Sunday, May 5, 2013

Tower Phase II is Underway Thanks to Some Help from Our Friends

Church towers and spires have always been landmarks and beacons. They draw attention to the church building and point upwards to heaven. St. Philip’s tower is a commanding presence, and the focus of most pictures of the church (and it is even featured in 2 of our stained glass windows and our icon of St Philip).

Unfortunately, our tower has been plagued by water infiltration problems ever since is was built, and it has required frequent repairs. This time, rather than simply repairing the water damage, we have worked with an architect to attempt to find a lasting solution to the problem. Last October, we began a restoration of the tower, which we hope will be symbolic of the spiritual restoration of St Philip’s and of our renewed mission in the community.

Phase I of the project, last fall, was to alter the roof of the tower so that water would no longer run down the exterior walls. Now rainwater and snowmelt from the roof drain down interior an interior pipe to the sewer.

Phase II consists of repointing and repair of the exterior stonework. Loose stones are being re-anchored, cracked stones are being sealed with epoxy, and loose and deteriorating mortar is being replaced. This work commenced on April 28, and is expected to take about 4 weeks.

Thanks to generous donations from members and friends, and the Spring Tea, we have raised over $75,000 to date for this project. Vestry also voted last September to take $50,000 from the Memorial Fund, which consists of monies given over the years in memory of deceased parishioners. We have received a grant and loan from the Anglican Foundation of Canada and a loan from the Diocese of Montreal.

We are still actively soliciting donations to help repay the loans and to fund the restoration of (and perhaps some reconfiguration of) the interior of the tower, work which will take place after we have verified that the water infiltration has stopped. Donations may be placed in the collection plate (marked “Tower Fund”), mailed to the church office, or made online (use the “Donate Now” button at the right).

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