Prospect Congregational Church in need of new roof

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Campaign underway to raises funds for repairs

The roof of the Prospect Congregational Church needs to be replaced. The parish is raising money to replace the roof as well as replace gutters and paint the siding of the church. -ANDREAS YILMA

PROSPECT — The parish of the Prospect Congregational Church is reaching out the community to help preserve the church, which has had a presence in town since the late 1700s.

Parishioners noticed the roof of the Protestant church at 25 Center St. was leaking several years ago. The roof has been repaired multiple times over recent years, but it’s at a point now where it needs to be replaced.

Water stains are evident on the ceiling and wall in the balcony of the church. There are also pin-hole leaks in the rain gutters, which need to be replaced, and the siding needs to be painted.

The parish received a quote of $93,500 to do the work, and started a capital campaign, called “Preserve Our Church,” to raise the funds for the repairs.

“We’re kind of like the town itself. We’re a small congregation but we’re full of very loving and caring people that we want to see what’s best for everybody,” said Gena Mann, who is an active participant of the church and is helping to organize fundraisers for the campaign. “Our church is a historical icon in town. We hate to see something terrible happening to it because we can’t get the funds to repair it.”

The original church was built in 1798 — the early days of Prospect. Over the years, fires destroyed the building three times. The present church, which has 163 active members, was built in 1945.

The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Prospect Green Historic District.

Over a dozen town and church groups use the building, including Prospect Nursery School and Boy Scout Troop 258.

“For a small church, I think we do an awful lot,” said Bill Pfeffer, who is chairman of capital fund committee and a member of the church council.

The roof of the church is 25 years old, said Robert Harvey, who is chairman of the church’s board of trustees and a moderator for the church council. He said the wind has done more damage to the roof over the years than precipitation.

Wind has ripped off and loosened shingles on the roof, leaving it exposed to the weather. On a late December day a shingle was lying on the ground next to the church and shingles on parts of the roof were visibly coming loose.

The Preserve Our Church campaign kicked off in November. As of late December, church members had pledged about $26,000 for the campaign, Harvey said.

The parish has also raised more than $1,000 from fundraisers, including a luncheon, Christmas concert and selling food platters for New Year’s Eve.

Pfeffer said that the capital fundraising committee, students and teachers from the church’s Sunday School, and the church’s Woman’s Club have been instrumental in helping with the campaign.

The parish is planning more fundraisers throughout the year. The next planned fundraiser is fish fry Fridays, where people can preorder meals on Fridays during Lent, from Feb. 28 through April 3.

Family game nights with dinner, a seafood broil, and a fun run or color run are all in the planning stages, as well.

Pfeffer said church members are hoping to start the roof project by early September.

“One thing I’d like to emphasis, whether or not people can donate to help us out, which we would really appreciate, but we welcome all to fellowship and/or worship,” Pfeffer said.

For information on how to donate, email the church at pccuccoffice@gmail.com.