Somers church plans to complete reconstruction by November
By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Jun. 27, 2013
The Somers Congregational United Church of Christ, which was established in 1840, was the third meeting house of the parish that began in 1727. On Jan. 1, 2012, the sanctuary located at 599 Main St. was devastated by a fire, but this did not stop the people of the church from sustaining the parish.
“We decided right away we were going to re-build,” said the Rev. Dr. Barry Cass, the church's pastor. “We started looking and found an architect, then a construction manager.”
As they started to plan for the new church, members decided they wanted the new church to look similar to the previous building. After they finalized the plans, reconstruction started in the beginning of October 2012.
The main differences between the two structures have to do with code updates, energy conservation and better acoustics for the new organ. The stairways and hallways are going to be wider, there is going to be an additional elevator to the balcony, and the sanctuary is going to have more space for wheelchairs. There will also be more efficient heating and cooling systems, according to Cass.
“Things are moving along pretty smoothly,” he said.
As of now, all the steel work for the building is complete and most of the concrete has also been finished. In early July, the entire building will be weatherized. A lot of work is still needed on the inside of the church, but the stained glass windows are in the process of being made by a company in Hampden, Mass., and the plans for the pews are completed. Construction of the pews is scheduled to be finished in October and completion of the building is planned for November.
The church members are grateful to all the individuals and businesses who have contributed to funding the project and decreasing the gap between the insurance coverage and the cost of the building, according to Cass. The parish has continued to hold services at the Johnson Memorial Hospital Community Education Center in Stafford in the meantime.
“We have been meeting there since right after the fire and we will be there until the new church opens,” said Cass. “We are carrying on our regular schedule there, then we are moving back as soon as we can.”
For more information on services, becoming a member, or helping the parish, visit www.somerscongregational.org.