From the Trustees…

As BRPC prepares to celebrate its 300th year, we as a church community are committed to honoring our past as we look forward to what lies ahead. Trustees have been hard at work in their role as caretakers of our property, focusing on two historical elements that are showing signs of old age, the Oak Tree and the Sanctuary windows. Here’s a short update on each.

Our Sanctuary windows were installed in 1839. With a casual observation you will see dried and cracked or outright missing glazing putty (the stuff on the old windows that makes each pane weather tight) and many layers of paint, much of which is peeling (and much of which is lead-based). A more focused investigation reveals a fair amount of rot in critical areas. The windows have reached a critical point. There are two basic choices on addressing the situation: restore or replace. Trustees have made the decision to replace the sanctuary windows with modern insulated glass requiring minimal regular maintenance.

This was not an easy decision, nor arrived at lightly. We searched extensively to find a mod- ern window that maintained the proper proportions and appearance. One window has already been replaced as a trial. It is at the front left of the sanctuary (behind the choir – the clean looking one). To be sure, the new windows do not have the wavy glass like the old ones.

Please know that the old windows are being carefully removed, tagged, catalogued and stored, allowing us the option of restoring them at some future date. The old window sash under the portico facing Oak Street will be restored and preserved in place — these sashes are in the best overall condition because they have been protected by the roof. Sufficient funding for this project has been allocated from the Historic Building Reserve and Gifts and Memorials. As for timing, the new windows are expected to arrive in early September and work will commence shortly thereafter. We anticipate minimal disruption to the sanctuary while the work is being done.

Please know that this Fall both Trustees and Session will be meeting with historic preservation experts to start the process of conducting a survey of our historic campus, last done in 1939. We are proud of being on the National Register of Historic Places and strive to be good stewards of our property. Results will help educate and inform us on what’s needed to guide us into the next century.