Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rededication of Amherst's South Church After Preservation Work and Energy-Efficiency Improvements

Nick Grabbe, "South Church celebrates 'new life'," Amherst Bulletin, 30 October:
South Congregational Church has just completed more than $500,000 in structural and energy efficiency improvements to its 1824 building on the South Amherst common.

At this Sunday's 10 a.m. service, the building will be rededicated. During her sermon, the Rev. Caroline Meyers will display items that were found in the walls, including old church bulletins, newspapers and nails, a beveled mirror, and a jelly jar with jelly still in it.

"The church really wants to make a pledge to the future of the church that says this building is not just for us," Meyers said. "We see it as a place where we want to continue to be a community of the faithful for generations to come." (read the rest)
It is interesting to note the contrast with North Church. The latter has far fewer members, struggled heroically to come up with the funds for emergency repairs following storm damage to the steeple and roof, and then saw its plea for a modest $ 7000 in Community Preservation Act funds to complete the repairs rejected at last spring's Town Meeting. Both churches are "contributing structures" in their respective national historic register districts, and we can only hope that both will continue to generate the loyalty and resources that they need. They are part of the cultural patrimony (as the French would say) of the town as a whole.

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