Hello there! Thank you for visiting our website and for visiting this page. It is our intent to be as transparent as we can be about what we're doing to restore St. Peter's church building and rectory, and why we're doing it, and the need for the work. As you can see from the photo of our original 1837 tin roof, it's time for it to be replaced. Other structural elements in the church building and the rectory need to be fixed or restored. This is a major project, and we can use your help.
Our five year strategic plan is located elsewhere on our website. In it, we state that our desired end-state is to have established ourselves as a neighborhood parish and community center, with a balance between religious and spiritual services, a center for ideas, and social action.
It is my intent to post real-time updates of our progress in the construction and fundraising aspects of this project. Please come back often to see what we're doing. If you can help or have a thought about how St. Peter's can serve our neighborhood better, please email me at email@example.com or call me at 212-929-2390.
June 30, 2015: Bill Stivale reported that he is now more concerned about the piers on the north side of the church and suggests that our next step be to fix them and that we fix the lintel stone (or at least prop it up) that is over the exterior doorway by the organ: it's cracked down the middle. If it goes, then some of the bricks and stones that it supports will come down as well. He's asked West NY Restoration to shore it up; West NY has also volunteered to put the southeast sanctuary drainpipe back and to clean that gutter as a goodwill gesture toward us - this will help our drainage issue in the southeast side of the church.
Also, he has told me that there is a 36' x 30' area of the theatre building that should be repointed and maybe rebricked. This area is directly under the scaffold on the southwest side of the theatre building. His point was that we should do this while the scaffolding is there.
Bill also came up with a way for us to save $50,000 on the scaffolding costs for the church: if we move ahead with the north piers, which will be the approximate cost of the southern piers, it will be cheaper to rent the scaffold from West New York to fill in along the sides of the Church between the scaffold north and south scaffolding and to keep it there for the raking and repointing work of the future, rather than have the contractor remove it once the roof is complete.
The good news is that work on the south piers is almost done. More good news is that we have received final bids for the roof from three contractors. The best news is that William Stivale has finished a maintenance plan that includes work to be done annually, every five years, every fifteen years, and every thirty years. We have a plan to take care of the Property! . May 22, 2015: Restoration Update: Three bids for the roof have been submitted. The next step is for Bill Stivale, our Building Conservator, to meet with each contractor; final bids are due in two weeks. The piers on the South corners of the Church have been disassembled down to the roof line. (For pictures, please visit our Facebook page, stpeterschelsea). Their dis-assembly will continue until the first weather stone - the first one that angles out - and then rebuilt, using a means of fastening them together and injection mortar. You can see two different proposed mortar colors in the joints along the inside corner where the Tower West wall meets the Church Proper North wall. In this manner we will be able to compare the new and old (90’s mortar). Please ignore the joints they install until they have “cured” for at least 5 days. In technical terms – the mortar is referred to “Green” before it is actually cured.
Strategic Plan: At its May 19 meeting, the Vestry approved the adoption of a five year strategic plan to help us move forward with the restoration. I know that many have expressed concern about the amount of resources going into building restoration. Please be assured that an equal amount of time is being put into the consideration of our Mission, and that developing our mission as concept and task is an integral part of the plan for the next five years. Essentially, our mission is to reclaim our heritage and position as a neighborhood parish church and to deepen our relationship with our neighbors. The 5-year plan will be put on our website very soon for everyone to see. Please send me or the Vestry your comments and thoughts.
Fundraising: We have been working with Cameron Dubes and Michael Ostroff, who have created a splendid presentation about St. Peter's. There has been much preparation going on - more soon.
501(c)(3): This week was the week for drafting the bylaws for the Fund for the Restoration, Maintenance, and Preservation of St. Peter's Buildings and Property, Inc.. We believe that we are closer to being able to approve them, with the result that once approved, we can take the next step of filing for tax-exempt status at the Federal level.
May 15, 2015: Restoration Updates: Initial bids for the roof are due next Tuesday. Our Building Conservator, Bill Stivale, will then go over the bids with each contractor. Final bids for the roof will be due two weeks after he meets with all of them.
You will notice an array of large stones in the garden, together with a number of filled bags. This is because the work to repair the southwest pier has begun (see photos on our Facebook page, stpeterschelsea). In its present form, the stones of the pier form a hollow square into which mortar had been poured, which adds vertical weight to the outside buttresses that support the walls. The southwest pier is the first of the four piers (at each corner of the church) to be repaired.
There is lots of fundraising preparation work going on - the drafting of bylaws of our new 501(c)(3) corporation, the creation of a five year business plan, the application to a fund so that they can become our fiscal agent, and grant applications in support of the Food Pantry. If you would like to help draft either of these last two, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 8, 2015: Restoration News: Initial bids for the new roof are due on May 19. Our Building Conservator, Bill Stivale, will then go through each contractor's bid individually with the contractor to make sure that all the bids have addressed the specifications and plans for the roof. Final bids will be due at the end of May.
We are in the process of creating a separate 501(c)(3) tax exempt corporation, the Fund for the Restoration, Maintenance, and Preservation of the Buildings and Property of St. Peter's Chelsea, Inc., in order to provide a vehicle for donors to give to the restoration. The initial Certificate of Incorporation was filed this week - more about this soon.
There will be a Parish Meeting this Sunday (May 10) after Coffee Hour to ask for your help in putting together a five year business plan for the parish. Our fundraising consultants, Michael Ostrof and Cameron Dubes, have asked that we put a business plan together, and the Vestry and I would like to know what objectives and goals for St. Peter's are important to you for the next five years. Sunday's meeting is to ask for your ideas and thoughts about your desired end state for St. Peter's in 5 years time. The initial domains being considered are Sustainability, People, Mission, Restoration, and Fundraising - if there's another category that's missing, please let us know.