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A few years ago, our church developed a strategic plan to address the changing needs of our church community. We soon realized that the age, size and location of our church building on Tremont Street limited our ability to prosper in ministry, so we began searching for a new church home.
By God’s providence and grace, we were able to purchase what was once a Catholic church and rectory at 1450 River Street in Hyde Park. While the buildings and property afforded us the space we needed to prosper and grow, they had design and structural issues that needed to be addressed before we can truly call them “home.”
Need to Renovate the Former Rectory for Administrative Offices
We chose the former parish rectory as the location for our administrative offices. The building needed new heating, exterior painting and a new roof. Inside, rooms needed to be reconfigured to support our ministerial and administrative functions.
Need to Restore Church Exterior
We saw that the church’s exterior needed urgent attention. The roof and gutters were in rough shape. The brick exterior was crumbling in spots, as were the front steps and portions of the steeple. The frames of the stained glass windows were down to bare wood, with many frames rotting and leaking. Several windows had been broken by vandalism.
Need to Bring Church Utilities Up to Code
We saw, too, that the church’s utility systems were outdated, that they weren’t up to code nor anywhere near today’s energy-efficiency standards. And our new church lacked handicap accessible entrances and restrooms, items critical to address to meet federal requirements and to fully welcome others.
Lack of Appropriate Worship and Fellowship Space
Additionally, we saw that, as a former Catholic church, it lacked the dedicated space to support the educational, worship and fellowship needs of our Baptist faith and family.
One issue our new property solves for us immediately is parking. It has significantly more parking spaces than our old property. However, there will be those few occasions when the parking lot will fill and people will have to park in the green space and along the streets. As our membership grows, we foresee that we will have to expand our parking eventually.