Reverend Tina Walker-Morin of Sandwich First Church will soon turn 40 and is celebrating by launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise $ 40,000 for repairs to the church steeple.
Her birthday is August 8 and she launched the GoFundMe campaign on June 30, which gives her 40 days to raise $ 40,000 before she turns 40.
Due to structural issues with the building, especially the bell tower, the congregation was unable to meet in the shrine. Instead, the services take place in the parking lot, stock exchange rooms and in the garden area.
Ms. Walker-Morin said that if the church is able to raise $ 40,000, it will help with much-needed repairs to the nearly 200-year-old church.
âWe need a lot of money,â she said. âIt would make a dent. “
She said she hopes this campaign will also let the community know that the church needs help.
âPeople in the community have heard about what’s going on, but they don’t know the impact,â she said.
She said the problems may have started with the discovery of structural deficiencies in the steeple supports, but other problems with the building have been discovered.
At a community preservation committee meeting in January, church spokesperson Mark A. Romanowicz detailed the repairs needed in a request for $ 500,000 in funds.
The repairs would include four tonnes of structural steel beams hoisted under the narthex and put in place. To facilitate this work, openings should be made in the side wall of the church, just below the roof line of the narthex. Scaffolding would then be installed inside and outside the building so that the beams could be placed on the scaffolding before being rolled into the choir attic.
The beams weigh a minimum of 3000 pounds each.
In addition, 10 feet from the furnace chimney, the flue and the cap must be removed and replaced; and the entire exterior wooden facade of the narthex and belfry has deteriorated to such an extent that it needs to be replaced or repaired.
Mr Romanowicz said at the time that the church had already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairing the shrine.
The CPC application was denied for this year as grants are scarce and only small projects can be funded.
While the church is still trying to get preservation funds from the community to help with repairs, Ms. Walker-Morin said those funds are still months away if approved at all. The request for funds would also have to be approved by the voters during the municipal assembly.
On top of that, a February meeting of the Sandwich Historical Commission made it clear that the church faces more paperwork as CPC funding for the church’s work would be tied to a preservation restriction.
It is, in effect, an easement that accompanies the deed forever and ensures that works paid for with public funds – the CPA grant money – will not be destroyed or replaced if the property is acquired. by a new owner.
The restriction also requires that historic repair or restoration be carried out in accordance with the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s historic standards for building materials and practices.
Instead of waiting for the city’s money, Walker-Morin hopes her anniversary campaign will help them speed up repairs.
A day after the launch of GoFundMe, nearly $ 3,000 had already been donated.
Ms. Walker-Morin says she has heard people in town say that the church is the heart of Sandwich.
But it’s more than just a building, she said.
âThis community is where a single mom can bring her two shy beautiful daughters and watch them blossom and grow in self-confidence surrounded by love and a caring community,â she said. âIt’s a place where older people who have to move into a nursing home are visited and given cards and respond with words of thanks, saying ‘it’s nice to know that I haven’t been forgotten. “
She said $ 40,000 is the goal, but any amount she raises is worth it.