Christmas activities in a Swansea church have been thrown into disarray after asbestos was found in the church organ.
St James’ Church, which is situated in the Uplands area of the city, was due to host a series of religious activities this Christmas but has now been forced to move them to the parish centre.
The decision has been described as a “necessary precautionary measure” by church authorities, until the building is deemed safe to reopen. A St James’ Church spokesperson said:
“Asbestos has been found in the church organ, which has not been used for some time. The vicar and church wardens have been advised by an experienced building surveyor that the church building should not be used pending further investigation.
Such investigation may well prove that the continued use of the church would have been safe. However, this is a necessary precautionary measure at this stage of investigation. The matter is being addressed urgently.”
Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of fibres and are usually found in soil and rocks. When the fibres are released into the air they can cause serious illnesses if inhaled, such as lung cancer.
According to the Health and Safety Executive asbestos still kills around 5000 people each year which is higher than the amount of people killed on the road.
The Health and Safety Executive also claim that asbestos is harmless “unless disturbed”.