Monday, December 28, 2009

At churches, it's let us pray - for repairs

From New London CT-

The massive stained glass window behind the altar at St. James Episcopal Church is coming loose.

"The job was poorly done ten years ago, the company is now out of business and the window is about to fall out again," said senior church warden Alma Peterson, speaking Sunday of the most recent repairs to the aging window designed by renowned artist Louis Comfort Tiffany.

The congregation is scrambling now to repair that Tiffany window and another donated by Lawrence & Memorial Hospital founder Sebastian Lawrence.

The small congregation is slowly raising money to finance the repairs, which could cost more than $100,000, Peterson said. After those are complete, the church has its sights set on a burdensome boiler that must be replaced.

In New London, St. James' woes are not uncommon.

All eight of the churches in New London's Downtown National Register Historic District have similar troubles, said Sandra Kersten Chalk, executive director of New London Landmarks, which led two tours through the eight churches on Sunday afternoon. Nearly all were built in the 19th century, many by prominent architects, Chalk said.

"People aren't paying attention to these beautiful churches," Chalk said. "They are such important pieces of the historic district, both in terms of their past and what they do for the community. What would we do without them?"

More here-

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