and the inauguration programme were presented yesterday during a press conference at the church, where activity is in full swing in preparation for the opening.

Asked by The Malta Independent whether he thought a new church was needed – given the hefty costs and the fact that Malta is dotted by churches including a small one in Santa Venera – Prior Raymond Calleja said that the Santa Venera community had grown and that there was definitively need for a new church. Asked what will be of the old one, he said that it will remain in use.

Chaplain Alex Scerri also commented on this point, saying that the need for a bigger, more “dignifying” church was needed, especially for important sacramental functions such as baptism, because the other church being used at the moment in Santa Venera is deemed too small.

Much of the original sketches were eventually set aside for a more sober design drawn up by Joseph Galea, which nonetheless maintains the classic baroque elements that kept being included in Maltese churches decades after the movement was extinct in the rest of Europe.

The re-design maintained the “classic” look because the foundations had already been laid and going for a modern design would have increased the costs incredibly, draughtsman Lino Bartolo explained.

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