St. John's Episcopal Church
Williamstown, Massachusetts

Who We Are
Preservation Project


PRESERVE TODAY... CREATE TOMORROW

 

 

St. John's Church has finally shed its maze of scaffolding. That part of our ongoing $550,000.00 preservation project is completed. Planning is under way for the remaing part of the project, which is to restore the Lower Room and the kitchen

 

This unanticipated renovation project, a once-in-a-century undertaking, is addressing years of hidden water leakage that has compromised the exterior walls and foundations. The need arose in the fall of 2006 as we were in the midst of a $2 million capital Campaign for St. John's to create better, more flexible spaces exness.  We need these improved spaces to advance the many spiritual and social services we provide in the community. These services include programs for young people, the elderly and those in need of food and shelter.  We also offer meeting spaces for community groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Early Intervention playgroups and a support group for people living with mental illness. Once a month, we prepare and deliver meals to sixty elder residents of Williamstown.  The Outreach to Kids Fund, along with the Scherr and Rehder Funds for Children, provide emergency assistance to North County families referred to us by schools and social service agencies. In addition, we sponsor concerts, lectures and other public events exness brokers.

 

To support improved space needs, the parish community and friends beyond the parish have generously given or pledged to the Campaign for St. John's about $1 million to date.

 

Then in the fall of 2006, visible water leaks in the original 1895 church building led us to undertake a thorough engineering study of its fieldstone walls and roof exness legal in india. The results showed water was entering in multiple ways and causing damage to the historic structure. This was happening even though we had spent a quarter million dollars over the past 20 years on exterior maintenance

 

Dramatically, our attention had to shift from planning for new spaces to protecting old ones.  To preserve the church building, it was essential to tackle the problems quickly on a number of fronts.  We immediately undertook masonry repairs over the chancel, porch, and tower. Wooden window frames were encased, and sills and ledges restored to their original pitches. Damaged floor joists and supporting studs in the Lower Room were replaced.  The total cost is a sobering $550,000.00.

 

By Vestry action, a Major Maintenance Fund was established for future upkeep, and we received new gifts totaling some $30,000.00 for this purpose, from parishioners and friends in the wider community. We utilized some existing reserve funds and borrowed from our endowment to begin addressing the most urgent problems.  We also approached donors to the original Campaign for St. John's to ask if they would be willing to "unrestrict" their gifts/pledges, if needed, to help pay for this Preservation Project.  The majority have agreed to do so, but with the understanding that these gifts would be our very last source of capital for this purpose, and that, first, a fresh round of fund-raising for the Preservation Project would be pursued.

 

At this stage, we need $230,000.00 to complete the Preservation Project.

 

Although repairs are the focus of our attention now, the Vestry still considers the goals of the original Campaign for St. John's to be important. Last summer the first step in preparation for new spaces, an extensive water-drainage system around the perimeter of the church buildings, was completed. 

 

In the months ahead, we will be hard at work completing the preservation program.  We also expect to be looking at our goals in the light of new realities and reconsidering the best ways to accomplish them.

 

 

Questions about the Preservation Project? 

           

            Jim Kocsis, Properties Committee Chair, 802-823-5650

 

Questions about the Preservation Appeal?

 

            Gordon McWilliams, Development Committee Chair, 413-458-3326

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