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Dear Friends,

As mentioned in previous communication to the congregation, inspection of the Sanctuary and Chapel roofs last Fall confirmed that both roofs have reached the end of their lives and need to be replaced. Our Sanctuary roof dates back to1869! The original roof was torn off in a severe storm that some said was a tornado with large pieces of the roof ending up in our Great Oak Tree. The Chapel roof was the original roof installed in 1954 – a different quality slate but still lasting almost 65 years. Both roofs will be replaced with Vermont slate which should give us another 100+ years of protection.

After several months of study, the Trustees, with Session’s approval, have signed a contract with Alden Bailey Restoration – experts in dealing with roof restoration in historic buildings. They come highly recommended by our Historic Architect consultants, Connolly and Hickey. The project will include new slate roofs, new copper gutters and leaders, and painting/restoration of the fascia/molding around the sides of the church. The total cost of the project will be approximately $275,000. Initially, it will be financed with funds from the Historic Building Fund Endowment. However, thanks to an incredible bequest from the estate of a church member, Marion Bonnell, the total cost will be covered from her estate once it settles early next year. We are truly blessed by this gift as we face one of the largest and most expensive projects in our recent history.

Slate for the project has been ordered and is expected to be delivered later this month. The roofing contractor has begun to deliver needed equipment to the church property and certain prep work is underway. The overall project is expected to take 2-3 months to complete. Care will be taken to minimize inconvenience to the daily life of our congregation and to our friends at The Tree House, but we will be dealing with work crews and equipment including scaffolding. This will result in the temporary closure of walkways around the church while work is in process – typically 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays. Periodic updates will be provided as work progresses including alerts of walkway closures and alternate means of access to Westminster Hall.

Access to all worship services during the summer will not be impacted.

To quote a time honored phrase – this is a temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement! Please give us your support and understanding as this project moves along.

Jay Link and Michael Poehner,
On behalf of the BRPC Board of Trustees