Not sure this is the correct forum but hoping that somebody can answer. In 1998, the church building of the parish next door to mine was closed because it was structurally unsafe and the financial cost of repairing it was too great. Also, the church was what is referred to in England as a “Grade 2 Listed Building” which places certain limitations on the kind of work that can be done on the structure.
The church itself was “deconsecrated” by the bishop and a side altar was removed into a room in the social centre, which is now used for Mass, etc. However the large high altar of the old church, which I’m assuming should have contained the relics of saints, had a large granite mensa with no obvious altar stone to contain them. So I’m assuming that the relics must somehow have been “built into” the altar. The church building has been closed ever since, has become derelict and has been used by e.g. drug users. The plaster is crumbling from the walls and the high altar has been sprayed with graffiti.
My question is, what is involved with deconsecrating a church? Could/should any relics have been removed from the church? ANd is there some issue of sacrelige if anything like relics has remained in the church considering the details I’ve given?