T he parishioners of one of Granville’s finest churches have announced an ambitious campaign they hope will preserve the sanctuary for years to come.
The congregation of St. Mary’s Catholic Church announced last month a $200,000 capital campaign aimed at renovating the parish’s aging infrastructure.
Rev. Joseph Arockiasamy said the project is about connecting the past with the future.
“This is the beginning of a project that will not only protect our people, but it will preserve our church for generations to come. The goal is not only to renovate the buildings, but to renovate the community and build a future.”
With its ornate stained glass windows and towering steeple, St. Mary’s has served the area’s Catholic community for 130 years, but the passing of time has taken its toll on the Buckley Avenue church and rectory.
“We have some restoration work and repairs that need to be made to the rectory and the church and to a lesser extent, All Saints (building),” Clark Hicks, a parishioner and the Capital Campaign coordinator, said.
The rectory, in particular, is in need of repair. The slate shingle roof has been compromised by water infiltration and the basement is also susceptible to water. Many of the windows are inefficient and the sills and trim need to be repainted.
The church itself has a number of issues. The masonry work at the front of the building is beginning to deteriorate, the clapboard siding is weathered, the interior flooring is inconsistent and extremely worn and like the rectory, the basement is not water tight. The entirety of the church also needs a fresh coat of paint.
Some of the issues have already or are currently being addressed. A “rotted out” porch at the rectory has been removed and will be replaced and the basement is being water proofed.
“We hope to get the exterior of the rectory in good shape by mid-September,” Hicks said.
A chimney attached to the rear of the church was repaired earlier this month and Glen Baker, a local mason, was expected to begin work on the stonework at the front of the church this week.
“We’ve made some good progress in a short period of time,” Hicks said.
The 10 to 15-member Capital Campaign committee has already raised $85,000. Approximately $40,000 was collected from private donations, the diocese pitched in about $25,000, the church’s fundraising committee has pledged $10,000 and Arockiasamy contributed $5,000 of his own money. Ritchie Excavating, Rupe Slate Co., K&D Stone and Sheldon Slate Co. have also made donations of materials and time.
Clark said the campaign committee hopes to raise the remaining $125,000 by soliciting donations from parishioners and a number of “exciting fundraising ideas” that are currently being planned.
The church is asked families to consider making a 36-month pledge to help reach its goal. All donations will be used solely for the purpose of renovations and officials plan to utilize local contractors to complete the work.
Hicks said the campaign is being planned as a three-year project, although he is hopeful the work may be completed before that time.
Anyone who would like to make a donation toward the effort can contact Hicks at 642-1063, 802-287-4137 or email [email protected] They can also call the church at 642-1262.
“We’re highly committed to a successful campaign,” Hicks said.