United Methodist's Historic Church Seeks Funds For 150-year-old Steeple

By: Sarah Giglio

United Methodist's historic church seeks funds for 150-year-old steeple The United Methodist church on North Broad Street in Norwich had its tall steeple constructed in 1875 and the historic landmark had not been rung for many years. The church is in need of more repairs. The church from Broad Street and a view inside its steeple. (Photos by Tyler Murphy)

NORWICH – The Broad Street United Methodist Church will be holding fundraisers to help cover the costs of restoration for the historical church.

The United Methodist Church is known for its towering steeple, which is the highest building in Norwich, is in need of repairs.

The church was constructed in 1875 and has been a historic landmark of the community ever since.

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Rehabilitation efforts began in 2019. Church officials first focused on the stained glass windows, but soon realized the deterioration went further. The bricks and beams within the steeple were also in need of repairs.

For the first time in a number of years the bell was rung on Easter of 2020 after initial repairs.

“We think the bell was last rung in the 1980’s. The reconstruction project still has over a million dollars to finish the roof and steeple, but it is reassuring to see and hear the immediate benefits of the recent construction,” said Rev. Rachel Ann Barnhart.

Sharon Fleming, a lifelong member of the church, explained that because there are no stairs up into the steeples, they had no way of knowing the damage was so extensive until a balcony began sagging.

“The steeples were actually collapsing into the church,” she said.

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