The visible gap between the beam that supports the choir loft and the outer wall of Holy Trinity Church shows the reason the church was closed pending further analysis last week.

Holy Trinity Church in Pottstown has closed because of unsafe structural conditions in the building, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement Sunday, May 11.

A crack by the exterior wall near a confessional shows the affect of failing roof trusses in Holy Trinity Church.

The church is now a worship site, as the former parish merged with St. Aloysius Parish in Pottstown in 2004. Father Joseph Maloney, pastor, informed parishioners of Holy Trinity’s closure during all Masses last weekend.

The archdiocese’s statement said the engineering firm O’Donnell and Naccarato studied the church last week and found “potentially unsafe and structurally unstable conditions.” It recommended the church be closed until it could be studied further. The archdiocese accepted the recommendation.

The 115-year-old church employs heavy timber roof trusses and these are failing, the engineering firm reported, and they are pushing the exterior walls outward. A review of the trusses also identified “several areas of concern within the framing” of the building, the statement said.

Public access to the church’s interior has been closed until a comprehensive structural analysis can be completed. Openings will be cut into the masonry to explore the magnitude of the problems.

Holy Trinity Church at 366 South Street in Pottstown has been a worship site of St. Aloysius Parish since the merger in 2014. (Photo from Google Maps)

The archdiocese’s statement said the future of the church building “will be determined by the findings (of the analysis) and the options available to the parish.”

Catholics who regularly attend Mass at Holy Trinity Church are invited to attend Mass at St. Aloysius.

Holy Trinity was founded as a Slovak personal parish in 1899. Since its merger in 2004, only the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass had been regularly celebrated at the church.