Around £1.1 million has been collected towards the estimated total price tag of £1.5 million for the work to the spire of the 133-year-old church.
Contractors are approaching the halfway point of the 20-week project, with Reverend Canon Dominic Golding saying that he hoped the church could reopen in October.
‘People stop me in the street almost every day and ask about the work and when the church will be open again,’ he said. ‘I’m astonished how quickly people have responded to our appeal, and it shows how much St Thomas’ is loved by the Catholic community in Jersey as well as the people of St Helier and those from further afield.’
An estimated £750,000 was raised from several Island trusts, including £300,000 from the Friends of St Thomas’ Church, with a further £300,000 coming from corporate sponsors.
Canon Golding said the final phase of the fundraising work had produced a significant response within a few days of being launched, taking the overall total, he estimated, close to £1.1 million.
An inspection of the 250ft spire, the tallest in the Channel Islands, by UK-based steeplejacks Rafferty in 2019 showed that some sections were crumbling and creating a risk of falling masonry.
On further inspection earlier this year, Rafferty discovered that there was a risk to the iron cross at the very top of the spire.
The 15ft cross and surrounding granite masonry have now been temporarily removed, with Canon Golding taking up the opportunity to inspect the project at close quarters after donning a safety harness and being lifted up in a cage.
‘Being up so high didn’t bother me and the view was spectacular,’ he added. ‘And it was great to see the stonework up close – the spire was truly built for the glory of God, as normally no one else would be able to see the detail.’