The sanctuary of the Church of Christ Congregational, Norfolk, Connecticut was built in 1813. The church steeple has been an icon of the town for more than 200 years.
But after all these years, two of the three chestnut support beams inside the clock tower and several of the exposed columns that support the steeple in the bell tier have serious wood rot and need to be replaced. To accomplish a replacement of these structures, the portion of the steeple above the clock tower, including the bell tier and bells, will have to be removed by a crane. Scaffolding will need to be erected and new beams and columns installed as repairs are made to the upper portion of the steeple while on the ground. The latest engineering survey reports that the steeple is in danger with winds above 40 miles an hour, so we will be moving as quickly as possible to bring it to the ground, at the same time monitoring the weather carefully when the building would normally be occupied.
This will be an substantial financial undertaking for our small church which hosts about 80-100 active families. A preliminary estimate of the cost to perform this work is approximately $300,000. Some estimates have been as high as twice that amount. That we are able to do it this cost effectively is largely the result of an elegantly simple design by Colebrook’s Ross Burke, whose family has been involved in complex restoration (including churches) for many years.
In the congregational faith tradition, all major decisions of the church are made at meetings of the church membership after discussion and a vote of members present. A simple majority is needed for a decision.
However, as a community church, we understand that a decision as important as this should not be made without providing the opportunity to all members of the community to provide input and support. Here is a Slideshow Presentation showing the damage and the repair process and cost estimates.
Donations to help restore the steeple may be made below.
If you would like to pledge financial support to this project,
please visit the Steeple Pledge page. Thank you!